Range anxiety is a major reason people tend to opt out of electric cars, and it went up to a whole new level with a police officer in Fremont, California. Jesse Hartman in his Tesla Model S police car set out chasing after a suspect in another vehicle in what grew to be a high-speed chase. But to his misfortune, the Tesla had about 9.6 km of driving range left in its battery pack. The officers blamed it on human error, not the Tesla or on the charger they use for their cars.
The Mercury News reported that the chase started in Fremont which is also where Tesla’s headquarters and main factory are located. Hartman reached speeds of up to 192 km/h during the chase but the situation turned when he saw a message on the digital instrument cluster indicating the car was about to run out of juice.
Hartman had to radio in to dispatch that he might not be able to continue the chase he was leading. “I am down to six miles of battery on the Tesla so I may lose it here in a sec,” Officer Hartman said.
“If someone else is able, can they maneuver into the number one spot?,” he asked fellow officers nearby. However, the suspect began driving on the shoulder of the highway to avoid traffic, leading to the police calling off the roughly eight-minute chase considering safety.
“I’ve got to try to find a charging station for the Tesla so I can make it back to the city,” Hartman said over the radio.
The 2014 Model S performs when well it’s charged at the recommended intervals. In July 2019, Fremont police captain Sean Washington told The Mercury News that officers use 50-60% of the car’s driving range during a normal, 11-hour shift.
As for the suspect, he drove the car into the bushes and abandoned it and is still at large.
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