Another example of why EV drivers need to plan extra carefully, especially when driving a long distance.
When Tesla Roadside Assistance said they’d help this stranded Tesla owner, but he’d have to pay out of pocket, he did what many young men do when they’re between a rock and a hard place, he called Mom.
I noticed a cry-for-help type of post on a local Facebook group serving a City in San Bernardino County from a Mom whose son was stuck on the side of the road in a relatively new Tesla because he ran out of charge on the way home from Yosemite National Park.
The Mom, not knowing what to do and looking for options, asked the Facebook group members what should she tell her son.
Check out her anonymized post below.
Her post was, of course, low hanging fruit for the regular car owners among us, quick to point out the disadvantages of gas vs electric.
Although the post is light on details, we can safely assume a few things here.
It’s roughly 320 miles from San Bernardino County to Yosemite so, even with the longest-range Tesla, a Model S with 400+ miles of range (under ideal conditions,) you’ll have to charge at least once to make the round trip.
If you didn’t already know, your Tesla will warn you when you get out of the range of a charging station.
They make it hard for you to run out of charge.
With dozens of charging stations between San Bernardino County and Yosemite, it’s not like this kid didn’t have many options.
On Tesla’s supercharging map there more than 9 supercharging stations between Yosemite and right before the Grapevine.
Then again, it was the weekend and he’s probably not the only Tesla trying to make it back to LA from Yosemite.
The challenge, of course, is making it through the Grapevine, a 50+ mile stretch of mountainous road that separates the Central Valley and LA, devoid of gas stations, let alone an electric charger.
If you have enough charge, no problem, but, if you’re running low, the elevation change will sap whatever battery you have left.
Since the Mom mentions his son can’t pay out of pocket, something tells me he probably didn’t have the financial means to pay for supercharging, too.
And it’s not exactly Tesla’s fault, either.
They spell it out clearly that, if you need a tow with roadside assistance, “this is not a financially covered service.”
Maybe he just had a debit card and reached his limit?
I checked if the Facebook post had any resolution and it’s, of course, been deleted.
It would behoove Tesla and EV owners to take this kid’s story as a cautionary tale, if you’re driving long distances, plan your charging accordingly with range to spare to make it to other charging stations.
And, if you don’t know what kind of roadside assistance Tesla’s and/or your insurance offers and the details attached, now’s the time to get to know your policy.