What to Do if Your Tesla Runs Out of Battery 

For a new EV driver, the thought of running out of battery on the road can seem intimidating. Fortunately, Tesla batteries offer drivers a phenomenal range between charging, making the likelihood of running out of power minimal.

However, you might still be wondering what to do if your Tesla runs out of battery, and it’s good to know, just in case.

Understanding Battery Charge Status In a Tesla

Tesla advise against letting your battery drop below 20% wherever possible. The good news is that drivers get plenty of warnings on their battery status. A battery icon and range estimate appear on the top left corner of the dashboard touchscreen, and the battery icon changes color from green to orange to red as the vehicle’s charge status depletes.

Tesla offers further resources to help you avoid running out of battery. You can view details of your current remaining range by accessing the Energy app on the dashboard touchscreen. Your Tesla will calculate this range as accurately as possible based on your driving habits.

In addition, as your Tesla battery gets low, the vehicle will prompt you to route to a charging station with notifications, making suggestions on where to stop and letting you know if a charging station passes out of range.

When compared to the fuel light of a traditional fossil-fuelled vehicle, Tesla drivers are far more likely to notice that a flat battery is approaching.

Tesla Vehicle Ranges as Assessed by the Environmental Protection Agency

Tesla ModelEPA Range
Model SUp to 405 miles (651 km) per charge
Model YUp to 330 miles (531 km) per charge
Model 3Up to 272 miles (437 km) per charge
Model XUp to 333 miles (536 km) per charge

What Happens If My Tesla Runs Out Of Battery?

Despite all of these precautions, you’ll probably still want to know what to expect and what to do if your Tesla runs out of battery. One car dealership decided to test three such vehicles and find out what happens when their batteries are fully depleted. They discovered that even once the cars’ range statuses had reached zero, they were still able to maintain 65 mph for 10 to 20 miles. While that might be comforting, it’s definitely not something that Tesla drivers should rely on. 

Ultimately, if your Tesla runs out of battery completely, it will roll to a stop, just like any vehicle that has run out of juice. While being stranded on the roadside is never an ideal scenario, there is no need to panic. Instead, it’s time to call roadside assistance.

In most instances, a Tesla with a flat battery will need to be towed to the nearest charging station. It is absolutely vital to note that Teslas have specific towing requirements and cannot be moved with only two wheels off the road. Instead, you need a flatbed truck so check with your roadside recovery company. Next, check out our safety article on how to keep a Tesla in Neutral for towing.

Recently, a novel fleet of EV recovery vehicles has hit the road with fast mobile chargers on board. While these aren’t yet the norm, some stranded Tesla drivers may be able to summon roadside assistance that can charge them up on the spot, giving them enough power to drive themselves to the next charging station. If that sounds appealing, you can check with your roadside assistance provider to see if mobile charging is something they can provide.

In Conclusion

Without a doubt, it is better to avoid running your Tesla battery down to zero, as discharging it so fully won’t do the lifespan of the battery pack any favors. However, that said, a rare instance of getting stuck far from the nearest charging station doesn’t need to be a crisis.

Roadside rescue is available for electric vehicles, and you’ll be back on the road soon enough. But to avoid this inconvenience, why not utilize Tesla’s trip planning tools to ensure that you’ve always got your next charge plotted in on the journey ahead?