Fremont, CA – Somebody failed to fully charge the Fremont Police Department’s Tesla at the end of a shift and the car died during a police chase.
Officials said the electric police car ran out of juice as an officer was pursuing a vehicle headed to South Bay, KPIX reported.
“Just slowed down to six miles of battery on the Tesla, so I may lose it here in a sec,” the officer said over the police radio. “If someone else is able, can they maneuver into the number one spot?”
Other police cars took over the lead in the pursuit, which was later called off because it had become unsafe.
The suspect’s vehicle was later found abandoned in San Jose, according to KPIX.
“The Tesla wasn’t fully charged at the beginning of the shift,” a spokesman for the Fremont Police Department 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.”
The Fremont Police Department put the used, 2014 Model S Tesla on the streets earlier this year as part of a pilot program for an emissions-free fleet, KPIX reported.
The department paid $61,478 for the cutting-edge electric vehicle that was manufactured at a plant in Fremont.
The Tesla replaced a 2007 Dodge Charger that was taken out of commission, according to KPIX.
“This is not a trophy vehicle,” the police department said on its website. “After the testing phase and performance evaluation, we aim to add more in the future.”
The city of Fremont, which is trying to reduce greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020, began researching in 2017 whether it was possible for the police department to have a fleet of zero-emission vehicles, KPIX reported.
The city estimated that it cost of gas over a five-year period was $32,000 for a Ford Explorer patrol car and said the Tesla would eliminate the cost of gas.
However, the city offered no information regarding the cost of power to charge the planned Tesla fleet or the greenhouse emissions associated with generating that electricity.