California DOT Orders $18 Million Worth Of Tesla Model 3 EVs


Caltrans, also known as the California Department of Transportation, has ordered 399 Tesla Model 3s worth some $18 million in total. The move comes as part of the effort to electrify Caltrans’ entire fleet of approximately 1,200 vehicles by 2030. Tesla has already delivered more than half of the cars.

According to Drive Tesla Canada, Caltrans confirmed the order and clarified that the state specifically ordered the Rear-Wheel-Drive version of the car. It did not confirm the final price paid but we expect that it had little trouble ponying up the cash. $176 million has been allotted in each of 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 specifically for the purpose of converting the Caltrans fleet.

“For each gas-powered vehicle we replace with a ZEV, that represents one fewer vehicle that needs to stop at the gas station and deal with volatile fuel prices, along with lower maintenance costs, which will save time and taxpayer money over the life of the vehicle,” Caltrans told DriveTeslaCanada.

More: Tesla Has A 73% Share Of California’s EV Market But It Is Slowly Shrinking

While many view the Tesla Model 3 as a luxury vehicle, Caltrans says that it was the best value for taxpayers. California’s Department of General Services included it along with other approved zero-emission vehicles before it was ultimately chosen by Caltrans. Range, safety ratings, resale value, and warranty coverage were all factors that led to the decision.

As of this writing, Tesla has already delivered some 236 of the 399 cars and Caltrans expects the rest of the 163 units to show up before the end of 2022. The Model 3s join an already somewhat electrified lineup of cars in the Caltrans ranks.

That includes a Ford F-150 Lightning pickup, 11 Nissan Leafs, 15 Chevrolet Bolts, and 54 Toyota Rav4 Primes. It also has 37 hydrogen-fuel-cell-equipped Toyota Mirais along with a hydrogen-powered street sweeper. By all accounts, this may very well be the largest-ever EV order by a US government agency at the state or federal level.

Last year, New York announced that it would buy at most 250 Model 3s from Tesla. That deal, though, spans some five years.


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