Planning a road trip with the Model S and Model X is as easy as plugging in a destination address through the vehicle’s onboard Nav, getting in the car, and then going. At least that’s what Tesla’s Trip Planner aims to do, but the truth of the matter is, it falls short on some areas that I find critical when planning for a long distance all electric road trip.
Having gone through a busy summer of traveling, with one Tesla road trip taking me as far as Boston to South Florida, and another trip to Alaska – though this one I flew to, I’ve had time to think about additional features that I myself would like to have access to when planning for an EV trip. I figured that if these are features I felt a need for, there certainly has to be other folks within the Tesla community sharing the same sentiment.
So I decided to build it. EVTripping.com
Existing EV Planning Tools
Let’s start by highlighting some of the popular services out there: PlugShare, Teslarati’s Interactice Supercharger Map, OpenChargeMap, and the popular EVTripPlanner. Each service has its own specific purpose, and they all provide a wealth of information for trip planning. But still I wished I can somehow combine features from each service into one app, but also add to it with additional features.
I’ve compiled a wish list of features that I hope to address with EVTripping.
- At present time no app or service that I know of, outside of the existing Tesla navigation system, is able to predict charge times needed for charging stops. Tesla does it but they tend to be overly optimistic about how much charge time is needed. (EVTripPlanner has since added more realistic charge times which is very helpful)
- We need to be able to see true elapsed time for the trip in order to better predict where one will be at any given time
- It would be nice to be able to see points of interest along the journey such as destinations for food.
- Being able to export the trip planning details in digital form or print it out as a PDF would be a nice to have.
- Weather is a variable that can change along your journey. This should be reflected when planning for a Tesla road trip.
Creation of EVTripping
I’m proud to announce that less than 6 months after I conceived the idea for a new online trip planner, EVTripping.com was born.
If you want to learn more about the sequence of events that led to the launch of EVTripping.com, follow along and check out the timeline which describes everything that’s being worked on.
Response to the site has been overwhelmingly positive despite very limited coverage so far. We’ve added over 200 1000 registered users in less than a week and routed almost a quarter million miles on the production site.
I’ll speak of the site in terms of “we” and “our” because, while I’m the chief cook and bottle washer for the site, I see this as a project for and by the community. Many of you are already helping by filing bug reports, suggesting feature requests and sharing ideas.
We’ve been busy this first week of launch. We’ve fixed bugs, added international support, adjusted time based on a user’s geography, built multi-language support, added foreign character support, and continue to refine the routing intelligence. Early users of the app have been super helpful and supportive so I’d like to thank each and every one of them.
Free Tesla Monitoring
I’ve written an open-source tool before that allows me to take control of my Tesla while also monitoring my SolarCity production. EVTripping adds much of the same functionality when it comes to notifications. The app will monitor your Tesla and remind you when it’s time to rotate your tires, how much you’re driving, the efficiency you’re getting, and more.
I’m focussed on building the tools I need for my Tesla lifestyle and will share them with the community along the way.
We’re not done yet with EVTripping. I call this stage the “minimum viable product”. Where we go from here will depend on you and others within the EV community. Though I have plenty of product level ideas, we can decide on these together.
One of my big dreams for the site is to add support for other EVs beyond Tesla. I’m defining an EV as an electric vehicle capable of taking a road trip using Superchargers, CHAdeMO, CCS, etc, versus one that you can take trips in, but have to plug in for many hours each time you stop.
There’s no shortage of media outlets covering Tesla, and fantastic podcasts like Ride the Lightning and Talking Tesla, but my focus since I began writing was to talk about the lifestyle component of owning, and living, with a Tesla. It’s been a fun journey thus far and I’m excited about what the future holds as I continue to build out EVTripping for you and the greater EV community.