A Positive Experience with Tesla’s Supercharger Network

A road trip experience from the Isle of Wight to Preston in a Tesla Model Y.

A blog by Paul Thorley

For years, I’ve been hesitant to post about any negative experiences with public charging stations because, honestly, I haven’t had any in the past three years of driving electric cars like my Renault Zoe, Mercedes EQC, Polestar 2, and Kia E Niro. Each trip has been smooth sailing, including the one I’m about to share, which I’ve done multiple times.

Recently, my family and I took delivery of a Tesla Model Y Long Range. Despite some scepticism fuelled by reviews, many from people who’ve never actually driven one, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the car’s performance.

Recently we went on a road trip to visit friends in Preston from the Isle of Wight and since we have a home charger and knew our friends also had one, we left fully charged, with a plan in place for recharging before our return trip. Planning is key, after all. One aspect we were particularly excited about, having driven EVs for 12 years, was experiencing Tesla’s supercharger network as we’d heard countless good things about it and were eager to try it for ourselves.

To put it simply, our experience was disappointing.

Contrary to what some may believe, our car didn’t need a stop en route to charge, despite driving on the motorway the entire way, dealing with winter temperatures (3°C), and running the heating (including heated seats) and music throughout the journey.

Of course, we kept an eye on charging points using Zap-Map because we’re interested in data. Despite warnings of minimum 40-minute waits at every charger, every station we passed had plenty of availability and not just Tesla ones. We did make stops both on the way there and back, but we found plenty of empty chargers at these stops. Interestingly, the only cars we saw charging belonged to German OEMs, known for their limited range.

Overall, the drive was fantastic, quiet, smooth, efficient, and hassle-free, and proves that electric vehicles can suit a much broader range of people than you might be led to think.

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