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How Accurate Is The Tesla Trip Planner After The Recent Update?

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Are you wondering how accurate the tesla trip planner is after the recent update that was released on August 26, 2021 (Version 4.0)?

The Tesla trip planner is not 100% accurate. Some drivers get accurate estimates while others get inaccurate or close to accurate results. Its accuracy mainly depends on many factors which I will discuss below.

Usually, whenever this question is brought up, it always ends up in a heated discussion. 

This is mainly because we all have very different Tesla driving experiences, especially on long trips. 

Having said that, we did some online polls on Tesla owners, targeting those who have gone on more than one road trip or over 1000 miles, to get their feedback on the accuracy of their in-built Tesla trip planner during their road trips.

Additionally, out of curiosity, we also decided to take a 1000 mile challenge, just to determine the level of accuracy of the tesla trip planner after the 2021.4.22 update. We will cover that at the end of this article.

But first, why Tesla trip planner deserved an update.

Most Tesla owners felt that it really deserved an update because of the following 5 main reasons:

  • Mostly didn’t trust the in-built Tesla trip planner because on most road trips it either massively underestimated or overestimated consumption.
  • The estimated time it would take to charge to a certain level was inaccurate. (This is not purely Tesla’s fault, because there are many factors that affect charging). But, it was something that most Tesla owners felt like needed improvement.
  • The in-built Tesla trip planner somehow assumed that you will be driving at the same speed limit throughout your trip. It also did not consider other factors that are likely to affect your range. Therefore, would end up giving not so accurate predictions.
  • It lacked advanced features that help EVs get an almost accurate prediction. This is when compared to other alternative EV route planners,
  • The Tesla trip planner software could not predict the wind or cold weather range for better accuracy. 

Related: 5 Tesla Supercharging Tips To Speed Up Your Charging Time On A Road Trip

Back to the updated Tesla trip planner, the graph below shows the level of satisfaction in terms of the accuracy of the Tesla trip planner app from an online poll. 

how accurate is the Tesla trip planner

In summary

35% of Tesla owners felt like it still needs improvement and 65% were satisfied with the update.

The 65% of Tesla owners were satisfied mainly because;

  • They noted a big change in terms of accuracy, inspite of not being 100% accurate. 
  • The range estimates were close to accurate, on long road trips.

On the other hand, 35% of Tesla owners felt unsatisfied mostly because;

  • They were expecting major changes on the Tesla route planner.
  • The trip planner was not 100% accurate.
NOTE: If you are a new Tesla owner or have not yet driven a Tesla, please note that we are not talking about the route planner that is on the Tesla website. This is the in-built trip planner found in Tesla.  

See also: 25 Cool and Must-have Tesla Model 3 and Y Accessories.

Why Tesla’s trip planner accuracy level maybe 100% or nearly as accurate on some road trips

1. On most occasions, you will get accurate estimates once you start driving compared to before you depart.

This is because once you start driving, that’s when it starts to consider speed, heat, and actual energy consumption.

Personally, when I enter the destination right before departure, the planner is usually not very accurate. Once I start driving, sometimes even 2 hours past my departure time, it is still usually not that accurate. It may be about 10% off. However, my range is usually accurate.

2. The Tesla trip planner tends to be more accurate on a seamless road trip. For instance, if the weather is great – no rain, cold or windy conditions, no traffic and there is good terrain, you are most likely going to get accurate estimates. 

What causes inaccuracy on the Tesla trip planner?

  • Traffic may give inaccurate time estimates.
  • When planning your trip on the trip planner before departure, the route planner does not have the option of allowing you to set your speed limits, weather conditions, temperature and the type of terrain. This is why in most cases leads to inaccurate estimates.
  • It cannot predict an accurate cold weather and wind range. 

On one of my Tesla road trips in Nebraska and Wyoming, the route had very strong winds. The Tesla trip planner predicted that I would arrive at the next Supercharger with 20% of charge. However, I arrived with 1% after using another route planner to find the closest charging station. The range anxiety was just too much! 

The inaccuracy was because of the strong winds.

I later learned that the wind drains the energy much faster than the cold weather, thus affecting the trip planner’s accuracy.

On another trip I did during very cold weather conditions, I remember one moment when I had only 23 miles left to get me to the next supercharger, which was just about 6 miles away. Halfway there, my range dropped from 23 to 1 just instantly and within less than a minute, it was 0. I would see the snowflake symbol. I had to go very slow, which was really hard. Out of luck maybe, I got to the next supercharger!

PRO TIP – When driving during the cold or winter season.
Always check the estimated arrival time, by expanding the navigation route then scrolling down up to where you will see the estimated arrival time. Or, you can bring up the energy app on Tesla’s main screen, then click on the “trip” tab to watch your estimated arrival time as you drive.

The goal is to monitor, so if the estimated arrival time drops below 5%, then start to reduce your driving speed until it maintains or it goes up the 5% estimate.
Do not rely solely on the in-built tesla trip planner. Instead, always have another alternative trip planner. You will make better decisions when comparing the two. Be sure to check out our article on the best Tesla trip planner apps.

What were the accuracy results from my 1000km challenge?

On this trip from Marion NC to Florida, I comparing the onboard trip planner vs A Better Route Planner(ABRP). These were my result of the remaining charge estimates to the next supercharger;

PREDICTIONSONBOARD TRIP PLANNER ESTIMATESA Better Route Planner(ABRP) ESTIMATESMy Actual Arrival Charge
Marion, NC
to 
Savannah, GA
6% remaining19% remaining20%
Savannah GA 
to
Kingsland, GA 
10% remaining4% remaining10%
Kingsland, GA  
to
Tampa, FL
21% remaining20% remaining25%

From the above results, you can see that not all the time you will get an accurate estimate when using these trip planners. This is why I recommend using an alternative route planner while on your Tesla road trip.

It will help you make better decisions while on your road trip.

Hey, I’m Rose. I’m passionate about electric cars and clean energy. My adventurous spirit and journalistic pursuits make each day fascinating and far greater. I consider traveling not just about the grandeur moments, but the little elements that transform the whole experience.