Here’s What Happens When a Nissan Leaf Runs Out of Battery

Dead Nissan Leaf 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Do you know what’s worse than range anxiety? According to Robert Llewellyn, the guy that entertained you throughout the Scrapheap Challenge series, range annoyance is more frustrating as you deliberately want to run out of battery.
“Why the hell would I want to do that?”, you might ask. You don’t. Robert here just wanted to show you what happens when your Nissan Leaf runs out of electricity, so you know what to expect if such thing happens.

Yes, Robert recently took the “Leaf of faith” in his first-gen model only to find out how it is to run out of “fuel” with an electric car. Some of you probably know what happens when a standard car runs on fumes and then stops, so here’s the alternative.

After doing almost 90 miles, a low-energy warning popped on the dashboard. Still, the car continued to act normally, just as it had a full battery. Going past the “---“ range indicator for around 7 miles (11 km) the infamous turtle lit up slowing the car down.

In case you haven’t heard of such thing, when the Nissan Leaf is on the verge of completely finishing the battery, it enters the “crawling” mode, signaled accordingly using a yellow turtle symbol on the instrument panel.

In turtle mode, the Leaf won’t accelerate past a safe speed (32 mph/51 km/h) and will go for around a mile or so, after which...

Well, unlike a combustion engine running out of fuel, the Leaf won’t make any jerky movements to let you know it will stop. The electric motor won’t receive electricity anymore and it will leave the car coast a bit until it looses it’s inertia.

If by any circumstances you end up with the turtle on your dash and then the car stops maintaining a constant speed, don’t panic, put on your signal and search for a safe spot to stop. Don’t jump on the brakes before you find an empty space to pull into if you don’t want to get out and push the car.

After that, call road assistance, or a friend to tow you to the nearest charging point or your house to plug it in immediately. And try not to make a habit out of completely discharging the battery - some owners experienced a range reduction after doing so for a few times.

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