Tesla posted a new video to its YouTube account that shows yet another perfect family in their perfectly clean Tesla Model S taking a road trip to a ski resort in Austria for vacation. My Tesla Model 3 never seems to be clean, with random crayons, papers, books, and toy parts in every crevice, but that’s another story. The quick video (below) made me reflect on one of the huge benefits of Tesla’s navigation system compared to the ones from other automakers: automatic charging stop integration.
In a Tesla, no additional effort is required to find charging spots on road trips. The onboard navigation system automatically builds Supercharging stops into the trip, along with the amount of time that the car needs to charge before heading on to the next stop on the journey.
Chanan Bos and I enjoyed this feature on our recent trip back down from Tesla’s Fremont Factory, where, along with CleanTechnica Director Zachary Shahan, we were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the auto factory as well as the nearby seat factory. More on that later…
On the drive south, Chanan and I stopped just outside of the madness of the Bay Area in Gilroy, California, to top up our charge and grab some coffee before making the much longer drive down the length of California.
The onboard navigation automagically calculates the miles being driven, estimates the impact of the geography across the route and the temperature (among other things) in order to come up with an estimated range for the vehicle. The navigation then determines whether additional range is needed to reach the destination, and if so, a Supercharging stop is added as the next destination in the journey and factored into the total travel time.
It sounds simple, and it is, but the impact that this small change has on driving an electric vehicle — or any vehicle, for that matter — is profound. It eliminates the need to plan refueling stops or to wonder how long the vehicle needs to charge. It eliminated the need to wonder what the charging speed will be at the new station, as all Tesla Superchargers are DC fast charging stations. In short, the integration of the vehicle’s current state of charge and charging stops into the in-vehicle navigation software is a game changer, and as anyone who has used it can attest, it makes driving and charging an electric vehicle on road trips that much easier.
Editor’s note: I used Tesla’s brilliant navigation system for a 19 hour one-way drive from Poland to Paris. I echo everything Kyle says. As I’ve said several times as well, this smart navigation system, especially combined with Autopilot, actually makes a road trip in a Tesla considerably more relaxing and enjoyable than a road trip in a gas car. There’s no beating a road trip in a Tesla, imho. —Zach