Electric vehicles are reliant on their batteries to keep moving. So, what happens when your electric car runs out of battery?

Range Anxiety

A major reservation or fear drivers have about electric cars is the concern that they will run out of battery. This is what is described as Range Anxiety. Simply put, range anxiety is the stress drivers go through from worrying if their EV will reach their destination or take them to the nearest charging port. However, this does not have to happen if one pays attention to the warning signals your EV gives before it finally runs out.

What Are The Chances Of Running Out Of Battery

Generally, with proper planning, you can estimate the amount of range you can cover with your EV. It’s usually advisable you have your EV fully charged before going on a trip. For instance, a fully charged Renault ZOE can manage 245 miles, while high-end models like the latest Teslas can exceed 350 miles. 

Under normal circumstances, the chances of you running out of battery if you pay attention to the battery gauge are slim. The battery gauge goes from green to yellow then to red, depicting your battery levels. The amount of charge you have left should be displayed on your dashboard. Also, your satellite navigation or Zap Map will point you to the nearest charging point especially when you are almost out of charge. The Zap Map may also show if the station is available to use, how much it’s going to cost and what connectors are available there.

Can Electric Vehicles Really Work In Nigeria

Similarly, modern electric vehicles have an inbuilt de-powering system that helps conserve the charge when you are almost out. If the electronics detect you are close to running flat, the power available to drive the car will be decreased and the speed limited. The AC/heat system will also be lowered.

Is It Good To Run Out An Electric Car Battery?

Just like any other battery, an EV’s battery can run flat such that it can’t move an inch. You might have experienced a similar scenario on your smartphone when it dies off completely. It is usually not advisable to use all the charges on your EV. This can damage the car and even affect the battery health and can lead to the battery deteriorating, reducing its performance and ability to hold a charge. Running completely out of power is known as ‘deep discharging’. Once your battery reaches between 10-20%, endeavour to get it changed immediately.

What Happens When An Electric Car Runs Out

When an electric car’s battery runs out, the next consequence is that it stops moving. Then, you have to call for road assistance. When calling for road assistance to help you to the nearest charging station. When calling for road assistance, make sure you ask for a flatbed truck. 

Unlike conventional cars, electric cars cannot be towed with a rope or lift because it can damage the traction motors that generate electricity through regenerative braking. Tesla models and Renault electric cars are particularly best towed on a flatbed truck. However, current models of the Nissan Leaf can be towed with the front wheels raised, as this avoids damaging the traction motor.

Cost Of Running An Electric Car In Nigeria
Cost Of Running An Electric Car In Nigeria

How To Charge An Electric Car

When an electric car runs out, the remedy to get it working is to charge it. All EVs come with charging cables that can be connected to an outlet or charger. You can either make use of a home charging station or a public charging station. Home charging stations are a convenient and fast way to get your car charged. 

How fast your car charges depends on the type of charging cable being used and the vehicle model itself. The faster the vehicle charges, the less time you spend at the charging station. Slow and fast chargers are often used at home, while fast and rapid charging is available on public charging networks.


Just the same way you run out of fuel on gasoline-powered vehicles, it’s not unusual to run out of charge in electric vehicles. When electric cars run out of charge, the next line of action is to get them towed to the nearest charging station so that they can get moving again. 

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Blessing Afolabi is a writing enthusiast. She enjoys reading about science, leadership, and any other edifying materials. She's willing to go the extra mile in curating the right kind of content. When she's not writing, she's busy reading, chatting, or just hanging out with friends.

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