A police officer from California had to let go of a chase at 120mph because his all-electric Tesla ran out of battery power.
Officer Jesse Hartman of Fermont Police Department was going after a ‘felony vehicle’ wanted for a crime in Santa Clara but he couldn’t continue the chase because his car’s battery was exhausted.
Hartman noticed the car in a parking lot in Irvington District. After confirming the license plate, the officer tried to stop the driver but he managed to flee.
According to a statement given by a police spokesman to Daily Mail, the driver ran away at a ‘high rate of speed’ even though he was being chased by Hartman’s Tesla and other units from California Highway Patrol.
After the Tesla displayed a warning regarding the battery, Hartman relayed the situation to the control room, saying: “Just slowed down to six miles of battery on the Tesla, so I may lose it here in a sec. If someone else is able, can they maneuver into the number one spot?”
Other officers started chasing the suspect but they had to abandon it because the driver was doing ‘unsafe driving maneuvers.’
After a 10-mile chase near South Milpitas area, the suspect’s car was discovered abandoned in San Jose.
Hartman’s patrol car, a Tesla Model S, had to be taken to a nearby charging spot and it later returned to its base station in Fermont.
The spokesperson denied commenting on the ‘exact reason’ of the car not being fully charged on the day when it all happened.
Speaking to Daily Mail, the spokesperson said: “This unfortunately happens from time to time even in our vehicles that run on gas, if they aren’t re-fueled at the end of a shift. It’s not too often, but we have had a couple of situations where officers have run out of gas.”
The Tesla had less than half of its battery power remaining when Hartman started his duty at 2 pm. He used the car as routine until the end of the day.
The police told that the car’s battery lasted almost two whole shifts before the battery was fully drained.
The police spokesperson said that there’s no particular rule about charging the vehicles but the general operational guidelines state that the car must at least have half of the battery power remaining on the start of a shift.
“This one instance does not in any way change our feeling regarding the performance of the vehicle for patrol purposes,” the spokesperson added.
“So far the car is meeting or exceeding our expectations. We are still in our first 6 months of the pilot program and we’re keeping track of all the data.”
The Fermont Police told Sacramento Bee that Tesla patrol cars can travel an average of 265 miles on a single charge.
The department is trying to decrease its carbon footprint to 25% of what it was in 2005.