Police Tesla Fails During High-Speed Pursuit of ‘Felony Vehicle’

Electric car cost $20,000 more than gas-powered patrol vehicles

Image Credits: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images.

A Tesla police cruiser ran too low on battery to continue pursuit of a ‘felony vehicle’ in California.

During a chase in Fremont that reached speeds of 120mph, the officer piloting the electric sedan radioed that his Tesla was running out of juice, requesting replacement as ‘number one’ chaser, according to dispatch recordings.

“I am down to six miles of battery on the Tesla so I may lose it here in a sec,” said Officer Jesse Hartman.

“If someone else is able, can they maneuver into the number one spot?”

The suspect reportedly “began driving on the shoulder of the highway as traffic was thickening, prompting police to call off the roughly eight-minute chase at that moment for safety,” the Mercury News reports.

Officer Hartman guided his Tesla to an electric vehicle charging station before eventually returning to headquarters.

The Tesla had allegedly not been properly charged after the previous shift, resulting in reduced battery longevity for Hartman’s patrol.

Fremont police became the first department in the U.S. to use a Tesla as a patrol car earlier this year.

“The department spent a tad over $61,000 to buy the car from Tesla in 2018 — which has its main manufacturing factory in Fremont — and spent over a year modifying the car to get it ready for police use, officially rolling it out in March,” the Mercury News reports.

“The used Tesla cost approximately $20,000 more than a new Ford Explorer police vehicle that the department uses for its other patrol vehicles, though officials said they expect to save on fuel and maintenance costs over the long run with the Tesla.”

Fremont police say they are monitoring the energy and maintenance costs of the Tesla versus those of conventional gas-powered vehicles, and say, “So far so good.”



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Dan Lyman: