Navigating the Unexpected: Tips for Handling Your EV Out of Charge Mid-Trip

Even with meticulous trip planning, electric vehicle drivers may encounter the unexpected challenge of their EV running dangerously low on battery mid-journey.

Experiencing a complete depletion of charge is an inconvenience best avoided. Here’s essential advice on handling your EV out of charge during your trip, ensuring a quick recharge, and getting you back on the road ASAP

Stay Alert Spotting Warning Signs of EV Out of Charge

Modern EVs provide plenty of warnings as the battery level gets low, so pay attention:

  • Battery percentage indicator approaching empty.
  • Low charge warning light illuminating on the dash.
  • Display messages about critically low charge.
  • Reduced acceleration and speed.

He saw these signs and tried to stop charging before fully depleting.

Stop Driving Once Fully Depleted

EV Out of Charge
Image Credit: Sleep Foundation

When your EV hits zero charge, park safely (e.g., shoulder) to avoid the risks of driving fully out of energy. Stay safe during your EV out of charge scenarios:

  • Getting stranded in an unsafe location away from charging.
  • Losing power steering and brakes operating properly.
  • Electrical and drivetrain damage from full discharge.

Once at 0%, stop driving and enact your charge recovery plan.

Have a Charge Recovery Plan

Ensure peace of mind by having an EV Out of Charge recovery plan. Be prepared to:

  • Locate the nearest charging station.
  • Call for roadside assistance if needed.
  • Access alternate transportation if charging takes time.
  • Inform others you may be delayed.

Advanced planning gives confidence you can get charged up again.

Read Also: Discover the EV Battery Charge Time for Charging from 0-80%

Use Apps to Locate Charging

In an EV Out of Charge situation, access your charging app or station maps to locate the nearest charger. Essential resources include:

  • Charging network apps like ChargePoint, EV Connect, and Charzer.
  • Built-in automaker EV charger locators.
  • Online maps and directories like PlugShare.
  • Call roadside assistance for station referrals.

Finding the nearest available charger is the top priority.

Call for Assistance as Needed

In case no nearby stations or a tow is needed, quickly request EV Out of Charge assistance

  • Use your EV automaker’s roadside assistance number.
  • Contact your insurance provider’s towing service.
  • Pay for a tow truck service to bring you to a charger.
  • Ask the police for help getting to a safe location.

Be prepared to provide your exact location to dispatch help sooner.

Arrange Alternate Transportation

EV Out of Charge
Image Credit: Pinterest

Given that recharging an EV Out of Charge may take 30 minutes to hours, arrange alternative transportation plans accordingly.

  • Have family or friends pick you up.
  • Take a taxi or rideshare to your destination.
  • Rent a gas car to continue your trip.
  • Use public transit like trains or buses.
  • Get a hotel room nearby until fully recharged.

This avoids waiting idly at the charging station after the tow.

Notify Important Contacts

Let important people know you’ve run out of charge and may be delayed:

  • Inform your EV dealer or repair shop if the vehicle needs service.
  • Update family members so they won’t worry.
  • Notify colleagues you’ll miss or be late for a work meeting.
  • Contact the host if going to a social function or event.
  • Update social media networks that you’re charging up before going anywhere.

Communication helps mitigate the inconvenience of the unexpected charging stoppage.

Learn for Next Time

EV Out of Charge
Image Credit: Track2Training

After the incident, gain experience for future trips:

  • Note what could have been done to prevent full discharge.
  • Adjust driving and charging practices to be safer.
  • Better understand your EV’s actual range limits.
  • Improve planning for long trips accounting for variables.
  • Set more conservative charge level alerts and warnings.

The disruption of running out of charge mid-trip can be prevented going forward.


Running fully out of battery on the road is not a catastrophe for EV drivers, but rather an inconvenience and learning experience.

Having a plan to locate nearby charging, call for assistance, arrange alternate transport, and notify others makes it a minor hiccup.

Use the occasion to understand the actual driving range better for future trip confidence. With smart preparation and app resources, running empty becomes just an opportunity to improve your EV skills.

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