What Happens If Your Electric Car Runs Out Of Battery?

Updated 3 days ago
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When your electric car runs out of battery you're going to need either a tow or a charge. Some companies roadside assistance plans come with tow trucks equipped with portable chargers. The best thing you can do if you drive an electric vehicle is to have an insurance policy that includes roadside assistance as a security measure.

Range anxiety: A real fear among EV drivers

Just like traditional gas cars, EV cars can run out of power. Running out of gas isn't fun since you have to call a friend or a tow truck. Running out of charge in an EV vehicle is even worse. Not many people carry a portable generator and special tow trucks are needed for some EV vehicles.

Since the EV infrastructure isn't as developed in the U.S., charging stations are few and far between in rural areas. This fact causes "range anxiety." Range anxiety is when someone is worried that they will run out of charge mid-drive before they reach a charging station or home.

How far can electric cars go?

The range of electric cars depends on a couple of factors. The size and capacity is a big factor. A Tesla with a 100 kWh can go upwards of 360 miles. However a Nissan Leaf can only go about 160 miles on its 40kWh engine. The size of the battery here shows how big of a difference it can make in drive time.

The way you drive you car can also impact the drive time. Just like how constant acceleration uses more gas, constant acceleration depletes your battery faster. To get the most out of your battery it's best to drive at a constant speed.

Here's what to do in case you run out of charge mid-drive

What if the worst happens? You weren't looking at the warning lights and now your car is dead on the side of the highway. Luckily some tow truck fleets have charging trucks. Here is what to do if you run out of charge.

Turn on your hazards

This alerts other drivers your car is not functioning and can protect you from being rear ended.

Pull over in a safe area

If you're in town, try to get onto the side of the road. If your on the highway, coast into the shoulder or emergency lane.

Call for help

Hopefully your insurance offers roadside assistance or you have AAA. Otherwise call your local tow truck company and ask for help. Make sure you tell them your car is electric. Traditional towing can damage electric motors.

If you don't feel safe don't get out

Your car is a relatively safe space to be. On the highway, you're much safer in a car than on your feet. Only get out if necessary.

Find your nearest charging station

This way you know where to have your car towed or where to drive to once you get enough charge to get back on the road.

Most insurance companies that offer roadside assistance can get you help. Roadside assistance is a great addition to any policy no matter what car you drive.

Plan ahead—it's the best thing EV owners can do

Planning ahead can save you a lot of headache if you drive an EV car. Here are some helpful tips most EV drivers use to keep from being stranded.

  • Plan out your trip and know where you're going to recharge.
  • Plan to recharge when your car hits 20%. Not only is this better for your battery but it gives you some leeway for traffic times.
  • Carry your cords with you, maybe a business can let you charge your car enough to make it to a station.
  • Make sure you have roadside assistance, so if the worst happens you have someone to call on.

When the time arises, is my insurance going to be enough?

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

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