Do Teslas Use Gas? Can You Put Gas in a Tesla Car? (Explained!)

Updated: | Author: Steve Freling | Affiliate links may be present.

No matter what you drive, the real fear is knowing that you only have a few miles to go before you run out of fuel or power, and you will be calling roadside service. Or you may be the one walking to a gas station.

It’s one of those humbling events we all experience at some point.

If this happens to me in my Chevrolet Suburban, it’s no trick for someone to bring a gas can with enough fuel to get me to the next gas station. After all, this is why we have roadside assistance and friends.

If it happens to my friend in his Tesla, that gas can isn’t doing him any good. Our cars have so little in common that he will need a flatbed tow truck just over the loss of power.

Can You Put Gasoline in a Tesla?


I will save you some time and frustration. NO – you cannot put gasoline in a Tesla car.

Your Tesla doesn’t have a fuel tank or an engine that uses gasoline of any kind. It would be futile to put gasoline anywhere near the working parts of a Tesla. Certainly not the most intelligent thing to do!

You and your Tesla can take a gas can full of fuel to a friend, but that gas won’t help your Tesla!

I have seen videos on YouTube of fresh-off-the-lot Tesla owners who go straight to a gas station thinking they have a hybrid car. These videos are a great laugh.

Now, consider that you can charge your Tesla using a gasoline-powered generator during storms and other power outages. This is not the worst thing. After all, it solves a problem.

Doing this with the gas generator would defeat the purpose of the electric car, but in a pinch, you have to do what you have to do.

Can You Accidentally Put Gas in a Tesla?

It’s impossible since there’s really no place in the body of Tesla cars to pour gas into. You’ll only find a port for the charger when you open the flap of a Tesla. There’s no way you can insert a gas pump nozzle through it!

So, unlike what usually happens between gasoline (petrol) and diesel cars, whereby some people accidentally put the wrong kind of fuel in the car, there’s no real chance of committing a similar mistake with electric-only vehicles like Tesla.

Has Tesla Always Been Electric?

Tesla has never produced an ICE-based car, or even a hybrid car for that matter. Right from their first car (Roadster) back in around 2008, their cars were always electric-only.

In fact, Tesla was arguably the first company that showed the world that a purely electric car can be mass produced for everyday use.

With all of that out of the way, let’s discuss the difference between Tesla, hybrid vehicles, and gasoline vehicles.

Tesla Engine & Power Source

Tesla engines are 100% electric. When you buy a Tesla, you have a special outlet put into the home that facilitates plugging your car into your home electric system.

Tesla stores that electricity in batteries that then make the car function. It is not anything like an internal combustion engine (what my old Suburban has).

So basically, a Tesla and a traditional gas car have very little in common when it comes to the inner workings and how they are powered.

Tesla cars are equipped with software that is cutting edge and helps to manage the power very efficiently. There really isn’t anything else like it on the market as of now.

Hybrid Engines

Hybrid cars are fascinating because they have batteries that store power as well. But you do fill a gas tank as well.

The big difference between a hybrid engine and a Tesla engine is that you would never plug a hybrid car into an electricity source.

Instead, the engine creates power through the internal combustion engine as well as regenerative braking.

These cars do make it so that your fuel economy is really great!

Gasoline Engines

Most of us are familiar with the traditional gas internal combustion engine. These vehicles strictly get by on gasoline (or diesel, in some cases). So, the gas can mentioned earlier would be very handy if you run out of fuel.

While many of us will have to stick with our gasoline engines for the foreseeable future, we do need to be mindful of the impact that these cars have on our planet.

Gas Engines and the Climate

In 2016, an article was published in Environmental Science & Technology. It showed the impact that specific cars had on our environment. The results were sobering.

As of the publishing date of that article, not one gasoline-powered car on the market was set to reach 2030 climate targets set by experts.

Side note: the article mentioned rated my Chevrolet Suburban to be the worst car for the environment right now. That was a rude awakening. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was the worst.

Which Engine is Best?

Each type of car is going to have its pros and cons. It just depends on what you want out of the car as far as cost, maintenance, and energy source.

Tesla cars are very smart and efficient in the way they use energy. This is why you can get a driving range of over 350 miles on one charge. They are changing the landscape of electric and solar-powered cars.

The bottom line is that Tesla produces zero emissions. It doesn’t get any better than that! So, if you are wanting a car that serves the environment the best, Tesla is a good bet.

Hybrids may get better gas mileage thanks to the power supplied through regenerative braking but they are not known for handling well.

The companies may claim that nothing is sacrificed with the hybrid car technology but many drivers of these cars disagree. Luckily technology moves so fast that these cars just get better and better.

Gasoline engines are hard on your wallet as well as the climate. Many of us are simply stuck using the gas cars that we have for now but we do need to be aware of their impact.

If you are like me and often have to tow something heavy, there just aren’t electric options available yet that provide the power and capacity. Luckily, there are still options for gas-powered vehicles so that every need can be met.

There are great articles on whether electric cars actually save you money in the long run. It naturally depends on what cars you compare.

Basically, if you are choosing a hybrid or all-electric option, you are doing it for more reasons than just money. It is definitely better for the environment to go electric and stop using as much fuel. No one will really argue with you on that point.

Tesla Packs a Punch

On a personal note, I am astonished by the power of a Tesla. It is very fun to be in a machine that has that much power and is dead silent. Amazing!

The first time I was a passenger in a Tesla, the driver told me to try to reach for the dashboard. He immediately hit the power and it thrust me back into my seat with such force that I could not touch the dashboard despite my best efforts.

Blew my mind after seeing how little power some other electric cars have!

But of course, you do always have to be aware of what mileage range you have and you have to plan ahead as to how you will recharge as you travel.

What Happens When a Tesla Runs Out of Charge?

It’s relatively rare, given how many warnings you’d start getting before even coming close to depleting your Tesla’s battery.

Still, if your car’s battery still runs out of charge completely, you at least have the option to let it get towed by another car.

This might sound like an ‘obvious’ feature that all gas-powered cars have, but it’s actually not extremely common in the world of electric cars (especially, budget ones).

The main reason behind this is that electric cars lack a traditional gearbox, so there’s no ‘neutral mode’ as such that’ll allow your car to get pulled by an external force (another car, in this case).

To combat this, Tesla has developed a ‘towing mode’ that basically works the same as the ‘neutral mode’ in a gas car.

So, What is the “Gas Can” Backup for Tesla Vehicles?

Solar Panels

The Ecoflow Delta Pro has been tested successfully by amateurs. It is pretty incredible.

I have a disclaimer here. Don’t try this without talking to a professional because I don’t want you to have any issues with your car.

With that said, this amazing portable power source can be fully charged at home or by the sun, be kept in your car, and save the day if you run out of power in your Tesla.

Be careful that you get a model that can pack the amount of power you need in a steady stream to be successful with your car.

While this solar generator setup is likely capable of powering your Tesla, it also has plenty of power for home backup and camping. It boasts a powerful output of 3600 watts! Hard to imagine needing more power than that from a solar generator.

The Ecoflow Delta Pro can be charged with solar panels. It is really an amazing power bank. They come in various size packages depending on your needs.

You can buy the generator and solar panels as a bundle or separately. You can even buy extra sets of solar panels that tether together.


If you have a Tesla, you know that you have a different kind of electrical connection that won’t just fit into any household plug. You may need adapters to enable the use of the portable solar generator.

Different models of Tesla can have different connectors. Because of this there are various adapters. Be sure you know what you really need for this connection to be successful.

Will Tesla Cars Use Solar Power Backup in the Future?

One physicist actually did create solar panels for his Tesla and used them to drive his car 15,000 km around Australia successfully. This was just to prove that it could be done.

The Tesla company has said that they could be close to providing a solar backup for their cars. In 2020, the company introduced the Cybertruck which had solar glass to prove this concept.

If Tesla could make solar-powered cars it would mean a serious reduction of carbon emissions! These cars could be the standard for our future.

Tesla is the perfect company to forge ahead in this endeavor. They are all about the storage of renewable power. This aspect of the company accounts for 7% of Tesla’s revenue. They are on the cutting edge.

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About Steve Freling

Steve has worked for more than 20 years as an automotive mechanic, and later run his own repair shop for both cars and motorcycles. He's a maintenance freak, and generally pretty good at troubleshooting!

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