What do you do when you arrive at a remote charging station with a fully depleted battery and you realize the charger is out of service? To top it off, cell phones do not work in the area—so you can’t call assistance—and the outside temperature is not EV-friendly at 18 degrees Fahrenheit (-7.7 Celsius).

Well, this unpleasant hypothetical scenario was pretty much real for Tesla Model 3 Performance owner Drew, who found himself with 0% SoC at a defective ChargePoint charger just outside of Allenspark, Colorado. Fortunately for Drew, our own Kyle Conner was in the area driving a 2022 BMW X5 45e PHEV, so he jumped to the Model 3’s rescue.

Since there was no way to charge the Tesla quickly enough to get to safety before freezing, Kyle came up with the idea to tow the EV with his PHEV.

EV owners who don’t already know this, here’s another sweet thing about your car: you can tow it to charge the battery for an essential range boost in situations like these. As Kyle puts it, this is an insanely cool perk of owning an electric car.

To make this work, Drew had to set the regenerative braking to 100% before being towed, in order to add as much electricity to the cold battery pack as quickly as possible. Then they had to agree upon some signals because they wouldn’t be able to communicate via walkie-talkies or cell phones during the towing.

All Drew had to do after that was keep the car on the road and the tension on the line for the tow charging to work; the rest was up to Kyle. So how did it work? 

Well, we will tell you that the BMW started towing the Tesla in all-electric mode with 50% SoC, although the mountain road with steep climbs soon forced Kyle to switch to hybrid mode. After about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) of being towed, the Model 3 went from 0% to 9% state of charge, which was pretty much all Drew needed to be able to reach a Supercharger on his own.

Watch the full Out of Spec Reviews video above to learn how this cool experiment ended.



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