Heading on a long Tesla road trip with your electric vehicle? Then you will want to be sure that you don’t run out of charge on the way.
Sure, you might be able to go 300 or even 400 miles, depending on which Tesla model you have, but you shouldn’t go below 20% charge unless you have to.
And even if you do, you don’t want to go much lower or you risk getting stuck between chargers.
So, how to you plan a trip in your Tesla. One that gives you the perfect number of stops, with the least amount of time. Or, one that has the most superchargers available to avoid traffic jams over the holidays.
The Tesla Trip Planner
Tesla, of course, has its very own EV trip planner / route planner that has all of its superchargers loaded in. They are all display on Teslas map. Tesla owners get it in their vehicles and it helps you plan the optimal road trip with all the Supercharger stops to get you there.
Keep in mind that trip planning with this App will be using Superchargers only, but they have a faster charging speed in most cases. And are often cheaper too.
Not only does the Tesla Trip Planner do all the basics you would expect from a route planner, it also:
- Gives you the turn by turn route with total time and distance
- Shows you the estimated stopping time and charge percentages needed
- Shows you amenities and real-time availability at each location
- You can add or delete supercharger stops after the initial trip plan
- It updates arrival times based on driving style, weather, altitude etc
- Allow charging monitoring on the Tesla App at each stop
A Better Route Planner (ABRP)
Perhaps the most popular alternative to the built-in Tesla trip planner is the ABRP or A Better Route Planner. It is a more comprehensive and powerful route planner, but also requires a lot more hands on effort from the user in some cases.
For me, the Tesla built-in trip planner is enough in most cases, and you would only use the ABRP if you wanted more flexibility for a longer trip.
Some of the main benefits of the ABRP over the Tesla planner are:
- Shows both Tesla Superchargers and third-party EV charging stations
- Choose more or less charging stops
- Choose charge capacity goals for each stop
- Optimizes for faster charging stops
- Shows surrounding amenities
- Can plan on phone and sync to car browser
- Provided waypoints before Tesla added them in late 2021
PlugShare Trip Planner
Another Tesla Trip Planner worth considering for road trips is the PlugShare Trip Planner. Unlike the more popular ABRP above, this one requires a login and works a little bit differently. It also comes with a web version as well as a downloadable app.
They focus more on charging level and using a radius to find EV charging stations in. You can also play with elevation and other settings to find your optimal route amongst superchargers and other public charging networks.
There are also some cool features in the filter like the ability to sort chargers by
- charging plug type
- charging network
- charging location category (residential, private etc)
- charging power
A newer entrant into the EV trip planner that will work as a Tesla route planner is EV Navigation. They have a relatively easy-to-use web interface as well as Apps for iPhone and Android.
One of the easier things they have on their interface is the ability to filter on the fly. You can set your specific Tesla model to help make the navigation more accurate. And they are also collecting data from users to make it even better.
The filter allows you to set battery levels, min, max battery, the weight of the car, as well as tire pressure. All things that will give a more accurate trip.
They have also combined all the Tesla Supercharger data along with outside suppliers like Electrify American and others. Some of the data on the locations is not as great as on other apps, but they have the number of stalls as well as the cost per kWh, which are the main things you need. You can also alter the route and make a few other adjustments.
That combined with the login should mean you can plan on your desktop and then login again on your phone or Tesla web browser for your trip.
Other Trip Planner Apps
Without going into absolutely every trip or route planner app on the market, these are a few other standard options you can use or supplement the above with.