What happens when you go to zero miles?

What happens when you go to zero miles?

I have driven my S to 2 miles where the message comes on about low energy and it shuts off my air conditioner. What happens when you get to zero?

I am hoping it says " hey stupid we are giving you 10 more miles. Don't screw up again."

ir | 14 octobre 2013

Web search for "Broder Tesla"

ausdma | 14 octobre 2013

Ha. I missed all that. I have observed cryptic Broder comments in these forums but never knew what they referred to.

MacDaddyDude | 14 octobre 2013

There was a post on this in the last week. In summary: no big deal a bunch of people have done it with no obvious issues.

It is believed (no one seems willing to test the "belief"), that you can drive it to zero, and then another 10 - 20 miles, the battery will then put itself on life support, and you have 2 or 3 weeks to recharge it before it becomes a lawn ornament.

jbunn | 14 octobre 2013

Except I ran into a guy at the Folsom supercharger a month or so ago. I'm charging. He arrives with car on a flat bed behind a tow truck. He's got a Tesla cap on. I walk over and say "Hi".

First thing he says is "piece of s___t car". Turns out it was his companie's car and he was borrowing the P85+ for the weekend. Had his wife and kids with him, and ran the car low. Rather than drive to the Supercharger when he had range, he sat waiting for a J1772 for a couple of hours, running the aircon and letting the kids play with the screen on a 90 degree day. Finally, called a ride for the family, and drove to the supercharger, running out a few miles short. He had to get a 12 volt jump as well.

So, yes. You can run them out of power. Same as a gas car. And if you are low on gas, don't sit and idle for a few hours...

bradslee | 14 octobre 2013


Are you sure that the person whom you met at Folsom supercharging station is not Mr. John Broder? He might visit California for another NYT article on Tesla.

highfalutintodd | 14 octobre 2013

My mother-in-law asked me the same question: "What happens if you run out of electricity?"

I looked at her and simply said, "The same thing that happens if you run out of gas. The car stops."

jbunn | 14 octobre 2013

bradslee, yes quite sure.

highfalutintodd, you walk down the road with an empty container to get a gallon of electrons.

Robs Jones | 14 octobre 2013

At Zero Range, the instrument display simply counts down to "0", then after a mile, switches to "Charge Now" in small red font.

I was surprised, I thought there would be a blinking warning or an audible alarm, something, but the car remains calm and dignified, even when running near empty.

I've pushed into Charge Now on at least three occasions, once traveling an additional 3-4 miles before charging - other than limiting the acceleration and A/C, no noticeable changes to the car.

shop | 14 octobre 2013

Apparently, there is a buffer of about 10-17 miles, depending on how hard you drive your car, after it reaches 0.

jat | 15 octobre 2013

I have driven a couple of miles below zero. If you tap on the battery icon at the top of the center display, you can see exactly how much charge you had left -- I would estimate about 10-15mi below zero if you drive carefully.

Ironically, it was the Broder article that gave me confidence to push below zero rather than stop at some convenience store and beg to use their 120V outlet for 45min -- the fact that he had to drive around the parking lot after it went to zero gave me confidence I could push it a couple of miles (and the software has changed since then to give a bigger buffer).

thranx | 15 octobre 2013

To quote the British writer Eric Frank Russell, "There is no machine so smart that some fool won't be too stupid to run it."

info | 15 octobre 2013

I too am guilty of seeing 0 on the dash. The first time it happened, I was able to stop at a tire store and get some 110 power. After 45 minutes, I was still at 0. It was charging at 3 mph so I should have put on a couple of miles, but it wasn't registering. After I got 4 miles on the gauge, I went the 2 miles to the Hawthorne SuperCharger and unfortunately hit a couple of detours because they were having the taste of Hawthorne. I hit 0 again and worried greatly about being so stupid twice in the same day. But I made it.

A couple of weeks ago, I hit 0 after reading there were 15 miles left and continued on for 5. I made the charge point without incident. From the TeslaClub forum someone said that there is damage done to the car when it discharges to 0. It is not a good practice. I'm trying to do better, but what would life be without an adventure.

AmpedRealtor | 15 octobre 2013

When you go past zero, you go to ludicrous speed...

PapaSmurf | 15 octobre 2013


That is how you secretly activate the P+ option.
All cars have it already installed.

Velo1 | 15 octobre 2013

So when you run out of gas, you lose power steering, but can still muscle the car onto the shoulder. What physically happens when you run out of ions? Can you still steer over to the shoulder? Does the regen kick in or do you coast to the shoulder with residual inertia?

I haven't approached zero. Frankly, I have never driven the car more than 100 miles from home, so I really don't look at the range number much while out and about.

Pungoteague_Dave | 15 octobre 2013

We reached zero for the first time last night. We max range charged, and drove 190 miles at 65 mph, when it hit zero. The difference in this trip was that we had a bike rack on the back, which cost an average of over 100 Wh/mi.

When we hit zero miles it drove for about a mile then went to "Charge Now" in red, and we were able to finish the last four miles to home.

There were no alternatives for changing along the way, and we have driven this route many times WITHOUT max range charging, with some cushion (except near freezing, another story), so were surprised that the bike rack cost about 27% of the normal power required for this trip.

Lessons learned: (a) don't put anything on the Model S exterior or it will destroy efficiency, and (b) we can drive at least 5 miles past zero in our car. The roof rack provisions on the pano cars now seem superfluous and not usable, and the Tork Lift hitch that we installed can only be used for very local transportation.

Our backup plan in case of running out of charge despite good plans is our car carrier trailer, although not sure how we would load it if dead.

portia | 16 octobre 2013

how many passengers? why not put the bikes inside if no back seat passengers?

Car t man | 16 octobre 2013

Surely two bikes with removable front wheels could fit in the cabin?

Car t man | 16 octobre 2013

And it is best to view going to 0 or below as two or three times the range charge contribution to your battery aging. It is perfectly OK if you need to
reach a charging station, etc but really do make every effort to avoid being in that situation. Don't undercharge the car to say 70% to save battery life if you find yourself in this situation often. Simply charge normally to 90 or 85%.

TheAustin | 16 octobre 2013

After the car reaches zero miles, it goes another 15 miles or so, and then spontaneously explodes.

(One of those two above statements is true :p)

PaceyWhitter | 16 octobre 2013

Note that I have heard that while the car will drive for about 15 mi after zero. It will not start after you stop and turn off the car unless you charge it.

info | 16 octobre 2013

@Pacey: I think you may be right. On my first trip to 0-Land, I called ownership and was asked, "Will the car start?" I had told them I pulled over immediately when I hit 0. Unless there was some truth to your statement, the question was unnecessary.

I'm sure someone at Tesla knows the answer. It's tough to play by the rules if you don't know them.

Gizmotoy | 16 octobre 2013

@Pungoteague_Dave: That's some serious impact. What kind of bike mount do you have? We were considering doing something like that for bike trips. I wasn't sure if both bikes would fit in the back.

Maybe the roof rack would be better since the bikes will be in the air stream rather than perpendicular to it. This article seems to indicate no, though. They see a 35% reduction in MPG wtih an ICE.