Long-distance driving can be fun depending on what kind of car you drive. The longer the drive, the more comfortable it has to be.
Teslas are known for quite a lot of advantages when it comes to modern-day electric vehicles. However, the question is whether they can be good for driving long distances.
In this article, we are looking at some considerations to keep an eye on if you want to use a Tesla for long commutes.
Fast Charging Times
One worry most electric vehicle owners have is how long their car will take to charge. Fortunately, this is not a huge deal for Tesla cars like the Model S.
The Tesla Model S Plaid can charge from 10% all the way to 90% in just under 40 minutes. That is one of the quickest charging times for an electric vehicle.
This will work wonders for long commutes where there are a limited number of charging stations along the way. The trip time will also be a lot more accurate than with a car that has longer charging times.
Fast charging times close to these can only be seen in competitors such as the Audi-E-Tron and Porsche Taycan.
For long commutes, you can fully charge your Tesla at home to ensure maximum available range. This will then delay the time between stops to charge on your commute.
You can expect to get around 280 miles from a fully charged Model S Plaid. This is enough for most long commutes. You can either charge your Model S at home or at work if the commute is work-related.
Most Tesla owners who use the car for work commutes make sure there is a charger supplied at work first. This means the owner can charge both at home and for a few hours at work.
A quick note from owners was that the Tesla is not able to charge up to 100% unless going on a really long trip. This might have to do with battery degradation and the way the battery is designed.
Please also read our article about whether Teslas can be towed.
Loss of Capacity in Cold Temperatures
Lithium-ion batteries do not work well when exposed to very cold temperatures. This is why a Tesla might lose a big chunk of its capacity during winter times.
You can expect to lose a significant amount of battery capacity when driving in winter times. Electric cars use up more energy to keep the batteries and the interior warm.
Owners noticed that the range took a hit when the Tesla was driven in really cold weather. This can be as much as 30% taken out of the full range of the car.
There are tips you can try to keep your Tesla warmer during winter time such as covering the tires. Using the seat warmer can also give the car a break from trying to warm up the entire car and using power.
The way the car is driven can also affect the battery range in cold conditions. Speeding and abrupt braking use up a lot of power and should probably be avoided.
A good idea is also to plan ahead for your trip so you can check where charging stations are. Give yourself some leeway in terms of stops between charging points.
A lot of owners also suggest leaving the car charged as soon as you get home so that it stays warm. Leaving the car charging for extended periods of time also does not damage it and is sometimes recommended.
When in colder conditions, it gets more important to plan your trip because the capacity cannot be guaranteed. The car might say it can go for 100 miles but only go for 70 miles before needing a charge.
A good piece of advice is to also use chill mode in cold temperatures. This will limit rapid acceleration and deceleration in order to conserve the battery.
If you live in a cold area, make sure to also check out our article about how the Tesla Cold Weather feature work.
Good Sound System for Long Trips
Long-distance trips are fun when there is entertainment in the car. Playing your music on a good sound system can make a long commute all that much fun.
All Tesla models have a premium sound system with strategically placed speakers for optimum sound levels. The sound is crisp and full for playing all types of media.
Tesla’s used to have a 15-speaker system throughout the car for a more immersive experience. There are plenty of settings to control the output to your liking.
To use the media play feature, you’ll have to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, there is no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay support to connect apps to the system.
Other than a smartphone, there is an option to plug in a USB drive with media files on it. You can then navigate the files directly from the large infotainment touchscreen.
Owners of the various models always complement the quality of the sound system. This is particularly great for long commutes that can get stagnant.
The sound system can compete against giants in the industry, such as Harman Kardon and Naim Audio systems. These are exclusive sound systems found in cars such as the BMW i4 Bentley Betayga Hybrid.
Charging times can also get really boring while you wait, and this is where Tesla models excel. The infotainment system has plenty of apps and games to pass the time while the car is charging.
The apps and games are disabled when the car is moving so that the driver is not distracted. But if you don’t want to play some music during the charge, you can pass the time with the apps and games.
To understand the sophistication of Tesla’s speakers, please read our article about Tesla’s sound system.
Plenty of Storage Space for Long Commutes
One other worry people have when going on long trips is the amount of cargo space available for belongings. This is a thing of the past when it comes to Tesla models.
The interior of most Teslas feels so open that you’d think there would be limited cargo space. Unlike a traditional gas car, the Tesla has storage space in the front and in the trunk.
The “frunk” is the front trunk space where you’d find an engine in a traditional car. This space is quite large and adds to the trunk and comes in handy when going on long commutes.
When going on a long trip, you can easily fit large suitcases in the trunk and still have space in the “frunk”. Very big items such as big-screen TVs or a ladder can also fit well in the trunk when the passenger seats are folded down.
When the back passenger seats are folded down, the Tesla gets great storage space when transporting really large items.
So between the “frunk” and the trunk of the car, it can easily fit up to 5 small suitcases. That is more than plenty of space for even really long-distance trips.
The Model 3 trunk at the back is not the largest out there when put up against other big cars. The capacity is about 425 liters, whereas cars like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series get around 480 liters.
Full Self-Driving Mode for Long Commutes
One of the most controversial and innovative features of Tesla is the full self-driving feature. This feature has received some updates that make it much safer for passengers willing to use it.
We all know how tiring it can be to drive really long distances without taking a break. Fortunately for Tesla owners who take long commutes, this driving fatigue can be kept to a minimum.
The self-driving can be a great driving feature when on long commutes. You can easily tell the car where to go and just let it drive itself.
This feature also comes in handy when you drive the same route frequently, maybe to work or the grocery store. The Tesla gets learns that route and can then drive itself to that destination.
FSD was updated to add improvements when using voice activation to set destinations. You can just simply get into the car and tell it where to go without even touching any controls.
Owners who take long commutes to work were amazed at the accuracy of the feature. At the end of the workday, a simple take me home voice command will get the car moving to get you home.
In FSD mode, the car can detect the distance needed and adjust the power so that the range will be enough. If the destination is too far for a charge, the car will then look for charging stations along the route.
The company is so confident about the feature that it will demonstrate it compared to a human driver in the future. This will change the world of artificial intelligence and the auto industry as a whole.
FSD can also decrease the number of road accident injuries and save lives in the process. The technology is one of the most advanced from Tesla.
Limited Availability of Charging Stations
The limited availability of charging stations might keep drivers from going to certain places. You need to plan your commute ahead of time so that you can tell if there are enough charging stations along the way.
If you live in remote areas or are traveling to secluded areas, you might find that charging stations are few and far between. This is a drawback when you need to use a Tesla for long commutes to secluded areas.
Fortunately, major cities and highways have enough charging points so that it isn’t a problem for EV drivers. Major freeways will even have superchargers so that you can charge up your car faster.
The more electrical vehicles there are on the road, the more charging stations will be installed. We are seeing an increase in the number of charging stations across the country to accommodate EV drivers.
Governments are also trying to help the auto industry to install even more charging stations. This is a move to get more people to move to more environmentally friendly electrical cars.