EV Question: Can you jump start your EV?

Perspective EV drivers are plagued by worries about range anxiety. Can you get to where you are going on a full charge? What happens if you run out? Can you jump start an EV?

 Many EV owners quickly lose any anxiety they have about range after a few weeks of driving an EV full-time. However, there may come a time when you do lose juice and need a jump. So, can you jump start an EV? Luckily, it turns out the answer is YES!

You can jump start your EV the same way you jump start a gas vehicle. EVs have two batteries – a battery pack that powers the electric motors and another 12-volt battery that is familiar to anyone who has driven a gas car. This smaller battery, like in a gas car, powers the lights, wipers, display, etc. It also ensures that the lithium-ion battery pack can be charged (Saarinen, 2021).  

The process of jump starting an EV is exactly the same as jump starting a gas car. However, the 12-volt battery may be harder to find, as different models may have moved the 12-volt battery to a different location. Additionally, you need to use a gas car to jump start the EV and make sure your vehicle is not plugged in to an electrical source. You can plug it in once the jump start is complete (Saarinen, 2021).

And remember, you can always call on roadside assistance for additional backup.

EV Question: Can you use your EV to jump start a gas car?

Electric vehicle manufacturers recommend that you do NOT use an EV to jump start a gas car.

Why? The 12-volt battery found in EVs lacks the same punch that you find in the 12-volt battery of a gas car. Using the EV 12-volt battery to jump start a gas car could damage your electrical panel and software (Braithwaite-Smith, 2020).

Some manufacturers may even goes as far as to say that using your EV to jump start another vehicle voids the warranty, so be sure to check before risking it!

References:

Braithwaite-Smith, Gavin. “Can you jump start a car using an electric vehicle?” 17 April 2020. <https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/jump-start-car-with-ev/>.

Saarinen, Martin. “Can you jump-start an electric car?” 29 Jan 2021. <https://www.drivingelectric.com/your-questions-answered/133/can-you-jump-start-electric-car>.