Tesla’s Autopilot self-driving system has been all the rage since the early days of the Model S. What used to be a novel feature is now available throughout the full model range, but is it at all possible to rely on Autopilot for a road trip from Singapore to Penang, and back? Yes, yes it is.
A Singaporean Tesla Model 3 SR+ owner, known as @SGpikarchu on the social media platform TikTok, showed that it was indeed possible to do two things – drive a fully electric car over great distances without running out of charge, and relying on the Autopilot system to make the journey a more pleasant one.
His journey up north – documented and shared on TikTok – began at the causeway at midnight, taking approximately 45 minutes to clear what used to be one of the busiest land borders in the world. He then used Autopilot along the spine of the country, saying “Autopilot is so shiok here!” while urging fellow Tesla owners to start planning their journeys.
Planning a journey such as this is essential for EVs, because you must know exactly where to find a charger. The Model 3 SR+ has a 54 kWh battery pack, which provides about 430 km (380 km in real world use) of range on a full charge. This is more than enough for the 200 km stretch from the Tuas checkpoint to Ayer Keroh, where you’ll find JomCharge’s 50 kW DC fast charger.
Charging here costs RM1.20 per minute, and his Model 3 SR+ was plugged in for 35 minutes. That amounts to RM42, yielding an additional range of 237 km. He then journeyed to Subang (a little over 100 km) to top up charge with ABB’s 50 kW DCFC (this one is free to use).
Another stop was made in Bukit Gantang, Perak (about 240 km from Subang) for a quick toilet break. He made sure to use the 50 kW DCFC, even though it was only for six minutes. This is actually an important habit to cultivate as an EV owner, because the charging infrastructure in Malaysia is still in its infancy.
The final leg to Butterworth, Penang was a shorter trip, but the Tesla’s battery was down to 8%. Here, he used Abadi Motor’s 30 kW DC charger and had a quick meal nearby, before resuming his journey onto the island.
He also managed to squeeze in a trip to Langkawi island via Kuala Perlis. During the 90-minute ferry ride over, he sat in the air-conditioned car and watched Netflix on the huge infotainment screen. How’s that for the future of motoring?
As for the Autopilot system, @SGpikarchu said he prefers it over the self-driving systems from other car brands because it’s more reliable. In his latest upload, he said Autopilot makes life “sooo much easier” on rainy days because it won’t swerve out of the lane, unlike other car brands. He also supervised Autopilot by keeping his hands on the wheel throughout the trip. Kudos to you, sir.
So, if it isn’t evident enough, travelling around the country in an electric car is indeed possible with proper planning. Be sure to make use of the PlugShare app to identify charging points along your travel routes, or refer to our list of all the DC fast chargers available nationwide. You can also browse CarBase.my to see all the EVs that are currently on sale.
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