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Police Department’s Tesla Runs Out of Juice While Pursuing a Suspect

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A police department has a 2014 Tesla Model S, part of a pilot program that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city. While the Tesla is certainly capable of chasing down a fleeing vehicle in most cases, the officer in the driver’s seat was forced to abandon a pursuit after discovering the car’s battery was dying.

The Tesla electric patrol car belongs to the Fremont Police in California. According to a report by KPIX CBS 5, the officer was pursuing a suspect that was headed toward South Bay when he noticed that the car’s battery was running incredibly low.

“I am down to six miles of battery on the Tesla, so I may lose it here in a sec,” said the officer operating the vehicle. “If someone else is able, can they maneuver into the number one spot?”

Other officers quickly adjusted their position and continued pursuing the suspect. However, the chase became unsafe soon after, and the officers were called off.

The vehicle that was being sought was later located in San Jose, where it had been abandoned.

A spokesperson for the Fremont police discussed the situation with the Tesla.

“The Tesla wasn’t fully charged at the beginning of the shift,” said the spokesperson. “This, unfortunately, happens from time to time, even in our vehicles that run on gas, if they aren’t refueled at the end of a shift.”

The Tesla made its debut on the force earlier this year. It is part of a pilot program in the City of Fremont that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent – in comparison to a 2005 baseline – by the year 2020. Police department vehicles are, according to the city, responsible for 980 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

The 2014 Model S replaced a 2007 Dodge Charger, which was slated to be taken out of service due to the car’s age.

In a press release made available at the time of the pilot program’s launch, Fremont Police Captain Sean Washington said, “The electric patrol vehicle pilot program is an extension of the City’s clean technology and smart city initiatives to help make Fremont a more sustainable community.”