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Has anyone ever been stranded with an empty battery?

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,799
23,149
Texas
No. This is a question that those who've never had a Tesla ask. It's a non-issue for owners because you have to really work at it to run out. The Model S can charge anywhere there is electricity, and there are a number of indicators to let you know how much you have left.
 

Zythryn

Model Y custom Warming Stripes wrap.
Mar 18, 2009
2,174
1,199
Minnesota
Out of curiosity, I wonder:


  • If anyone just ran out of juice in the middle of nowhere
  • What you did to resolve it!

My wife and I have put over 120,000 miles on Tesla vehicles over the last 5+ years.
We have never run out of range and don't expect to.

Has anybody? With about 100,000 owners I am sure somebody has. Calling roadside assistance would be your best option although I have heard AAA has trucks in some areas equipped to give EVs a quick charge of 7-10 miles.

The remaining range is quite accurate. As stated above, you really have to work hard at actually running out of range.
 

WarpedOne

Supreme Premier
Aug 17, 2006
4,362
6,563
Slovenia, Europe
As stated above, you really have to work hard at actually running out of range.
Work hard = ignore the warnings and count on range left after 0.

There are people who tried driving past "0 miles remaining". Most of them only tried once.
Some of them learned that 0 means 0.
 

muleferg

Active Member
Dec 15, 2013
1,454
745
North Wilkesboro, NC
When I first stated driving 100% electric cars. (Gem) 2003 :rolleyes:people would ask what I did when I ran out of juice. I told them I had a 5,280 ft drop cord. Some of the other people ask what I was gonna do when the grid went down. I said the same thing you are. wait for the power to come on for you to pump your gas.
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
532
Skaneateles, NY
there have been a number of people who ran out trying to drive past 0 miles rated range because they were misinformed by people here that there is a reserve past 0 (similar to how an empty gas tank an still go 10 miles or so on empty). so a big PSA: there is no such reserve. 0 means 0. if you attempt to drive past 0, the car will shut down. (it will tell you to pull over safely before shutting down). don't listen to any advice from people saying they drove past 0 as that is very very bad information. as long as you plan your charges and don't ignore range etc, you'll be fine. I have 92k miles on my P85 and never even came close to running out. as long as you're not completely oblivious or ignorant and trying to drive past 0, you'll be fine.
 

Panu

Member
Jan 9, 2015
289
44
Uusimaa, Finland
One taxi driver in Finland had 10km left when he parked the car and had a 15 minutes coffee break. When he came back to the car it did not start any more. Outside temperature was near 0 C. I don't know what happened next but at least he was not in the middle of nowhere. If it's cold you get a warninng when you park the car when there is less than something like 70km range left.
 

blanche

Member
Jun 30, 2015
100
8
Leesburg, Virginia
Out of curiosity, I wonder:


  • If anyone just ran out of juice in the middle of nowhere
  • What you did to resolve it!

This is a pretty common question from those who have never owned EV vehicles, so please don't feel bad asking it.

Just like with a gas car, you will only run out of juice in the middle of nowhere if you really plan on doing that on purpose. Unlike a gas car, you can always revive a Tesla (albeit slowly) from any regular electric outlet (i.e. any building). If you truly do manage to work hard at running out of juice in the "middle of nowhere" then you simply call the Tesla service number and they send out a flatbed truck to move your car to near a charger.

The bottom line is that once you own an Tesla, you really don't spend your day worrying about range. You quickly figure out your daily travel and charge schedule and you also learn to use PlugShare to determine public charging stations near your travel route so you have a plan B if something goes wrong.
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,026
Brea, Orange County
Yes once. Not in a Tesla, thought, but back in 1993 in a small EV I owned. I was almost out, couldn't make it home. I parked next to a street light, opened it and hooked up my charging cable. It was pretty simple to do. Unfortunately the police came and saw it. Charges were dropped because I stole only 50 ct worth of electricity. LOL It was enough to get home :)
 

mcmcmc

Member
Nov 13, 2015
20
0
London, United Kingdom
It's very reassuring, thanks.

Great replies!

At what stage do you get a "charge warning" from your Tesla? Around 50 km (or miles)? Less? There are some roads without any gas stations, so I suspect there will be far fewer superchargers, so would you navigate to the nearest hotel or car park to fill up there? A Tesla rep advised me that the sat-nav points automatically to the nearest supercharger?

Yes, only had a test drive in a P85D - never owned one, so it's a matter of changing mindset really I presume. Still, you'd want to know what to do in case you ever run into such a scenario.
 

Ugliest1

S85: "Sparky"
Aug 19, 2013
1,401
1,645
Victoria BC Canada
It's very reassuring, thanks.

Great replies!

At what stage do you get a "charge warning" from your Tesla? Around 50 km (or miles)? Less? There are some roads without any gas stations, so I suspect there will be far fewer superchargers, so would you navigate to the nearest hotel or car park to fill up there? A Tesla rep advised me that the sat-nav points automatically to the nearest supercharger?

Yes, only had a test drive in a P85D - never owned one, so it's a matter of changing mindset really I presume. Still, you'd want to know what to do in case you ever run into such a scenario.

The green battery level indicator turns to yellow at around 50km rated range left (I think, from memory). If you're using Nav, it will give you a popup warning if it thinks you'll be below 10% at your final destination (again, from memory... maybe it's 20% left). It turns to red under 10% (or... something).

And as others have stated up-thread, you can check Plugshare (PlugShare - EV Charging Station Map - Find a place to charge your car!) to find L2 stations or accommodating EV owners for an hour's pick-me-up to get you home. Or use the built-in Nav map to route you to a near supercharger, assuming one exists in your travel area.

You really don't have to do much thinking... just pay a little (that's *a little*) attention. On a long trip there's also EVTripPlanner.com, which will take elevation and user-entered temperature into account and estimate the rated miles/km's a Tesla will use for any particular routes.
 
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dark

Member
Apr 26, 2013
275
171
california
To be honest, I disagree with this statement "you really have to "try" to run out of battery". During my first Los Angeles to Las Vegas trip, I have no idea of the range reduction. No problem from LA to LV, but during my return trip, I need to drive a detour due to work for 220 miles from LV to Barstow, CA. I had a full charge at 265 rated range. Guess what I ran out of battery at 212 miles, and I was going 65 mph the whole time. I was 8 miles short, and I was trying NOT TO RUN OUT OF JUICE, but I still ran out.
 

ggr

Expert in Dunning-Kruger Effect!
Mar 24, 2011
6,991
27,681
San Diego, CA
To be honest, I disagree with this statement "you really have to "try" to run out of battery". During my first Los Angeles to Las Vegas trip, I have no idea of the range reduction. No problem from LA to LV, but during my return trip, I need to drive a detour due to work for 220 miles from LV to Barstow, CA. I had a full charge at 265 rated range. Guess what I ran out of battery at 212 miles, and I was going 65 mph the whole time. I was 8 miles short, and I was trying NOT TO RUN OUT OF JUICE, but I still ran out.

You chose not to slow down, therefore you chose to run out. That's all you needed to do; put on your hazard lights and limp in at 45-50 from 30 miles away.
 

HankLloydRight

No Roads
Jan 18, 2014
12,994
11,031
Connecticut
You chose not to slow down, therefore you chose to run out. That's all you needed to do; put on your hazard lights and limp in at 45-50 from 30 miles away.

Concur. When running low on juice, it's remarkable how much energy is saved by dropping down 10-15 mph. Even just going a flat 55mph will bring Wh/m way down.. and if you were only 8 miles short, that would have done it.
 
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Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,058
1,143
Charlotte, NC
There was a roadster owner a couple weeks back that ran out of juice in South Carolina and posted a plea to our Facebook group for help. The hotel went to was accommodating to let her plug in when their EVSEs wouldn't work with the roadster, but they had a protective casing around the box that prevented her from plugging in. She ended up staying stranded for the next but got a ride with someone elsewhere. Came back the next day with the needed adapters and tools to plug in and charge up. There were many nearby that were willing to provide her a place to plug in, by getting to the hotel for their EVSE took her to 1 mile of range and she couldn't make it any other place nearby.
 

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