As the electric vehicle revolution continues to gain momentum, more drivers are making the switch to electric cars, with Tesla leading the charge. One common concern among prospective EV owners is what happens when their Tesla’s battery reaches 0%. In this blog post, we’ll explore what unfolds when the battery level hits rock bottom. For reference, I have a 2021 Tesla Model Y Long Range. 

Firstly, a crucial disclaimer: Attempting to discharge your Tesla battery to 0% is strongly discouraged. According to Tesla’s website, allowing the battery to reach this level may lead to damage or the need for replacement of various components, such as the low-voltage battery. Any resulting expenses for repairs or transportation are not covered by warranty or Roadside Assistance.

The motivation behind this experiment is solely educational, aimed at providing insights in case you ever find yourself in a situation close to 0%, helping you anticipate and navigate the challenges that may arise.

I also created a Youtube video about this, which can be watched here.

tesla battery 0%

Journey from 1% to 0%

As my Tesla battery was running down at 1%, the Tesla screen provided multiple warning notifications and kept trying to route me to nearby Superchargers. From 1% to 0%, I had ~4 miles while driving on local streets.

The Critical Mileage 0%

Upon reaching 0%, a surprising revelation unfolded – an additional 9 miles! The screen flashed a stark warning, proclaiming “Vehicle Shutting Down.” Within 10 seconds, the Tesla came to an abrupt halt in the middle of the street.

The estimated 9 miles might vary based on driving conditions. The slow speed of 15-20 mph on quiet local streets with climate control turned off played a role. In highway conditions with higher energy consumption, the range could be considerably less.

Lessons Learned

As the Tesla came to a standstill, shifting gears to Neutral was impossible. While “Tow Mode” was engaged, attempting to push the car on a slight incline proved futile due to its weight.

The moral of the story became clear: If you find yourself nearing the 0% range, find a safe spot to pull over immediately.

Tips to Save Range

In moments of low range, accessing the “Energy Consumption” tab on the Tesla screen becomes crucial. A few tips to conserve energy while driving include:

  • Turn off your climate 
  • Change acceleration to “Chill” 
  • Drive at lower speeds 

I also have another blog post on Tips to Maximize Tesla Range

Be Prepared: Essential Items to Keep in Your Car

Sharing a personal experience, having essential items in your car becomes invaluable. When stranded, a kind neighbor’s outlet saved the day. Having a long extension cable and the Tesla Mobile Charging Kit proved instrumental in quickly regaining power.

Final Thoughts

While deliberately pushing your Tesla to 0% is ill-advised, it’s reassuring to know that a few miles remain in the tank. However, it’s a precarious situation best avoided. For the complete story, including visual insights, watch the full YouTube video. As we navigate the depths of electric mobility, understanding the limits ensures a smoother journey for every Tesla owner.


The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal, Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with or endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full Terms & Conditions for more information.

Similar Posts