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A Better Route Planner vs Tesla route planner

Chicopee

Member
May 13, 2020
13
2
Chicopee, MA
Im thinking about buy a model 3 SR+. My one reservation is the time it takes to charge on a road trip. I am looking at a trip from Chicopee, MA to Richmond, VA. When I use the route planner at the Tesla site it has me stopping 4 times to charge for a total charge time of 150 minutes. FYI, I have to use a model X with 255 mile range as there is no option for a SR+.
Conversely, when I use the Better Route Planner app it has me stopping 4 times to charge for a total of 52 minutes. The better route planner does allow me to choose the SR+ as the car I will be using.
Why is there such a drastic difference? Which one is correct and why?
upload_2020-6-2_11-54-5.png

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KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,712
3,373
Maine
Huge difference between an X and a SR+. Like comparing a Hummer to a Honda.

ABRP will give you the most precise results, depending on how good your inputs are.

One last thing, input the X into ABRP to see what it says. That'll give you a better comparison between the two route planners.
 

bpjod

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 5, 2016
495
2,654
Alberta, Canada
I have found ABRP (A Better Routeplanner) to be very accurate for trip planning. It takes a lot more variables into account such as temperature and road conditions which can have a huge impact on range. I've found the Tesla times to be much more conservative as well.

ABRP works on minimizing charging times by keeping the charges in the "more empty" part of the battery cycle. This is because as the battery gets "closer to full" it tapers the charging speed. It's quicker to charge to 60% and stop at a couple more Superchargers than to charge to 90%+ each time and hit fewer chargers. ABRP's algorithm tends to favor the former, Tesla's the latter. With Tesla's plan you'll often pull in with 25%+ remaining on the battery, in which case you spent too long at the previous charging stop.

On the other hand, I frequently drive long distances in winter (cold, sometimes snow covered roads) with a roof box on in regions where charging facilities are few and far between. In those cases I'd far rather have a lot of reserve in my battery in case of the weather being worse than anticipated or some other problem. Don't want to get stuck with a dead battery in the Rockies in a blizzard! In those cases it's worth spending an extra half hour at a charger for the peace of mind. Shouldn't be a concern on your route though, it's highly populated with lots of charging options.

Just for fun I did the same route on ABRP with my car, a Model 3 LR RWD for comparison:
Untitled.png

I expected fewer charging stops and less time charging. Not sure why the driving time is 40 minutes faster though. I selected 105% for driving speed.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,106
Vernon, BC, Canada
Huge oversight (intentional?) on Tesla's part to not provide the SR+ as an option.

I have no experience charging an SR+ and normally highly recommend ABRP, but those charge times seem a bit short to me (especially given the distance covered). Actually, while ABRP does optimise for reduced total charge time, I do find it's a bit too optimistic on how long it takes to charge.

Using ABRP also means you need to manually punch in each charger stop in the car so that it knows to warm the battery prior to arrival at the Supercharger (this increases charge speed). It's a bit fiddly but worth the better planning it provides (especially when you punch in extra settings like temperature, weight, etc.).
 

BEPA400

Member
May 1, 2019
341
270
Canada
I trust ABRP but it since you can customize more variables, you need to input correct values to get the best results. I do this by customizing wh/km values based on whether I’m driving with the roof rack/box, etc. These advanced functions are the big feature ABRP brings to the table. If you aren’t using or don’t understand how to implement these things sticking with the Tesla planner should keep you safe. (Unless you are driving with a giant roof box!)

with the Tesla planner (in car anyways) it seems to be a little conservative for stock driving.

so I usually do pre-trip planning with ABRP to get an idea whether I need to reduce speed for long drives with no chargers, then in-car I use the Tesla navigation which hasn’t failed me yet.
 

Chicopee

Member
May 13, 2020
13
2
Chicopee, MA
I asked a friend with an SR+ to map it out using the Tesla on board app. He came out with only 2 charge stops, but 85 minutes of charging. Longer charging I guess because the charge tapers off after 50% charge. Id prefer the more stops and less total charge time.

upload_2020-6-3_14-0-35.png
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,954
Boise, ID
Yeah, I really hate the car's preferences for fewest stops and longest charging times at each one so it can try to skip over Superchargers. It creates unnecessary range anxiety by trying to cut it close. For instance, I had the car telling me to charge all the way up to 100% and arrive with 7% just to needlessly skip a Supercharger. That's terrible! And it plays into that problem of human nature. We can make 10-15 minutes disappear like nothing and not notice it with a few little entertainment things on our phone or going to get a drink. But getting into the 40+ or 50+ minute times, really increases the chances that you will run out of quick things to kill time, and get bored and really notice it and be bothered by it.
 

SilverString

Member
Mar 29, 2020
256
142
Bee Cave, Texas
Yeah, I really hate the car's preferences for fewest stops and longest charging times at each one so it can try to skip over Superchargers. It creates unnecessary range anxiety by trying to cut it close. For instance, I had the car telling me to charge all the way up to 100% and arrive with 7% just to needlessly skip a Supercharger. That's terrible! And it plays into that problem of human nature. We can make 10-15 minutes disappear like nothing and not notice it with a few little entertainment things on our phone or going to get a drink. But getting into the 40+ or 50+ minute times, really increases the chances that you will run out of quick things to kill time, and get bored and really notice it and be bothered by it.
I agree. Everything is compounded further as you charge past 60% then 80% and the charge rate slows. Traveling on the first half of the charge is definitely faster but it can lead to range anxiety... I usually like a few percent more than I really need but try to keep stops to 30 minutes or less. I have a rule of thumb that if the supercharging MPH rate is not faster than I can drive, then I am wasting my time.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,954
Boise, ID
I agree. Everything is compounded further as you charge past 60% then 80% and the charge rate slows. Traveling on the first half of the charge is definitely faster but it can lead to range anxiety... I usually like a few percent more than I really need but try to keep stops to 30 minutes or less.
I don't ever let the car pick my Supercharger stops for me. I'll pick the next one that's about 2+ hours away, and Nav to it. But yeah, I'm also cautious about my buffers. I decided right from the start that I was never going to be "that guy" who let his electric car run out of juice and get stranded by the side of the road, thereby giving Tesla a black eye to the public as they point and laugh at "those stupid electric cars". So I shoot for about 15-20% buffer to start with each time.
 

PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,192
971
Seattle
I don't ever let the car pick my Supercharger stops for me. I'll pick the next one that's about 2+ hours away, and Nav to it. But yeah, I'm also cautious about my buffers. I decided right from the start that I was never going to be "that guy" who let his electric car run out of juice and get stranded by the side of the road, thereby giving Tesla a black eye to the public as they point and laugh at "those stupid electric cars". So I shoot for about 15-20% buffer to start with each time.
Yea i wish there was a preference toggle in the Tesla route planner between fewest stops vs. shortest charge time. The fewest stops is often geared towards those new to EV and trying to eliminate complexity (apple approach) and the shortest charge time requires knowledge about supercharging speed tapering.

I remember watching some Out of Spec motoring YT videos of his cross country roadtrips (I think he holds the EV cannonball run record time) and he manually chooses his SC stops and plans for lowest SoC when arriving for fastest charging speed. I had no idea that was a thing before purchasing my Tesla and watching his videos so I assume most non-enthusiasts have any idea.
 

user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
748
US
Conversely, when I use the Better Route Planner app it has me stopping 4 times to charge for a total of 52 minutes. The better route planner does allow me to choose the SR+ as the car I will be using.

The "Better Route Planner" is accurate, but sometimes you have to watch your speed in order to get the expected distances. If you drive faster, you can get there faster as long as there are enough chargers (making even more stops than the planner, and then re-planning it at each stop).

The long explanation is that the car charges faster between 0 and 20% than 20% to 40%, and so on with the last 20% being very slow. The Tesla planner is using longer stops which will charge at the slower rate. They are probably doing so because of the difficulty of developing mapping software. You'd be surprised how often a large corporation has trouble doing simple things, making room for third party tools to crop up.

You may want to think about getting the long range version because it will charge faster. I got the SR+ and it is fine, but if you plan on keeping the car for a while it would be awkward if you later wanted the faster LR version. I don't regret getting the SR+ because I was hesitant to purchase at all, or would have delayed purchasing.
 
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gnelson

Member
May 26, 2013
690
129
Las Vegas, NV
I don't ever let the car pick my Supercharger stops for me. I'll pick the next one that's about 2+ hours away, and Nav to it. But yeah, I'm also cautious about my buffers. I decided right from the start that I was never going to be "that guy" who let his electric car run out of juice and get stranded by the side of the road, thereby giving Tesla a black eye to the public as they point and laugh at "those stupid electric cars". So I shoot for about 15-20% buffer to start with each time.

I have had a Tesla since 2013. I have never been stranded with a fully discharged battery. I have run out of gasoline numerous times. I have range anxiety numerous times on my Ducati with a 4 gal tank.,
 
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gnelson

Member
May 26, 2013
690
129
Las Vegas, NV
If you want choices, I prefer the interface of www.evtripplanner.com better than ABetterRoutePlanner, but they operate pretty similarly.

Thanks for the link for the EV Trip Planner. I like the options for changing the conditions. I used the "A better Route Planner" for a route from Klamath Falls, OR to Winnemucca NV. It is 307 mi and I have a Long Range Plus Model S (391 mi of claimed range). It determined that I needed to drive 48 mph from Klamath Falls to Lakeview, OR. The EV Trip Planner determined my consumption for the total trip would be 77kW. This seem more realistic. I think I wasted $50 on the premium version of A Better Route Planner.
 
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GZDongles

Member
Feb 23, 2020
225
283
Michigan
Thanks for the link for the EV Trip Planner. I like the options for changing the conditions. I used the "A better Route Planner" for a route from Klamath Falls, OR to Winnemucca NV. It is 307 mi and I have a Long Range Plus Model S (391 mi of claimed range). It determined that I needed to drive 48 mph from Klamath Falls to Lakeview, OR. The EV Trip Planner determined my consumption for the total trip would be 77kW. This seem more realistic. I think I wasted $50 on the premium version of A Better Route Planner.


Was it based on setting degradation levels, initial charge state, or arrival minimum SOC %? I've accidentally left the minimum arrival SOC at 20% before, getting some directions that had me driving too slowly or adding an extra charging stop.
 

SammichLover

Banned
Dec 8, 2018
2,618
1,543
Yup
When I use the route planner at the Tesla site it has me stopping 4 times to charge for a total charge time of 150 minutes.
That Tesla site is total crap. Never, ever use it.

I personally just use my car's Nav. It is very solid. You can check for planning purposes ahead of your trip day by jumping in you car when it is near full charge and punching in the destination.

If you have other questions about travel between two points that your car isn't at I just use supercharge.info to look at the map and make a rough guesstimate based on my experience. Then when I'm actually there I use Nav as a tool (and I'll override Nav if I want a different route for other reasons by setting a mid-way point on the different route I'd rather use).

However ABRP is clearly a viable alternative to what I do, very arguably better if you don't yet feel confident in your range mathing skills and understanding of your car, if you'd rather go about it that way.
 

M3BlueGeorgia

Active Member
Dec 10, 2018
1,396
1,095
Atlanta, GA
The Tesla website is a marketing tool, and unfortunately isn't properly updated.

ABRP is an excellent tool for planning routes, especially ahead of time. It's very configurable.

When actually traveling, we use the car's Navigator. But on longer trips, already planned using ABRP, we don't always take it's recommendations, and choose alternative Superchargers.
 

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