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.”

CONCLUSION

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.