Understanding Electric Car Towing & Roadside Assistance Options

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    In recent years, electric cars have become increasingly popular — and with good reason. They’re environmentally friendly, since they offer a cleaner source of transportation, and often work out more economically in the long run.

    They are, however, very different from non-electric cars when it comes to towing them. If you’re a new driver of an electric vehicle, you may want to fully understand your options. This guide will help you better understand the process, including why it’s important to know of a qualified towing expert should an emergency occur.

    Understanding Electric Cars

    Electric cars use electric motors rather than the more common gasoline-based or diesel-powered engines. Electric vehicles may work in a variety of ways, depending on the model and design, but they all have one aspect in common: Instead of running primarily off of gas, they run primarily off of electricity. Many people like the more eco-friendly nature of these vehicles. Others have discovered that electric vehicles can help them cut transportation costs, including the cost of gas. Tax credits have also helped encourage many drivers to make the transition to plug in hybrid or electric cars.

    4 Common Reasons Electric Cars Need Roadside Assistance

    Despite their conveniences, electric vehicles may still need emergency roadside assistance. An electric car may require less frequent maintenance, but these models do still have potential challenges such as:

    1. Running out of charge

    Understanding Electric Car Towing & Roadside Assistance Options 1

    Electric vehicles can usually only travel within a specific range before the battery on the vehicle runs out. Unfortunately, this can mean that you get stuck — especially if you cannot find a convenient charging station for your vehicle. You might forget to hook your vehicle up to charge it, park it somewhere you shouldn’t, or even struggle to find a parking area with a charging station. Driving range may vary based on the specific vehicle model, its overall efficiency, and how much weight it’s hauling.

    2. Flat tires

    electric car with flat tire

    Like any other vehicle, electric vehicles can end up with flat tires. A flat tire can be replaced at the side of the road, but many drivers choose not to do their tire changes on their own for a variety of reasons. Some drivers do not know how to change their own tires. Others feel unsafe changing a tire at the size of the road. Because of limited cargo space in some models, some electric vehicles may not carry a spare tire.

    3. Breakdown

    electric car breaks down in middle of street

    Whether you drive an electric SUV or a small car, breakdowns can occur — especially if you do not maintain your vehicle properly. One that happens on the side of the road can make it impossible for you to move your vehicle on your own and can happen for many reasons. The motor can break down, for example, or you may notice a problem with your all-wheel drive or the power may appear to go out completely. Whatever the error, you may need to tow your vehicle to the mechanic for a full evaluation to ensure your safety and that of your passengers.

    4. Accidents

    electric car with severe damage

    Like vehicles with traditional combustion engines, electric vehicles can suffer severe damage in accidents. Sometimes, to maintain your safety or due to the extent of the damage, you may need to tow your vehicle to your mechanic for more information about the damage and the accident.

    What You Should Know Before You Tow

    electric-car-being-towed

    Before you call a tow truck to tow your electric vehicle, make sure you know what to do next. In order to protect the overall value of your vehicle, you need to understand how its unique model impacts it.

    • First, check the owner’s manual. 

    Often, car manuals will provide you with information about the optimal way to tow the car. A Porsche Taycan may have very different towing needs, for example, from the Audi E Tron or the Model 3.

    • Ask for a charging truck. 

    A charging truck contains the tools necessary to charge your electric vehicle on the spot. You should, in general, ask for a charging vehicle, rather than a tow to the nearest charging station, if you suspect that your plug-in hybrid has run out of charge. Towing can, in some cases, damage your vehicle–and a charging truck can get you back on the road and ready to go faster.

    • If needed, use flatbed towing. 

    Towing an electric car without using a flatbed can harm its engine. Some electric cars, unlike their combustion-engine counterparts, do not have a neutral setting in the transmission. As a result, when the wheels turn, it will cause the motor to turn, as well. In some cases, this can result in serious damage to the electric motor or engine. Flatbed towing, on the other hand, will help reduce this problem and protect the value of your vehicle. Reading your owner’s manual can give you a better idea of whether this might apply to your specific car.

    • Always let the towing company know that you have an electric vehicle. 

    The company will often work with you to keep your vehicle safe and protect against further damage; however, the company cannot help you if they do not know what you’re working with.

    • Know where you want your vehicle to go. 

    If you have to call for roadside assistance, carefully consider where you want the towing company to take your vehicle. Do you want it to go to your mechanic? To the dealership? Back to your garage? If you simply have a problem with your battery charge, can roadside assistance charge your car at the side of the road?

    Electric vehicles, just like traditional combustion engine vehicles, can suffer damage or errors that require a tow. Before you have your vehicle towed, however, make sure you know what to expect, what impact it will have on your vehicle, and what you should do to protect it.

    If you find yourself in need of a tow for an electric vehicle or you want to make sure you understand your vehicle’s unique needs before you find yourself stuck at the side of the road, Geyers Towing can help. Contact us today to speak with an expert about any electric car questions you might have.

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