Driving after "0" miles

Driving after "0" miles

How many miles, or how long can you drive after you run out of rated miles? A tesla rep said "you still have about 5% left". I personally went 4 miles after zero.

hammer @OR-US | 27 octobre 2016

Dont count on any miles after zero, you got lucky with four.

Rocky_H | 27 octobre 2016

No!!! Dang it, NO. DON'T keep spreading that myth, and I am actually very angry at a Tesla rep for repeating that misinformation. There used to be some driving margin below zero quite a long time ago (like about 3+ years ago), but there was a software update around version 4.x that changed it and removed it.

There have been a LOT of reports on Tesla Motors Club forum of people's cars shutting down with about plus or minus 1-3 miles within 0. So do NOT count on any mysterious buffer. Zero means zero, and you should treat it that way.

kagai | 27 octobre 2016

I'm eagerly awaiting for someone to create a portable charger for the Tesla - maybe something approx the size of a briefcase, complete with it's own connectors to plug in to the car.

Charge it at home, and stick it in your Trunk for emergencies.

Probably won't get you more than a few miles of charge, but just enough to reach a real charging station.

It it too much to ask? :/

acegreat1 | 27 octobre 2016

K again, AAA has trucks with chargers on them in case someone runs out of juice.

acegreat1 | 27 octobre 2016


kagai | 27 octobre 2016

really? I've never actually used AAA - didn't know the catered for EVs. Good to know!

Rocky_H | 27 octobre 2016

@kagai, Quote: "Probably won't get you more than a few miles of charge, but just enough to reach a real charging station."

You will get over this kind of thinking pretty quickly. This kind of "gas can" thinking is like the question I get where people ask, "What do you do if you find yourself out of charge?"

I don't entertain the premise of that question, because teleportation technology does not exist. You can't just "find yourself" somewhere without any idea of how you got there. What were you doing during the hour leading up to that? How were you driving?

This idea of being out and needing just those "few extra miles" can be countered by driving differently. Dropping just a few miles per hour during the 15-20 minutes before will give you much more than those extra "few miles" in a suitcase. When driving around town, you won't be close to using up your range, and when you are on a trip and it matters, just pay the least bit of attention and slow down a little if range is going to be tight, and there will be plenty of driving time to adjust for that so you don't come up a couple of miles short.

Silver2K | 27 octobre 2016

I thought tesla sent out a software update to fix the miles after 0

kagai | 27 octobre 2016


I'm the OCD type that panics when I have less than 50 miles of charge left. Once I got to the Supercharger with only 10 miles left , but I didn't really have a choice. This was in Cali, in the middle of large tracts of desert, where superchargers were 200 to 300 miles apart. I almost had a heart-attack, but it only happened once!

But, when I'm doing a road-trip - I have no control over what my co-driver(s) are driving and recharging if I'm busy taking a nap - and I'm sure a lot of people as well inevitably have to go on trips with drivers that are not savvy EV driver. I tend to give myself a good buffer when recharging, and I keep track of my Charge during long drives - but I don't expect everyone else helping me drive to do the same.

It's not unthinkable to find yourself with almost no charge, and several miles to go before the next charger, through no fault of your own.


kagai | 27 octobre 2016

But, if you're one of those that never let anyone else drive your car...I guess it's a non-issue! :)

EVRider | 27 octobre 2016

I never ran out of gas when I drove an ICE car, so it's not likely I'll ever run of out of battery power when driving my Tesla.

Longelon | 27 octobre 2016

Wouldn't it be awesome if Tesla downsize the powerpack to provide 25 miles or so range yet portable enough to put in the frunk?

lilbean | 27 octobre 2016

Wouldn't the extra weight of a backup battery take a toll on range anyway?

SeaP90D | 27 octobre 2016

I wonder how much juice there is in the 12v battery, I've got an inverter the size of a big dictionary that weighs hardly anything and has a 220v switch on it...

SUN 2 DRV | 27 octobre 2016

Why do you think a few miles in a briefcase in your trunk would be more useful than considering those same miles as already permanently part of your battery so that they're already being recharged and monitored?

kagai | 27 octobre 2016


Let me know once you find that out! I was also thinking in terms of one of those ultra-small Braille batteries that Blake Fuller makes for race cars.

#TeslaCelebrityRunIn - I saw his Model S race car (the same one he used to set the record at Pikes Peak), just sitting out at a Supercharger in Colorado - took plenty of pix with it

kagai | 27 octobre 2016


For me, it's a mental thing. A reserve charge that is easily accessible, is less functional to me because I will treat it as part of the main battery charge. When I actually grind to a halt, and have to go out back and recharge using my portable battery - then I will force myself to be conservative about the remainder of the trip to the next charger. If you can easily use up something, you tend to forget to save it.

kagai | 27 octobre 2016

It's the same reason why some people open online savings accounts that are relatively difficult to withdraw money from, instead of just putting that money in the savings account for the same bank as their checking accounts. That ease of transferring money between accounts of the same bank - is something most people fall victim to.

High Plains Drifter | 27 octobre 2016

Everybody's driving style is different and as such achieve different miles per charge. To find out your capacity after "zero" is simple. Drive the car until it STOPs. Tow to Service Center /charger. And repeat experiment until you are satisfied with the results.

Rocky_H | 27 octobre 2016

@kagai, Quote: "I'm the OCD type that panics when I have less than 50 miles of charge left. Once I got to the Supercharger with only 10 miles left , but I didn't really have a choice. This was in Cali, in the middle of large tracts of desert, where superchargers were 200 to 300 miles apart. I almost had a heart-attack, but it only happened once! "

I get that. I am also obsessed with not EVER being "that guy" who ran out of energy and had to have his Tesla towed. But I don't do that by ignoring the information the car gives me, ignoring driving style, and lying to myself by "hiding" some backup energy somewhere. I do it by seeing and using the incredible amount of information the car provides.

I've done some really long drives between Superchargers where I had to be particularly careful about it, and I've arrived home with about 9 miles a couple of times because I did it on purpose but in a cautious way. You can be a little extra cautious on the earlier half of the drive, and speed up some later when you have some extra. And on the Energy app, the projected remaining miles, and the remaining % from the Trips tab give you a really good detailed estimate of how far you have left versus the miles remaining in Nav.

Quote: "But, when I'm doing a road-trip - I have no control over what my co-driver(s) are driving and recharging if I'm busy taking a nap - and I'm sure a lot of people as well inevitably have to go on trips with drivers that are not savvy EV driver."

Well, I would hope no one would nap through a recharge stop, so I don't get that at all. But for other people driving, they don't have to be an expert, and I wouldn't just turn it over to them without explaining what to do, which can be really simple.

"See there where it says % remaining at arrival is 18%? Don't let that get below 15%. If it's starting to get lower, slow doing a bit to keep it above 15%. Cruise at 73 would be a good starting point."

There, see how easy that is?

Rocky_H | 27 octobre 2016

And napping through a recharge stop isn't that bad either if you explain to the non-expert what to do as well.

Put the next Supercharger in navigation. On the Trips tab, when that remaining percent is at least 20, then you can unplug and go.

Longelon | 27 octobre 2016

An external battery pack is like a spare gasoline tank you carry on your ICE pickup. Some measure of range anxiety relief for both.

grega | 27 octobre 2016

What you're talking about is basically a tesla powerwall you can lay in the trunk.

So you know the size and other details.
7kWh, $4,000, 100lbs. Giving you 20 miles of range.

If tesla allowed it.
If an old car 12v or 24v battery could provide more than a few 100 yards I'd be very suprised.

kagai | 27 octobre 2016


Interesting proposition. The version I see on the Tesla's page is actually 214 pounds , 6.4 kwh - but I can see in the news that there is a newer version that was supposed to be released this week (not entirely clear whether that is what I'm seeing o on Tesla's page) ->

I don't think I'd go with that much bulk in my trunk, but I'm actually curious about them now. Can they really work as High Capacity portable battery chargers ?

I know that "portable" here, is quite a stretch of the word - you'd need a dolly to carry them around, but I'm wondering more the ease or ability of recharging them and then using them as a 110v power source. Tesla's product page talks about them being installed to be recharged by Solar panels - but nothing to indicate plugging them in to a wall socket to recharge and use elsewhere (which would make sense - because that beats the purpose of them being used as a power generator)

tes-s | 27 octobre 2016

@kagai - just plug your iPhone in to the USB port, and select "emergency charge" from the charge screen in the Tesla App.

Mike83 | 27 octobre 2016

There must be a billion plugs to emergency charge although destination chargers are everywhere and RV plugs work too. Some people run their gas tanks low which is very bad for the engine.

Rocky_H | 27 octobre 2016

I still don't get the fascination of carrying around extra spare batteries in the car. If you want a bit more margin, charge longer. Have a look at to see the tens of thousands of charging resources that are available. You can have a 2nd and 3rd backup charging fallback plan that is still much easier than using a dolly to hoist a couple hundred pound item into your car, using up your trunk space.

SUN 2 DRV | 27 octobre 2016

tes-s: Yep that's the best idea yet! ;-) Ooops that option will be available Soon...

kagai | 27 octobre 2016

Lol @tes-s

You know someone is gonna try that now, and post a thread asking for help getting it to work....


I clearly stated that the Powerwall is too bulky to be a feasible option - but to answer your question about why anyone would want to have a backup battery - it's a personal preference. To each his own. Some people simply like to have a contingency plan even if they'll never use it on their trip. Are you also going to say folks are silly for carrying spare tires in their trunk for those road trips ?

If you have a phone with removable batteries - you'll understand the enpowerment you get when you can have three or four $5 batteries to swap out without having to worry about when you will be able to recharge your phone.

And you don't have to lug it around daily - just for trips.

acegreat1 | 27 octobre 2016


martin | 27 octobre 2016

I never understood the need for a "reserve" (can or battery) other than to protect you from your own stupidity.
In my lifetime driving of close to a million miles (guess!) I only once needed a reserve can (the gas meter was stuck) and even then I should have known better.
With your EV just Plan your trip, learn to trust the energy prediction in the energy app and you won't need a reserve.
I cut it close a couple of times (down to about 4 miles of reserve) but never to 0. what's the kick of doing that???

kagai | 28 octobre 2016


This has probably never happened to you - but i once got directed to a supercharger station that had only two stalls and all were in use with unoccupied vehicles. After about 30 minutes of waiting, I figured that those guys were not coming back anytime soon, but luckily, there was a destination charger within reasonable distance that I used in order to charge just enough to hit the next supercharger that was about 80 miles away.

What if i didn't even have enough charge to even get to that destination charger? Start looking for outlets to plug in to, in the middle of nowhere?

Charging stations are not like gas stations - they're not all over the place, and folks don't just charge for a minute and drive away. S*** happens. You will sometimes be at the mercy of idiots who completely occupy them and walk away to go eat or do whatever for hours - while you're down to just a few miles left and hitting another charging spot is not feasible.

martin | 28 octobre 2016

I don't plan supercharger stops with less than 5% left (not normally) and when I am in lonely areas I plan on more of a reserve. But I agree, sh... can happen...
As I said, once I was down to 5 miles left but that was a supercharger I knew well...
Btw when you have an unoccupied SC being hogged by an inconsiderate Tesla driver have you tried calling Tesla to contact the driver is a certain stall? They have all the information they need (the VIN).
I called Tesla once at a supercharger to inform them of a damaged cable and to confirm the call was genuine they asked me for my VIN and how long I had been charging. They can look it all up...

kagai | 28 octobre 2016

It would be great if they can also remotely unlock the charge port of the offending car, and drive it to a parking spot nearby that is not blocking use of a charging stall

martin | 28 octobre 2016

I wouldn't go that far... :-)
A polite phone call telling him/her to get the f... out of there would suffice to make me at least feel good!

kagai | 28 octobre 2016

What if he is out of reach? Unlocking the port may not be enough if the closest parking spot is also taken - and you know how short those Tesla 'pumps' are.

How long before we get those Robotic snake-like ones that can roll over from one car to the other? 2020? :)

martin | 28 octobre 2016

Out of each and hogging an SC?
We won't think so badly of other Teslerati, will we?

grega | 28 octobre 2016

How long before the car will plug itself in, unplug, and drive itself out of the way.

kagai | 28 octobre 2016

@grega +1

@martin - I mentioned earlier about seeing Blake Fuller's Racing Model S at a downtown SC in Colorado. That was around 11pm at night. Slept over at a buddy's place and Around 6am in the morning, I passed by the same station and guess what, his car was still plugged in.

Clearly, he hadn't just wandered off to grab food or drink nearby - probably drove there with a buddy and left the car to charge till "whenever"...

tes-s | 28 octobre 2016

Why carry 5kWh "reserve" instead of simply getting 5kWh more in the main pack?

J.T. | 28 octobre 2016

Although there has been talk about AAA EV emergency charging

nothing would be as cool as port to port "can I borrow a bucket of electrons today and I'll pay you back Tuesday" charging between Teslas.

Silver2K | 28 octobre 2016

does our emergency roadside provide power if a car dies?

acegreat1 | 28 octobre 2016

Silver yeah, on a flat bed to the nearest supercharger

StarKiller | 28 octobre 2016

LOL @Ace

kagai | 28 octobre 2016

Lol @J.T

@SilverP85plus - My delivery specialist had mentioned that Tesla Roadside Assistance is for Vehicle Malfunctions for warrantable issues (and in such cases, they can tow you to a Supercharger or any other destination within 500 miles).

Besides vehicle malfuctiona, they only other thing they cover is flat tires. They usually have the OEM wheels and tires on hand and can swap them with yours ( assuming you don't have third party wheels) and they will drop it off at the nearest Service center from which you can swap back later (or they can tow you up to 50 miles to wherever you want your tire fixed instead).

Unless something has changed in their policy, they don't cover batteries running out because the driver did not recharge on time.

Something else I'm wondering about - what's so difficult about putting 240v outlets on the every Supercharger stand? In the event that all of them are occupied, drivers with extension cords can just plug in to those outlets even if the closest parking spots are taken. Seems like a low-cost fix to the problem of SCs being fully occupied.

StarKiller | 28 octobre 2016

@J.T. Quote, "Although there has been talk about AAA EV emergency charging"

If they can do the for Tesla's (Everyone may not have a Chademo Adapter) it could work during a pinch. Although I also like the portable solution Kagai proposed.

"nothing would be as cool as port to port "can I borrow a bucket of electrons today and I'll pay you back Tuesday" charging between Teslas."

Really not a bad idea Ace. I am for it

StarKiller | 28 octobre 2016

^ I meant J.T

J.T. | 28 octobre 2016

@StarKiller I'm almost certain that if sule sees that post he will let us know forthwith how impossible it is with current equipment installed. :-)

kagai | 28 octobre 2016


I know you said it as a joke - but that is actually very possible today.

I have a Dual 110v power inverter permanently installed in my Model S - but the same can be achieved with a portable inverter that you just plug in to the cigarette lighter.

So...just pull by the side of your stranded Tesla friend- let him plug in to your Inverter inside your car....and you guys can go watch your fingernails grow as the power is slowly transfered to the other car at the rate of approx 6 miles an hour....

martin | 28 octobre 2016

I love that picture, getting out your scissors every once in a while during power transfer. Would make a great gopro film...