Why Tesla’s long drives will be even faster and more convenient

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During its Investor Day, Tesla returned to the force of its electric cars, and specifically to a very practical feature: the route planner. A centerpiece of the manufacturer’s ecosystem, it should get even better to make traveling even simpler and faster.

Route planners are essential in an electric car. If you don’t want to tie your brain in knots before hitting the road, you have to admit that the built-in on-board computer of a Tesla is among the best on the market. Good news for the owners: it should continue to improve.

Tesla’s software is still a big plus

To simply travel by electric car, there are currently two very different worlds: Tesla and all other brands. This reductionist vision is not, however, a caricature, since Elon Musk’s firm offers a ecosystem designed around electric mobility.

At the heart of this system is the network of Superchargers, these fast-charging stations designed primarily for Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. For many months, they have been open to other brands, but Tesla owners retain a much better experience than the competition all the same.

First of all, there is no need for any means of authentication, just plug in the car to start charging. Tesla’s on-board scheduler then clearly displays the price and number of available terminals in real time for Superchargers. Finally, battery preconditioning kicks in automatically when the destination is a Tesla supercharger.

Tesla has shared the evolution of the average duration of a Supercharge session, and we note thatin five years (2018-2023), the latter has fallen by 25%, from 37 to about 28 minutes.

The evolution of the average duration of a Supercharge between 2018 and 2023 // Source: Tesla

Today, the data reported on the car’s center screen and in the Tesla app is the actual, live data, without any forecast. We can only see the occupancy of a Supercharger in real time, and if the vehicle predicts an arrival in one hour, this is not necessarily useful information. It is best to know if a terminal will be available on arrival.

Future forecasts for greater efficiency

Therefore, in the future, Tesla will take into account the probable occupancy (the prediction) of a Supercharger when you get there, thanks to the feedback of your vehicle information to Tesla’s servers. So this will bring more precision to the currently available display, which is just a small graph showing typical occupancy rates by time of day.

Superchargers are being used more and more, but waiting times are less important // Source: Tesla

In fact, if you enter a Supercharger destination (or automatically navigate to a Supercharger suggested by the route planner, because your final destination requires charging), Tesla knows your ETA and the estimated duration of the Supercharge.

With this information coming from all vehicles currently en route to this supercharger, the builder can display an accurate forecast of your occupancy by the time you get there. This way, you’ll know if the site is too busy or not, and you might even be redirected to another, less congested Supercharger. This would allow avoiding certain expectations during the big crossings that are coming.

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