Tesla Tragedy

13 May 2022 | Rachel Harris

If you own an EV you will be well aware of the ‘range anxiety’ that comes with driving such a vehicle. Have you ever considered the risks concerned when parking your EV for any length of time at an airport or a train station? The story below highlights these risks, as well as how Auto Fuel Fix can help you if you find yourself in the same position.

The Story of Mr Smith

Whilst he was out of the country on holiday, Mr Smith had left his 2017 Tesla in a car park at Heathrow airport. His vehicle software informed him that due to the fact he had let his main, propulsion battery run down, his 12v battery was now running low as the Tesla power system had been trying to restore propulsion power by using the 12v as an emergency boost. He was due back in the UK in a few days’ time and wanted to ensure he would be able to drive the vehicle upon his return.

Mr Smith had already contacted Tesla who confirmed that they were able to come out and change the 12v battery. However, they were unable to charge the main, 400v propulsion battery on scene which would have meant that the car would have been accessible but immobile. Not much use to Mr Smith when he returned from his trip! After this discussion, Mr Smith turned to the internet where he came across Auto Fuel Fix (AFF).  AFF, who as well as providing a roadside fuel drain service, are also able to provide a mobile fast charging service for EV’s.

One of AFF’s highly experienced technicians spoke with Mr Smith who diagnosed the error messages that he was able to view from his Tesla app. The technician and Mr Smith concurred that the 12v battery needed to be replaced and once this was complete, the technician confirmed that he could then charge the 400v propulsion battery with AFF’s mobile charging facility.

AFF sourced a new Tesla 12v battery and two technicians attended to replace this in situ at Heathrow. With AFF’s mobile EV charging facility, the technicians were able to charge the vehicle for an hour which provided a 25 mile range which was more than sufficient given that there was a fixed supercharger available just four miles from the airport.

The customer arrived back from his trip and was able to drive his vehicle to the fixed charge point close by. By using the skills and equipment, AFF were able to solve a very tricky situation for a client, with absolutely no hassle to him at all.

Issues Overcome

– Mr Smith was out of the country, with the key to his vehicle however he believed that he would be able to open the car from his app. After his discussion with the client, the technician was concerned that, due to the 12v battery being so low, the app wasn’t providing the correct information and thus wouldn’t in fact allow them access. This was later confirmed to be the case but thanks to the technicians’ forethought, he had asked the client to courier him the spare key thus allowing them to complete the job in a single visit.

– If, in an EV, the 12v battery is completely flat then you can’t access the vehicle or the propulsion battery because the 12v battery acts as an activation switch. If the technician had arrived without a 12v battery, the whole operation would not have been able to proceed.

– Tesla had told the client that they could replace the 12v battery, but they would not have been able to charge the electric battery in the car park, as they don’t have the equipment to do this. The vehicle would not have been able to be towed, as the 12v was flat so it could not be moved. The vehicle was parked in a tight space, next to two other vehicles so it also would not have been able to be lifted out of the car park.

– The vehicle has falcon doors and as soon as the car starts, it activates the doors. After the 12v battery had been replaced, the vehicle ‘woke up’ and the technicians could see the dashboard light up, the seats started to move and they knew that the doors would then start to open. Thankfully they had thought about this in advance, and stood in front of the doors so the sensors picked them up and didn’t open, avoiding hitting into the vehicles parked very close by on either side.

If you find yourself in a similar position, please contact AFF on 01256 805601 and we can discuss your specific requirements in getting you back on the road with minimal fuss.