As of right now, the number of electric vehicles massively outweighs the number of EV charging stations in the US.
There are nearly 50,000 charging stations across the US, which is fantastic. This number will continue to grow as people become more comfortable with this new eco-friendly technology and branch out to electric vehicles like Teslas.
However, what happens if you’re low on gas and you’re too far away from the nearest charging station, or the charging stations you’ve gone to all have large queues to use the EV chargers.
With a gas vehicle, someone can bring you a gas can or, if you’ve got one stored in your trunk to fill up your car to get you to bank on the road and to the nearest gas station to fill the tank.
With a Tesla, it’s not like you can get a portable EV charger that you can use when you’re stuck on the highway, and another Tesla cannot give you some charge from their vehicle.
So what are your options?
This article will tell you exactly what happens if a tesla runs out of charge.
Tesla’s Low Battery Notifications
Like a regular gas vehicle, once your Tesla has completely run out of charge, it’ll come to a slow, gradual stop wherever you happen to be, so you can try to switch lanes and pull over somewhere safe.
However, it will be challenging for your Tesla to run out of charge, or should we say, it’ll be difficult for you to ignore your Tesla saying that it’s running out of charge.
Your Tesla’s range and battery meter are displayed in the top left corner of the touchscreen display and are easily visible when driving day or night. When your Tesla is fully charged, it will show a green battery icon.
As the battery drops, it’ll go from green to yellow and then to red when the Tesla is running out of juice and below 10% battery, which is when you should start thinking about visiting an EV charger.
Tesla’s intelligent system is designed to give plenty of notifications to warn you that your battery is starting to deplete and that you should consider finding the nearest charging station to fill up on juice.
When it gets really low, notifications will come up, alerting you of the nearest charging stations that you can go to and also notify you when you’re going out of range of the nearest charging station.
If you’re driving to a specific destination and your Tesla is low on charge, then the car will recommend a speed reduction to ensure you reach your destination before your car runs out of charge entirely.
If you input your destination, the car will be able to update the range to the place you’re going and inform you of if you need to recharge en-route depending on how fast you’re driving.
What Happens If A Tesla Runs Out Of Charge
However, don’t panic if you’re unable to get to the charging station or you choose not to before the battery hits zero as it won’t come to a complete halt straight away.
Tesla does have a buffer that allows you to maintain a speed of around 65mph for approximately 10 to 20 miles after the battery drops down to zero, so hopefully, you should be able to get to a nearby charger in time before the car comes to a stop.
Realistically, you shouldn’t count on this buffer as the range you have left may differ depending on how fast you’re going, and you may end up stopping in the middle of nowhere, so it’s always safer to be more sensible and just plugin as soon as possible.
Once the buffer reserve has run out, your Tesla will begin to slow down from your current speed gradually, giving you enough time to change lanes, alert surrounding drivers and pull over to a safe spot as you come to a stop.
You’ll get a notification saying that your Tesla will be unable to drive soon when there is not enough battery even to maintain a speed of 15mph.
What Steps Should I Follow If My Tesla’s Battery Has Died?
So there’s no need to panic if your Tesla’s battery has died, that is, as long as you’re not stuck in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service to even ring anyone.
This process of getting back on the road isn’t as simple as it is with a gas vehicle. Nobody will be able to just swing by with a gas can.
You’ll need to call out a flatbed tow truck service (not your regular tow truck service) as Tesla vehicles will need to be on a flat surface; otherwise, it can cause some serious damage to your vehicle.
If your insurance policy covers this kind of service, you can simply call them for some help or try contacting a local flatbed tow truck company to come and get you.
Tesla does offer Roadside Assistance, which will allow you to be picked up by a suitable tow truck. However, Tesla does not cover this, so you’ll need to fork out for the costs.
Once your flatbed tow truck has arrived, it’ll be your responsibility to put your Tesla in transport mode (a neutral setting), which will allow your Tesla to be picked up onto the truck. This setting is in the service menu on the touchscreen.
You’ll need to be towed to your nearest Tesla charging station or even your home if you have an EV charger there.
All of these warnings and notifications are very hard to ignore. So if you do choose to ignore them, then the joke is on you because you’ll risk breaking down and having to call someone out to get you back on the road. And this could end up costing you a lot of money, depending on where you’ve broken down.