Woman flees police in stolen Tesla until battery dies
Police say spike strips were 'ineffective' but the car eventually ran out of range.
A recent police pursuit involving a Tesla in Arizona may be the first case of an electric vehicle failing to flee law enforcement due to a discharged battery.
A woman allegedly stole the vehicle as it was parked in a shopping center in Payson, a small touristy mountain town approximately 90 miles northeast of Phoenix, according to a Payson Roundup report.
Local police and county sheriffs pursued the vehicle as it fled the town on a rural winding highway, eventually exhausting the battery after officers had no luck trying more aggressive techniques to stop the car.
"Spike strips were ineffective (but the) vehicle ran out of electricity on East Highway 260," Police Chief Ron Tischer told the local newspaper. "The suspect refused to exit the car and troopers and deputies were forced break a window to get the suspect out."
The suspect was charged with theft, fleeing law enforcement, criminal damage, aggravated driving under the influence, and failing to appear for a warrant.
Car thieves may be surprised to discover that EVs experience a significant reduction in expected range as speed increases. A chart posted by A Better Route Planner suggests the Model 3 Long Range will lose around 120 miles of range when drive just under 100 mph.