Road trip: We drove 1,200km in a Tesla Model Y rented from Hertz
A road trip on the American continent is great, but with an electric car it’s even better. Especially if it’s a Tesla Model Y reclaimed from a local rental company.
I’ll put my cards on the table right away: This endurance test of the Tesla Model Y was not planned on the sidelines of a business trip to western Canada. Before reserving my rental, I had nevertheless considered electric before coming to terms with the rising prices from landlords. Unlike Soufyane, I didn’t dare use the Turo platform to rent an electric car either.
my coupon In hand, I drive to Vancouver Airport to rent a Toyota Yaris equivalent, which cost me an arm and a leg. In the parking lot next to the rental counters, there are about twenty Teslas… Model 3s, Model Ys… about twenty. By activating my neurons, I remember Hertz’s big order from the American brand. What an ass, I should have looked better… Luckily Dollar, the agency I booked my reservation with, is a subsidiary of Hertz. ” Do you know Tesla? Do you want a Tesla? the agent at the counter asks me. I drooled over this for 30 minutes…hard to say no. Especially since the additional costs demanded are more than acceptable: $30 CAD per day or $150 over the five rental days, all with unlimited (and free) access to superchargers. Without even informing myself about the model made available, I say “banco”.
In the end new stroke of luck because I’ve recovered the button’s the badge of a brand new Tesla Model Y with just 1,000 kilometers on the clock. After a few brief explanations, we hit the streets of Western Canada.
An express transaction
When renting an electric car, it is always interesting to see how the keys are handed over. When I got to the car park, an employee briefly explained to me how the car works: start and the main functions of the screen. The agent, in his 30s, seems quite motivated by the brand. Nothing surprising. In Canada, Teslas meet on every street corner!
In the end, the explanations lasted no longer than five minutes. For me, who know the brand and the world of electronics, this is not a problem. It’s probably a bit short for an electric novice and we regret not having at least one “memo sheet” explaining the car’s main features. Some will say that the full manual is accessible from the central screen, but you’ve got to cram it!
One example, among others: The landlord clearly states that access to the superchargers is free, but I was never told that the spaces had to be vacated as soon as possible. Without this, we can imagine many rental Teslas staying on the Supercharger all night.
Ergonomics: quick integration
Getting into a Tesla is a bit like going from an iPhone to an Android (or vice versa). Initially I was clearly lost (yet this isn’t my first attempt) by this interface centered on the huge central disk.
I’ve never been a fan of “All Touch” but it’s amazing how well Tesla has worked on its ergonomics. Where most manufacturers continue to walk in sauerkraut with sometimes completely incomprehensible menus, the American brand has managed to build an architecture that is simple, complete and intuitive at the same time. After wading through and tinkering with the screen for 30 minutes, I quickly got used to how it worked. The menus are clear and it is not necessary to press 15 commands to perform a manipulation. Controlling the air conditioning, also managed from the screen, is not a problem either, as the ergonomics are well thought out. Added to this is the surprising fluidity of the system. It must be said that Tesla has not skimped on funds by including an AMD Ryzen processor well known in the gaming world in its 2022 models.
If the lack of compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is always frustrating, Tesla makes up for it with a particularly capable navigation system. However, we regret that the manufacturer insists on blocking access to third-party applications. Netflix and Spotify are natively present, but it is impossible for the user to install other applications. We’re thinking in particular of Waze, which has the advantage of integrating radars on the route, something Tesla’s navigation system doesn’t do today.
An SUV for the road
If the Model 3 is already quite well equipped for long distances, the Tesla Model Y is one step higher. Without offering more power, Tesla’s electric SUV is primarily characterized by its usable capacities.
The space in the trunk is simply gigantic. The division is particularly well thought out with compartments on the sides. Under the floor, a huge space offers space for a small suitcase. And if that’s not enough, you can still use the additional 117 l of the frunk.
In terms of comfort, the acceleration is lush and the handling impeccable. The autopilot is also a real plus on long journeys. When triggered very quickly, however, it remains far too sensitive. It is enough for a car to slightly bite the lane to sometimes have the right to premature braking disturbing surprised.
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Great autonomy and low consumption
In the Long Range Dual Motor version, the Tesla Model Y that we hold in our hands is a 2022 model. According to the VIN number, it comes from the historic factory in Fremont, California. Within the range, this is the version that offers the greatest autonomy. Count 511 km according to the American EPA cycle (533 km WLTP). A promise almost kept. On the main road at home I was able to cover 430 kilometers with an average of 15.4 kWh / 100 km and 10% remaining capacity in the battery. Initially, my charge level was 95%.
Over the entire journey of just over 1200 km, the energy consumption is 188 kWh or an average of 15.2 kWh/100 km. That’s not much for such a powerful vehicle with an unladen weight of more than 2 tons. For comparison, with my Kona 39, which is lighter and less powerful (1,600 kg and 136 hp), my average over the same distance is around 13-14 kWh/100km.
Supercharger: the friend of road trips
Would I have agreed to rent this Tesla without the Supercharger Insurance? Probably not without a minimum of local charging infrastructure! If the network of fast charging stations tends to develop, Tesla remains the only manufacturer offering a driving experience close to that of a thermal vehicle. You don’t have to prepare for your trip by identifying the terminals on your route or worry about coupling the ABRP application with an ODB connector. Just enter your destination and the system will offer you a route by integrating the Supercharger stops. It’s simple, convenient and… it works!
It is also and above all universal! On our Canadian road trip, we didn’t have to worry about the operators and access conditions to the terminals (let’s forget the Chargemap Pass across the Atlantic). The car is linked directly to the user account and all you have to do is plug it in and the charging process will start automatically. While Plug & Charge is still in its infancy, Tesla has long since integrated it!