Myth: You can't take your EV through an automated car wash.
Myth Busted: EVs can go through a car wash the same as a gas car. Just put the car in neutral and you're good to go!
Many people believe that an electric car isn't able to go through an automated car wash. However, not only is it completely safe to do so, you simply shift it to a neutral position, the same as a gas car! This blog post will clear up some confusion about shifting to neutral in an EV and using automated car washes.
EVs don't need a transmission because the power to the wheels is regulated by the current flowing through the battery. Gas cars, on the other hand, need a transmission to regulate the power to the wheels, hence the different gears, such as neutral. Since EVs do not have a transmission, many think that you can't put the car in neutral. While EVs may not have a neutral gear in the traditional sense, they do still have a neutral position. This can be used to tow your car, or to send your vehicle through an automated car wash. Want to know more about the difference between neutral in gas and electric vehicles? Read this blog post written by EVCARTIPS.
Without a transmission, electric vehicles only have one gear, so it may not be as obvious how to switch to a neutral position in an EV. This can be confusing at an automated car wash because you need your car be in a neutral position. The process of putting your car in neutral will vary depending on your EV. For instance, in the Nissan Leaf you can shift to neutral using the controller. You just need to put your car in park, place your foot on the brake, pull the controller all the way to the left and hold for a few seconds, and it will shift into neutral. On the other hand, for a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y you can shift to neutral by pushing the gear stalk either down or up and holding for a second.
You should be able to find information on how to shift to neutral in your car's user manual. There are also many discussion forums online for EV users that can help identify how to put your specific model into neutral. Next time your EV needs a good clean, don't hesitate to shift your car to neutral and enjoy the automated car wash.
Source 1: Bruce, Darren. This Is Why Electric Cars Don't Have Neutral. EV Car Tips. 2022. https://evcartips.com/this-is-why-electric-cars-dont-have-neutral/
Source 2: Meyer, Erwin. How To Put Tesla in Neutral — All Models Explained. EV Speedy. n/d. https://www.evspeedy.com/put-tesla-in-neutral/