Trip Planning

Next Thursday Christoph (my best friend) and I will be heading to Zurich (Switzerland) for the annual Biostasis ( conference. Last year it was held online due to the Coronavirus raging around the world, luckily this year we can meet people in person.

Since I've got my car back from the mechanics which fixed the hail damage, I thought it would be a great opportunity to test the long-distance trips in the Tesla model with the smallest battery.

It is a good 810 kilometres drive per direction, so something you can almost do with one tank filling in a "normal" diesel car. Of course, that doesn't work with my electric one. So I took a look at "A better route planner", a free web app you can use to plan trips with multiple stops. Although you could do that too with the built-in navigation software of the Tesla, ABRP lets you set where you wanna stop and potentially for how long. For example, I can enter I want to stop at that charger for as long as it takes to reach 100% battery, so we could go and eat breakfast without needing to hurry.

You can find the planned route here:

Now, let me get into the details.

As you can see, there are blue filled cogs and outline ones, the filled ones are those where I changed some parameters.

Let's start with the first one, "Grünfeldgasse 7" my Home. I've set the departure SoC (State of Charge) to 100%. I will be driving the car to a charger nearby and set the drive off to the time we will be starting (5 am), so it will perfectly charge to 100% at that time. It will also precondition the car, so by the time I walk there in the morning, it will be warm inside.

The next stop is "Eckweg 22", which is where Christoph lives. We will load his luggage and proceed to drive onto the highway.

I was talking to another friend recently (who has also a Model 3), and he said it should be possible to push through the Liezen Supercharger without stopping at the Laßnitzhöhe Supercharger. Depending on the weather that should be true, but ABRP added the Laßnitzhöhe Supercharger nonetheless. I will probably decide spontaneously (based on the weather) if we need the stop or not. Better safe than sorry is my proverb there, so we will probably take it. According to ABRP, it will only take about 5 minutes to get enough to drive on.

We will be arriving in Liezen at around 7:30, perfect to eat breakfast. That is also the reason why I changed the "charge to" parameter to 100%. We could continue driving with about 91% in the battery, but using those 9% more will buy us some time to not hurry our breakfast.

I think we will continue driving as soon as we finish breakfast and the car estimates more than 10% arrival at the next stop which is the Supercharger at Bernau am Chiemsee. We will be on the road for about five and a half hours by then so I altered the "charge to" parameter again to 90%. Which means a little bit longer stop. Without altering we would be stopping for about 29 minutes and with the extended charging, we will be there for 31 minutes. So the charging time doesn't change significantly.

We will probably start driving again as soon as the car estimates more than 10% arrival at the next stop. As a side note, you can drive the car down to 0%, but that isn't good for the battery. Also, the battery could be "empty" at around 5% because the battery level calculation on the Tesla isn't perfect. So again, better safe than sorry.

The next stop will be in Türkheim. Were ABRP currently estimates 17 minutes of charging. The real will again depend on the previous charges. After Türkheim there will be another 26 minutes stop in Bregenz which is also the last one before we arrive at our Airbnb in Kloten.

Depending on the SoC we might also be stopping a few minutes at a Supercharger near our Airbnb before we will finally arrive. We will fill up there anyways when we will be driving back the Monday after. But I didn't plan the return trip yet.

Without the stop at the Supercharger in Kloten, we are looking at an estimated cost of 45€ for the trip. Using the current diesel prices in Austria, it would cost around 70€ for the same trip. I also checked Train Tickets and Flying from Vienna and Graz, both of them would cost way more than 100€ per Person.

So using the same estimations for the trip back we are looking at the following numbers:
Tesla Model 3: 45€x2 = 90€
Diesel Car: 70€x2 = 140€
Train/Plane: 100x2x2 = 400€

There is also the possibility to travel by bus, but besides the really long trip time of more than 15 hours (switching buses two times), it would also cost around 100€ per Person per Trip.

Using the electric car or the diesel one is now a no-brainer for two people. If we would be even more (for example 4) the cost per Person would even drop more. Of course, this calculation doesn't include the wear and tear of the car, but with the really low maintenance costs of the Tesla, I don't think it will surpass the Train/Plane/Bus values.

I will keep you updated on the real values I will gather throughout the trip and also about the planning of the trip back.

Thanks for reading this lengthy post!

Biostasis 2021