How Tesla is going to make long trips a whole lot easier


All electric car drivers know that long trips require good preparation. At Tesla (as with other manufacturers), the on-board computer incorporates a trip (or trip) planner.

Its operation is simple: you enter a destination or a route and the system tells you when to stop, how long you have to stay on the charging station, what percentage of battery you will have when arriving and leaving, etc.

At Tesla, the journey planner only integrated the manufacturer’s charging stations, the famous Superchargers. If drivers wanted to stop at other entities, they had to go through third-party applications such as Chargemap or ABRP, the two best known. These work in the same way as the trip planner but integrate all available services (Ionity, Fastned, Freshmile etc.).

Based on their model, some manufacturers have decided to integrate such advanced schedulers directly into their systems. This is the case for example of Mercedes, Volkswagen or Hyundai. But not Tesla which until now has been limited to its Superchargers. Good news for Model 3, S, X or Y drivers, the trip planner will now integrate other providers. But not just any.

Tesla opens its trip planner to some third-party chargers

On its official website (US version), Tesla has just published an article entitled “Improved access to third-party fast chargers”. We learn there that the manufacturer will integrate third-party chargers into its trip planner for long trips.

But to be one of the lucky ones, it will be necessary to meet several criteria ensuring a top-of-the-range service. So, to be added to the scheduler, a charger must have a compatible (logical) outlet, have an effective charge rate of at least 90%, and most importantly, be used by a Tesla at least every four days.

Similarly, Tesla gives itself the right to remove a third-party charging station from its planner if no charging has been detected over a 14-day period or if the average effective charging rate is less than 70%.

This new feature, which will be rolled out through updates, is great news for drivers of Tesla vehicles. In effect, Tesla charging stations aren’t the most convenient on long trips. Located in shopping areas or hotels, they require you to leave the highway to recharge a vehicle.

Charging more accessible on long journeys in Europe

On the other hand, some third-party suppliers have distributed their charging stations in motorway rest areas. This is the case for example of Ionity, the most represented on these courses. Increasingly, suppliers such as TotalEnergies or Shell are taking advantage of their location in motorway rest areas to install charging stations for electric vehicles. Other European suppliers such as Fastned (Dutch) have also made their mark on European motorways.

In the United States, the situation is different. Third-party providers are struggling to find a place. The market is mainly represented by Tesla Superchargers and Electrify America, a network born out of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate.

It remains to be seen now to what extent Tesla will give way to its competitors. It should also be remembered that this year the company opened up its Superchargers to electric vehicles from other brands, at higher prices.

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