Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

Optimum speed for road trips

Has anyone done calculations for the optimum speed for a long road trip? With an ICE it is always as fast as you dare, but I'm sure with an EV there are factors such as distance to the next SC, charging rate at the SC (which you likely don't know until you plug in), whether you will take extra time to eat/relax etc while charging and others. I'm guessing 70ish is probably close for most conditions, but a spreadsheet could probably take many factors into consideration and give you the best speed.
I don't think you'll get a huge benefit by driving much slower and the minutes lost in getting to the next supercharger a bit later could very well be made up by supercharging a few minutes longer. The optimal way to travel with a Tesla is to start with a full charge, hit the first Supercharger with the smallest reasonable reserve possible (30-50 miles?) and then charge just enough to reach the next supercharger with a similar reserve. That will ensure you spend as little time as possible charging as the car charges much faster when the battery is closer to empty.
I tried San Diego,CA to Seattle, WA using a better route planner. Optimal speed seems to be about 100mph. Reference speed set to 200%, max speed set to 100mph does it in 18:59. Driving time is 13:51 so the average speed is only 67mph but average moving speed is 90mph.
A Better Routeplanner
Note: I don't recommend doing this. haha
Bjørn Nyland did this test in the Model S, "optimal speed between superchargers".
He tests with 75 mph and 100 mph, he found that driving at 100 mph was fastest. I guess Model 3 will show similar results as the supercharger characteristics are similar.

Based on the discussion here, it seems like there no speed limit on us freeways. Or you may factoring the cost of speeding ticket and the time cost to appeal on court?
No it was a joke :) There are definitely speed limits on US freeways. Most people drive a little bit faster, but going 100mph+ will likely put you in jail. That would certainly negate any time savings.
The simple answer to the question is that superchargers are so fast that there is no time savings by driving slower.
Superchargers aren't located on the freeway. You have to merge on and off a freeway and drive out of your way to reach them. Granted, they are close, but this is not an insignificant amount of time to add to the equation. I find that driving faster than 74 (or so) drains the battery so much faster to not be worth it, but I would love to have math and statistics to back up my gut feeling.
  • Like
Reactions: DR61
Just use a better route planner to try out different scenarios. It will show you the estimate travel time as well as charging costs. As a previous poster stated, change the reference speed if you want to drive faster. Once the route is calculated, you can click on any part of the line to see the calculated speed at that point .

So far for me the faster the speed the faster I get to my destination. I usually set my autopilot speed to 90mph
It seems to me that the simplest way to look at this question is that a Supercharger can add 170 miles of range in 30 minutes, which is WAY faster than the car can consume range, regardless of driving speed.

Ergo, the faster you drive, the faster you arrive, as long as there are Superchargers along the route and the faster driving doesn't mean more actual Supercharger stops...

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.