Range, charging times, and costs. Here are the most common Tesla questions I get while charging my car.
Tesla Superchargers are typically located next to coffee shops and shopping complexes. As such, I have met a lot of curious people passing by while charging. Even more so in towns along remote stretches of the Trans Canada Highway. Most are generally surprised to see the charger in their small town in use. Others have questions. I’m more than happy to answer and have had enjoyable conversations, often long after my charge is complete.
With three trips across the country now done, I decided to answer the most common Tesla questions I get while charging in these small towns.
How Far Can You Go?
By far the most common question I get is about range. This, of course, is understandable. Range anxiety is one of the biggest roadblocks for those thinking about switching to an EV. Since I get this question a lot, I have come up with a standard response.
My Tesla Model Y is rated for ~520 km on a full “tank.” Like any car, this is under ideal conditions. To achieve that, I would have to charge to 100% and be driving at 90 km/h on flat roads. Road and weather conditions also contribute to the less than advertised range. In the real world, I typically get closer to 350 km per tank as I generally drive 10 km/h over the speed limit. I also don’t charge to 100% often as this can damage the battery and degrade it faster.
Those that are still interested by this point get a little more detail.
350 km range may not seem like much however, it typically works out to a stop every two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours. This is about as much as my bladder and back can take so it’s a good excuse to get out and stretch. Also, when I let the person know that I have made three cross-country trips with no issues it makes this question less of a concern.
How Long Does It Take To Charge?
The next most common Tesla question I get (and usually after how far can you go) is how long does it take to charge?
The short answer is 10 to 20 minutes on average. The long answer is that, when on a road trip and using Tesla Superchargers, time to charge is tied to getting to your next top-up. You are never really charging from 0%-100%.
The onboard navigation will calculate the most efficient way to travel. Again this means stopping every couple of hours and charging between 10% and 80%, depending on the distance between chargers.
In Canada, this is largely restricted (currently) to the Trans Canada Highway where Superchargers are spread out every 200 to 300 km. I typically charge enough to hit every second charger.
How Much Does It Cost To Charge?
The next common Tesla question I get is how much does it cost to charge?
With gas prices soaring, curiosity on how much EV charging costs is an understandable question. Again, the short answer is $10-$15 per Supercharge.
The long answer, for those that are super curious, is a breakdown of how much the “tank” can hold and what the electricity rates in the area are.
The Model Y has a battery that holds 75 kWh. Kilowatt-hours is how the energy capacity of an EV battery is measured. Figuring out what your provider charges per kWh is how you figure out cost to charge your EV.
At my in-law’s place in Chatham Ontario, for example, I plugged into their standard 110 V outside outlet while visiting. This pulls ~1 kWh/per hour and means it would take over three days to fill from 0% to 100%. The rate in Chatham is 11.3¢/kWh during the day and 8.2¢/kWh at night. If I left it charging for 75 hours straight it would cost me $7.32 for a full charge.
Now, since I don’t really don’t run below 10% and above 90%, the cost is lower. You can also set your Tesla to start charging at a set time so you can bring this cost down even further.
A Supercharger works the same, albeit be it with a surcharge tacted on.
What Colour Is That?
Switching gears from batteries and cost, the next question I typically get is about the colour of my car.
The short answer is it is matte grey. The long answer is it isn’t actually painted, rather paint protection film.
This often leads to a conversation on what PPF is and, eventually, how bad Tesla‘s paint quality is.
Paint Protection Film adds a shield to your car helping protect it from dings and rock chips. On top of that, XPEL PPF is self-healing meaning minor scratches will repair themselves simply with the heat of the sun. You can get XPEL PPF in clear or satin finish, the latter giving the car a matte finish.
What Tesla Questions Do You Have?
From how much it costs to charge to the unique colour of my Model Y, these are the Tesla questions that come up again and again. I am, of course, happy to answer and converse if it helps push anyone towards a greener ride. I wouldn’t maintain this website if I wasn’t happy to engage!
That said, my spouse had a good point on my last trip in that I should really add a decal or sticker to my car with my website so that I can point people to these kinds of write-ups. Stay tuned for that.
Till then, what Tesla questions do you have? Let me know in the comments below!
If you are thinking about placing a Model Y order, be sure to use my referral code and get 1,500 Supercharger kilometres!
*As of Sept 2021, Tesla has put a pause on referrals 😞 I will update if/when they reinstate it.
Marc D’SilvaMarch 8, 2022 at 11:39 am
Thanks for the great information. Appreciate it. We are planning a road trip in Aug 2022 on our yet to come MYLR from Ontario to NB, NS and PEI for 2 weeks with a family of 4 adults and a dog.
Have you completed such a trip/route? How was your experience on charging and availability of non SC on the way after Quebec city? I did a research and found NS and PEI has only 1 SC each but has many non Tesla chargers. Please guide. Thanks a lot
Shaun RobertsonMarch 9, 2022 at 10:51 am
Hi Marc! I have!
When I picked up my Model Y I was initially going to get it Halifax and drive home to Vancouver however the pandemic threw a wrench into that plan. Instead, I picked up in Quebec City and drove around the Gaspe Penisula where there are no Superchargers. I suggest checking out this post on that trip. Lots of tips and lessons learned!
In short though, I suggest you pickup a CHAdeMO adapter.