Recently I had a wedding in St Pete Beach, FL on April 1st. No fooling. So me and the wife drove down in our Tesla Y. Let me tell you, this trip put to rest range anxiety. Long story short. We had absolutely no problem charging our car. The only problem which I can’t figure out is how the odometer readings showed 1955 miles for the down trip and 1557 c0mming back. Even with side trips I can’t account for a couple hundred miles. So on the way back I recorded data very carefully. Not to worry. Everything made sense on the way back.
Here are the stats for return trip from 7901 Blind Pass Resort in St Pete Beach FL to 90 Westford St in Chelmsford:
- Total distance: 1557 miles
- Total stops for charging: 11
- 10 stops at Tesla Superchargers
- 1 stop for approximately 100 mile charge at my son Greg’s house
- Total cost for Tesla charges: $137 averaging .37 dollars per kWh
- Cost per mile about 8.79 cents
- Average distance between Supercharger stops: 130 miles
- Averaged about 150 miles of range in 20 mins per charge
Overall experience, especially with the Tesla Supercharger network was great. Most of them were close to coffee shops, restrooms, etc. We had to stop more often than the car needed to stop to charge. Most of our charge stops lasted 20 minutes.
Tesla’s navigator app made it easy by automatically assigning interim Superchargers to get to the entered destination. It is best to go with those stops, since the car preconditions the battery for faster charging when it knows when the car will arrive at the Supercharger destination. The app may even change the charger destination, if the planned one is too busy. The charging screen tells you when you are good to go.
There was one station that had the chargers arranged in regular angled spaces (see picture) so you didn’t have to back up. I liked that. Some have added a curb-like stop to prevent you from getting too close to the charger. I liked that too.
We never had to wait to plug in. Most stations had at least 12 chargers. One had 25. One time a charge stopped and on replugging in it went to completion. The lowest we got down to was 30 miles left in range. Because the app was so reliable and the stations were so reliable, it wasn’t too scary to get that low. There were so many Tesla Supercharges that even if there was a problem at one, you could find another one nearby. I also had a CSS Combo adapter for nonTesla DC Fast Chargers which I used once on the way down with an EVGo Fast Charger, just for kicks (see picture).
I tried to book hotels that had EV charging. Only worked out at a couple. So using the Tesla Supercharger network was the default. It costs a lot more than charging at home or locally at public chargers. About 37 cents per kWh. You’d only use it for long trips. But even then it still is appreciably cheaper than gasoline. Supercharging cost me 8.79 cents per mile. A gasoline car getting 30 mpg and paying $3.20 per gallon would cost 10.66 cents per mile.