An electric 2014 Tesla Model S 85 police vehicle in the Bay Area, California, ran out of power at an untimely moment in the middle of a chase. Spokeswoman for the Fremont Police Department, Geneva Bosques, said that it’s not certain why the vehicle hadn’t been completely charged, resulting in the inconvenient loss of functionality.
“It happens from time to time, especially if an officer returns to the station to take a report and then they never go back out in the street,” said Bosques.
The police officer who was operating the vehicle had been chasing down a suspect who was wanted in relation to a crime in Santa Clara County. The officer had verified the license plate of the suspect’s vehicle before trying to execute a traffic stop, at which point the suspect sped away, said Bosques.
In the Fremont Police dispatch audio, the officer operating the Tesla can be heard saying, “Just realized I am down to six miles of battery on the Tesla, so I may lose it here in a sec”.
Other police officers who were also present during the chase ended up taking control of the pursuit with the assistance of the California State Highway Patrol. Bosques said that they stopped the pursuit after around 10 minutes due to the dangerous manner in which the suspect was driving. The suspect’s vehicle was later discovered by California State Highway Patrol to be abandoned in San Jose.
According to Fremont Police, they’re still in the six month testing phase of incorporating the Tesla into the department.
“We have no written policy regarding gas or charging, but the general guideline is that it should at least be half full at the beginning of the shift, which this car was,” stated Bosques.
Bosques says that this event hasn’t affected the department’s disposition towards the functionality of the Tesla for patrol use.