What Happens If My Electric Car Runs Out Of Charge?

What Happens If My Electric Car Runs Out Of Charge? - Downtown Electrical

As with vehicles powered by fossil fuels, if an electric car does not receive a steady supply of ‘fuel,’ it will stop.

Traditionally, you would either call a breakdown service who would tow you to the nearest garage, or you could trudge to a petrol station with your fuel can.

But what happens if your source of fuel is not transportable?

In this instance you generally have the following options:

  1. To be taken to a charging point by your recovery service using a flatbed truck or towing dolly.
  2. To be given a booster charge by your recovery service.
  3. To be donated charge by other road users.


Being taken to a charging station

Some manufacturers advise that their EVs should not be towed using a towbar or towrope due to:

  • The possibility of damage to the drivetrain and the control units, which act as the vehicles brain.
  • The inability to turn off automatic braking on the wheels, which can occur with some models when transmission is turned off.
  • The increased weight of electric cars.

Due to this, recovery vehicles will generally recover EVs with HIABs.

HIABs are flatbed trucks with an attached crane or lifting arm, which can lift EVs onto the back, and transport them to charging facilities.

With an estimated 477,000  electric cars now on the road in the UK in 2022, recovery companies are continuing to expand their recovery vehicle network to allow for an increase in HIAB vehicles.

Some recovery companies are using towing dollies instead of HIABs, which can negate the need for larger towing vehicles and are suitable for multiple vehicle types- including petrol and diesel cars.  These dollies lift two or four wheels (depending on the car type) completely from the ground and use dolly wheels that turn instead. This keeps vehicle wheels stationary and safe whilst allowing the EV to be towed to a nearby charging point.


Being given a booster charge

A simpler solution is for recovery vehicles to give your EV a booster charge.

This booster charge will give your car a range of around 25 miles, which should be sufficient to get you to charging point or home for a full charge.

Not all recovery companies have the capacity to carry enough batteries for multiple booster charges, so are developing their recovery vehicle stock to improve this.

This can include recovery vehicles specifically designed to recharge stranded EVs, which carry their own onboard generators. These generate electricity that can be stored in the van to be donated to stranded vehicles. Clever, right?


Receive donated charge

In 2021, Hyundai released the Ioniq 5, a limited model EV that deployed only 3,000 units across Europe.

The Ioniq 5 could be ordered with ‘vehicle to load’ V2L systems, which allow for vehicle-to-vehicle charging. So, if you are lucky enough to have an Ioniq owner drive past and offer to help, you won’t get a full charge but it may give around a 14-mile range with an hours’ worth of charge.

Which could be just enough to get you safely home.


Damage from deep discharges.

Running completely out of charge is known as deep discharging. This is damaging for EV batteries.It causes them to deteriorate by reducing performance and the ability to hold charge.

It is considered best practice to recharge if your EV battery dips below 20% to account for unexpected delays and for consumers the best charging options for purely BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) will increasingly focus on the cheapest price for electricity.

Recharging at home overnight with a home EV charging point remains the simplest, cheapest way to refill your car battery and avoid deep discharges.

This is thanks to the cheaper cost of electricity per unit in off-peak hours, which usually occur at night. Meaning charging your EV overnight at home is typically the most convenient and cost-effective option.

It also means that your EV battery will last longer, and hold charge better, helping to get you home again before it needs recharging.

Save yourself the stress and inconvenience of running out of charge, and avoid needing to use expensive public charging points, with a home charging points from Downtown Electrical.

To find out more, or if you’d like to discuss you home charging options in more detail, please call us today on 0113 345 6798 or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you.

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