Skip to main content

In the ever-evolving world of vehicles, new technologies and innovations have given rise to a host of new dashboard icons and modes. While most drivers are familiar with the check engine light, low fuel indicator, and low tire pressure warnings, the electrification of the auto market has introduced a new set of symbols exclusive to electric vehicles (EVs). One such symbol that might leave you scratching your head is the turtle icon.

What does it mean, and what should you do when it appears on your electric car’s dashboard? Let’s dive into the world of the turtle icon and unravel its mysteries.

Understanding the turtle icon in your electric car

The turtle icon, often referred to as “turtle mode,” is a unique feature found in many electric cars. Turtle mode is activated when your electric car’s battery is running critically low on charge. Essentially, it’s your car’s way of telling you that it’s time to conserve power and drive more cautiously (per Avto Wow).

When you see the turtle icon, it means your EV is in a state of reduced power mode. The vehicle’s performance is limited to ensure you can make it to your destination or the nearest charging station without completely draining the battery.

What to do when the turtle icon appears

Encountering the turtle icon on your electric car’s dashboard can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re far from a charging station. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure your safety and avoid getting stranded with an empty battery:

  • Stay Calm: The first and most crucial step is to remain calm. Panicking won’t help the situation, and it might lead to poor decision-making.
  • Reduce Speed: To maximize your remaining battery life, reduce your speed. Drive at a moderate pace to conserve energy and extend your range.
  • Limit AC Use: Heating and air conditioning systems can drain your battery quickly. Try to minimize their usage or use them sparingly.
  • Plan Your Route: If possible, reroute your journey to a nearby charging station or your home charger. Apps and navigation systems in modern EVs provide real-time information on charging station locations and availability.
  • Contact Roadside Assistance: If you’re unsure about your options or are unable to reach a charging station, contact your EV manufacturer’s roadside assistance service for guidance and support.
  • Avoid Heavy Acceleration and Braking: Smooth driving with gradual acceleration and braking will help conserve energy.
  • Use Regenerative Braking: Most electric cars have regenerative braking systems that recharge the battery when you decelerate or brake. Take advantage of this feature to regain some energy.
  • Keep an Eye on the Remaining Range: Monitor your car’s remaining range closely. Some EVs provide detailed information about how many miles or kilometers you can drive with your current battery level.

Common EV-exclusive icons and modes

While the turtle icon is one of the most notable EV-exclusive symbols, there are others you might encounter as well. These symbols convey important information about your electric car’s status. Here are a few examples:

  • Charging Port Indicator: This icon indicates the status of your car’s charging port. It may show whether the port is open or closed, locked or unlocked, and whether it’s currently charging.
  • Battery State of Charge (SoC): The SoC icon displays the current percentage of charge remaining in your battery. It’s a handy way to keep tabs on your battery’s status.
  • Plug-In Reminder: This icon reminds you to plug in your EV when you’re parked at a charging station or at home. It’s a helpful nudge to ensure you keep your car charged.
  • Low Temperature Warning: When the battery temperature drops significantly, you may see a warning icon. It’s essential to be aware of this, as cold temperatures can affect battery performance.

Navigating the EV landscape: Understanding icons for a smoother ride

As electric vehicles become more common on our roads, understanding the unique symbols and modes on their dashboards is important for every driver. The turtle icon is a clear indicator that it’s time to conserve energy and find a charging station.

By following the steps outlined when you encounter this icon, you can ensure a safe and hassle-free EV driving experience. So, embrace the electric revolution, decode those dashboard icons, and drive confidently into the future of transportation!


What Does the Arrow on Your Dashboard Gas Gauge Actually Mean?