British Cops Forced to Ram Out-of-Control EV with Terrified Driver Trapped Inside

Denis---S /
Denis---S /

A terrified motorist in the UK got taken for a ride in more ways than one in his £80,000 electric Jaguar I-Pace last week. The car had some kind of electrical fault while the self-driving feature was enabled, and the motorist was left powerless to stop the vehicle. The car’s brakes weren’t responding, so cops from Merseyside Police and Greater Manchester Police surrounded the EV on the busy M62 and used ramming techniques to bring it to a stop.

This incident is only the latest in a long string of “bad news” for the electric car industry. The Daily Mail captured photos of the I-Pace wedged between two patrol cruisers after police managed to bring it to a stop. The I-Pace is set to be discontinued until 2025 when Jaguar will relaunch the model. In the meantime, Jaguar says it’s investigating the incident to try to figure out what caused the electrical fault.

As we’ve now seen repeatedly, the “self-driving” feature in EVs is turning out to be an unachievable pipe dream, even though many people are in love with the idea. There have been many incidents in which Tesla EVs have run over pedestrians in self-driving mode. Other cars have simply driven off the road and crashed when the self-driving feature failed to make a turn.

In a particularly high-profile incident last month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s billionaire sister-in-law drowned when her Tesla backed into a pond and she couldn’t get out of the vehicle. Police are investigating the death as a criminal incident but have not stated whether the self-driving feature was enabled.

In another incident last year in the UK, a driver’s Chinese-made MG ZS EV kidnapped him. The fully electric car began driving itself at 30mph. The owner who was trapped inside, 53-year-old Brian Morrison, had to call police to save him. They rammed into the vehicle with a police van to bring it to a stop.

“I have mobility issues, so I couldn’t even jump out,” said Morrison. “I was completely trapped inside the car going at 30mph. It might not sound like it is very fast, but when you have no control over the speed and you’re completely stuck inside it’s terrifying.”

As the police were driving next to Morrison through busy city streets, he tried disengaging the electronic key and tossed it to the cops. Morrison tried multiple different ways to shut off the car at the urging of the police, but nothing worked. The car just kept driving along and doing its own thing—running every red light in the process.

Even after the car rammed into the police van and was brought to a stop, it was still attempting to drive off. When a police mechanic finally arrived and ran a diagnostic check on the EV, several pages of faults were found.

Companies that are trying to commercialize driverless vehicles here in the US have met with limited success so far. Most Americans don’t trust driverless technology, and incidents like these don’t help.

The rideshare service Waymo has been offering passengers driverless rides in Jaguar I-Paces for several years now, primarily in the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, AZ. The San Francisco Fire Department had 55 negative encounters with driverless EVs in 2023. The cars frequently stop in the middle of traffic and prevent firefighters from getting around them. California drivers frequently rear-end the EVs when they come to a full stop.

It’s clear from incidents like these that driverless EVs are a long way from being perfected. As the demand for electric vehicles continues to plummet, it’s unclear how much longer automakers are going to be willing to invest in the technology.