So I came home yesterday and told my son: “I ran out of gas today”. He asked, “did you have to walk to the gas station?” I replied, “no, I drove to the gas station!”, and laughed.
That’s what you can do with a hybrid-electric vehicle like my Prius.
I mainly wanted to say what happens when you do run out of gas with a Prius and to address the question of “how far can you drive on the battery”.
When you run out of gas, you first notice an abysmal loss of power. I was accelerating from a stop light and going up a steep hill. The car simply wouldn’t accelerate. It held speed but that was it. A few seconds later the instrument panel lit up like a Christmas tree with error and warning icons including the infamous big red triangle.
The gas station was maybe 1/4 mile uphill. I filled up and afterwards noticed that the battery was around 20% charged. So you can run a Prius without gas, perhaps a mile in flat country (more downhill), but that’s about it.
As soon as I gassed it up, everything was fine.