It’s not a good day for Tesla. The premier electric vehicle maker has lost a possible vehicle contract with the Los Angeles Police Department to German automaker BMW. Now, one can’t help but wonder – can this be due to some crashing issues?
At a recent press conference, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the LAPD has added as much as 100 electric cars to its current fleet, as the city remains determined to make a switch to vehicles that are both cleaner and quieter. At the same time, this new delivery of vehicles to the city gives Los Angeles the largest fully battery-powered municipal fleet in all of United States.
Perhaps much to Tesla’s disappointment, the LAPD decided to award the contract to BMW and its i3 cars. The department said that BMW presented a “competitive bid.” Instead of buying the vehicles, however, the LAPD decided to lease i3 cars for three years, allowing them to change the fleet as electric vehicle technology evolve. This allowed the department to replace 100 of its aging vehicles instead of the originally planned 36.
At the same time, leasing the cars instead buying also allowed the LAPD to buy and install as much as 104 charging stations. To make this happen, the department asked permission from the City Council to redirect earmarked funds amounting to $1.5 million for the purchase and installation of the said stations, instead of buying new electronic vehicles.
Aside from i3, the Tesla P90 was also in contention to join the LAPD fleet. Originally, LAPD had been looking for an electric vehicle they could use for car chases. Today, however, the department said that it’s new electric fleet will simply used for “non-emergency purposes.” This may be the reason Tesla did not get the contract, too.
Nonetheless, Tesla seems to be getting a lot of complaints lately as car owners are claiming their cars are crashing on their own. According to a report from The Verge, Tesla X owner Puzant Ozbag claimed that his SUV “suddenly and unexpectedly” accelerated “on its own” then crashed into a building while his wife was behind the wheel. Car owners seem to be viewing Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving feature as completely autonomous.
In response, Tesla released a statement, saying, “Data shows that the vehicle was traveling at 6 mph when the accelerator pedal was abruptly increased to 100 percent. Consistent with the driver’s actions, the vehicle applied torque and accelerated as instructed.”
Moreover, the electric vehicle maker insisted that neither the cruise control nor Autopilot was activated at the time “or in the minutes before” the crash.
With no clear crash issues, it seems Tesla can still look forward to a future in a force such as the LAPD. For now, however, it remains unclear if the department will still consider a Tesla for future car chases.
Also read: Tesla Model S May Soon Chase Criminals!