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Know your EV dashboard symbols

4 min to readElectric vehicles
Read our handy guide to electric vehicle dashboard symbols to understand what they mean, what you need to do, and your EV’s condition.
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Not sure what that flashing light is on your EV dashboard? You’re not the only one…

More than 680,000 people across the UK have already made the switch to electric driving, as EVs become more accessible through electric car salary sacrifice schemes, and with many more expected to get behind the wheel of an EV for the first time this year – they’ll need learn their way around these cars.

Here’s our handy guide to some of the most significant EV dashboard symbols.

Understanding colour codes

EV dashboard symbols may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, making it challenging to know precisely what your electric car is trying to tell you. But thanks to an easy-to-use standard set of colour codes, drivers can quickly know how serious the issue is.

Here’s what they mean:

Electric car dashboard symbols

Symbols – or warning lights - will differ depending on the make and year of your electric vehicle. But here are some of the ones you’re most likely to come across:


Symbols – or warning lights - will differ depending on the make and year of your electric vehicle. But here are some of the ones you’re most likely to come across:


Battery charge level

The battery charge level allows you to monitor how much charge your vehicle has left. Depending on the make and model of your car, this may turn red or flash when your battery has reached a critical level and needs to be recharged.


Battery temperature warning

The battery symbol will light up in EVs when the battery temperature is high. In conventional vehicles, the same message is displayed via an engine light. If this icon appears, it's recommended to safely pull over, stop, and switch off the car for a while. We recommend to take your vehicle to an approved garage as soon as possible to prevent further battery issues.


12V Battery Issue

This warning light indicates an issue with the car's electrical system, typically requiring professional assistance. However, it is not a specific warning and can be frustrating as it can indicate problems with the battery, wiring, or motor.

If ignored when the light is displayed in amber, the situation may deteriorate. The amber light signals the need for prompt attention from a garage, while the red light demands that you find a secure place to pull over immediately.


Auto Glide Control (AGC)

Activating AGC (also known as Auto Glide Control) enhances fuel efficiency while driving by reducing deceleration and braking disruptions through coasting. Like Eco Mode, AGC can be turned on and off by the driver.


Regenerative Braking System (RBS)

Regenerative braking is a feature available on electric vehicles that converts the kinetic energy generated during braking into power, which is then used to recharge the battery.

When this symbol is illuminated amber or red, it indicates a significant failure with your EV’s RBS – and it’s essential to visit an approved garage as soon as possible.


Pedestrian warning

This warning light alerts EV drivers when pedestrians or other road users are close by to prevent accidents and collisions. If the driver doesn't respond promptly by braking, the EV's automatic braking system will activate.


External Sound System Warning

Electric cars are much quieter than petrol or diesel cars, making them hard for pedestrians and other road users to hear. The External Sound System Warning, also known as Pedestrian Alert, emits an electronic sound at slow speeds (for example when parking) to alert pedestrians. If the symbol lights up it signifies a possible alert fault.


Limp Mode

The tortoise symbol indicates the vehicle has Limited Power. You will usually receive warnings before this symbol appears – to go and charge your vehicle. Pay attention when this icon lights up, as it usually signals that the vehicle will ‘limp’ to the next destination – meaning you will experience a reduction in speed, and heating and other battery drains will be switched off to preserve power. This may also be due to an electrical fault, battery power/temperature, or other defects. Once you have recharged the vehicle, if the warning light remains on you will need to contact an approved garage to check.


Eco Mode

If you’re looking to get as many miles out of your vehicle after each charge, you’ll want to drive in eco mode as much as possible. Eco mode maximises your EV’s efficiency by restricting acceleration (which can drain your battery).

Eco mode is optional, so you should only see this symbol if it’s switched on.


EV Charging Indicator

The plug and cable indicator shows that the vehicle is correctly connected to a charging socket. Most vehicles will prevent you from driving whilst connected.

Have fun but stay safe

Driving an EV is immensely enjoyable, but knowing your vehicle is essential to keep yourself and others safe. Familiarising yourself with your dashboard symbols will help you better understand your vehicle and address any issues before they become hazards or require expensive repairs.

Published at 3 April 2023
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3 April 2023
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