Model Y: Two Big Road Trip Advantages

I met up with Tesla owner and founder of Scentwedge Arash Malek who returned from a road trip in a Model Y.  He and his family toured some remote areas in Iceland and he is sharing some awesome pictures with us! Our conversation includes,

  • Two big advantages of traveling in a Y
  • Charging on the road
  • Superchargers for other EVs
Reynivellir, Iceland, near glacier lagoon, credit Arash Malek

Two Big Advantages of Traveling in a Y: 12-Volt Ports and Larger Size

All Tesla vehicles are great for road trips and the Y stands out as the best!

If you must have access to a medical device like a sleep apnea machine, the Y can be a lifesaver! You can plug a converter into the 12-volt port and run your Resmed, Phillips Respironics, or any other sleep machine all night long. Arash had a load of camera gear that needed to stay powered up while on the road, “the fact that there is a 12-volt charger in the trunk was just so handy because I was running an inverter in the trunk charging up all my gear while we were driving and it was just amazing having that port there.” There are two 12-volt ports in the Model Y, one under the armrest, and one in the rear of the vehicle.

Gail: Thank you for sharing some of your beautiful Model Y road trip pictures in Iceland. What else besides the 12-volt ports did you and your family find useful about traveling in the Y? 

Arash: The storage space was amazing!  My parents took turns sitting in the front and the back seat, and I was the primary driver.  My mom would note how much legroom she had in the back, how spacious it is and we all appreciated how high we were sitting. 

Arash said the Y felt like being in a glass bubble, with a panoramic view of beautiful Iceland all around! “And then of course I appreciated the fact that I could use Autopilot and it just made admiring the views much safer and that much more comfortable because I could briefly take my eyes off the road and just experience the landscape, you know there’s barely any cars on the roads there, but they are narrow and windey so it was really nice.”

Charging on the road

G: I often hear this question: “Can you travel in your Tesla?” I think there is a misunderstood concept that combustion cars are better suited for road trips. I see there are 8 Superchargers in Iceland, 2 are “coming soon.”  Were you able to travel where you wanted or were you restricted because of charging?

A: I was able to travel where I wanted to, I never experienced range anxiety, there are a ton of 3rd party charging stations in Iceland.

When Arash found it convenient to use a Tesla Supercharger en route to his destination, he would use one.  In the planning phase, he booked hotels based on them offering destination charging.  Some had Tesla destination chargers and some had 3rd party chargers nearby. Every night he would have the Model Y plugged in and then have it charged for the morning. 

If you decide to car camp, the Y is designed to sleep two people in comfort. I wrote about Tesla car camping in my article, Tesla Summer Travel Trip.

Supercharging in Höfn í Hornafirði, Iceland credit Arash Malek

Superchargers for other EVs

Tesla has opened up supercharging to non-Tesla vehicles in Europe and now in Iceland.  This pilot program is part of Tesla’s mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy and will move to the USA. I asked Arash if he had any experiences in Iceland with this new pilot. He explained, “I noticed that on the Tesla app when I was logging in, it asked if I was trying to log in for the supercharging network access in Iceland.  It is interesting that Tesla would do that, there are not a lot of chargers out there but there’s a lot of Teslas there.  There are also a lot of other electric cars and hybrids in Iceland.  I guess it makes sense to open it to other people.”

G: Did you see any non-Teslas charging at Tesla Superchargers while you were there?

A: No, in fact every time I supercharged it was pretty much empty. I ran into one other Model Y at the Supercharging station while we were charging once.

G: I guess that’s very different from what you see in the Bay Area! Regarding Tesla opening Superchargers to non-Teslas, I’m curious how you feel about this, living in the Bay Area, where there are more people driving EVs?

A: I’m not too concerned about an overcrowdedness issue, I think Tesla is very data-driven and when they see that there’s a lot of congestion somewhere, a Supercharger pops up fast. I think the net positive is much greater because I think it does offer a slight marketing opportunity when non-Tesla EVs are charging next to Tesla EVs.

Arash explained that he thinks opening Superchargers for all EVs is a form of organic growth potential that can be huge for Tesla and its mission. 

Moss Road on Lómagnúpur mountain, Iceland credit Arash Malek

If Arash could improve the Y, he would love to see Tesla create an electrochromatic window or something where you can change the tint dynamically on the windows of the Tesla.  He was unable to capture some stunning shots of the aurora borealis through the glass roof of the Y due to the tinting. The tinted roof is amazing for maintaining temperature on a sunny day and it was “pretty much impossible to capture the aurora from the inside.”


Any Tesla is great to take on a road trip because Autopilot makes the journey much easier. The two big advantages to a road trip in the Y are,

  • Two 12-volt adapters. For people with a medical condition requiring a sleep apnea machine, for example, the Y can be a lifesaver!
  • The size! The big glass windows and higher ride allow for a great view of the scenery. The Y sleeps two people comfortably!

The tinted roof and windows in all Tesla vehicles may not allow for great night photography, but they will keep you comfortable as they block sun glare and heat.

Tesla has opened up Supercharging to non-Teslas in Iceland and most of Europe, and this pilot program will open in the USA, and Tesla is data-driven, so congestion will not be an issue.

Austin, Texas downtown and Boardwalk at Ladybird Lake credit Christopher Sherman

Gail Alfar, author. Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – October 16, 2022. All Rights Reserved. My goal as an author is to support Tesla and Elon Musk in both making life better on earth for humans and becoming a space-fairing civilization. Thanks to Arash Malek for his valuable insight for this article, please check out his amazing all-natural scents exclusively for the 3 and Y.

Supercharging A Brighter Future

Tesla Decanter in Austin, Texas

In this blog post, I share how Tesla Supercharging is changing your world for the better. In addition, I share my vision of the future that today’s children will live to experience. So grab a cup of coffee & enjoy this quick read!

On February 28, 2022, Tesla opened up free Supercharging in Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. Supercharging is available in areas affected by the recent situation in Ukraine for both Teslas, and non-Tesla vehicles.

Austin, Texas and the surrounding area has rapidly gone from having three Supercharger stations in 2020 to eleven in 2022. Moreover, Tesla plans to add eight more to that number this year!

Tesla consistently demonstrates that they are capable of building Superchargers at a very fast rate. Their Tesla Charging Twitter account is evidence that they are adding up to six or more per day. This matters because Tesla has plans to welcome other electric cars to use their Superchargers.

Tesla Supercharging is for non-Teslas too

In a move that may have surprised some, Elon Musk emphasized to Marques Brownlee (in a tweet right before Christmas 2020) that Tesla was making superchargers accessible to other electric cars.

Elon Musk on Twitter

Tesla Charging in the Netherlands

In late 2021, Tesla opened ten Supercharger stations to non-Teslas in the Netherlands. This trial run or pilot program turned out to be a success. Soon after, on Valentine’s Day 2022 Tesla opened up ALL of its Superchargers in the Netherlands to non-Teslas!  The Netherlands was a beautiful place to begin the pilot program that Elon Musk referred to back in December 2020.

Tesla’s website states other electric vehicles can supercharge in France, Norway, Germany, and Belgium.

Here, Tesla explains their ambition behind providing Supercharging for all:

Our ambition has always been to open the Supercharger network to Non-Tesla electric cars in order to encourage more drivers to make the switch to electric driving. 
This fits in seamlessly with our mission to accelerate the global transition to sustainable energy.  
The more customers use the Supercharger network, the faster we can expand the network. 
Our goal is to quickly gain experience and make any necessary adjustments. 
In addition, we will continue to rapidly expand our network so that hopefully we can welcome both Tesla owners and Non-Tesla drivers around the world to our Superchargers in the future. 

An Act of Kindness and Generosity

Although I am a mom of five kids, it’s important for me to think about all kids. Along the same lines, Tesla cares about both Teslas and non-Teslas. I’d like to leave this world behind someday, with warm thoughts that the future will be positive for many people to come, not just my own kids.

Allow me to share the futuristic scenario I envision about our interesting time of transition:

A Human of the Future Looks Back at our Time of Transition

As it became cheaper to manufacture electric cars, factories assembling combustion cars slowly grinded to a halt.  Accordingly, automakers sought valuable help from Tesla’s vehicle division. Tesla kindly assisted them in any way possible to build their own electric vehicles. 

It was a rarity to see gas cars and gas stations had become supercharging centers, keeping just a few pumps open for an occasional combustion car. Naturally, it was mostly Teslas that were charging with a scattering of other makes that included Ford, Volkswagen and others.

Once in a while, there would come along somebody with a memory of the past, when most vehicles ran on gasoline, paid for in obsolete dollars. It wasn’t so much nostalgia that was interesting in these stories, but wondering, how challenging it must have been to buy things before Dogecoin. Why did vehicles with such complicated motors take on such a big role in the past? 

China was respected for leading the way with two Tesla gigafactories.  

Rather than thinking of it as just financial incentive driving business, people began to realize that driving electric vehicles and living in a situation with sustainable energy leads to greater overall happiness. 

If happiness is the goal, people tend to want to enjoy the days, stretching them out to enjoy every ray of sun, every minute that they can. Things like the arts flourish, music, painting, dance and writing. 

What a Beautiful Future We Have

You are here because you love what Tesla is doing. You may own a share of TSLA, know someone who works at Tesla, drive a Tesla, or know of a neighbor who has a Tesla Solar Roof, in any case, your life is likely somehow already connected with Tesla. Thanks for your support!

Photo of Amsterdam by Viv/Twitter

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Gail Alfar, Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – All Rights Reserved.