Tesla’s latest feature doesn’t even require owning one of its vehicles.
Although anyone is free to explore the tool, it’s designed for prospective Tesla customers — perhaps those concerned about running out of battery life while stranded on a lonely, windswept New Mexican highway during monsoon season. Tesla owners already have this specialized navigation tool in their cars, but now, it’s being made available to everyone on the website.
The tool is easy to use: After selecting the type of Tesla (Model S, Model X, or the new Model 3) and battery type (ranges vary from 259 miles to 310 miles), enter a starting point and destination. The Tesla planner will show you the route you can take to recharge along the way using both Tesla Supercharger stations and charging at destinations.
For example, a trip from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon Village in Arizona looks like this:
This 491-mile trip in a Tesla Model 3 (its new affordable class vehicle) requires two charging stops — one for 45 minutes, and the other for 55 minutes — bringing the trip to a total of nine hours and 19 minutes.
The same trip planned using Google Maps takes an identical route, and Google estimates about a seven hour and 22 minute driving time. This is nearly two hours shorter, but doesn’t account for gas station stops, and general rest stops.
Tesla also provides an estimated gas savings (in this case $20). At Telsa’s Supercharger stations, the company bills per minute, although the Model S and Model X receive around 1,000 miles of Supercharger credit annually.
Lastly, unlike Google Maps, Tesla’s trip planner asks any impressed users if they’d like to either buy or reserve their very own Tesla.