Stingy e-car driver ends up on tow truck: Because of a stupid mistake

09. May 2022 | Kilian Marx

With this Hyundai, the American got stuck in the Californian desert.

Screenshot: RedditWith this Hyundai, the American got stuck in the Californian desert.

An e-car driver from the USA paid dearly for his stinginess. Instead of charging his empty electric car at the planned power station, he took a chance and drove on to a free charger. However, he did his range calculation without the wind and promptly landed on the tow truck.

A US e-car driver made his range calculation without strong headwinds, as he explained on the social news platform Reddit describes. Instead of driving to the targeted charging station, he wanted to head for a free station that was too far away. Luckily, he realized just in time that he wouldn’t be able to make it to the selected charging point and called a towing service.

With the remaining electricity, he was able to drive the car onto the tractor’s loading ramp on his own. In conversation with the truck driver, he then found out that he had allegedly been confronted with situations like this before. He congratulated him on his decision not to have driven the electric car completely empty.

The Bruchpilot was able to roll off the loading ramp at the free charging station and charge the almost completely empty battery. The Reddit user learned his lesson. Now he wants to use his experience to warn like-minded people on the platform.

He warns against exhausting the range of e-cars so far that the battery is completely discharged. However, it is much better to stop early if the worst comes to the worst and have yourself towed if there is still some range left.

All warnings ignored

In the discussion with the Reddit community, the Hyundai driver then admits his mistakes. He was on a camping trip in the desert with his Ioniq 5 when he wanted to try out the maximum range of his car on the way home. He could have prevented the incident much earlier by responding to the warnings from his car. “He warned me,” he admits in a comment.

When he drove past the last charging station, his car’s display showed a remaining range of 70 miles (112 kilometers). Instead of stopping and charging, he preferred to speculate on a free charger 60 miles (97 kilometers) away. Then, when he got into the strong wind, the calculated range decreased. 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the column he gave up and called the tow truck because he only had 15 kilometers of range left.

Range record for personal safety

In order to save energy and maximize the range, he had a few other nonsensical ideas: for example, he wanted to use the slipstream of a camper van to be pulled out of the desert with an almost empty battery. He doesn’t seem to have cared that this only works directly behind another vehicle and that he would have endangered the traffic.

If the worst came to the worst, he could also have trusted Hyundai’s towing service. This entitles you to free towing for the first five years after purchase. The driver was probably too embarrassed after his thoughtless maneuver – he used his insurance company’s towing service instead.

Another mistake he has to admit to himself: he didn’t plan his charging stops sufficiently in advance. “Someone who doesn’t plan their loads well in advance might not think far enough ahead that you should have a residual load even if you have to be towed,” the driver admits to himself. With sufficient planning, for example with the A better route planner app, it probably wouldn’t have happened to him.

Read what options you have when your car is completely discharged here. So that it doesn’t get that far in the first place, we recommend the range calculator. It shows you how far you can drive purely electrically with an electric car, hybrid or plug-in hybrid.

To the range calculator!

Here you can charge your car for free

The electricity prices at the charging stations are also increasing considerably. E-car drivers love it when they can scrounge electricity for free. But where else is that possible? The usual candidates like Aldi or Ikea are known, but there are also a few insider tips. We tell you how to find these free charging stations in your area.

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