Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

How Do You Charge A Tesla On A Road Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Talyah Cunningham



Embarking on a road trip with your Tesla is an exciting adventure that combines the thrill of exploration with the tech-savvy world of electric vehicles. As an eco-conscious and forward-thinking individual, you’ve made the leap and invested in a Tesla, a revolutionary electric car. Now, you may be wondering, “How do I charge my Tesla on a road trip?”


Unlike traditional gas-powered vehicles, charging an electric car requires a different approach. However, with careful planning and the right resources, charging your Tesla on a road trip is a breeze. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of planning and executing a successful charging strategy for your Tesla on your next road trip.


Whether you’re driving across states or exploring a new city, having a reliable charging plan in place is crucial. Fortunately, Tesla offers a robust network of Supercharger stations and partnering charging locations, making it easier than ever to keep your car powered up on the go.


But before we dive into the details, let’s take a moment to understand the different charging options available for your Tesla and how they work.


Planning for a Road Trip with a Tesla

Planning is key when it comes to a successful road trip with your Tesla. To ensure you have a seamless charging experience, start by researching and considering the following factors:

  • Route: Choose your route carefully, taking into account the availability of charging stations along the way. Tesla’s navigation system can assist you with this.
  • Distance: Calculate the distance between charging stations to ensure you have enough range to reach the next one. It’s always better to have a buffer for unexpected detours.
  • Time: Factor in charging time when planning your itinerary. Supercharging stations can charge your Tesla at a rapid pace, but it’s a good idea to allow some downtime to explore and rest while your car charges.

Once you have a rough idea of your road trip itinerary, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty of Tesla charging options.


Understanding Tesla Charging Options

As a Tesla owner, you have access to a variety of charging options to keep your vehicle powered up on the road. Let’s take a closer look at these options:

  • Supercharger Stations: Tesla’s Supercharger network is designed for long-distance travel and provides high-speed charging. These stations are strategically located along popular travel routes and can charge your Tesla significantly faster than other charging methods. Supercharger stations are equipped with multiple stalls, allowing several vehicles to charge simultaneously.
  • Destination Charging Points: Tesla has partnered with various hotels, resorts, and businesses to provide destination charging points. These stations are usually located at accommodations, shopping centers, and other establishments where you can charge your Tesla while you enjoy your stay or run errands.
  • Public Charging Stations: In addition to the Tesla-specific charging options, you can also use public charging stations that are compatible with electric vehicles. These stations can be found in parking lots, shopping centers, and other public areas. Tesla vehicles can typically use Level 2 chargers found at these locations.

Understanding the charging options available to you will help you plan your road trip effectively, ensuring that you have access to the necessary charging infrastructure along your route.


Researching Supercharger Locations

One of the most convenient and efficient ways to charge your Tesla on a road trip is by utilizing Tesla’s Supercharger network. These stations are strategically placed along major highways and routes, allowing you to replenish your vehicle’s battery quickly and continue on your journey. Here’s how you can research Supercharger locations:


1. Tesla Website and Mobile App: Tesla provides a comprehensive map on their website and mobile app that showcases the locations of all Supercharger stations. This map allows you to plan your route accordingly, identifying Supercharger stops that align with your travel itinerary.


2. Trip Planner: Tesla’s Trip Planner is a useful tool that helps you map out your journey and suggests the best Supercharger stations for charging along the way. This feature takes into account your vehicle’s current charge and factors in charging time to provide an optimized charging plan.


3. Navigation System: Tesla’s built-in navigation system is another excellent resource for finding Supercharger locations. Simply input your destination, and the system will guide you to the most convenient Superchargers along your route, ensuring a seamless charging experience.


4. Third-Party Charging Apps: There are several third-party apps available that provide information about charging stations, including Tesla’s Supercharger network. These apps can be useful for finding Supercharger locations, checking availability, and accessing real-time charging status.


Researching Supercharger locations in advance enables you to plan your road trip efficiently, ensuring that you make the most of the network and avoid any potential charging issues along the way. With the knowledge of Supercharger locations, you can confidently embark on your journey, knowing that reliable charging options are within reach.


Using Tesla’s Navigation System

When it comes to navigating and charging on a road trip in your Tesla, the built-in navigation system is your best friend. Tesla’s navigation system is designed to make your journey as seamless as possible, guiding you to the nearest Supercharger stations and helping you manage your charging stops effectively. Here’s how you can use Tesla’s navigation system to optimize your charging experience:


1. Input Your Destination: Before setting off on your road trip, enter your destination into Tesla’s navigation system. The system will calculate the most efficient route, taking into account the available Supercharger stations along the way.


2. Charging Stops: Tesla’s navigation system will automatically plan charging stops for you based on your vehicle’s battery level and the distance to your destination. It will factor in the necessary charging time to ensure you always have enough charge to reach the next Supercharger station.


3. Real-Time Information: The navigation system provides real-time information on Supercharger station availability and the number of charging stalls in use. This helps you plan your stops accordingly, ensuring you won’t have to wait for a charging spot to become available.


4. Charging Recommendations: The navigation system may suggest alternative routes or charging stops based on real-time traffic conditions or potential delays. Following these recommendations can help you optimize your charging time and avoid unnecessary delays.


Using Tesla’s navigation system takes the guesswork out of planning your charging stops on a road trip. It provides you with accurate and up-to-date information, ensuring a hassle-free journey and allowing you to make the most efficient use of Tesla’s Supercharger network.


Charging at Supercharger Stations

When it’s time to charge your Tesla on a road trip, Supercharger stations are your go-to option. These stations are equipped with high-powered chargers capable of providing a rapid charge to your vehicle, helping you minimize downtime and get back on the road quickly. Here’s what to expect when charging at Supercharger stations:


1. Easy Access: Supercharger stations are strategically located near highways and popular travel routes, making them easily accessible during your road trip. They are typically located in well-lit areas with ample parking space.


2. Connector Compatibility: Supercharger stations have Tesla-specific charging connectors, ensuring compatibility and reliable charging. Your Tesla vehicle will come with the necessary charging cable, allowing you to plug in and start charging effortlessly.


3. Charging Speed: Supercharger stations provide high-speed charging that significantly reduces charging time compared to other charging methods. You can expect to add around 170 miles (275 kilometers) of range in as little as 30 minutes, depending on your specific Tesla model and battery pack.


4. Monitoring and Payment: Charging at Supercharger stations is seamless and user-friendly. You can monitor the charging progress on your Tesla’s dashboard or mobile app, allowing you to keep track of the battery level. Payment for charging is typically handled automatically through the Tesla network, eliminating the need for cash or credit card transactions.


5. Amenities: Supercharger stations are often located near restrooms, dining options, and other amenities, providing a comfortable environment while your Tesla charges. This allows you to take a break, grab a bite to eat, or stretch your legs, knowing that your vehicle is charging nearby.


Charging at Supercharger stations is a fast and convenient option for keeping your Tesla powered up during a road trip. With the high-speed charging and easy accessibility of these stations, you can confidently explore new destinations without worrying about running out of charge.


Charging at Destination Charging Points

In addition to Supercharger stations, Tesla offers a network of Destination Charging points that provide convenient charging options at various hotels, resorts, and businesses. These charging points are designed to help you power up your Tesla while you enjoy your stay or go about your daily activities. Here’s what you need to know about charging at Destination Charging points:


1. Partnered Locations: Tesla has partnered with a wide range of hotels, resorts, shopping centers, and other establishments to offer Destination Charging points. These locations often provide Tesla-specific charging equipment, ensuring compatibility and reliable charging.


2. Charging Speed: Destination Charging points typically provide slower charging speeds compared to Supercharger stations. They are designed for overnight or extended stays, allowing your vehicle to charge gradually over a longer period. The exact charging speed will vary depending on the specific charging equipment available at the location.


3. Parking Availability: Most Destination Charging points have dedicated parking spaces reserved for electric vehicles, including Teslas. This ensures that you have a designated area to park and charge your vehicle while you enjoy the amenities offered by the partnering location.


4. Charging Authorization: Some Destination Charging points may require prior authorization or a specific charging access card for use. It’s advisable to check with the partnering establishment beforehand to ensure a smooth charging experience.


5. Cost of Charging: The cost of charging at Destination Charging points can vary. Some establishments provide complimentary charging as a perk for their guests, while others may charge a fee for the electricity consumed during the charging session. It’s important to inquire about the charging fees and policies before utilizing the charging points.


Charging at Destination Charging points provides a convenient and reliable option for extending your Tesla’s range during your road trip. By taking advantage of these partnerships, you can easily incorporate charging into your travel plans while enjoying the amenities provided by the partnering locations.


Utilizing Public Charging Stations

In addition to Tesla-specific charging options, you can also utilize public charging stations to keep your Tesla powered up during a road trip. Public charging stations are widely available and are compatible with electric vehicles, including Tesla models. Here’s what you need to know about utilizing public charging stations:


1. Types of Charging Stations: Public charging stations come in different types, including Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Chargers. Level 1 chargers use a standard household outlet and provide the slowest charging speed, while Level 2 chargers provide faster charging and are commonly found in parking lots, shopping centers, and other public locations. DC Fast Chargers are the fastest charging option and are typically located along major highways.


2. Network Compatibility: Tesla models come with an adapter that allows you to connect to Level 2 chargers with a J1772 connector, which is the standard for most public charging stations. This adapter ensures that you can charge at these stations even if they don’t have dedicated Tesla charging equipment.


3. Charging Apps and Networks: There are various charging apps and networks that provide information about public charging stations. These apps allow you to locate nearby stations, check availability, and even initiate charging sessions. Some popular charging networks include ChargePoint, EVgo, and Electrify America.


4. Payment and Accessibility: Public charging stations may require payment for the electricity used during the charging session. Some stations have pay-per-use options, while others require a membership or subscription to access. Payment methods can vary, including mobile apps, RFID cards, or credit cards. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the payment process and requirements before utilizing public charging stations.


5. Charging Time: The charging time at public stations will depend on the specific charger type and the charging rate of your Tesla model. Level 2 chargers typically provide around 25 to 30 miles (40 to 48 kilometers) of range per hour of charging. DC Fast Chargers can provide a significant charge in a short amount of time, offering up to 170 miles (275 kilometers) of range in 30 minutes, depending on your Tesla model.


Utilizing public charging stations expands your charging options and allows you to find charging opportunities beyond the Tesla-specific network. By being aware of the types of chargers available, the network compatibility, and payment methods, you can confidently use public charging stations to supplement your charging needs during a road trip.


Backup Charging Options

While Tesla’s Supercharger network and Destination Charging points provide reliable and convenient charging options, it’s always good to have backup plans in case of unforeseen circumstances or if your preferred charging options are unavailable. Here are some backup charging options to consider:


1. RV Parks and Campgrounds: Many RV parks and campgrounds offer electric hookups that can be used for charging electric vehicles. These locations typically have dedicated electrical pedestals with various amperage options, allowing you to charge your Tesla at a slower but steady pace.


2. Hotels with Electric Vehicle Charging: In addition to Tesla’s Destination Charging points, some hotels offer electric vehicle charging stations that are compatible with Tesla models. Check with the hotel you’re staying at to see if they have charging facilities available for guests.


3. PlugShare and Other Charging Networks: PlugShare is a popular platform that provides a comprehensive map of public charging stations, including Tesla-specific chargers and other networks. This app allows you to find nearby charging stations and filter by connector type, ensuring you can locate alternative charging options if needed.


4. NEMA 14-50 Outlet: If you have access to a NEMA 14-50 outlet, you can use Tesla’s Mobile Connector with a NEMA 14-50 adapter to charge your vehicle. This high-powered outlet is commonly used for electric stoves or clothes dryers and can provide a faster charging rate compared to a standard household outlet (Level 1).


5. Emergency Charging Cables: Tesla provides emergency charging cables that allow you to charge your vehicle using a standard 120V household outlet (Level 1). While this method is the slowest, it can be a valuable backup option in case other charging options are unavailable or if you only need a small amount of charge to reach the next charging station.


Having backup charging options can provide peace of mind during a road trip, ensuring that you have alternative solutions if your primary charging plans encounter any issues. By being prepared and proactive, you can navigate any charging challenges that may arise and keep your Tesla powered up on your journey.


Tips for Maximizing Charging Efficiency

When it comes to charging your Tesla on a road trip, maximizing charging efficiency is crucial to minimize charging time and optimize your overall travel experience. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your charging sessions:

  • Plan Efficient Routes: Before hitting the road, plan your route using Tesla’s navigation system or trip planner. Optimize your itinerary to include Supercharger stops strategically, ensuring that you have enough range to reach the next station without any unnecessary detours.
  • Charge to 80%: For faster charging times, aim to charge your Tesla’s battery to around 80% capacity at Supercharger stations. Charging slows down significantly as the battery approaches its full capacity, so reaching 80% allows for efficient charging while maximizing your time on the road.
  • Don’t Always Deplete the Battery: While it’s common to aim for a full charge before starting a journey, it’s not always necessary. In most cases, a partial charge to reach the next Supercharger station is sufficient. This helps minimize charging time and keeps your battery in the optimal range for efficient charging.
  • Precondition Your Battery: Before departing for your road trip, use Tesla’s pre-conditioning feature to warm or cool your battery to the optimal temperature range. This helps improve charging efficiency and range, especially in extreme weather conditions.
  • Avoid Frequent Fast Charging: While Supercharger stations are designed for fast charging, avoid relying on them for all your charging needs. Frequent fast charging can reduce the longevity of your battery. Whenever possible, utilize slower charging options such as Destination Charging points or Level 2 public charging stations.

By following these tips, you can maximize the efficiency of your Tesla’s charging sessions during a road trip. Not only will you spend less time charging, but you’ll also have more time to enjoy the journey and explore the destinations along the way.


Overcoming Challenges and Addressing Range Anxiety

While owning a Tesla and embarking on a road trip can be an exhilarating experience, range anxiety and charging challenges may still be a concern. However, with careful planning and awareness, you can overcome these challenges and enjoy a stress-free journey. Here are some strategies to address range anxiety:

  • Know Your Range: Familiarize yourself with your Tesla’s range capabilities and how different factors, such as weather conditions and driving style, can affect it. This awareness will help you plan your charging stops accordingly.
  • Use Range Mode: Utilize your Tesla’s range mode feature to optimize energy usage and extend your vehicle’s range. Range mode adjusts various settings, such as climate control, to minimize energy consumption.
  • Consider Overtaking Routes: Recognize that certain routes and terrains may consume more energy than others. Account for this when planning your roadmap, incorporating Supercharger stops more frequently for optimal charging.
  • Take Advantage of Regenerative Braking: Tesla vehicles are equipped with regenerative braking, which charges the battery while decelerating. Practice efficient driving techniques that make use of regenerative braking, such as coasting and using regenerative braking settings.
  • Be Mindful of Weather Conditions: Extreme weather conditions can impact a Tesla’s range. In cold weather, pre-condition the battery and cabin before departure, and consider reducing your speed to conserve energy. In hot weather, use climate control sparingly and park in shaded areas when feasible.
  • Be Prepared with Charging Backup: Even with thorough planning, unexpected situations can arise. Equip yourself with backup charging options, such as portable chargers or adapters for alternative charging sources, to overcome any unplanned contingencies.

Addressing range anxiety is essential for a worry-free road trip experience with your Tesla. By understanding your vehicle’s range, optimizing energy usage, planning charging stops strategically, and having contingency options on hand, you can confidently overcome any challenges that come your way and enjoy the freedom and excitement of traveling in your electric vehicle.



Embarking on a road trip with your Tesla is an adventure that combines innovation, eco-consciousness, and the thrill of exploration. With careful planning and a solid understanding of Tesla charging options, you can enjoy a seamless and efficient charging experience while traveling. By utilizing Tesla’s Supercharger network, Destination Charging points, and public charging stations, you have a range of convenient options to keep your Tesla powered up on the road.


Remember to make use of Tesla’s navigation system to plan your charging stops effectively, taking into account factors such as distance, time, and charging availability. Research Supercharger locations in advance and utilize third-party apps to find charging options that align with your journey.


Maximizing charging efficiency is important, and by following tips such as charging to 80%, pre-conditioning your battery, and utilizing alternative charging options, you can minimize charging time and maximize your time on the road.


While challenges and range anxiety may arise during your journey, being prepared with backup charging options and understanding how factors like weather conditions and driving habits can impact range will help address these concerns and ensure a smooth trip.


In conclusion, with careful planning, awareness, and the comprehensive charging infrastructure provided by Tesla, you can confidently embark on a road trip with your Tesla, enjoying the freedom of electric travel and the excitement of discovering new destinations along the way.