And how do you get an EV into Neutral?
Considering that electric cars do not have transmissions, a common question is if it’s possible to push an electric car, especially if it has broken down. Imagine being 10 feet from the charger when your EV decides it’s done.
In fact, you can push an EV if it breaks down. Electric car motors are engaged when power is applied. When no power is applied the motor is free to rotate and any rotation is sent backward to charge the batteries.
Pushing an electric car would be no different than pushing a regular gas engine car that is in neutral.
Assuming the car has no power at all, it’s not likely that you would retain the power steering function of the car, so turning the wheel to get the car off the road would require a little more effort than you would normally be used to, but that is typical of any car that has decided to leave you stranded.
Now if you still have some power but the car is damaged, then you will need to tell the car to go into neutral so that the motors will spin freely. Below are the procedures to get some of the most popular EVs into neutral.
How to put a Tesla Model 3 into Neutral
Push DOWN lightly to the first click and hold for one second and the car will shift into neutral.
This will work if your car is damaged, or if you need to put the car into neutral at a car wash.
Push UP lightly to the first click and hold for one second and the car will shift into neutral.
How to put a Nissan Leaf in Neutral
Press the shift knob to the left and hold it for a few seconds. You need to hold it in this position until the car switches to neutral and the light above illuminates.
How to put a Chevy Volt in Neutral
The Chevy bolt can shift to neutral for a short amount of time before the parking brake is re-applied.
1. From the center position, move the shift lever forward. If the vehicle is in P (Park) press the shift lock release button while pressing the shift lever back. The shifter indicator is illuminated in red.
2. After releasing the shift lever, it will return to the center position
How to put a Chevy Bolt into Carwash Mode
Car Wash Mode (Vehicle Off)
To place the vehicle in N (Neutral) with the vehicle off:
1. Turn the vehicle off.
2. Place the vehicle in Service Mode.
3. Open the door while pressing the brake, and then shift to N (Neutral).
4. The indicator should now show N. If it does not, repeat the procedure
Car Wash Mode (Vehicle On)
To place the vehicle in N (Neutral)with the vehicle running:
1. Open the door while pressing
the brake, then shift to N (Neutral).
2. The indicator should now show N. If it does not, select N (Neutral) again.
3. Shift into P (Park) upon returning to the vehicle.
If you need to do a little more than pushing, and I’m sorry if you are reading this post on the side of the road, Your EV can be towed. Read more about that HERE