Los Angeles Police Department buys 100 BMW i3 electric cars to boost sustainability efforts

In a deal with the Los Angeles Police Department  (LAPD) BMW will lease 100 of its small i3 electric cars in a bid to enhance the city's sustainability efforts, and also save on gasoline costs.

BMW i3 electric car

The Los Angeles Police Department has taken out a three-year lease on the fleet and will pay $387 per month per car, including maintenance. Further, a company called Greenlots will supply chargers.

Even though the leased i3s are BMWs, there was much dispute between BMW officials whether in this case they would be considered luxury cars.

"Other car manufacturers competed, they couldn't beat the price," said Vartan Yegiyan, director of police transportation for the police department, at a press conference near police headquarters to show off the fleet. "So BMW did their homework and they wanted to sell the cars."

The cars would be driven by detectives and police staff, mostly to follow-up criminal cases. The workers still expected to get plenty of use from the cars, up to 10,000 miles per car a year, which would not be used as black-and-white patrol cruisers. Further, they said they hoped to get electric-powered patrol cars in the next few years.

The LAPD settled for BMW after a year-long evaluation of several types of electric cars, including the Tesla Model S.

"The LAPD tested a number of vehicles that would suit their needs and chose the i3," BMW North America's executive vice president for operations Petter Witt told Business Insider.

"It's a testament to the ability of the BMW i3."

The LAPD's adoption of electric vehicles such as the i3 formed part of Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti's sustainability plan.

"We should be thinking green in everything we do - and these new EVs show how local government can lead," Garcetti said in a statement. "Our sustainability plan pushes Los Angeles to speed adoption of greener practices and technologies, which also save money and resources."