Teslas can now predict future Supercharger availability for smoother EV trips

Tesla Supercharger
(Image credit: Tesla)

Teslas and other EVs can already help you find public chargers that are available right now, but what if you're on a longer road trip and need to charge in, say, two hours? A clever upcoming Tesla software update will soon be able predict the future availability of its Superchargers.

In the new software update 2023.38, Tesla will introduce a new Predictive Charger Availability feature. This can forecast the availability and wait time at upcoming Supercharger stations by factoring in the travel time for you and other Tesla vehicles that are en route.

The update is destined for cars in North America, but it's not yet known whether UK and European Tesla owners will also benefit from the same tech. We've asked Tesla if the feature will be rolling out beyond the US and will update this article when we hear back.

While there are already a number of apps and tools that EV owners can use to locate local charging infrastructure, much of the software on the market delivers live information surrounding the number of vehicles using chargers and if they actually work or not. In the UK at least, this is very handy, seeing as many are often busted. 

Currently, Tesla owners can use the in-car navigation to check on the Supercharger network and find out what is available in the vicinity. But the new Predictive Charger Availability feature sounds like it could be very handy for planning longer trips.

Tesla has often been bashed for not wanting to introduce Android Auto and Apple CarPlay into its cars, while third party apps have been fairly restricted up until now. However, Predictive Charger Availability is a great example of why the company wants to keep owners within its own ecosystem.

With drivers using the in-car navigation, Tesla can harvest data on the number of cars heading for the same Supercharger locations and then accurately predict what availability looks like for individual vehicles based on their ETA.

An angled shot looking up at the top section of a Tesla Supercharger

(Image credit: Tesla)

Only good for Teslas?

Although the feature will be very handy for those piloting Teslas – so long as they are using the built-in navigation functionality – it won't be good news for customers of any other brand. 

This is particularly pertinent seeing as Tesla is currently opening up its Supercharger network to pretty much every rival automaker in North America at the moment.

While Predictive Charger Availability will be able to paint an accurate picture of just how many Teslas will be at a Supercharger location, it won’t be able to factor in the issue of Kia, Hyundai, Nissan and BMW Group vehicle owners hogging the charging outlet.

This won’t be an issue until more automakers adopt the NACS hardware, which will slowly creep in next year. But a compatible solution that harvests data from all manufacturers will soon be needed if the software has any hope of proving accurate in the coming years.

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Leon Poultney

Leon has been navigating a world where automotive and tech collide for almost 20 years, reporting on everything from in-car entertainment to robotised manufacturing plants. Currently, EVs are the focus of his attentions, but give it a few years and it will be electric vertical take-off and landing craft. Outside of work hours, he can be found tinkering with distinctly analogue motorcycles, because electric motors are no replacement for an old Honda inline four.