- The cost to charge a Tesla on a road trip varies a lot
- Utilizing Tesla Superchargers is more expensive but much faster
- You can charge up for free in some places
Looking to take your new Tesla EV on a trip? Taking your electric car on a road trip might seem impossible, but it isn’t that hard. How much it costs to charge a Tesla on a road trip depends on many factors. Before hopping in your Model S Plaid and hitting the road this holiday season, check out some helpful tools to help calculate the costs of taking your Tesla on a road trip.
The cost to charge a Tesla on a road trip varies a lot
You will want to know all of the details of your electric vehicle to find out. You can use a tool like A Better Route Planner to help plot your route before heading off. For instance, if you take your 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range from Orlando, Florida, to Denver, Colorado, you will need to charge for 3.33 hours along the way. That is just over 1,860 miles or 27 hours and 59 minutes of travel.
Since the example here is a Tesla Model 3, utilizing Tesla Superchargers will help get you back on the road faster. That also usually means a higher cost. However, Home Charging Stations has a handy tool to help estimate the cost of the trip.
If you end up paying $0.20 per kWh and don’t incur any more costs, the estimated total charging cost for the trip: is $95.28. There is a good chance you might have to pay an additional dollar or two along the way, but the cost to charge a tesla on a road trip is still under $100.
Utilizing Tesla Superchargers is more expensive but much faster
A Tesla electric car plugged into a Tesla Supercharger | Allison Dinner/Getty Images
A Better Route Planner used Tesla Superchargers along the way. After leaving Orlando, the next stop would be a Tesla Supercharger in Valdosta, Georgia. ABRP says this stop will take 14 minutes, and you’ll be back on the road. The benefit of the Supercharger stations is that you can charge up and get back on the road quickly. You are also subject to Tesla’s fees.
Tesla made the news earlier this year when it raised prices in many areas. Depending on how fast you charged, the price was around $0.40 per kWh up to $0.50 per kWh during peak hours. Peak hours are usually the busiest, so the automaker can charge more.
If you were to travel and charge during peak hours, you could pay up to $200 for your trip. Unfortunately, in some places, Tesla says that peak hours are from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. You can use the PlugShare map to check prices along your route after you plan your trip. This will let you find the exact station pricing before hitting the road. Since the cost to charge a Tesla on a road trip can vary, finding pricing ahead of time can ensure you don’t see the most expensive charger in Cleveland on accident.
You can charge up for free in some places
Looking at the PlugShare free EV station map, there are 432 free chargers in North America. PlugShare can tell you where a charging station is located and what kind of charger it is. It might also alert you when a location is offering free EV charging. Most importantly, each location will set its desired price based on various factors.
Visitor Centers near the highway, energy-focused businesses, museums, casinos, and parking garages appear on the map. An excellent place to find free chargers is also through a highly populated shopping plaza or a hotel.
Using these tools like PlugShare, A Better Route Planner, and Home Charging Stations can help approximate your trip costs more accurately. Find your vehicle, plan your trip, and check out the stations along the way. More chargers are popping up daily, but it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with your route before heading off.
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