What Happens When Teslas Run Out Of Battery? (4 Options)

Teslas are known for their sleek, beautiful design and the batteries that power them. But what happens when those batteries run out? After all, you can’t pull over to one of the many gas stations and start filling up.

As a Tesla driver, you may feel nervous about running out of juice, but several options are available to ensure you don’t get stranded on the side of the road.

Tesla charging port

1. Tesla Has a Battery Reserve Buffer

If you have ever driven an electric car, such as a Tesla, you are aware of various options to gauge your charge level. The dashboard displays how much battery you currently have and the distance you have traveled since your last charge.

A Tesla will issue various warnings to inform users when the battery is going low. This makes it particularly difficult to run out of charge without timely warning signals.

The best way to ensure you don’t run out of juice is to keep an eye on your range indicator – and be prepared to find a charging station before it hits zero.

When the battery is seriously depleted, your Tesla automatically alerts you of the nearest Supercharging locations and when you’re heading out of range from the closest one.

However, you are not hopeless if you cannot reach a charging station before the available range gradually decreases to nothing.

Once the range indication reaches zero miles, Teslas can be driven about 10-20 miles further.

Would you plan to use that additional range frequently? Definitely not.

Nonetheless, it’s beneficial to know that there is at least a reserve buffer, and perhaps you’ll be able to get to the nearest Supercharger. You may be wondering if there is a fee to use a Supercharger – check out our article answering the question, Do Tesla Superchargers Cost Money To Use?

That way, if your battery goes to zero percent and you need to use this option, you won’t end up on the side of the motorway with no hope in sight.

2. Call Tesla’s Roadside Assistance

When a Tesla runs entirely out of battery and you cannot get it to a charging station, it’s not the end of the world.

Tesla’s New or Used Basic Vehicle Limited Warranty will cover your vehicle whether you’ve bought a new or used one from the manufacturer.

This warranty option includes free roadside assistance for four years or 50 000 miles, so if you become stranded on the motorway with no battery left, Tesla has a customer service team available to help.

The service provides 24-hour emergency roadside assistance for all members. Therefore, you can call Tesla’s roadside assistance to help you get going again.

The service includes the following:

  • Breakdowns: A vehicle breakdown that is warrantable and makes it impossible to drive.
  • Tire failure: Damage to the tire or wheel results in a flat tire or hazardous driving situations.
  • Vehicle lockouts: Situations in which a car or app malfunctions routinely prevent the vehicle from being unlocked.
  • Out of range: If your battery is entirely dead and you can’t get to a charging station, or your Tesla has been sitting unplugged for a long time.
  • Other supplemental services: These are likely to come at an extra cost.

Utilizing the Tesla app, you may ask for roadside assistance. You should include your vehicle’s location and any relevant information regarding the service you need when filing a request.

When submitting a request, the procedures are as follows:

  1. Launch the Tesla app and choose Roadside
  2. Choose the problem that your car is having
  3. Include more information about your request
  4. Choose Request Help

Tesla stops providing free roadside assistance after four years or 50 000 miles.

This implies that if you use the service, you’ll be on the hook for any expenses related to the requested service after that. Meanwhile, find out how long Teslas can sit uncharged.

3. Request Help From a Towing Company

Firstly, don’t stress if you end up with an immobile vehicle – there is nothing wrong with the car itself.

Although getting stranded on the side of the road is rarely pleasant, much like a petrol vehicle, assistance is easily accessible. Regrettably, adding fuel won’t suffice to get a Tesla back on the road.

Since most electric vehicles are lower to the ground than conventional automobiles, towing them can be more difficult.

In the worst-case scenario, incorrectly hauling your Tesla can damage electronic components, charging systems, and battery.

A truck that tows the vehicle with two wheels can cause damage to your Tesla. Therefore, Tesla recommends that owners ensure that the towing company brings a flatbed truck.

It’s vital to ensure you call a towing company that has experience with Teslas.

You should ensure the company knows what they’re doing and have the right equipment for lifting the car onto the flatbed truck without damaging it.

When the truck has arrived at your location, switch the Tesla into Transport Mode by doing the following:

  1. Park the vehicle
  2. Secure the tires
  3. Firmly press the brake.
  4. On your display, choose “Controls – Service – Towing” on the touch screen.
  5. Push the transport mode button until it turns blue.
  6. Now it can be moved to the flatbed.

Transport Mode ensures the parking brake is disengaged when the vehicle is winched onto a flatbed truck.

When turned on, Transport Mode shows a notice saying the car will continue to roll freely.

It’s advised that you should request to have the Tesla towed to the closest charging location, such as your house or a Tesla Supercharger.

4. Call a Company With a Mobile Charger

Towing your Tesla might not be your preferred option, and understandably so. After all, these are costly vehicles, and even the thought of them getting slightly damaged is frightening.

If you do not wish to tow your Tesla to the closest charging station, inquire with your towing company or roadside assistance operator whether they possess a mobile charger.

Mobile chargers have been developed to let you get back on the motorway without having to tow your vehicle.

A gas generator powers the portable charger. It can generate 240 volts and has a 9.6 kilowatt of power output.

Although it may not be able to fully recharge your battery, this will provide you with enough juice to reach the closest charging station.

Find out with the company you call for help if they have a mobile charger available to your location. More often than not, they will be supplying it.

Frequently Asked Questions

You’re bound to have a few additional questions related to the topic of this article. But don’t worry; we have you covered.

Below you’ll find common FAQs relating to a Tesla running out of battery.

Can Teslas Be Pushed if the Battery Dies?

There is a lot of false information available on the internet about whether or not a Tesla can be pushed if the battery dies.

Tesla owners can push their cars if needed, but it’s not recommended and can damage the car.

Pushing your Tesla will harm the drivetrain, which powers the wheels and brakes and recharges your batteries.

What about Tesla’s Warranty Coverage?

If your Tesla has been damaged while pushing it, it can cause some issues with your vehicle’s warranty.

Tesla will be aware of the cause of the damage and will not provide warranty coverage if they discover this is the reason for any damage that occurred.

When the battery dies, it’s advised to call a tow truck or Tesla’s roadside assistance. Request a flatbed truck when you phone them.

Having a flatbed truck is essential because if the front or back wheels are touching the ground, the drivetrain will be harmed, much like if you had to push your Tesla.

Additionally, you’ll need to switch your Tesla into Transport Mode. You need some power to perform this, so pull over before the battery is completely depleted.

Can a Tesla Battery Run Out if it Overheats?

Fortunately, we have an entire article dedicated to this question. Check it out if you’ve ever wondered how Tesla’s batteries stay cool.

Closing Thoughts

If you’ve ever driven a Tesla before, you know it’s essential to have a charged battery.

The car’s range can be anywhere between 250 miles to 300 miles depending on the model. But if your battery runs out, you’re going nowhere fast.

Running out of charge is undeniably frustrating, regardless of what you’re driving. Fortunately, Tesla offers multiple options to keep its customers on the road.


Tesla: Roadside Assistance

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