If you see an AAA truck bringing someone a can of extra gas, it's rarely a big deal, but when an EV driver runs out of charge, people pay attention. Whether its a writer for The New York Times or hardcore Tesla fans, people are curious about this newfangled technology and the things that could go wrong.

"I don't know what the opposite of range anxiety is. Range annoyance?" – Robert Llewellyn

Well, few people have more fun with their EV than Robert Llewellyn, the actor (best known for Red Dwarf) and star of his own pro-EV show Fully Charged. And he's good at educating people on the EVs as well. In the latest episode, he tries something in his first-gen Leaf that he's never done before: drive until the battery is completely empty. When the car just keeps on going well beyond the official range estimate, Llewellyn gets frustrated. "I don't know what the opposite of range anxiety is," he says. "Range annoyance?" After 91 miles, he finally comes to a stop. Watch the video below.

In the end, all Llewellyn needed to do to get up and running again was to get towed home and plug in. A few hours later, he was ready to go, this time with his range estimate at 93 miles. Compare that with the dangers to your gas engine if you run out of gas and you might wonder why so many people worry about an EVs range.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      Trent
      • 5 Months Ago
      Wow, that was boning.
        Ziv
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Trent
        That was kind of the point. He had to work to get the turtle, ergo, you would probably have to do so, as well. I still like my Volt better, but the Leaf makes sense for a lot of drivers.
      Rotation
      • 5 Months Ago
      The idea that "---" is 0 range is misleading. The car warns at about 14 miles remaining, then as you go further, it and the miles remaining drop it'll read 7 or 8, then it goes straight to "---". So "---" means less than 7 miles remaining (roughly). So him doing another 7 miles before the turtle is not too surprising. I've been into the "---" several times (less than 10) but not seen the turtle yet. You are supposed to get several miles of turtle too, the fact that he didn't is a bit strange. Possibly just because the car is a bit older now.
        futurecars
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        nissan have some hidden range, after the turtle, you did not read the man article.
        Aaron
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        He got 7 miles *after* the turtle.
          Rotation
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Aaron
          No, he says he got 7 miles after the "---". He doesn't get the turtle until 3:34 in the video (at least that we know, because he just notices it then) and then the car is stopped by 3:48.
      Jim McL
      • 5 Months Ago
      The Mini E was the same way, except that the massive power was clearly limited to more reasonable levels as one approaches "zero". But it would routinely go ten miles or more past "zero". Pretty much the same with the Think City EV, it just slows down after "zero". If you don't push it, you can go quite a ways past zero. My wife hates it if she is in the car when I do that, but I am quite comfortable with it. Mostly happens in winter as snow really increases the rolling resistance.
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Jim McL
        How far does it go after zero? I was once within 5 miles of home but it was close to zero so I plugged in at a public L2 for 20 minutes or so.
      brotherkenny4
      • 5 Months Ago
      If he had not put the thing on a flatbed and actually pulled it with another vehicle with the Leaf wheels in contact with the road he would have charged the battery using the regenerative braking. So, if you and your friends are not frightened of that kind of activity you wouldn't necessarily need to call a tow truck. Of course, people are discouraged from that type of thing since it is supposed to be dangerous. Between the fear and anxiety it's amazing we do anything. I suppose though, it's probably best that most people simply do as they are told and not actually attempt anything that is not prescribed by our "leaders and experts".
      Randy Bryan
      • 5 Months Ago
      Maybe he should get a Prius with an inverter [Plug-Out], then he can call home and get the charge driven to him in the field.
      • 4 Months Ago
      another reason to walk!
      jebibudala
      • 5 Months Ago
      1. This is a good way to brick your batteries. 2. If you read the fine print, running out of juice could void your warranty. 3. 91 miles is garbage. Tesla for the win.
        Grendal
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        All modern EVs have safety nets built into their electronics modules. Draining the battery isn't a problem unless you don't make the effort to plug it in within a reasonable time. That time frame should be made clear in any manuals that come with the car. 91 miles is perfectly fine if you are aware that is what you bought. The Leaf is not designed to be the same as gas cars or even a Tesla. It's not fair to compare the two. Robert Llewellyn is a perfect example of someone that having a 91 mile range isn't a problem. He says so right in the video that he's never had an issue with range with it.
        Jim
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        Or, for the additional cost of a Tesla, you could just budget for getting towed once or twice a month. Then when you are not towed, you have that extra money as gravy.
          Aaron
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          Better yet, plan your trips so you don't run out of power. ;)
      futurecars
      • 5 Months Ago
      wow so nissan have some hidden range after the turtle, that is awesome, so when it show empty it is not actually, there is about 7 miles left in the battery, according to this guy test.
        Rotation
        • 5 Months Ago
        @futurecars
        No, the turtle doesn't show up until the last few seconds in this video. He says he's gone 7.6 miles on "---" then he says he hits the turtle. Then before he can get his phone out (humm) to take a picture of the turtuel, it's stopped.
      Ben Crockett
      • 5 Months Ago
      The "---" reminds me of an annoying feature I have my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - when the combined gas & electric range gets below about 60 klms range it suddenly becomes the same empty symbol with a big yellow exclamation symbol. I was fine as I knew I was efficiently using gas & EV power - but it created a bit of a range anxiety issue for my wife when returning on a long range drive home from a holiday on the freeway with no petrol stations.
      Grendal
      • 5 Months Ago
      "Ooo I got the turtle!"
      electric-car-insider
      • 5 Months Ago
      I usually enjoy Robert Llewellyn's fun little videos but this is dumb. Really dumb. Most intelligent people would pull into any business or dwelling well before the car died and ask "hey can I plug in for a little while. It will use $0.25 worth of electricity, I'll be happy to pay $5 (or whatever)". I've only had to do this a few times on electric bikes and motorcycles and the only time anyone even accepted any money was at a church. Everyone else said "sure go ahead" and then we had an engaging talk about driving electric. Electric power is just about everywhere, even in places you won't find much gasoline.
        krona2k
        • 5 Months Ago
        @electric-car-insider
        Did you even watch the video? He didn't do it by mistake, it was done in purpose to see what the reserve is like and he had pre-arranged to be picked up quickly after running out.
      BipDBo
      • 5 Months Ago
      "Compare that with the dangers to your gas engine if you run out of gas and you might wonder why so many people worry about an EVs range." OK, what are those dangers? You need to put in more gas? There are a lot more options. You can walk to the as station. You can get towed to the closest station. You can call a tow truck or a loved one to deliver a can of gas. For getting EV range stranded, there are not very many tow trucks that can do and are willing to do mobile charging, so having to get towed all the way home or to the closest charger is a much more expensive, problematic solution.
        Jim
        • 5 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Well, to answer your question on the dangers of running out of gas, you may want to actually click on the hyperlink right there in the article. So there you go.
          BipDBo
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          OK didn't see that hyperlink. Basically, it talks about the potential damages of running a very empty gas tank; warmer fuel pump and possibility of ******* grit into the engine. This is good advice and running below 1/4 tank is to be avoided, but these issues are far less than the damage done to a battery running down to zero charge.
          Actionable Mango
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          There's now way Nissan lets the battery drain to a zero charge. If a lithium rechargeable battery actually hits zero, it is dead and cannot be recharged again.
          Actionable Mango
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          I'm pretty dubious about the sediment argument. Gas tanks necessarily have their fuel pickup at the bottom of the tank, so it's always drawing from the gas at the bottom anyway, and there's a prefilter in the tank for larger particles, and at least one gas filter in line.
          futurecars
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          @BipDBO who say the car car actual goes to zero charge, the battery can have some juice in it, nobody knows except nissan, if they engineer the car well the battery will not totally deplete, to prevent lost of battery life.
          JakeY
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Jim
          @BipDBo There's no EV out there that does not have a lower SOC buffer, even when it reaches "zero" (to the point the car stops and refuses to let you go). In the worse case, the contactors will disconnect the pack completely and you would have to reset the pack by plugging it in.
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