A Tesla Model S police car in Fremont, California, reportedly ran low on power last week during the pursuit of a suspect vehicle, forcing officers to abandon the chase in search of a place to charge the car.
NBC News reports that a San Francisco-area police department has reaffirmed its commitment to a pilot program in which the department uses a Tesla electric patrol car despite the vehicle running low on power during a recent pursuit. A Fremont police officer driving a Tesla Model S which was purchased by the department in March was involved in a police pursuit this week but had to radio dispatch to state the vehicle was warning him that it only had six miles of battery life left and he could no longer continue the chase.
Geneva Bosques, a spokesperson for the Fremont police department, stated that the Tesla was not fully charged at the beginning of the officers shift. “This one instance does not in any way change our feeling regarding the performance of the vehicle for patrol purposes,” Bosques told NBC News. “The officer was monitoring the charge and responsibly notifying everyone of its status during the approximate 10-mile pursuit,” Bosques said.
The department stated that other police vehicles were behind the Tesla and were able to take over the chase and that the California Highway Patrol was also in pursuit of the vehicle at the time. The chase was later called off and the suspect’s vehicle was found abandoned in San Jose later that day.
Bosques stated that the incident had not shaken the department’s faith in the Tesla vehicle which so far “is meeting or exceeding our expectations.” Bosques added: “We are still in our first six months of the pilot program and we’re keeping track of all the data.”