A road trip across the American continent is fine, doing it in an electric car is even better. Especially if it’s a Tesla Model Y picked up from a local rental company.
I’ll put my cards on the table from the start: done on the sidelines of a business trip in western Canada, this long-term test of the Tesla Model Y was not planned. Before reserving my rental, I nevertheless considered electricity before resigning myself to the rising prices of the rental companies. Unlike Soufyane, I also did not dare to go through the Turo platform to rent an electric car.
I voucher in hand, I drove to the Vancouver airport to rent a Toyota Yaris that cost the equivalent of an arm and a leg. In the car park next to the rental counters, it was a waltz of Teslas… Model 3s, Model Ys… about twenty in all. By activating my neurons, I remembered the huge order that Hertz made with the American brand. What an ass, I should have looked better… Luckily, Dollar, the agency where I made my reservation, is a subsidiary of Hertz. ” Do you know Tesla? you want a Tesla? the agent asked me at the counter. I’ve been drooling over this for 30 minutes… it’s hard to say no. Especially since the additional cost requested is more than acceptable: 30 CAD dollars per day, or 150 dollars for a five-day rental, all with unlimited (and free) access to superchargers. Although I was not informed of the model available, I said “banco”.
Finally, a new stroke of luck since I was cured the keys the badge on the new Tesla Model Y with just 1,000 kilometers on the clock. After a few brief explanations, I set out on the roads of western Canada.
Ergonomics: fast integration
Getting into a Tesla is like switching from an iPhone to an Android (or vice versa). At first, I was clearly lost in this interface which is concentrated in the big central slab (and yet it was not my first attempt).
I’ve never been a fan of “all touch” but it’s amazing how well Tesla works with its ergonomics. Where most manufacturers continue to pedal sauerkraut with menus that are sometimes completely incomprehensible, the American brand has managed to build an architecture that is simple, complete and intuitive at the same time. After 30 minutes of going through and staring at the screen, I quickly understood how it works. The menus are clear and it is not necessary to press 15 commands to perform a manipulation. Even the control of the air conditioning, which is also managed by the screen, is not a concern because the ergonomics are well thought out. This adds surprising fluidity to the system. It must be said that Tesla did not skimp on ways by integrating an AMD Ryzen processor, well-known in the gaming world, into its 2022 models.
If the lack of compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is always disappointing, Tesla makes up for it by offering a more efficient navigation system. However, we regret that the manufacturer continues to close access to third-party applications. Netflix and Spotify are available natively, but it is impossible for the user to install other applications. We think in particular that Waze has the advantage of integrating radars on the route, which is not currently the case with Tesla’s navigation system.
An SUV cut off the road
If the Model 3 is already equipped for long-distance travel, the Tesla Model Y is another step above. Without offering more performance, Tesla’s electric SUV is above all for its useful capacities.
Basically, the space is huge. The layout is especially well thought out with bins on the sides. Under the floor, a large space can accommodate a small suitcase. And if that is not enough, it is still possible to use the additional 117 l in the frunk.
In terms of comfort, acceleration is generous and handling is impeccable. For long journeys, Autopilot is also a real plus. If it is triggered quickly, it remains very sensitive. It’s enough for a car to bite its line a little to warrant premature braking at times. disturbing surprising.
Tesla Model Y Performance 2022 test: the electric SUV is looking for sports parents
Great autonomy and pokey consumption
In the Long Range Dual Motor version, the Tesla Model Y we have in our hands is a 2022 model. According to the VIN identification number, it comes from the historic factory in Fremont, California. Within the range, this is the version that offers the greatest autonomy. Calculate 511 km according to the American EPA cycle (533 km WLTP). A promise that is about to be fulfilled. In what is equivalent to national roads at home, I was able to travel 430 kilometers with an average of 15.4 kWh / 100 km and 10% capacity left in the battery. Initially, my compensation level was 95%.
During the entire roadtrip, a little over 1200 km, energy consumption reaches 188 kWh, or an average of 15.2 kWh/100 km. Not much for a car with such power that shows more than 2 tons of empty weight. For comparison, my average is around 13-14 kWh/100 km on the same type of route with my Kona 39, which is lighter and less powerful (1,600 kg and 136 hp).
Supercharger: the friend of road trips
Would I agree to rent this Tesla without supercharger insurance? Probably not without minimum knowledge of local charging infrastructures! If the network of fast charging stations is likely to develop, Tesla remains the only manufacturer that offers a driving experience close to a thermal car. There is no need to prepare for your journey by identifying the terminals on your route or need to worry about connecting the ABRP application to an ODB connector. Just enter your destination and the system will give you a route by combining supercharger stops. It’s simple, practical and… it works!
It is also and above all universal! In the case of our road trip in Canada, we don’t have to worry about the operators and terms of access to the terminals (we have to forget the Chargemap Pass across the Atlantic). The car is directly linked to the user’s account and all you have to do is plug it in and charging will start automatically. While Plug & Charge is relatively new, Tesla has been integrating it for a long time!