Tips, Tricks & Trends

Electric Vehicle Charging Tips: Tesla or A Better Routeplanner?

Are you planning a trip in your new electric vehicle and feeling overwhelmed? There are a lot of options for trip planning apps on the market. Companies like Tesla have a version of this in the car’s interface, which will work along with A Better Routeplanner for added convenience.

Why is ABRP helpful for your electric vehicle charging journey?

Tesla uses Tesla navigation to help guide you
A Tesla Model S showing off the interior, but is A Better Routeplanner better to plan your electric vehicle charging? | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

A Better Routeplanner (ABRP) is an app that helps plan your trips around conveniently located charging stations for your electric vehicle. Most of the Evs on the market have navigation apps like ABRP, but they don’t always allow for additional stops and other features.

With A Better Routeplanner, you first pick your car. I chose the Tesla Model Y Long Range edition. I chose the Tesla Supercharger at the O’Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois, as the starting point. Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is our destination.

ABRP chooses a convenient route with Tesla stations along the way. The trip will take 19 hours and 14 minutes, while the charges will take two hours and 42 minutes. That includes seven stops along the way to charge. These stops vary in time from 21 minutes, 31 minutes, 13 minutes, and 27 minutes.

Since I chose the Model Y Long Range, ABRP estimated the price of the chargers and the amount of charge.

What will this 19 hour electric vehicle trip cost?

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On the first stop at a Supercharger in Zionsville, Indiana, the price is estimated at $5.44. The charge will go from 11% to 70% and it will take 21 minutes. The next stop at a Supercharger in Louisville, Kentucky, will cost $7.44 and take 31 minutes. This will take your charge from 10% to 84%.

For all seven stops, the cost is estimated to be $46.93. You’ll likely have to plug in at Disney, but there are plenty of chargers in the area.

Let’s say we are driving the 2021 Honda CR-V FWD with 28 miles per gallon in the city. If we take the miles (1,149) divided by the MPG (28), we get 41. Multiply that by the current average for a gallon of regular gas ($2.876), the total is about $118 dollars.

When using the U.S. Department of Energy trip planner, the amount comes out to $113 for the same trip using the CR-V.

You can use the Tesla app if you want

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Depending on where you are going, any of these similar apps will do. ABRP tends to minimize the amount of time on the road, while Tesla attempts to minimize the number of stops you take. Both options have benefits.

Many drivers note that using ABRP to plan the trip helps, and then using the in-car interface when actually traveling helps improve accuracy. One thing to note is that if you do use your Tesla navigation, it won’t suggest other non-Tesla charging stations.

You can also connect your Tesla account to ABRP to get a more accurate representation of your car’s efficiency. It might give a different rate than you are actually getting if the apps are not connected. Many drivers find Tesla is more accurate, but the more data the better.