Blogger Michael Degusta warned in a detailed post that owners of the Tesla Roadster electric sports car could face this problem, in that the the state of the battery charge could be run so far down that nothing works anymore. This, of course, would require a battery replacement, which, on the Roadster, costs a staggering $40,000.
Degusta claims that there have already been 5 cases of "bricked" Roadsters that he knows about, implying that this problem could be more widespread.
The fact that this is the first time automotive news outlets have heard of this problem is a little suspicious, however, and people have already begun to poke holes in Degusta's claims.
There's also the question of Degusta's motives. The unnamed owner who bricked his car, from which much of Degusta's post seems to stem, is actually the blogger's business partner, according to a report on AOL Autos sister site Autoblog Green. That owner, Max Drucker, has been seeking warranty coverage for his car, including e-mailing Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla offered a statement to Autoblog Green:
"All automobiles require some level of owner care. For example, combustion vehicles require regular oil changes or the engine will be destroyed. Electric vehicles should be plugged in and charging when not in use for maximum performance. All batteries are subject to damage if the charge is kept at zero for long periods of time. However, Tesla avoids this problem in virtually all instances with numerous counter-measures. Tesla batteries can remain unplugged for weeks (even months), without reaching zero state of charge. Owners of Roadster 2.0 and all subsequent Tesla products can request that their vehicle alert Tesla if SOC falls to a low level. All Tesla vehicles emit various visual and audible warnings if the battery pack falls below 5 percent SOC. Tesla provides extensive maintenance recommendations as part of the customer experience."