EV Question: Can you jump start an EV?

March 25, 2021

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!


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>.

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