An environmentally friendly police car had to bow out of a high-speed chase early due to a low battery, but the department insists it was a learning experience and should be viewed the same as a squad car running low on gas.
The car, a Tesla Model S, gave out during a high-speed chase on Sept. 20, the Bay Area News Group reported.
A pursuit of a vehicle soon turned into a 120-mile-per-hour chase, something that the Model S can usually handle with no problem.
But it soon became apparent that the electric car wouldn’t be able to keep up with the chase.
“I am down to six miles of battery on the Tesla so I may lose it here in a sec,” the officer driving the Model S radioed.
Unfortunately, officers decided to call off the chase shortly thereafter because of heavy traffic and the suspect’s increasingly dangerous driving. The officer driving the Tesla then had another problem on his hands: He had to find a charging station.
Listen to the audio from the chase in the clip below:
The all-electric car is the result of the Fremont Police Department wholeheartedly embracing California’s obsession with green energy and policies.
In this case, it seems the battery in the Tesla had been partly drained during a prior shift and not recharged.
“Prior to Hartman’s time on duty, the car had already been utilized for an entire shift,” Fox Business reported.
“When Hartman started nine hours later, around 2 p.m., the car was at 50 percent battery life. Per department policies, before a car is taken out, they are required to have at least a half a tank of gas or a 50 percent battery charge.”
Although the department wants the public to see this as similar to a gasoline-powered cruiser running out of fuel, there’s a problem with this comparison.
For one thing, a car that runs on gas can be filled up in a matter of minutes.
Even Tesla-brand Superchargers can’t deliver that speed, taking at least 30 minutes to charge one of the cars. For police officers, this is time they may not always have.
And that’s only if you’re lucky enough to be close to a Supercharger. If you’re stuck with a regular wall charger, you’d better hope you brought a magazine to read.
Despite this, electric cars do have major advantages that could earn them a place on police forces across the nation.
Although gasoline cars often boast higher top speeds, there’s not much on the road that can best an electric car in terms of acceleration.
In cities and winding rural areas, it’s not hard to see why a Model S would have a clear advantage. With no fan belts, spark plug, head gaskets or oil changes needed, electric cars can also be a smart long-term decision for police departments.
Police departments’ experiments with electric cars have yet to be proven a successful or not, and only time will tell what the future of police car fleets will be.
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