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

Short charge or Long full Charge?

Hi everyone, we recently did a road trip and tried two method of charging: Let me know what you think of this?

A: charge fully at each supercharger to max limit, up to 40-50 minutes each stop

B: charge until you have about 15% estimate till you next stop and only spend about 15-25 minutes per stop.

My thinking is this, supercharger give you fast charge during the first 20 minutes give or take, after 90% battery the rest if very slow to fill and is just wasted time waiting. what if you take just what you can get and continue traveling.

Full charge get you further per charge and might allow you to skip in between charge. Short charge allow you to hop very quickly from charger to charger.

what you do prefer or recommend?


Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
Austin, TX
You can read dozens of posts here on this topic, dating back to 2013, as you're not the first to consider this. Bottom line is it makes no sense to charge to 100% at a supercharger unless you need the range. With the taper, charging from 80 to 100% takes about as long as charging up to 80%. If you're traveling from one supercharger to the next, just charge to what you need plus whatever buffer you're comfortable with. If you're heading "off the grid", then you might need to charge to 100% or close to it, depending on your battery size. Of course if you're eating at a supercharger stop, no reason to stop the charge early.
Last edited:
shorter charges, enough to make the next SpC, will result in a faster over all trip.
the battery will charge faster the lower it's SOC. you don't get an award for arriving at a SpC with extra charge, the only caveat is that you need to factor in climatic and and upgrades into your calcs on how much charge you'll need.


Supporting Member
Jun 10, 2016
San Diego, CA
I recently tried both ways on a family road trip. Going one way we made 4 short stops and each time the conversation would be something like:
Me: Okay, let's get going.
Wife: Is the battery full?
Me: No, but it's quicker to go now and charge again later. You see, the lower the state of charge, the faster...
Wife: I don't like all these stops, doesn't your car have a 290 mile range?

On the way back we made 2 stops for leisurely meals, charging the battery to 90+% each time. This let us skip multiple chargers and even though it took a bit longer, the family was happier.
  • Like
Reactions: pilotSteve
Something to keep in mind as well is that it's not just charging time. There's the time to get to and from the Supercharger, so it may well be worth sitting for an extra 10 or 15 minutes if you can skip a Supercharger.

We generally charge to about 80%, which is about a cup of coffee's time. After that, things slow down a lot.
There's also the "courtesy" factor. If you think that others may be waiting for your car's spot while it's "topping up", this is bad karma.

It might be nice if the Tesla phone apps let you know how many of the charging stations were in use. And then advise you to free yours up when they're fully populated and your charge level is past 80% or so.


Lead Moderator
Global Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
Ottawa, Canada
I alternate. On the first stop, I put in enough charge to get to the next Supercharger. At the next Supercharger I stop for a meal and usually end up fully charged or nearly so. Next time it's a shorter stop again. The next one might be a hotel destination charger...
There's also the "courtesy" factor. If you think that others may be waiting for your car's spot while it's "topping up", this is bad karma.
courtesy factor?

when I'm on a road trip I am charging as long as I need to charge in order to make my next stop.
your comment would be better suited to the many people who use the SpCs as their primary source of charging, locals charging/hogging charging spots are the root of many of the issues at many SpC locations

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.