Tesla cars are a step towards the future; they are silent, quick, less polluting than normal cars. That doesn’t make them invulnerable though. A Fremont City Police Officer had to bail out on a pursuit because of low battery on their Tesla Police Car.
Fremont City police department was the first law enforcement agency in the US to incorporate Tesla EVs into its fleet. As part of a pilot program, the vehicle’s performance was to be monitored, and then later evaluated to determine the practicality of maintaining electric vehicles for police departments. Now, it’s also the first police department to have a Tesla’s battery die during a car chase!
Fremont Police Department has been using a Tesla Model S Police Car for six months now
Jesse Hartman, a Fremont City Cop, had just initiated a pursuit with a "felony vehicle" in his Tesla Model S, when his eyes fell on the remaining range of the vehicle, which just just six miles. He requested backup before bailing out of the pursuit to search for a charging station. The pursuit was later called off in favour of public safety due to the dangerous driving of the felon, who ditched the vehicle soon after.
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Police say that usually the Tesla Police car is able to complete a shift with 40-50% charge remaining. On the day of the pursuit, the car had nearly completed two full shifts before engaging in the car chase. In general, the department is happy with the performance of the EV. The police also stated that these situations aren’t uncommon. “Regular” police cars also run out of fuel sometimes during a pursuit, so the same thing happening to an EV was just a matter of time.
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Even though the battery running out of juice wasn’t the fault of the vehicle, it does serve as a reminder that no matter how advanced the EV technology seems, it isn’t infallible.