Tesla police cruiser runs out of battery during chase, but it was a user error

Fremont Police’s new Tesla police cruiser ran out of battery while leading a chase, but it was actually a user error.

Last year, Fremont’s police department bought a used 2014 Tesla Model S 85 for $61,478.50 (including taxes and fees) to replace a 2007 Dodge Charger that was being retired in their fleet.

Their goal was to turn it into a police patrol car and see if the electric car fits the needs of a patrol vehicle and cut costs with gas savings.

It went through their regular police patrol testing earlier this year, and they launched it on the road this summer.

Local news reported on an incident that happened with the Tesla Model S patrol vehicle today.

It was leading a car chase when the police officer said in a police radio transmission:

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?

He had to back off and let another vehicle lead the pursuit.

Because it involves Tesla, the incident is obviously all over the news, but it was actually a user error.

A Fremont police spokesperson confirmed that someone forgot to plug in and charge the vehicle after the previous shift:

The Tesla wasn’t fully charged at the beginning of the shift. 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.

Here’s a local news report about the incident:

Electrek’s Take

I know Tesla detractors are already sharing these news report laughing, but it’s simply a user mistake.

I am sure that police officers forget to fill up their vehicles’ gas tanks all the time, and it also results in mishaps.

Charging an electric vehicle is actually a lot more convenient than going to the gas station, and they just need to get into the habit of plugging in after their shifts.

Electric vehicles, and especially Tesla vehicles, are going to be extremely popular with police departments.

They are a little expensive, and Fremont police ended up going with a used Model S, but the Model 3 is proving to be a great option.

The Bargersville, Indiana, police department broke down the economics and determined that they are going to save about $20,000 per car with the Model 3.

They decided to start updating their fleet with Tesla Model 3 vehicles and use the savings to hire more officers.

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