Tesla Road Trip
Tesla Road Trip

People who have electric vehicles often scoff at the very idea of range anxiety. Once you drive an EV for a while, you get into a rhythm of charging it. It’s like charging your phone, they say. You plug it in at night out of habit, and you have plenty of juice for the next day. NBD. Whatevs. It ain’t no thing.

Then there are the rest of the people. The people who have gasoline cars. The people who love road trips — or at least the idea of them. The people who look at a map of the United States and see vast swaths of barren counties and states where, if you ran out of charge, you would be eaten by wolves. Or mauled by bears. Or beset by bats. Your granola bar and half a bottle of water will not save you from starvation and death when your EV runs out of electricity.

Take a Test Drive at Your Desk

Fear not, says Tesla! It has created a web-based version of its trip planning app. This is a version of the app found in all Tesla vehicles that you can play with on your coffee break. Pick your Tesla, from a trusty Model S to the new Model 3 you’re waiting (and waiting and waiting) for so patiently. Enter a starting point and a destination and an end point, with maybe a stop along the way. Et voila! Road trip in a virtual EV.

I entered a road trip in a Model S with a 100 kWh battery from Portland, Oregon, to Sacramento, California, as if I were going to see my friend Laura. I entered a stop in Ashland because it’s a long drive and I’m going to need some virtual sleep.

The route created by the app told me where to stop at Tesla’s Superchargers and for how long. It showed me that there were restrooms, Wi-Fi, hotels, and in one case nearby shopping. You can also opt to see Destination Chargers near the end of your road trip so you can fill up before driving home.

It’s a fun way to see how a road trip in an EV with about 300 miles per charge and fast-charging capabilities would work. Speaking of work, I think that coffee break is about up. Time to close the Tesla tab and get back at it.—KHG

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