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posted on May 3rd, 2019

Plan the pit stops for your next adventure

Have you ever noticed there are fewer road trip movies these days? No more family adventures getting lost like the Griswolds in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” or accidentally stumbling into a strange town like in the 1995 classic “To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.” Some say smartphones, GPS apps, and all the technology Tesla is building into its cars have taken away that sense of adventure road trip movies always had.

And you can’t blame them. Drivers can easily plot several routes to their destination without taking out an Atlas or buying a map at the gas station (do they even sell those anymore?).

And it’s not just destinations you can look up. You can plot out where to charge your electric vehicle on your route, how much more time until you need a charge, and how much time it will take to get the juice you need to complete your road trip.

Tesla has left no stone unturned when it comes to explaining its cars. There’s a whole page of FAQs answering battery questions — like are Tesla charging stations free or can my Tesla be charged at home? Or why is the light blinking blue, after you’ve connected the car at the charging station? You have a question, chances are Tesla already has the answers.

Yes, technology and GPS apps have taken away some of the unknown that comes with road trips, and even some of the adventure of being completely lost on the road. But with most Tesla models able to go from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds, driving a Tesla is already an adventure in itself.

Planning your drives around range anxiety

Range anxiety is a real thing. There’s even a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to the concerning idea of running out of charge while driving an electric vehicle (EV). Such concerns have dictated some of the infrastructure around EVs we see today.

Fast-forward to 20 years and dozens of new EVs later, range anxiety is still around. Tesla has been working continuously to calm the nerves of drivers (and potential drivers) who fear what might happen if their Tesla battery dies by building a network of charging stations and tools to help you find all the places to charge your Tesla.

Tesla battery ranges

Most EVs have an average range that hovers around 194 miles. Tesla, however, currently leads the pack in battery range, with all of its vehicles managing more than 260 miles per charge — enough juice to take an adventurous Model S driver from Miami to Orlando, or a group of friends from Seattle to Portland in a Model X.

Finding where to charge your Tesla

You’re probably already familiar with Google Maps, and you’ve probably used the app to plan out a long road trip or to find your way to the hottest restaurant in town. 

In the fall of 2018, Google added the ability to find EV charging stations, including Tesla’s global network, right on Google Maps. Last April, Google added the ability to see if a charging station is in use, though Tesla’s supercharger stations aren’t included in the latest update.

But not to worry. In addition to several other third-party apps, Tesla has built tools for drivers to map out their trips and find charging stations along the way. You can locate Tesla charging stations through the in-car trip planner, your car’s touchscreen, or on the Tesla Find Us map.

Charging your Tesla at home

Tommy’s 2018 Tesla Model 3 (San Jose, CA)

Tesla drivers can also charge their cars from home. Tesla recently claimed that 99% of the population is within 150 miles away from a supercharger station (or a little more than two hours for someone cruising at 70 mph in California).

Tesla offers owners three types of charging stations to install at home. There is the Mobile Connector, which comes standard with all new Teslas. It’s a good option if you have a lot of time to charge up or you don’t plan on going too far, because it can get you only two to three miles per hour of charge, or a little more if you decide to upgrade the adapter. 

The mid- and high-level chargers, which work through a wall charger installed in your home, can give you more juice in that same period. Just plug it in when you get home, and you’ll be ready to roll by the next morning. But this option could also cost you more than $2,500 to install.

An installed in-home charging unit will also have some financial impact on your electric bill.

Charging your Tesla on the supercharger network

Not all Tesla owners have the option to install an in-home charging unit. And if you’ve just booked a Tesla from a Turo host, you don’t need one. That’s because Tesla built a global network of supercharger stations for Tesla owners.

Tesla has also been partnering with companies like Wawa, a popular East Coast chain, to install more charging stations, making it more convenient for drivers to find a station.

HOW DO TESLA SUPERCHARGERS WORK?

Charging at one of Tesla’s charging stations does come with a cost. According to Tesla’s website, “…owners are billed per kWh (kilowatt-hour), which is the most fair and simple method. In other areas, we bill for the service per minute.” The price listed is $0.28 per kWh plus idle fees for cars left attached to the charging stations after charging is complete. 

In a tweet on Aug 3, 2019, Tesla announced that orders for new Model X and Model S will include free charging at Tesla’s supercharger stations. 

Charging toward your next Tesla adventure

Having an app telling you exactly where to go and what route to take probably would not have been as easily accepted back in the 1980s, or even in the late 1990s when most people printed out directions from Mapquest or wrote them down on a piece of paper.

So when driving a Tesla became more popular, the need to incorporate apps and tools to ensure your Tesla has the proper charge amount to take you to your next adventure wasn’t too hard of a sell or much of an adjustment for adventure seekers. 

Most people were already using similar technology for short trips into the city or to map out their next trip out of town. So don’t let charging your Tesla battery cramp your adventurous spirit — drive up to a charging station, plug in, and look for the blue light. You’ll be ready for adventure in no time.

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