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How to plan a road trip

by Staff

EVs (electric vehicles) have changed the automobile landscape. While some new players and traditional car-makers are in the EV space, you can’t deny Tesla’s role in starting the trend. With several Tesla models’ long-driving range and the company’s ever-growing Supercharger network in North America, it’s easier than ever for Tesla owners to plan an adventurous road trip.

While a Tesla delivers zero emissions, low costs, and better performance, mile range is one of the worrying factors before a long road trip. Although the number of EV stations has increased due to Tesla’s Supercharge network and Electrify America initiatives, they aren’t a match compared to gas stations, and it can be difficult to spot one in specific areas. That’s why it’s essential to plan in advance before you go on the road with your Tesla Model S, 3, X, or Y.

Why do you plan a road trip in advance for your Tesla?

Source: Unsplash

Range anxiety is the biggest reason for advanced road trip planning with any EV. Factor in the availability of charging stations, charging time, and compatibility with your Tesla on your long route. After all, you don’t want to get stuck somewhere where you don’t have friends and family. You should also maintain an extra buffer as unforeseen road closures may force you to take a long route to reach the destination.

You can use Tesla’s Go Anywhere tool, glance over the Supercharger network, check your tires, note terrains, track temperatures, and keep other accessories like the top car chargers ready for a smooth journey.

Understand your Tesla’s range

Before discussing suggestions for planning a road trip with a Tesla, it’s essential to understand how your EV’s range is calculated and how it translates in real life. Your Tesla vehicle’s claimed range is based on EPA standards. While it’s relatively accurate, it misses out on factors like temperatures, driving speeds, road conditions, tire pressure, and more that may affect your Tesla’s range.

Freezing temperatures affect your Tesla’s range. It may reduce your EV’s range by 20% to 30%. An active car heater further impacts the claimed range.

Plan your Tesla road trip online

The Tesla Go Anywhere app showing a map

Tesla’s Go Anywhere is an excellent travel-planning tool to get started. The tool is available on Tesla’s large screen and on the web. You can select your Tesla model, glance over the claimed range, enter a location and destination, choose stops, and check the route information (powered by Google Maps) with Superchargers.

Tesla goes a step ahead and shows a maximum charge rate with an estimated charging time at each Supercharger stop. You can plan your stopovers at shopping centers and nearby attractions based on available data.

If a Supercharge isn’t available in a region, Go Anywhere lists slow charges on your destination route. Apart from Tesla’s built-in tool, you can use third-party apps like A Better Routeplanner that offer more details like weather information, real-time navigation, the ability to manage multiple trips, and more.

Pick your charging stations wisely

Tesla charging station

Source: Unsplash

Apart from using Go Anywhere and other third-party tools, pick your charging stations smartly. Instead of choosing a charging station in a deserted area, stop at a station with nearby attractions to make your journey memorable. You can easily squeeze in two or three activities.

You should also consider booking accommodations where an EV charging facility is available. Even a slow charger is fine, as you will be juicing up your Tesla overnight.

Check your Tires and consider aero wheels

Incorrect type pressure can affect your Tesla’s mileage range by 3% to 4%. Find the Tire and Loading Information label on the center door pillar and maintain a recommended tire pressure. You should also closely inspect the tires for cuts, wear, and bulges. If you find something unusual with them, schedule a service appointment using your Tesla app.

If you have the budget, consider installing aero wheels to improve efficiency and range during long-distance travel.

Activate regenerative breaking

All Tesla models come with regenerative braking to convert kinetic energy into electricity. When you take your foot off the accelerator, regenerative braking creates on-the-go energy, allowing you to go the extra mile. Tesla recommends setting regenerative breaking to standard.

Don’t forget charging accessories

Tesla charging

Source: Unsplash

You should also pack essential accessories like a Tesla charging cable, portable charging connector, and adapters for several charging networks. You can charge at different charging networks without worrying about compatibility issues.

Have a memorable road trip

Planning a long road trip with a Tesla doesn’t require rocket science. Keep a realistic range, pin down Superchargers, and pick your stays strategically to avoid surprises. If you plan to pass through several dead zones with glitchy network connectivity, download Google Maps offline to avoid getting lost in the wrong direction.

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