EV 101
1 min read
What Happens When Electric Cars Run Out of Charge?
May 14, 2024
Selinay Parlak
COO @Bluedot
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The fear of running out of power mid-trip may keep you from switching to electric cars if you're still on the fence about them. Owners of electric cars will also continue to worry about running out of juice. You might wonder what happens when electric cars run out of charge or how long electric cars run on a charge.

It's a very genuine predicament that neither side of the debate wants to find themselves in, whether you're a skeptic or a convert. And given that the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles will soon be prohibited, many of us may have to cope with it beyond 2030. But there's no need to worry about 'range anxiety,' and electric cars running out of charge shouldn't scare you as long as you're ready.

Before worrying about what happens when electric cars run out of charge, consider this: if you were driving a gasoline or diesel vehicle and had a long trip ahead of you, you wouldn't try to complete it with a nearly empty tank. In the case of your electric car running out of power, you wouldn't act the same way either. On the day of the trip, ensure it is completely charged, and find out where the closest charging stations will be along the route.

Range Anxiety

What happens when electric cars run out of charge? What if your electric car runs out of charge? Range anxiety, still seen as one of the major barriers preventing fleets from switching to electric vehicles, is the concern that the EV won't have enough power to complete its work. The real-world range between charges of early electric vehicle models received a bad rap. Despite the makers' claims that a fully charged battery could travel more than 70 miles, drivers frequently discovered that they couldn't. This damaged the reputation of the electric vehicle sector, and it is still doing so to some level today.

What to Do When an Electric Car Runs out of Charge?

Shortly, your EV will cease running when the battery is depleted. However, your car should have several warning systems that will alert you to top up before your EV runs out of charge. So here is what happens when electric cars run out of charge:

  • An initial low-charge alert (often between 10 and 12%)
  • Your EV's navigation system will identify the nearest charging station at 5%.
  • Then, it will roughly indicate how far you can travel on the current charge.
  • When you reach 0%, you'll switch to reserve power, allowing you to travel another five miles.
  • After that, your vehicle switches to "turtle mode," which only powers necessary systems.
  • You will stop after traveling for about a half mile when the electric car runs out of battery completely.

This is what happens when electric cars run out of charge, and driving an EV in turtle mode is a strategy to keep the car moving until you can safely arrive at a charge point, though you should strive to avoid it. Turtle mode enables you to exit a congested street or, at the very least, park your vehicle while you wait for roadside assistance if you cannot reach a station. Every sort of car benefits greatly from roadside assistance. Because you can't transport gas to an electric car, calling roadside assistance can be the best help you can get.

Make sure to mention that you have an electric vehicle when you call roadside help so that they may send a flatbed, tow truck, or portable charger. The only way to tow an electric vehicle is on a flatbed because any other method, including a rope, could disrupt the car's electrical systems and functions. Your roadside assistance will aid you in towing your vehicle to the closest charging station, where they will charge it for you, or, if you'd prefer, tow it to your home for charging.

Thanks to the Bluedot app, you can find the nearest charging stations and get to the nearest charging point before your car even goes into Turtle Mode! With the Bluedot Debit Card, you can enjoy 20% cash back points no matter which charging station you use.