What to Do if Your Tesla Runs Out of Charge on the Road

What to Do if Your Tesla Runs Out of Charge on the Road

Electric or not, your Tesla can still run out of power just like a car that runs on gasoline. Teslas rarely run out of charge if they are managed correctly. Still, accidents happen, and you may be wondering what to do if yours does run out of electricity. There is no need to panic. There are options available for getting yourself out of this situation.

The solutions can be a bit different when a Tesla runs out of electricity versus when a gasoline-powered vehicle runs out of gas. Every scenario is unique, so you may find yourself in a specific situation where conventional methods are not the best or most practical for you. Read on to learn just what to do if your Tesla runs out of energy.

What to Do if Your Tesla Runs Out of Charge on the Road

No one plans for their car to run out of fuel or electricity. However, it is not unheard of to overestimate your car’s remaining power. It is a simple mistake to make, and it can happen at the most inconvenient times. Luckily, this situation is not the end of the world, and you should be able to get your car back up and running with a little help.

There are a few options to consider, but these are all situational. If you are new to driving electric cars, you will find that your car running out of electricity is not so different from your car running out of gas. Depending on your location and a few other factors, consider the following options if your Tesla runs out of electricity:

  • Request a tow truck with a flatbed to take you to a nearby charging station
  • Put your car in neutral and push it to a nearby charging station
  • Use a portable car charger to power your car enough to drive to a nearby charging station
  • Contact your roadside assistance company for help

If your Tesla runs out of energy, you should request that someone with a flatbed truck come pick up your car and take it to the nearest charging station. Tesla recommends flatbed tows because lifts can damage your Tesla’s traction motors that generate electricity. Roadside assistance options are also recommended.

Your choice is dependent on where you are and the practicality of each situation. Not everyone will have a portable car charger handy. If you have one, keep it charged enough to be of use when you need it. Running out of electricity is inconvenient, but Tesla cars offer several features that can help prevent this from happening.

Portable Car Chargers

Portable car chargers do not have to be your worst-case scenario option. A charger can be used to avoid ever running out of power in the first place. Portable chargers can be expensive, and not every electric vehicle owner has one, but they can be great resources for long road trips. The safety net can help prevent range-anxiety.

The problem with depending on a portable charger is that many of them require a power source to work. This rules out any use if you are already stranded on the side of the road miles away from a rest stop. There are self-powered charger options, but these are more expensive and are only practical for actual roadside assistance workers.

If you are in the market for a portable charger, there are several options to choose from. Keep in mind that these should not be used to save you when your car is already out of power, but rather as a safety net in a situation where losing electricity is totally unavoidable. Practicality is the biggest argument against investing in portable chargers.

Purchasing portable chargers is not a very practical option for many reasons. Rather than investing in an expensive charger that you may only use once or twice, you should take advantage of the growing roadside assistance market for electric vehicles like Tesla. Let us go over some of the top roadside assistance services to contact.

Roadside Assistance Options

Although towing may be the easiest option, it can also be expensive and time-consuming. After all, even after you wait for a tow truck to make it to your destination, you still have to have your car towed to the nearest charging station. Then upon arrival, you must wait as your car charges.

If you are on a tight schedule, you may not have enough time to wait as each of these steps unfold. Luckily for you, roadside assistance options that can charge your car on the spot are available. With all of Tesla’s features, you will not be surprised to hear that the company has a responsive roadside assistance department to help you out.

With the development of more electric vehicles, the demand for roadside assistance services is also on the rise. Tesla’s roadside service is exclusive to its drivers. As a Tesla owner, you have that option and more. It is great to know you have other options as well. Some of the top roadside assistance services are:

  • Tesla Roadside Assistance: Useful for most roadside problems but does not provide on-the-spot charging. Tow service to the closest charging station is available. Included under Tesla Warranty!
  • SparkCharge: An on-demand roadside assistance company that will go to your location and charge your car with a CHAdeMO plug, putting out 20 kW of DC power into your car. This may be the best third-party roadside service for Tesla drivers to consider.
  • Blink: A subscription-based company that charges you a fee per charge-up. You can purchase a charger starting at $6,500.00, but this is not recommended due to the overall cost. It is not a practical solution for purchase, but it is one that will ease your mind and rid you of your range-anxiety on any trip.

Although your electric vehicle should never run out of power, some situations may be unavoidable. Your car dying on you in the middle of an important commute is very inconvenient, but your safety and the state of your car should be prioritized. Roadside assistance services will help put your mind at ease and get you moving quickly.

Avoid Running Out of Charge in the First Place

Tesla manufacturers develop their cars to prevent worst-case scenarios. If you run out of electricity, there is a chance you may have ignored all warnings and advice. Car charging stations are not as common as gas stations on the road, and your Tesla lets you know when you are out of range from charging ports.

If you are driving out of the range of charging stations, make sure your car has enough power to make it to the next station if necessary. This information is easily obtainable. When using the navigation system, your Tesla will inform you if your car has enough power to make it to the destination and the nearest charging port.

Even in situations where you are cutting it close on distance and power, your Tesla will give you speed recommendations to preserve power and extend your potential range. Your Tesla will consistently guide you and provide power updates. When your power reaches below 10 percent, a yellow, then red, symbol will appear on your dashboard.

There are plenty of features to help prevent this worst-case scenario of losing electricity and being stranded on the side of the road. In the case that you miss all these warning signs, you still have options, but it is best to avoid having to use them at all. So, if you are concerned about your Tesla’s electricity, use your car’s features to guide you.

Avoid Range-Anxiety

Range-anxiety is a term commonly used by electric vehicle drivers. It refers to the anxiety a driver feels on the road when calculating their remaining electricity and whether it will get them to their destination. When you have range-anxiety, you constantly envision a worst-case scenario where you end up on the side of the road.

Conquering range-anxiety is an important step in making sure your Tesla never runs out of electricity. Having a clear mind will lead to more efficient thinking and can help you avoid running out of power. There are plenty of benefits to keeping a level head as an electric vehicle driver. Some of the best ways to avoid range-anxiety are:

  • Spending a lot of time in your electric car
  • Using your electric vehicle’s warning features to prevent running out of power
  • Charging your car frequently
  • Planning ahead to avoid situations on the road that may lead to anxiety

If you feel like your range-anxiety is about to hit, you are probably on the verge of what should be an avoidable situation. The less anxiety you have while driving, the clearer you will be able to comprehend the warning signs designed to prevent you from running out of power. Tesla’s warning features are highly noticeable and hard to ignore.

Running out of electricity is not so different from running out of gas. Electric cars are still a relatively new option of transportation, and people are still getting accustomed to owning them. Tesla features several options to prevent you from being in a situation where you run out of electricity, but if you ever do, you have a plethora of options.

How Long Can a Tesla Run Without Charging?

The range of a Tesla model varies, but its most common model, the Model S, can go 370 miles on a full charge. Most Model 3s will last close to 310 miles. Do not take these ranges to heart, however, as multiple factors determine the actual range of your Tesla. Use the compatible Energy app to help you get a better idea of your car’s range.

  • Inclement weather
  • Uphill driving
  • Constant stop-and-go
  • Speed

Like fuel cars, several variables go into determining a car’s true range. Understanding the factors of your trip that affect your battery’s life will help you avoid ever getting in a situation where your power is running low with no charging station in sight. It is not always as simple as 370 miles worth of electricity being enough for a 370-mile trip.

Variable factors are especially important for people who live in colder areas. Colder weather will require more of your car’s battery and can noticeably affect your car’s range. Use Tesla’s features to stay informed on the details of your trip and make the necessary stops to charge your car so you can avoid running out of power.

What Not To Do if Your Tesla Runs Out of Charge

If you are a first-time electric vehicle owner who drove a fuel car most of your life, there are calculated steps you will want to avoid if you run out of electricity. Although your Tesla is still a car, it does not operate the same as your non-electric vehicle. Perhaps you ran out of gas in the past and now figure you should fix this issue the same way.

Your Tesla comes with a manual, and it is one you should familiarize yourself with. Electric vehicles provide the same services as fuel cars, but they do not operate the same and are not fixed the same. You will want to translate that to a situation where you run out of power and find yourself looking for help starting your car.

Do Not:

  • Jump-start your car: This is not an option. You may think that because you have jump-started a dead battery on your non-electric vehicle, that it will do the trick with your Tesla. This is not the case. Your battery needs a specific type of electricity from a compatible energy source to start running again.
  • Ask your friend to tow your car with their truck: It is understandable if you want to avoid paying tow costs, but this is not a practical option for your Tesla. Flatbed tows are highly recommended over ropes and lift tows. Ropes and lifts can harm the traction motors that generate electricity for your vehicle.
  • Panic: Do not panic. Tesla is as advanced a company as there is. Running out of battery power is a very fixable issue. Contact your go-to roadside assistance support company, and someone there will help you find a practical solution.

If you follow the warnings and advice of your Tesla when you are running short on electricity, you should be able to manage. Make use of the Energy app to be aware of any variables to consider during your ride. It is best to plan to avoid ever being in this situation, but it is even better to be aware of what to do if it does happen.

Why Jump-Starting Your Tesla Will Not Work

Jump-starting your Tesla through another car or a portable jump starter is not a viable solution if your goal is to add more extra electricity to your car. Even then, accessing your battery while you are out of electricity requires you to remove the tow eye cover and pull out the red and black wires. From there, you can begin the process.

You should also keep in mind that it is not recommended to use your Tesla to jump-start another car. Electric vehicles use lower-voltage batteries to conserve and energy and thus do not possess enough power to charge another car. If you attempted to jump-start another car, you might end up damaging your battery.

Remember that your Tesla’s need for electricity is the same as what a non-electric vehicle would need from gas. Jump-starting a gasoline-powered car that has no gas would only give it the power to turn on the electric functions of the car. Jump starting your Tesla will not provide the power needed to run your Tesla and give it more miles.

Help Is on the Way with Future Solar Panels

One factor that would be beneficial in situations where your Tesla is low on power is solar power. Unfortunately, Tesla models currently do not have built-in solar panel roofs or hoods. That is all about to change with the introduction of the Cybertruck in 2022. The Cybertrucks will have built-in solar panel roofs that will draw energy from the sun.

While this will not solve all your energy problems, it is worth noting that the Cybertruck’s roof will be able to produce around 15 extra miles of range. In a situation where you are nervous about your remaining electricity to distance ratio, you will have a boost of energy to fall back on to help you make the final miles of your trek safely.

The Cybertruck will be the first of many future Tesla models to include solar panels. As stated earlier in the article, the efficiency of your solar panels will depend on variables such as heat and weather. While the Cybertruck is still more than a year away from its planned debut, solar panels will be the first of many electric vehicle efficiency upgrades.

Wrap Up

If your Tesla does run out of electricity, do not panic or feel like you have made a huge mistake. Simply take a deep breath, and get to work on remedying your situation.

Request a flatbed tow to take you and your car to the nearest chagrin station. Use roadside assistance services to give your car an on-spot charge. Invest in a portable charger. Any one of these options can help you continue on your electric journey.

Tesla Discounts:


The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

Recent Posts