EV Tips


How does the car turn on/off?

Teslas do not turn on or off nor have a power button. When you unlock and get in the vehicle, the screen should turn on signaling the car is ready.

How do you unlock / lock?

With a Model S / X, the car will unlock when you approach with the key on you (as well as mirrors fold out). Alternatively you can unlock by tapping the lock button on the key. The car will lock when you have the key on you and walk away.

With a 3 / Y, the car will unlock when you tap the keycard on the pillar between the driver and passenger. Look at the key for instructions. (?)

How do you shift in gear?

Teslas have a shift knob to the right of the steering wheel (down for drive, up for reverse, button on top for Park, neutral can be found by going into D or P and gently flicking in opposite direction).

With a 3 / Y, driver must tap the keycard below the cup holder to put in gear.


What is different about driving a Tesla?

Teslas do not have gears. This means they can accelerate faster and much smoother.

They often can take advantage of Regenerative braking which allows 1 pedal driving since the car will slow rapidly when the throttle is not pushed (this can be disabled in Settings – Driving Regen braking set to low). Teslas are like a jet ski in that they slow down when not in gear since the car can use the brakes to charge the battery.

How far can I drive?

On the screen is a battery icon with estimated range. Note this range reflects driving very efficiently. Normal drivers get approx 80% less than this. Driving on a highway will decrease this range faster if you drive over 60 mph because higher speeds take an extra toll on the battery. Ex: 220 miles will actually amount to approx 160 highway miles.

Is the car equipped with Autopilot?

Yes – please review Tesla website for instructions on how to use.

Battery / Charging

How will I know if I need to charge?

If taking the car on a longer trip or road trip, always plug in the destination. The car will tell you if you need to charge (most likely at a Supercharger) and for how long to continue on your trip. 

PLEASE NOTE: The car will lose approx 15 miles overnight. Always plan to charge a little when you arrive if leaving the car overnight (or look for a charger where you are staying). 

How can I charge? What is a Supercharger?

Superchargers are a special Tesla charger that charges the Tesla battery < 1 hour. They are optimal for road trips.

There is also a charger that looks like below. This is a Destination charger They take 6-8 chargers to get a car to 100%

There is also a 110V charger in the trunk. Note that these takes around 1.5 days to charge the car.

How can I find a charger?

Within the lower hand side of the screen is a charge icon. Click that to see nearby chargers.

1 electric bolt means a slow charger, 2 & 3 represent various levels of Tesla Superchargers.

Does cold weather impact a Tesla?

Cold weather has a negative impact on the battery and causes it to deplete approx 10% faster. In times of weather below 35 degrees, please pay extra attention to estimated range.


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