How do you charge a Tesla in an emergency?

Despite Tesla having more than 25,000 superchargers around the world, some locations lack well-spread superchargers, which can leave motorists stranded. So, how can you charge a Tesla in an emergency in such areas? 

Since all new Teslas come with a 110-volt outlet (NEMA 5-15), you can charge your Tesla anywhere in an emergency as long as there is a wall outlet. All you have to do is to find one. If you’re on the highway, search for a rest stop. Such places usually have outdoor outlets where you can plug in your charger. 

However, these 120V electrical outlets at the rest stop usually charge slightly slower than the 240V outlets. You will usually get 3 to 4 miles per hour from a 120V outlet. Note that these outdoor outlets at rest stops are normally built for RV users, but if you have the ideal adapter, you will charge your Tesla. 

Apart from rest stops, outdoor outlets for charging your Tesla in an emergency can also be found on light poles high up on telephone poles or in parking lots. So, depending on where your Tesla runs out of power, you can look for one of these places to recharge it. But you need to have your Tesla charger. 

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So, if you’re a Tesla driver and are driving in a direction without Tesla superchargers, having a Tesla charger with you and the right adapter is important in case you run out of power. Just make sure that the route you’re taking has rest stops or light poles where you can charge your car. 

What do you do if your Tesla runs out of charge?

Tesla provides a setting referred to as “tow mode.” This setting allows the car to be towed to the nearest supercharger station in case the car runs out of charge. All you need to do is put the car in park and it can be towed by another car. Note that the steering wheel will not function in tow mode. 

Where can I charge my Tesla?

At a Tesla supercharger

The best and fastest way to charge your Tesla is at the Tesla supercharger. Even though charging from home is very convenient, charging at a Tesla supercharger is superfast. You can charge up to 200 miles in 15 minutes, which is exceptional. With more than 25,000 Tesla superchargers, it’s important to plan your trip well before leaving the house. 

At home

Charging your Tesla at home is the most convenient method. However, you will have to get either a wall connector or a mobile connector/120-, or 240-volt outlet adapter to charge your car. Note that a wall charger charges up to 44 miles per hour, while the 120 volt fills up to 3 miles and the 240 volt up to 30 miles. 

A ‘destination’ charger  

As stated earlier, destination charging is the best for emergencies. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on the highway or in the city. Destination chargers can be found outside most hotels, rests stop, parks, and even on light poles. However, you need to have the ideal adapter to charge your car. 

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A public charger 

Another charging option for your Tesla is getting a public charger. This is normally provided by companies such as ChargePoint and many others. Note that the cost will be billed from your credit card if you employ this service. 

How can I avoid running out of power when on a trip? 

If you want to avoid emergency charging, you need to have a clear plan of your trip and know where to charge your Tesla when it runs out of power. With Tesla’s Go Anywhere tool, you can plan your trips and avoid being stranded in the middle of nowhere. 

The Go Anywhere tool provides you the fastest routes and location of superchargers. It also lets you know how long it will take you to charge so that you’re not left guessing. Also, the in-car Trip Planner offered by Tesla will help you manage your trip properly and avoid emergencies. 

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How far can a Tesla go on a single charge? 

It depends on the Tesla model and variant. Different Tesla models come with different battery sizes. However, most Tesla will last between 263 miles and 420 miles. The Tesla with the least range is the model 3 with a maximum of 263 miles, while the Tesla with the longest range is the model S with 412 miles. 

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla at a charging station?

If you charge your Tesla at a Tesla supercharger, you will have to pay around $0.25 per KW for models 3, S, and X. But if you bought your Tesla before 2017, you will charge for free. So, a full charge of about 260 miles will cost you about $23, which is quite cheaper than fueling a gasoline car. 

How long does it take to charge a Tesla? 

It depends on where you’re charging your Tesla and the volts delivered. If you charge at a Tesla supercharger, your car may be full within 40 to 60 minutes. However, this will take longer if you charge your Tesla from home. But if you want to speed up the process, you should install a 240V outlet, instead of a 120V outlet. 

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How long do Tesla batteries last?

Since Tesla batteries comprise lithium-ion, this material deteriorates slowly over time. So, after some time, the battery may lose its charge. After 50,000 miles, a Tesla will lose about 5% of its original charge and 10% after 150,000 miles. Besides, Tesla offers an 8-year battery warranty. 

Can I use an ordinary outlet to charge my Tesla? 

Yes, you can use an ordinary 110V or 240V outlet to charge your Tesla. All you need is to get the right adapter to make charging possible. Tesla provides a 110V outlet (NEMA 5-15) as standard equipment for all Tesla. This outlet can be used at home or even in public places to charge your Tesla. 


If your Tesla happens to run out of power while on the road, you should start by looking for a Tesla supercharger. But if a Supercharger is nowhere close, your next option will be looking for a rest stop or light pole with an electrical outlet. With the right adapter, you can power your car and proceed with your trip. 

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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