What Happens when an Electric Vehicle Runs Out of Charge?

Tesla Charging Station

It’s no secret that EV range anxiety tends to be one of the most common barriers for consumers making the switch to EVs. So, what happens when an electric vehicle runs out of charge?

EV Range Anxiety

Consumer Reports conducted a national survey of Americans to gauge their perspectives, knowledge and experiences with electric-only vehicles.

When asked what would prevent them from buying an EV, more than 60% said that charging logistics is the biggest concern, followed by driving range, which was noted by 55% of respondents.

Meanwhile, in a recent survey among electric vehicle owners, 95% stated that they have never run out of power in their car.

So, what happens to those 5% of drivers who run out of charge? Is the range anxiety worth the stress? Does something bad happen when an EV runs out of charge? Will it burn up the battery? Will anyone be able to tow it?

The answer is, it’s not much different from when any other car breaks down or runs out of gas.

When an Electric Vehicle Runs out of Charge

There are many ways to get more miles out of your EV battery, but if the driver ignores the barrage of warnings of low battery and suggestions on where to charge, and lets the battery range reach zero miles, the car will eventually start to slow down after 10 to 20 miles.

Eventually, the vehicle will give a final warning to pull over as it’s running out of battery and will slowly coast until it shuts off.

At this point, the driver would call roadside assistance and let them know their electric vehicle ran out of charge and needs to be towed.

When the tow truck arrives, most electric vehicles have a tow mode or neutral mode that allows the vehicle to be pushed and loaded onto the tow truck. Most EV manufacturers recommended their EVs to be towed on a flatbed truck to avoid damaging the vehicle. The tow truck can then tow your EV to the nearest charging station or to your home, where you can begin charging your empty battery.

At this point, tow trucks have been dealing with electric vehicles for many years now, so most should be experts in this arena. The earlier mentioned survey also stated that of all the people that were scared of running out of power, 77% no longer were concerned about it after their purchase.

Fortunately, as electric vehicles become more widely used, more and more electric charging stations are being installed all over the country. In 2022, President Biden announced a plan to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030.

As the years go by, EV range anxiety will become a thing of the past.

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