Car Road Trip

How Accurate Is The Tesla Trip Planner?

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Last Updated on January 29, 2023 by Rose Morah

The Tesla trip planner is not 100% accurate even after the Version 4.0 update on August 26, 2021. Some drivers get accurate estimates while others get inaccurate or close to accurate results. The Tesla trip planner accuracy mainly depends on many factors which we will discuss below.

We did some online polls on Tesla owners who have gone on more than one road trip or over 1000 miles, for feedback on the accuracy of their in-built Tesla trip planner during their road trips.

Additionally, we also took a 1000-mile drive just to determine the level of accuracy of the tesla trip planner after the 2021.4.22 update.

But first, why did the Tesla trip planner deserve an update?

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

  • 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. (However, this is not purely Tesla’s fault because there are many factors that affect charging. But it was something that 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 range. Therefore, it would end up giving inaccurate predictions.
  • It lacked advanced features that help you get an almost accurate prediction. This is when compared to other 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.

The pie chart below shows the level of satisfaction with the Tesla trip planner app in terms of accuracy, after the update. 

how accurate is the Tesla trip planner

In summary, 35% of Tesla owners felt that it still needed improvement. 65% were satisfied with the update.

Why 65% of Tesla owners were satisfied

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

Why 35% of Tesla owners felt unsatisfied

  • They were expecting major changes to the Tesla route planner.
  • The trip planner was not 100% accurate.

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

1. Normally, you will get accurate estimates once you start driving as opposed 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 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 smooth 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, there is no option of setting your speed limits, weather conditions, temperature, and type of terrain. This, 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 a 20% charge. However, I arrived with a 1% charge 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 discovered 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 also saw 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 and then scrolling down up to where you will see the estimated arrival time. Alternatively, you can bring up the energy app on Tesla’s main screen, then tap 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%, start to reduce your driving speed until it maintains or goes up the 5% estimate.

Don’t rely solely on the in-built tesla trip planner. Instead, always have another alternative trip planner. This way you will make better decisions. Be sure to check out our article on the best Tesla trip planner apps.

What were the accuracy results of our 1000 miles trip challenge?

On this trip, from Marion NC to Florida, I compared the onboard trip planner to A Better Route Planner(ABRP). These were the remaining charge estimates to get me to the next supercharger:

Marion, NC
Savannah, GA
6% remaining19% remaining20%
Savannah GA 
Kingsland, GA 
10% remaining4% remaining10%
Kingsland, GA  
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 you use an alternative route planner to plan your trips.

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

Hello there! My name is 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.