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Electric cop car runs low on juice during hot pursuit

2019-09-26

Electric patrol cars are giving one California police department fuel for thought.

During a Sept. 20 highway chase of a runaway car — in which speeds reached a dangerous 120 mph — a Fremont Police Tesla patrol car’s battery started running perilously low, reported East Bay Times.

“Just realized I am down to six miles of battery on the Tesla, so I may lose it here in a (second),” said Officer Jesse Hartman, according to dispatch audio. “If someone else is able, can they maneuver into the No. 1 spot?”

Luckily, other police units were following the Tesla and were able to continue the pursuit with some help from the California State Highway Patrol, according to Fremont Police Department spokeswoman Geneva Bosques, who added that the chase was halted after about 10 minutes due to the suspect’s reckless driving manner.

Patrol cars did discover the high-flying vehicle crashed into some bushes in San Jose. No suspect has been arrested.

The 2014 Tesla wasn’t recharged prior to Hartman’s shift, so the battery level was significantly lower, according to Bosques.

“It happens from time to time, especially if an officer returns to the the station to take a report and then they never go back out in the street,” she told CNN.

Fremont Police claimed it was involved in a pilot program that’s testing the integration of Teslas within 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,” asserted Bosques.