What to do if Tesla runs out?

Tesla: Imagine driving down the highway, enjoying the scenery, when suddenly your Tesla’s battery gauge plummets and the dreaded red warning light appears. Your heart skips a beat as the car starts to sputter and lose power.

Running out of battery with a Tesla, while uncommon, can be a stressful situation. But don’t panic! This article will guide you through the necessary steps to take if this ever happens to you.

Immediate Actions

When your Tesla’s battery starts to dwindle and you see the red warning light, it’s crucial to take immediate action to ensure your safety and minimize inconvenience.

1. Pull Over Safely:

  • Identify a safe location: Look for a wide shoulder, parking lot, or any area away from traffic where you can safely pull over and stop your car.
  • Turn on your hazard lights: This will alert other drivers to your situation and prevent potential collisions.
  • Turn off unnecessary features: Conserve your remaining battery power by turning off features like air conditioning, radio, and lights that you don’t absolutely need.

2. Assess the Situation:

  • Check the remaining battery percentage: Locate the battery gauge on your dashboard and take note of the remaining battery level.
  • Estimate the distance to the nearest charging station: Use your Tesla navigation system or a smartphone app to determine the distance to the nearest charging station.
  • Consider your options: Based on the remaining battery level and distance to the charging station, decide whether you can reach the station on your own or require assistance.

3. Contact Assistance:

Option A: Tesla Roadside Assistance:

  • Available 24/7: Tesla offers a robust roadside assistance program that can help you in case of a battery depletion.
  • Call or use the Tesla mobile app: Contact Tesla Roadside Assistance directly by phone or use the convenient mobile app feature.
  • Towing and charging: Tesla will dispatch a tow truck to take your car to the nearest charging station, where they will also provide charging assistance.

Option B: Preferred Tow Provider:

  • Flexibility: If you have a preferred tow service, you can contact them directly for assistance.
  • Inform Tesla: Ensure you inform Tesla about your chosen tow service to ensure they are aware of the situation and can coordinate effectively.

Option C: Charge from Another EV:

  • Ask for help: If you see another electric vehicle nearby, you can kindly ask the owner for a “jump-start” using their mobile charger.
  • Compatibility: Ensure your Tesla model is compatible with the other EV’s charging port and adapter.
  • Limited charge: This option will only provide enough power to reach the nearest charging station, not a full charge.


  • Remain calm and assess the situation carefully.
  • Prioritize your safety by pulling over safely and turning on your hazard lights.
  • Choose the assistance option that best suits your needs and location.
  • Be prepared to wait for assistance and conserve your remaining battery power.

By taking these immediate actions, you can minimize the inconvenience caused by a depleted battery and ensure your safety on the road.

While Waiting for Help

Once you’ve taken the immediate actions of pulling over safely and contacting assistance, you might find yourself waiting for help to arrive. This time can be used effectively to further improve your situation and minimize inconvenience.

1. Turn off unnecessary features:

  • Every little bit helps! Turn off any features you don’t absolutely need, such as:
    • Climate control: This is a major battery drain. Consider opening windows for fresh air if the weather permits.
    • Entertainment systems: Turn off the radio and any music or video playing.
    • Lights: Use your daytime running lights instead of headlights if it’s safe to do so.
    • Power-hungry accessories: Unplug any charging cables for devices like laptops or phones.

2. Use the Tesla mobile app:

The Tesla mobile app offers valuable features while you wait for help:

  • Track the arrival of roadside assistance: Monitor the location of the tow truck and get estimated arrival times.
  • Locate nearby charging stations: Find the nearest charging stations and plan your route to reach them efficiently.
  • Monitor the remaining battery level: Keep an eye on your battery percentage and adjust your actions accordingly.
  • Schedule a charging session: If you know you’ll be reaching a charging station soon, schedule a charging session to ensure the station is ready for your arrival.

3. Conserve energy:

  • Avoid using features that drain the battery: This includes opening windows frequently, using the radio, or playing games on the touchscreen.
  • Minimize screen brightness: Dim the screen brightness on your Tesla’s instrument panel and touchscreen to conserve power.
  • Turn off the car if necessary: If you’re waiting for a long time and the battery level is critically low, consider turning off the car completely to save the remaining power for essential functions.

4. Stay informed and connected:

  • Use your phone: Stay connected with friends, family, or roadside assistance through your phone’s internet connection.
  • Read a book or listen to music: If you have enough battery life on your phone, enjoy some entertainment while you wait.
  • Stay hydrated and comfortable: Keep bottled water and snacks handy, and adjust the temperature settings in the car for comfort.


  • Patience is key. Waiting for help is unavoidable, so use this time to your advantage.
  • Utilize the Tesla mobile app to track assistance, find charging stations, and monitor your battery level.
  • Conserve energy by turning off unnecessary features and minimizing screen brightness.
  • Stay informed, connected, and comfortable while you wait.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your waiting time and ensure a smooth resolution to your situation.

Charging Options

Once you’ve assessed the situation and contacted assistance, your next step will be to recharge your Tesla. Fortunately, there are various charging options available to suit your needs and location.

1. Tesla Charging Stations:

  • Superchargers:
    • Fastest option: Superchargers offer the fastest charging speeds, allowing you to regain a significant amount of range in a short period.
    • Widely available: Tesla has a vast network of Superchargers located along major highways and in cities around the world.
    • Potential for congestion: Superchargers can get busy during peak travel times, so be prepared for a wait.
  • Destination chargers:
    • Slower than Superchargers: Destination chargers offer slower charging speeds but are usually more accessible and located in convenient locations like hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers.
    • Free or paid: Some destination chargers are free to use, while others may require payment through the Tesla mobile app or a charging network provider.
    • Limited availability: Destination chargers are not as readily available as Superchargers, so planning is essential.

2. Non-Tesla Charging Stations:

  • Increased availability: Non-Tesla charging stations are becoming increasingly common, offering an alternative when Tesla stations are unavailable.
  • Check compatibility: Ensure your Tesla model is compatible with the specific charging port and adapter before attempting to charge.
  • Slower speeds and limited features: Non-Tesla chargers may offer slower charging speeds and limited features compared to Tesla chargers.
  • Payment options: Payment methods for non-Tesla chargers can vary, so be prepared with the necessary payment apps or cards.

3. Mobile Charging Options:

  • Portable chargers: Consider investing in a portable charger, which allows you to charge your Tesla from any standard electrical outlet, although at a slower rate.
  • Charge from another EV: In rare cases, you might be able to receive a “jump-start” from another EV owner using their mobile charger, but this will only provide enough power to reach the nearest charging station.

Tips for Choosing a Charging Station:

  • Consider your urgency: If you need to get back on the road quickly, prioritize fast-charging options like Superchargers.
  • Location and accessibility: Choose a charging station that is convenient to your current location and easy to access.
  • Cost and availability: Compare charging costs and station availability before making your final decision.
  • Tesla mobile app: The app provides real-time information on charging station locations, availability, and pricing.


  • Plan your charging stops in advance, especially for long trips.
  • Utilize the Tesla mobile app to locate and monitor charging stations.
  • Choose the charging option that best suits your needs and budget.
  • Be aware of charging speeds and plan your travel time accordingly.

By making informed decisions about your charging options, you can efficiently replenish your Tesla’s battery and ensure a smooth continuation of your journey.

Preventing Future Occurrences

Running out of battery with your Tesla, while manageable, can be inconvenient and stressful. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent such situations from happening again.

1. Plan Your Trips Meticulously:

  • Utilize the Tesla navigation system: This built-in tool considers your Tesla’s energy consumption and real-time traffic data to recommend charging stops along your route.
  • Factor in weather conditions: Cold weather can significantly reduce battery range, so adjust your charging plan accordingly.
  • Plan for unexpected delays: Allow extra time for potential traffic jams or unforeseen detours.
  • Set charging reminders: Use the Tesla mobile app to set reminders to charge your car before reaching a critically low battery level.

2. Charge Regularly:

  • Don’t wait until your battery is almost empty: Develop the habit of charging your Tesla regularly, even if it’s just for a short top-up.
  • Charge at home overnight: This ensures your car is fully charged and ready for the day ahead.
  • Take advantage of public charging stations: Utilize readily available charging stations while shopping, running errands, or visiting friends and family.

3. Monitor Battery Usage:

  • Understand your driving habits: Pay attention to your average energy consumption per mile and adjust your driving style to be more efficient.
  • Use energy-saving features: Utilize features like “Chill Mode” and “Regenerative Braking” to optimize energy consumption while driving.
  • Track your battery health: Regularly check your Tesla’s battery health through the mobile app or in your car’s settings.

4. Maintain your Tesla:

  • Schedule regular maintenance appointments: Follow Tesla’s recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your car is functioning optimally and maximizing battery health.
  • Check tire pressure: Properly inflated tires reduce rolling resistance and improve energy efficiency.
  • Update your software: Regularly update your Tesla’s software to benefit from the latest performance improvements and battery management optimizations.

By adopting these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the chances of running out of battery with your Tesla. You’ll be able to enjoy longer drives, minimize charging worries, and contribute to a more sustainable future for electric vehicles.

In addition to these tips, consider joining Tesla owner forums and communities to learn from other drivers and share valuable experiences. Remember, the more informed you are about your Tesla’s energy consumption and charging options, the more confident and prepared you will be on your journeys.


Running out of battery with your Tesla may seem like a daunting situation, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can handle this unexpected situation calmly and efficiently.

By understanding these crucial steps and adopting preventive measures, you can confidently navigate your Tesla journeys and enjoy the freedom and sustainability of electric driving.

Additional Resources

To further enhance your knowledge and preparedness, consider exploring these additional resources:

Tesla Official Website:

  • https://www.tesla.com/
  • Offers comprehensive information on Tesla vehicles, charging options, and roadside assistance.
  • Provides access to the Tesla mobile app, user manuals, and FAQs.
  • Features a community forum where you can connect with other Tesla owners and exchange experiences.

Tesla Roadside Assistance:

  • https://www.tesla.com/roadside-assistance
  • Available 24/7 to provide assistance in case of a battery depletion.
  • Offers towing and charging services to get you back on the road quickly.
  • Can be contacted directly by phone or through the Tesla mobile app.

Charging Network Apps:

Online Forums and Communities:

By utilizing these valuable resources, you can remain informed, prepared, and confident in your Tesla ownership journey.


Information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Always refer to your Tesla owner’s manual and official Tesla resources for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your specific vehicle and its features.

While we have strived to provide comprehensive and accurate information, the author and publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this article. It is the reader’s responsibility to verify the information provided and seek appropriate professional assistance if needed.

Additionally, specific features, functions, and options mentioned in this article may vary depending on your Tesla model and software version. Always consult your owner’s manual or contact Tesla directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information applicable to your specific vehicle.

The external resources mentioned in this article are provided as suggestions and do not constitute an endorsement of any specific product or service. It is important to conduct your own research and evaluation before relying on any external resource.

By accessing and using this information, you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions of this disclaimer.

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