What happens when you hit 0 miles remaining?

What happens when you hit 0 miles remaining?

I'm curious about what really happens when you hit 0. Does everything just shut down? can you actually go a few miles past 0?

I've seen a post on this in the past, but I don't think I've seen anything definitive on what really happens. Can someone who has experienced this let us know what to expect?

DouglasR | May 16, 2013

Don't know. Those who have done it have never been heard from again.

Mike C | May 16, 2013

I went two miles past it and was fine, but I think that if you shut off the car after 0 it won't turn back on. Border went like 15-20 miles after hitting 0, I forget the exact number.

Mike C | May 16, 2013


olanmills | May 16, 2013

@DouglasR lol

I am curious what happens when you hit whatever floor they have (it's below 0).

It would be smart if the car still stayed on and you were allowed to coast and the screens and stuff stayed on, just no power to the motor.

Sudre_ | May 16, 2013

I have been really curious myself. I really don't know if I want to try it (with 240 volt 50amp generator in the trunk for the refill). I am afraid the battery may be rather unhappy about it since it would require taking it down to a critical unhappy level. Not that it would kill the battery but the range loss might be more than I'd like.

Somebody with more money than me is welcome to report the outcome!

bsimoes | May 16, 2013

I can speak to that. After only having the car for two weeks, I was going to drive to Portsmouth, NH from Middlebury, VT for a distance of about 177 miles, with a bunch of friends. Getting there was no problem, as I had max-charged it, and upon arrival, had close to 100 extra miles. I wasn't worried about getting back, because in the parking garage in Portsmouth, there was a Chargepoint charger set up.

We were planning on heading home around 9 am, but, unfortunately, the charger stopped charging sometime in the night after charging only about 120 miles onto the car. (Meanwhile, I was being billed by the garage $1.25 an hour overnight.) We ended up staying until 4:30 to get at least 50 miles beyond the actual distance required. I knew it was close, but I figured an extra 50 miles (230 charged miles) would be ok. I had not considered three other people in the car adding more weight; I had realized that it was rainy, windy and cold, and that that would add some drag. I was very stingy with the defroster and heat and was keeping the speed down, even though we were on major highways the whole way. (We had to get home, and as I said, were planning to leave at 9 in the morning.) No one in the garage knew anything about why the charger stopped charging. They all just shrugged their shoulders and said that the company put it in, but didn't tell them anything about it. Really?!

Coming home, we were driving over Breadloaf mountain (10 miles from home?) but we were still climbing, and as fast as you can count, I watched the numbers drop: ten, nine, miles left. I remember a lot of red lettering and the message to "Charge NOW." Of course, we are in the middle of nowhere. We have no cell reception and it is getting dark. All the way back, my friends were enjoying the ride and the ability to say, "Play 'song'" They were laughing and having a good time. I, meanwhile, am watching the numbers drop precipitously, and, internally, am not having such a good time. I remember finally saying, "Look. This is serious," and then explaining what "bricking" was and that we might find ourselves in that situation. It was almost amusing at how quickly the laughing stopped.

There were no houses along this stretch, until we finally came to Breadloaf campus, but even so, there were no outlets within 20 feet of where I could take the car,and certainly no houses from which to make a call, so I decided to keep going. I crested the hill and coasted into Ripton, where there are maybe ten buildings along the road. I knew my best possibility for an outlet was the general store, and sure enough, they had one.

I was able to back in and get in position for charging. We now just needed to knock on the door of the only house visible from our location. Remember, no cell reception. It was killing me, because this town borders the town I live in. I didn't want to risk coasting all of the way down the mountain in case the steering locked up or some other unforeseen event happened. Long story short; the people in that house were somewhat suspicious of us, but did let us call a friend who drove to my house, picked up the charge cable and drove it up to meet us and then give us a lift home.

I would say that I drove perhaps two to five miles past zero that night. I was able to charge the car that night on the 110 plug at the store, and when I drove up early the next morning (fortunately, I haven't yet sold the Prius)the car had about 17 miles on it. I wasn't sure if it would even take a charge at all, but it wasn't something I even wanted to know that night. The green lights were lit on the cable, as well as the ring around the charge port, and the car said it was charging, but I didn't want to assume anything. I figured everything would seem brighter in the morning!

And it was. I coasted down the mountain, and the car operated flawlessly until I pulled into my driveway. I was perhaps 80 feet from the barn where I needed to plug it in when the car just stopped. I remember saying, "Are you kidding me?!" I put my foot on the brake and reset it into gear. That worked. I was able to drive the remaining 75 feet and plug it in.

I wouldn't recommend that anyone cut it so close. It certainly was not my intention. If the Chargepoint in Portsmouth had functioned correctly, I would not have this tale of woe. The car would have charged fully; end of story. Instead, I figured that 50 miles of cushion would have been enough. Assume nothing!

nickjhowe | May 18, 2013

@bsimoes - at least you didn't pull all the crap from the tank into the fuel filter.

Glad you (finally) made it.

J.T. | May 18, 2013

Every problem experienced in a Model S can easily be negated by simply having it pointed out that it would have been worse in an ICE. What a car!!

Brian H | May 18, 2013

Slower driving = more range. Even 30 mph is much faster than you can walk‼