Can you push a broken down electric car?
Electric Car Breakdown Cover
Electric car breakdown cover gets you back up and running if you break down. With the RAC, there’s no need to pay extra – we cover electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars, as well as petrol and diesel vehicles, and we even offer electric car insurance.
You can relax knowing we’re number one for electric car breakdown cover † , as we do more than anyone else to keep you on the road. So, if you’re thinking electric, think RAC.
RAC patrols are trained to know your electric car inside out. So you’ll be in safe hands with our experts.
Out of charge? Our award-winning EV Boost vans can give you a 10-mile boost to get you to the nearest charge point.
Need a tow? Electric vehicles usually have to wait for a recovery truck. But our high-tech vans can lift all four wheels off the ground, saving you time and protecting your vehicle.
NEW: FREE MOT
Prices above are for single vehicle based cover.
Why choose our electric car breakdown cover?
When buying breakdown cover for your electric car, you want a provider you can rely on. Our RAC EV vans give you a 10-mile boost if you run out of battery. With highly trained patrols and state of the art equipment, you’re in safe hands with the RAC.
With our patented all-wheels up recovery and EV boost technology, we’ve got the kit to get your electric car going again if you run out of charge.
Our patrols have High Voltage Awareness training, and an expert knowledge of how to get your car moving again.
From fixing your vehicle to electric car leasing, to helping you install a home charging point, we’re leaders in electric.
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Electric car home charge points
Make owning an electric car hassle-free by installing a charge point at home
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Personal breakdown cover
Personal breakdown cover is a type of breakdown cover that applies to a named person, rather than a specific vehicle. Get cover for up to 5 people today.
European breakdown cover
Driving over to Europe? You’ll need European breakdown cover. Choose from single trip or annual trip.
Business breakdown cover
Keep your business moving with tailored breakdown assistance for 1 to 100+ vehicles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need specialist breakdown cover for an electric car?
RAC Breakdown Cover includes electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as petrol and diesel ones. You don’t need a different kind of policy if you drive an electric car.
All our patrols are High Voltage Awareness trained, so they’re qualified to fix electric and hybrid vehicles.
Q. How much does hybrid and electric breakdown cover cost?
Breakdown cover for hybrid and electric cars costs the same as for petrol and diesel vehicles. With the RAC, breakdown cover starts from just a few pounds a month. And you can choose a cover level that works for you.
Q. What should I do if my electric vehicle breaks down?
First of all, make sure you’re safe. You should never try to push or move your electric car.
Then you should report your breakdown online – that’s the quickest way to get help. Alternatively, you can call us on 0333 2000 999. We’ll get you sorted as soon as possible.
Q. What’s the difference between electric and hybrid vehicles?
An electric vehicle (EV) is only powered by electric through a battery. A hybrid vehicle runs on a combination of electric power and petrol or diesel from the tank.
Q. Are electric cars more reliable?
Electric cars are more reliable than petrol or diesel cars, as they have fewer moving parts. But they can still breakdown from time to time. For example, if they run out of charge or there’s an electrical issue.
Q. What should I do if my electric vehicle runs out of charge?
The most important thing is to pull over, out of the way of oncoming traffic. We can give you an emergency charge to get you going again.
If you have RAC Breakdown Cover, report your breakdown like normal – online through the MyRAC app is the quickest way. But you can call us on 0333 2000 999 if you prefer.
If you don’t have RAC cover, call 0330 159 8743 – we can still help you.
Q. Will you fix my electric car at roadside?
If you break down at the roadside, we’ll do everything we can to fix you there and then. For example, some of our patrol vans have a mobile electric charger to give you a 10-mile boost to the nearest charging point. If we can’t fix you, we’ll tow you to a garage for further repairs.
Q. Can electric vehicles be towed?
Electric vehicles usually can’t be towed like normal cars, because drag on the wheels winds up the transmission. But the RAC can tow your EV safely thanks to our ‘all-wheels-up’ technology.
Q. How long does the battery on an electric car last?
On average, electric vehicle batteries have warranties for 8–10 years. But research shows that some batteries can last for longer than this.
How long the battery lasts between charges, that depends on the range of the vehicle. Electric cars have different ranges depending on battery size. For example, the average range for a Renault Zoe is 190 miles and the average range for a Nissan Leaf is 150 miles.
Q. Can you tow an electric car if it breaks down?
Most providers can’t tow your electric car if you break down – which means you could be waiting a long time for a recovery truck. But we can. All our vans are fitted with the RAC’s patented ‘all wheels up’ rapid recovery system that means we can tow electric vehicles safely.
Q. What happens if you run out of charge in an electric car?
Your electric vehicle should give you plenty of warning when it’s running low on charge. But if you can’t make it to a charging point in time, or there’s a problem with your charging point, then you may eventually run out of power. The car will switch to failsafe mode, so you have enough time to pull over to a safe space. Luckily, our EV boost vans can give you a 10-minute boost so you can get going again and reach the next charging point.
Find out more
EV Advice & Guides
Find out the benefits of switching to an electric car
Find out how to charge your EV
Learn about how electric car insurance is calculated and how much money you can save
About breakdown cover
Find all the information you need to have a better understanding of the different levels of cover that the RAC have on offer
Many vehicle breakdowns happen at home — but with RAC At Home Cover you can get on with your day quickly again.
If your vehicle breaks down miles away from home, National Recovery cover from the RAC could prove invaluable — find out more here
If your vehicle cannot be fixed at the side of the road, our vehicle recovery service will transport it to either a garage or back to your home address
If your vehicle can’t be fixed in the same day after a breakdown, RAC’s onward travel product helps you to make alternative travel plans to continue your journey.
Vehicle Breakdown Cover can be a great value option if you’re looking for cheap breakdown cover — this guide from the RAC looks at the benefits of it.
Personal Breakdown Cover can give you peace of mind in whatever vehicle you’re driving or travelling in as a passenger, as this guide from the RAC explains.
Multi-car breakdown cover enables you to get breakdown cover for several vehicles under one policy.
Family breakdown cover provides vehicle cover for several members of your family within a joint policy.
Compare breakdown cover from the RAC and other providers to help you understand the differences in service, coverage, optional extras and reliability.
This guide compares the RAC, one of the UK’s major breakdown cover companies, with AA, to see how it compares for level of cover, pricing and customer reviews.
This guide compares the RAC, one of the UK’s major breakdown cover companies, with Green Flag, to see how it compares for level of cover, pricing and customer reviews.
The RAC and Rescuemycar are both UK car breakdown providers, but how do their levels of cover, prices and customer reviews compare?
The RAC is one of the UK’s leading providers of breakdown cover and vehicle recovery, but how does it compare to StartRescue?
This guide compares the RAC, one of the UK’s major breakdown cover companies, with Emergency Assist, to see how it compares for level of cover and pricing.
How does the RAC compare with Direct Line, when it comes to providing breakdown cover services? This guide takes a look at prices, level of cover and customer reviews.
If you’re searching for the best breakdown cover deal, using a comparison service can really help — here are some useful tips to consider before you start your search.
Our breakdown patrol will know you’re a blue badge holder before they reach you.
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RAC European Breakdown Cover provides you with peace of mind and comprehensive single-trip or annual cover you can rely on during your holidays.
Punctures, battery problems, non-starts and cut-outs are all covered. We’ll even come out if you run out of fuel.
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03 numbers are charged at national call rates and included in inclusive minute plans from landlines and mobiles. Calls may be monitored and/or recorded.
Free MOT terms and conditions:
- The promotion is for one free MOT (up to the statutory maximum fee of £54.85) and is available to new customers purchasing Complete cover.
- All other cover levels are excluded from the promotion.
- You must purchase RAC Breakdown Cover online direct from RAC by visiting www.rac.co.uk.
- Only one free MOT can be redeemed per membership.
- Only one MOT can be redeemed per unique voucher code.
- Not available to members amending or renewing an existing policy or on purchases during a breakdown situation.
- This offer will be fulfilled on behalf of RAC by a third party (Who Can Fix My Car).
- You must keep your RAC Breakdown Cover for 12 months in order to be eligible for this offer. We reserve the right to recover the cost of the MOT if this condition is not complied with.
- Providing your payments are up to date and you haven’t cancelled your cover you’ll receive an email within 15 working days after your policy starts containing your unique voucher code and details on how to book your free MOT.
- You will then have a further 12 months from the date of this email to book your MOT. After this date the offer will be deemed to have expired.
- You will need to provide a printed copy, or show the email containing the unique voucher code and the RAC membership number to the garage on the day of the MOT.
- The unique voucher code cannot be reissued after their expiry date.
- Voucher only applies to those RAC Approved Garages bookable via the WhoCanFixMyCar platform. To find your nearest RAC Approved Garage click here.
- Offer may be withdrawn at any time.
- No cash or other alternatives available.
- Excludes RAC Response (Blue Badge membership).
† Comparison to AA and Green Flag based on number of RAC rescue vans equipped with 3.5kw+ Electric car charging capability as at February 2023.
Breakdown cover arranged and administered by RAC Financial Services Limited (Registered No 05171817) and provided by RAC Motoring Services (Registered No 01424399) and/or RAC Insurance Ltd (Registered No 2355834). Registered in England and Wales at RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall WS5 4AW. RAC Motoring Services and RAC Financial Services Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. RAC Insurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
What to do if you are running out of charge in an electric car
If you’re new to electric cars, it is only natural to feel a little anxious about the battery range. After all, a petrol or diesel car will usually start warning you that you need to fill up when you have enough fuel for 50 miles or so left in the tank. In an electric car, that could be half of your driving range!
The difference is that an electric car only needs to get you home — or to a charge point – in order to fill up with fuel, and the range meter is usually fairly accurate. If it says there is 12 miles left and it is only seven miles to home then you will learn not to worry. However, it is good to know what to expect if you do get low on charge, and be prepared in case the worst happens and you completely run out.
Planning ahead will relieve the stress of running low
If you are getting twitchy
OK – you’ve exhausted all the options to charge and are running low. What happens next?
The first thing to know is that the car won’t just stop or splutter to a halt like a petrol car would. It will give you plenty of warning, usually telling you that the battery charge is low at about 20% capacity and then again at 10%.
The car’s sat nav will usually suggest it finds you a nearby charge point. You may find that some cars will also suggest that they go into an ‘Eco’ mode when the battery is getting low. This usually restricts the performance and turns off the non-essential features, such as the heating, to eke out every last mile.
This is the stage where you need to start planning your options. Is there somewhere you can go to which might be safer and more comfortable to wait while you call for help from your breakdown provider? A service station or restaurant perhaps?
The recovery will be far easier if the car has some charge left, so don’t sit in the car with the heater running if you can avoid it.If you still keep driving, most electric cars will be fitted with something which is called a ‘Turtle Mode’ because there is literally a warning light in the shape of a turtle on the instrument panel. This will give you a few hundred metres of very limited performance, at little more than walking pace. It is designed to get you off the road and into a safer place, such as in a lay by or an emergency refuge on the motorway.
If you see that light, start looking for somewhere to stop that will keep you – and other road users – safe while you wait for recovery.
When ‘Turtle Mode’ kicks in, its time to start looking for a safe place to stop
I’ve stopped – what now?
The first priority is to make sure you are safe, so keep the car visible with hazard lights on. If you are on a motorway or close to a live lane, get behind a crash barrier and use the emergency phones to call for help. These will help the recovery to find you quickly.
If you are stopped in a live lane – for example on a ‘smart’ motorway with all lanes running – then call 999 as it is a dangerous situation.
Keep the car visible with hazard lights and make sure you are safe
What happens now?
A professional breakdown recovery operator will know how to move an electric car which has run out of charge or broken down, so it is best to leave it to them if possible. It won’t cause any harm if you need to push the car a short distance in an emergency, such as if it is blocking a junction. They should not be towed for any distance with all four wheels on the ground however as it can — in theory — harm the car’s powertrain.
The breakdown service will either use an onboard charging system to give your enough energy to get to the nearest charger or will recover your car using a truck. Once you get home or to your destination, it’s best to charge the car as soon as possible, as leaving the battery empty for long periods will upset its chemistry and shorten its life.
Have you ever run out of charge, or got close? Let us know what happened!
The breakdown recovery operator will usually tow you to a charger
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POLITICO Politico Logo
Here is POLITICO’s breakdown of the 1,475 pages of proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations that could transform the way Americans get around.
President Joe Biden drives an electric Cadillac Lyriq through the show room during a tour at the Detroit Auto Show on Sept. 14, 2022. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo
By Alex Guillén 04/12/2023 12:47 PM EDT
The Biden administration’s newest push to get more Americans behind the wheel in electric vehicles rests on two granular pollution regulations that could transform the auto industry.
Here’s what to know about the 1,475 pages of proposed rules that the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled Wednesday — requirements that agency chief Michael Regan said are meant to spur “innovation and creativity” from carmakers:
How big a deal is this really?
Potentially very big.
If Wednesday’s proposals work out the way Biden’s regulators envision, two out of every three new cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. in 2032 will be electric — more than 10 times the current national sales rate.
That figure includes a projection that 78 percent of sedans, 68 percent of pickups and 62 percent of crossovers and SUVs could be battery-powered just nine years from now.
The agency also projects that half of new “vocational” vehicles — such as garbage trucks and school buses — will be electric that year under its proposals, as well as 25 percent of long-haul freight tractor trailers.
Aren’t electric vehicles more expensive than gasoline-powered ones?
Yes. And EPA estimated that its proposal would add an incremental cost of $844 for cars and $1,385 for trucks in 2032.
But it also contends that those upfront costs will be more than offset by consumers’ savings on fuel and maintenance (electric cars don’t need oil changes, for example), as well as purchasing incentives. The agency says the average buyer of a car or light-duty truck will save $12,000 over the vehicle’s lifetime.
That’s on top of the rule’s projected benefits in reduced oil imports, reductions in diseases related to air pollution and a lessening of planet-warming greenhouse gases.
How would the EPA’s rule work?
The first and most sweeping rule, Reg. 2060-AV49 , covers light-duty cars and trucks as well as medium-duty vehicles, a class that includes larger SUVs and passenger vans.
It seeks to prod automakers to produce more electric vehicles by slashing the amount of greenhouse gases allowed to come out of tailpipes.
For light-duty vehicles, the new target would be an average of 82 grams of carbon dioxide per mile traveled in 2032. That’s down roughly half from the administration’s existing target for 2026.
The target is a “fleet average” that the EPA calculates for each auto manufacturer. That means that an automaker’s sales of zero-carbon electric vehicles can offset the pollution from its fossil-fuel cars and trucks, though automakers may pursue more efficiencies in gasoline-powered models as well.
The final real-world figures can also vary depending on how automakers choose to comply with the rule.
The rule also strengthens limits on vehicles’ conventional air pollutants — a step that would also increase the incentives for carmakers to go electric.
For acid-rain-causing nitrogen oxides and other organic gases, the standard would be reduced to 12 milligrams per mile in 2032, down 60 percent from an Obama-era requirement. EPA also proposed a standard for “particulate matter” (i.e., soot) that’s down as much as 92 percent from current standards.
In addition to the primary proposal, Alejandra Nunez, EPA’s deputy assistant administrator for mobile sources, said the agency is soliciting comments on several alternative regulatory options of varying stringency for light-duty vehicles. The least stringent would achieve 64 percent electric vehicle penetration in 2032, Nunez said, while the most would reach 69 percent.
Is that all?
No! The proposal also includes several tweaks to a compliance program that EPA has been using to help automakers meet its requirements.
The agency is maintaining a system in which companies that produce less-polluting vehicles can earn “credits” that they can then sell to their more-polluting rivals. (These credits have been a revenue source for companies like Toyota and Tesla.)
On the other hand, EPA wants to phase out a bonus credits program that rewarded companies for adopting technologies such as solar roof panels and high-efficiency headlights.
EPA also wants to stop giving credits to electric vehicle manufacturers for using more efficient air conditioning.
EPA’s second proposed rule, Reg. 2060-AV50 , would cover heavy-duty vehicles such as tractor-trailers and vocational vehicles — the source of a quarter of the transportation sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. The rule follows two prior rounds of greenhouse gas regulations for heavy-duty trucks that manufacturers largely accepted.
That proposal also creates warranty requirements for batteries on zero-emissions trucks and would require automakers to install “state of health” battery monitors accessible to customers.
The light-duty proposal will be open for 60 days of public comment and the heavy-duty proposal for 50 days of comment once published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks.
But wait — didn’t Biden just make it harder to get tax breaks for electric vehicles?
So which vehicles will qualify for the tax credits?
Stay tuned: By Tuesday, automakers are supposed to confirm which of their models meet the new Treasury requirements. (They’ll have to swear this under penalty of perjury.)
But when POLITICO questioned the car companies last week , they said just five of the 91 electric car models now sold in the U.S. clearly qualified for the full tax break. Those all came from American automakers, with General Motors, Ford and Tesla leading the pack.
What other obstacles could complicate Biden’s goals?
The U.S. still doesn’t have nearly enough chargers for all the electric vehicles that the EPA wants to see on the highways. And many of the chargers that exist suffer from malfunctions, slow charging and other woes, as David Ferris recently documented for POLITICO’s E&E News .
Questions linger about whether the U.S. electric grid can stand up to the load of charging so many vehicles, and whether domestic manufacturing and mining can ramp up fast enough to make sure EVs are produced domestically.
The administration’s hope is that the prodding from the EPA, the availability of tax breaks and other incentives for technologies such as charging stations will speed up a transformation to electric vehicles that market forces are already pushing to bring about. That’s a work in progress, of course.
What do people say about the rule?
Many environmental groups welcomed Wednesday’s news. Dan Lashof, U.S. director for the World Resources Institute, said in a statement that EPA’s proposals will “speed the United States’ auto industry toward an all-electric future faster than any regulation has before.”
But Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign, argued that the proposal isn’t stringent enough. He called on the EPA to write a regulation that achieves 67 percent electric vehicle sales in 2030 — two years earlier than the agency’s timeline.
“Biden shouldn’t let automakers’ can’t-do attitude sabotage his best shot at cutting carbon emissions,” Becker said in a statement.
Republicans were, notably, less thrilled. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) accused Biden of trying “to ban the cars we drive,” a common refrain from GOP critics of the new rule.
“The ‘electrification of everything’ is not a solution,” Barrasso said Wednesday. “It’s a road to higher prices and fewer choices.”