Like many new EV owners, I had concerns with range anxiety. On top of worrying about running out of juice, living in Canada where Tesla supercharger stations are few and far between, I wondered if road tripping was convenient enough to make it feasible.
These concerns were quickly squashed after I picked up my Tesla Model Y. I immediately hit the road for an incredible trip around Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula. This took me to the edge of the continent and I didn’t see a Tesla supercharger station for over 1,500 km. Here are my tips and takeaways from that very early experience.
Start With a Plan
As highlighted in my case study on my first EV road trip, planning is key. Knowing where you are going each day then planning charging stops in the most efficient way possible can be the difference between having to unexpectedly stop to charge and arriving at your destination on time.
With Tesla’s in-car navigation lacking a route planner, I opted to use A Better Routeplanner (ABRP). On top of being able to calculate range while factoring in road conditions and weather, you can find spots to charge along the way.
Leveraging this I broke each day of my trip down and planned my charging options along the way. To make this as efficient as possible, I charged in locations where I was stopping. This meant lunch breaks and seeing local sights and attractions.
For a full breakdown on my charging plan and route around the Gaspe Peninsula, check out this post:
Charge at Night
Since I did not see one Tesla supercharging station on this trip, I wanted to ensure I was leaving each day with a full (90%) tank. This means you should search for accommodations with EV charging options when planning your trips.
In my case, every hotel I stayed at on this trip offered level 2 EV charging. Quebec is certainly ahead of the curve on this and availability is certainly increasing with demand.
This meant every day I had plenty of range when departing. The need for fast charging at Tesla supercharger stations was nill on my route.
Adapt to What’s Available
Although I was miles off the Tesla supercharger network, I had plenty of charging options available along the way. This means it’s important to ensure you have the right adaptors while road tripping.
For the bulk of my charging, I used the included J1772 adaptor that comes with the car. This is pretty much the industry standard and is available at most charging station. The downside is it’s a level 2 charger meaning it will take you a bit to top up. Again, planning around lunch breaks and sightseeing makes this manageable.
That said, what if you just want to get from A to B?
As a backup and to have the option to fast charge, I purchased a CHAdeMO adapter. In ABRP you can filter on adaptor type and either plan around what you have, or purchase what you need.
In my case, I did not need the CHAdeMO adaptor. As highlighted in my post on if a Tesla CHAdeMO adaptor is worth it, I only used it twice on my 9,000 km trip across Canada. Still, it’s good to have the option.
READ MORE: What is a CHAdeMO Adaptor and do I Need One?
Despite the stark warning the Tesla navigation system gave me when I was first out of range of a Tesla supercharger station, it didn’t take long for my range anxiety to subside.
With a little planning and the right adapters, a road trip without supercharging is not an issue. That said, they certainly make things faster and easier, especially if your goal is just getting to your destination. Otherwise, stopping to see the sights while charging along the way is a great way to go. It’s something I actually enjoy about owning an EV. I have not found it inconvenient at all, Tesla supercharger stations or not.
Interested in road tripping around the Gaspe Peninsula? Check out this post!