6 Tips for Your First Tesla Road Trip, From Owners

6 Tips for Your First Tesla Road Trip, From Owners

If you’re preparing to take your first road trip in a Tesla or another electric vehicle, it’s understandable to be a little nervous. Shifting your mindset to think about charging takes some time, but it’s totally doable with some planning, and it doesn’t take most drivers long to get used to. In one recent story, a publication spoke with Tesla owners about what to keep in mind for a first EV road trip, and how to make the most of it.

Above: A Tesla Model Y (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).

A handful of Tesla owners recently shared their early road trip experiences with Business Insider, along with tips to help avoid some of the scarier horror stories reported in recent years. To many Tesla owners, however, those stories may just mean owners haven’t quite gotten past the learning curve yet. To do so, they tend to share a few similar tips, including avoiding specific routes, planning, making sure you’re prepared and, sometimes, getting creative.

Below are the first six tips from Insider and the accompanying driver testimonies. You can find the full list of tips below these, along with the full write-up at Business Insider.

1. Learn to trust the car, Tesla owners told Insider

Model Y owner Dennis Duncan says trusting the car helped manage battery, after having taken annual trips from his home state of Washington to Montana.

"After the first outbound trip when I was being very careful and charging to a higher percentage than necessary at each stop, I learned to trust what my Tesla was telling me about the state of charge, my expected range, and that there were chargers along the way," Duncan says.

2. Try smaller trips and stay near interstates, EV drivers add

To start, many EV owners recommend trying out shorter trips and to remain in densely populated areas. Before long, you’ll get used to how to manage the car’s battery when to charge, etc. One such Tesla owner who has taken multiple cross-country trips says avoiding rural areas and staying near highways that are likely to have chargers along them are both smart strategies.

"Start somewhere within 200 miles of your origin and become accustomed to the range and how your driving impacts it," Model Y owner Ken Vizena told Insider. "Don't start off driving cross country. Start off with medium trips in hugely populated areas."

3. The Tesla Supercharger network is a huge advantage, say owners

Thinking about buying an EV? Buying a Tesla just might be worth it for the Supercharger network, according to some owners.

"I couldn't even imagine being with another car company and relying on third-party chargers," Model 3 owner Jonathan Baalke said. Baalke drives more than 150 miles each day for his job, according to the report. "It's hard to have range anxiety when you have access to Tesla's network, but if I was with any other brand's cars, I would definitely have some concerns."

4. Tesla drivers say charging is good for natural lunch breaks and to stretch out a bit

"I stop to charge about every four hours," said Model S owner David Craig in a recent piece from Insider. "It's just a natural stopping point. Even if you were driving a traditional car you'd want to take breaks and fuel up. I plug it in at a Supercharger and usually there's a restaurant nearby where I grab lunch."

5. Some drivers like to plot out charging stops before the trip using non-Tesla apps

"It requires a lot of planning to take a road trip with an EV," says Model Y owner Leonard Zuga. Zuga told Insider he's planning to drive from Ohio to Florida.

"I use multiple systems, including Tesla's onboard system. I know what hotels and Superchargers I will use before we've even started packing. Every hotel I select is within a few minutes of a Supercharger. If you do not like planning ahead you won't do well as an EV owner."

6. Others like to use the in-car navigation in Tesla’s, programming the route while plugged into a home charger

Model 3 owner Brian Loughman prefers utilizing Tesla’s in-car navigation. He simply plugs into his home charger before leaving, types his destination into the car, and the vehicle plots stopping points for him — even predicting which will be least busy along the way.

"Hop in the car while connected to your home charger and program the full route into the car," Loughman wrote via email. "It will tell you where to stop, how low your battery will be when you get there, and how many minutes you'll need to charge before continuing on your route."

. . .

Read the full list of tips below, or you can find the full write-up from Business Insider here. You can also find our Road Trip Charging Accessories Kit and a whole collection of Tesla/EV Charging Hardware from us to stay prepared on your next trip.

  1. Owners say the first road trip may be anxiety-inducing, but trusting your car is something you’ll learn.
  2. Drivers add that trying out shorter trips can help at first, and staying near interstates.
  3. Tesla owners said that the Supercharger network is a huge benefit.
  4. Other Tesla owners added that charging at Superchargers also provides easy breaks for eating, stretching your legs and resting in general.
  5. Some say t’s also good to plot out charging points for your trip ahead of time.
  6. Others feel most comfortable using Tesla’s internal navigation while driving.
  7. It may be worth cross-referencing with multiple platforms, as some have shared stories about being led astray by the internal navigation in their Teslas.
  8. Rural routes may be worth avoiding altogether, according to some Tesla owners.
  9. Still, some Tesla owners were able to use trickle-charging and other non fast-charger solutions that made camping easy.
  10. Tesla owners add that getting into the mindset of “enjoying the journey” helps avoid range decrease or other problems.
  11. Fewer maintenance concerns tend to come up on road trips, some Tesla owners say.
  12. Additionally, saving money on pricey gas is another major benefit of driving a Tesla or an EV.
  13. Camping in your Tesla is easy and comfortable, as some owners have recently reported. Others also tow small camping trailers to add a level of comfort.
  14. Some drivers also say that Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta system make the trip more comfortable and relaxing.
  15. Some drivers still found long road trips preferable in gas cars after renting EVs, largely due to their bigger gas tanks suitable for longer journeys.


Source: Business Insider