Tuesday, November 28

As the car is electric, there are times when you might end up getting stuck when your car runs out of battery, and you’re nowhere close to your home or any place where you can charge your car i.e., a public charging place. Since you’re driving an EV and not a regular car, no one will be able to bring fuel to you.

What happens if a Tesla or similar EV runs out of power on the side of the road?
What happens if a Tesla or similar EV runs out of power on the side of the road?

If you overestimate your battery’s life, it could lead to you being stuck on the side of the road. That is where you call for roadside assistance. Many electric car drivers often experience range anxiety. Range anxiety is a driver’s anxiety over running out of electricity before the car reaches the destination or a charging point.

A lot of new electric drivers have this fear, however, as you keep driving the car, you will improve and get accustomed, and you will feel less and less anxious with time about how long you have before your car dies. As more public charging stations are being established all over different countries and states, you can charge wherever you are.

What if your electric car runs out of battery?

If you previously drove a regular car that runs on gasoline, you will be familiar with the stress that comes with being stuck somewhere on a highway without gas or any gas stations nearby. This is the same big fear electric car drivers face. There are times you overestimate how far your car will go before you reach your next charging point or back home if that’s where you charge it.

When such a situation plays out, you can call the SOS service provided by the company, or call a roadside assistance service, whichever roadside assistance service you’ve signed up with. They will come to your rescue and help you reach the nearest charging point or back home. 

What happens if my Tesla or other electric car runs out of battery?

When your Tesla is about to run out of battery, it is going to be easy to notice the problem. On the top left corner of the Tesla display, near the speedometer, you will be able to see the color of the battery icon. The indicator turns from green to yellow, then to red. Red indicates that your car is draining the last drops of power and is about to die.

Tesla does provide a lot of warnings before your car finally halts due to the drained battery. As you keep running low and your Tesla is in dire need of a battery, the car will begin suggesting charging points for you to visit and charge it. If you happen to be anywhere near a charging point, you would not run out of power. It will also tell you when you are moving further away from the nearest charging points.

Despite that, if you are out of range of the nearest charging point, don’t panic there is still hope. Your Tesla would not just die on you and come to a standstill. It does have a few extra 10-20 miles even after the range has reached zero. This does not mean that you should completely count on it, however, it can be a bit reassuring to know that you can drive at 65mph for those 20-10 miles. Thanks to this you can maybe reach your destination and charge your vehicle.

It is best if you don’t count on those extra miles for everyday use. You should only resort to using them in extreme cases when you are completely stuck.

The extra miles your Tesla provides are known as a buffer. After the extra miles run out; you will no longer be able to maintain a 65mph speed. You will notice that the car gradually slows down. You will have ample time to pull to the side of the road and park your car to think of the next move.

As the Tesla keep slows down to around 15mph, it will notify you that it will not be able to drive soon. Then finally, it comes to a halt and puts itself into parking.

This is when you need to start making calls, to get you to the nearest charging station. You have to make sure if you call a tow truck your Tesla is carried in a flatbed to avoid damage. You need to put the car into “transport mode” for the tow truck to pull it easily into the tow truck.

Is it possible to jump-start an electric car?

The short answer is yes. Electric cars come with two batteries, one battery is for storing electricity to drive the car and to power the electric motors. Whereas, the second battery is the one that mostly does not receive much thought. The second battery is a 12-volt battery that powers instruments in the car like the radio, wipers, and heated seats, among other things.

When the car’s battery has run low and needs to recharge, you can try to jump-start it. The 12-volt battery contains lithium-ion, and the car will not start if it is out of juice. The hardest part of jump-starting an EV is locating the position of the battery, excluding that, it is like the way you jump-start a regular gasoline car.

The small 12-volt battery might need a jump-start because it has not been in use for an extended period. Or, it could have a fault in the charging circuit. No matter the reason, the battery needs enough charge to turn on the car’s electrical system.

Yes, you can jump-start your EV, however, you should not use it to jump-start other cars. Most hybrids as well as EVs are not built to and should not jump-start other vehicles because doing so can cause a risk to the car’s electronics which can lead to potential problems.

Handbooks to most of these hybrids and EVs for example Nissan as well as BMW caution against using these vehicles for jump-starting others.

Can electric cars replenish their charge while driving?

As of this writing, electric cars can’t charge on the go. It is possible that in the future, electric vehicles will be able to charge on the go, as this is under research.

Researchers at Cornell University have been working for years on a technology that would allow drivers to charge their electronic vehicles while driving. This would require the creation of a charging lane. The charging lane would work like this; when you notice your vehicle is running out of battery, you have to move to the charging lane, it will know which car got charged, then send you the bill later. This type of technology might take about 5 to 10 years to be perfected and implemented. However, when it is implemented, it will help discard range anxiety.

What can you do when you run out of battery?

There are a couple of things you could do to get assistance.

Are you thinking about towing an electric vehicle? Don’t think anymore, as it’s a really bad idea, because it is going to ruin the brushes of the motor.

1.  SOS 

EV makers often install the car with a warning which when crossed will constantly signal, this is usually around 15-20Kms of range depending on the carmaker.

You can call the SOS provided by the company if you are stuck on the side of the road. The officials will surely take some time to come to your rescue, it is best if you keep something in your car to keep you entertained while waiting for the rescue van.

When the SOS van arrives, they will charge the car with a fast charger if your car supports it. However, they will not fully charge the vehicle instead; they will charge till the quantity required by the car reaches the nearest charging station.

2.  Roadside Assistance

Since bringing gas to an electric car doesn’t make sense, calling roadside assistance could be the best help you can get. When contacting your roadside assistance services, make sure you inform them that you are driving an electric car so that they can bring a flatbed or a portable charger.

A flatbed is the only way to tow an electric vehicle because if you use a rope or other methods, it could interfere with the electrical systems and functioning of the vehicle.

The roadside assistance will help tow your car to the nearest charging station. Or, if they bought the portable charger, they will charge it there for you, or you can ask them to tow it to your home if you prefer charging it there.

3. Mobile Charger

A way to charge EVs using a tow truck has been recently introduced. The mobile chargers are to help you get back on the road. Few companies have introduced portable charging systems that can help stuck EV drivers on the road.

When you call any roadside assistance services, they can bring a fast charger that will take some time to refill your car, and soon, you will be back on the road.

The majority of gas-powered generators that roadside assistance use provide 9.6 kilowatts and generate 240 volts. Inquire with your roadside assistance provider to know whether they offer a mobile charge, they should likely be offering it.

4. Tow Truck

If you do decide to get your EV towed, remember that it is not advised. As towing an electric vehicle requires a lot of precaution. There are towing companies trained to tow EVs without ruining the electronic components, charging mechanisms, as well as battery. 

If your towing company is prepared to tow electric, as well as hybrid cars, they will have a unique zero-degree bed that will holster an EV without messing up its electrical components and other essential parts. Most electric cars are lower to the ground than regular cars, which makes them difficult to tow. Note – Make sure the tow truck you call has experience towing Electric Vehicles.

However, you can tow a Nissan Leaf, according to Nissan, you can tow a Nissan Leaf with the front wheels raised to avoid ruining the traction motors. Despite, Nissan saying their car is towable, it is safer if you have your car carried in a flatbed to prevent unnecessary accidents.

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