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Fremont police Tesla runs out of juice during a high-speed pursuit because charging a car is hard

What a time to be alive.

Fremont police tesla cop car
Image: Fremont Police

Familiar with the Fremont Police department in California? No? Well, they are the first police agency in the nation to utilize a Tesla in its patrol fleet.

Pretty cool, right? Well, they’re also the first police agency in the nation to have one of its Tesla’s run out of battery power during a high-speed pursuit. So there’s that. 

Mercury News has the scoop:

A Fremont police officer pursuing a suspect while driving the department’s Tesla Model S patrol car noticed it was running out of battery power. During the pursuit of a “felony vehicle” that started in Fremont and reached peak speeds of about 120 miles per hour on the highway, the officer driving the Tesla radioed in to dispatch that he might not be able to continue the chase he was leading.

That’s right. Some bozo on the previous shift forgot to charge the Tesla patrol car before clocking out. So obviously the battery level would have been lower than it usually would when someone took it out for a new shift. Enter the shitstorm.  

The officer driving the Tesla during the pursuit, Officer Jesse Hartman, said “I am 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?”

You can hear it all unfold right here

It’s all so sad, really. Eventually, you later hear Officer Hartman say over the radio, “I’ve got to try to find a charging station for the Tesla so I can make it back to the city.”

The worst part about this, the driver engaging in the chase GOT AWAY! The Fremont police had to eventually call off the chase due to public safety concerns. The police later found the vehicle where it eventually crashed somewhere near where the pursuit was called off. 

Moral of the story here: If you have an electric vehicle, you need to keep that puppy charged. If you’re a police department that has to chase criminals in one, for the love of God, keep that thing charged! Common sense.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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