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Renting a Tesla from

in Charlotte, North Carolina

October 23 - 29, 2022

Report and Photos by Carl Morrison,

(Many photos can be clicked for a larger version.
Then click the back arrow in your browser to return to this webpage.)

Purpose of the Trip

Our trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, from Southern California, to visit relatives of me and my wife, would require a rental car.  Since my brother and wife in Charlotte had been interested in our 2020 Tesla Model 3, I decided to rent a Tesla in Charlotte so they could see what our and our son's 2021 Tesla Model Y were like.  Needless to say, they were impressed and by taking them on an outing to the North Carolina Transportation Museum, I could show them how easily it was to use the Tesla Superchargers.

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First get the Turo and the Tesla Apps

I rented the 2021 Tesla Model Y through the app.  Owning a Tesla in Placentia, California, I knew Tesla owners can add drivers who need to be near the car to pair their app to the car.  The right photo above is a copy of the invoice for the trip plus charging during the rental.

This was a final message from Grady, the owner of the Tesla.
However, it cost me $24 to get the car out of the paid parking garage.

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While unplugging the car from the charger at the airport parking garage I noticed 2 obvious lines of damage on the left rear fender and also all 4 rims had rim rash (with low profile tires, the rims hit a curb before the sidewall and it  damages the rims.)  Because I did not want to be charged for this damage, I called Grady and verified that he knew of the damage.

We drove to our accommodations.  I had rented a suite at Comfort Inn in Fort Mill, South Carolina, with a Tesla Supercharger on the property.

The Tesla Supercharger with our rented Tesla Y at the pull in spot.

As I would learn, most Tesla Superchargers that I visited on this trip have waste baskets (above) which I wish California Superchargers would have.  They also seem to follow the alignment of 6 Superchargers plus pull-in alignment on both ends of the 8-cabinet set.

This Supercharger was pretty typical of the ones I visited on this trip--about 8 cabinets with a pull-in at each end.

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In the left photo above, the red arrowhead and the red 5 indicate the Tesla parked at the supercharger at the Comfort Inn.  Across the street is the amusement area, Carowinds, in Fort Mill, South Carolina.  I didn't realize that Charlotte was this close to South Carolina.  On the right, a screen shot of the app on my iPhone.  What I had not seen before were the heat icon to the right of  the 267 mi.  I presume it meant the battery was being heated for charging. (Or, is that the symbol for bacon?)

(The above photos can be clicked for a larger version.)
Summary of the table of charging spots along the route between Charlotte and Roanoke, ("Arrival" and "Departure" not shown).

Main Points:  For the 392 mile drive, it was predicted that it would take a total of 50 minutes of charging along the way,  The drive would take 6 hrs 25 min plus that 50 minutes of charging for a total time on the road of 7 hrs. 15 min round trip.

Of course this is just a prediction.  If you drive over the speed limit, the time to the next destination will decrease.  You would usually take more time to use the restroom and get refreshments than the minimum needed.  Side trips for shopping, eating, or sightseeing would increase the time.

In the enlarged map above, note the convenient table in the lower right corner which summarizes the trip.  I have enlarged the title line and the total line of the map below the map.

In the enlarged section below, you will see an additional feature of  "A Better Route Planner" which is the current information about the Colfax Tesla Supercharger:


Using the Tesla Computer in the car, during the drive, always enter your next destination as the next Tesla Supercharger you plan to us so that the car will "prepare the battery for the most efficient charging."

Along the way from Charlotte to Roanoke, we found "Cracker Barrels" convenient stops for restrooms, food, and shopping.

Dog Mode

At stops, if the weather was warm, I would leave the climate control on "Dog Mode".  This kept the car's interior at the same temperature set during the drive and it takes minimal miles of range for the electricity.  This rented Tesla had white interior.  It was very clean and I do not know how Grady kept it so clean.  I have noticed that if a Tesla Model 3 has white interior, while approaching the car, I notice that with the high back on the white front seat that the car and people inside look small.  I did not get the same impression with white interior in a Tesla Model Y.


The drive from Charlotte to Roanoke this October 24 seemed to me to be a perfect time for "leaf peeping".

With the Tesla on Autopilot (lane keeping and traffic aware cruise) you have 30 seconds without having your hands on the wheel to take a photo.

It was not Interstate all the way to Roanoke so it was possible to pull off the road to take a photo entering Virginia.

Our destination in the Hunting Hills section of Roanoke.

In the evening, I drove to the nearby Salem, VA, Tesla Supercharger to recharge from the day's drive from Charlotte.

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I noticed that the Tesla Y's display looked a bit different from my Tesla 3 before and after sunset.

I was quite surprised to find that the Salem, Virginia, Tesla Supercharger was on the property of the Sheetz Convenience Store/Gas Station.  This seemed to be the case in Virginia and North Carolina and perhaps beyond.  I found this to be an excellent setup since it provided restrooms and food on the same site as the Superchargers rather than having to walk to another location.  Tesla Superchargers never have a large sign advertising their exact location thus being hard to find sometimes.  However, being at a well advertised Sheetz Convenience sites make it easy to find the chargers either in front of the lot as with this Salem Supercharger or behind the store as with other Sheetz that I used.

This will be a surprise to fellow California Tesla Owners since our gasoline prices at this writing are in the high $6.00 range.  I think Sheetz is leading the pack of gas station/convenience stores by installing fast chargers for EVs.

Another unusual thing about the Sheetz Tesla Superchargers is that they are not crowded.  While at this one, two other Teslas came to charge and one was local, his home charging system had shorted out from a stink bug infestation in the conduit and a second Tesla owner was from Ontario, Canada.

Tesla Owner's Group of Southwest Virginia.

As it turned out, the local fellow was Trevor Holbrook and he was a Tesla Tech!  He is a member of  Tesla Owner's Group of Southwest Virginia.  He also owns "Mr. Tire" locally.  I gave him my Tesla Touring business card and he posted it on their Facebook Page!

He was super informative about all my questions and helped me understand Full Self Driving (FSD) on my rented Tesla.  He said: 
Charging next to someone at a Tesla Supercharger causes minimal difference in charge rate.

My Experience with Full Self Driving (FSD) from Roanoke to Charlotte

When the posted speed limit goes down, the cruise control decreases to that posted speed as well.
The Tesla slows for sharp curves on exits and non-Interstate highways.
Visualization is better than Autopilot (see videos below).


FSD will suggest changing lanes, to slower or faster lanes, and asks for confirmation with the turn signal (photo).

If you turn on a turn signal, the car will change to that lane when it is clear.

I called FSD, "Driving by turn signal and right thumb roller" (for changing the set speed).

Good regenerative braking (putting energy back into the battery) in the mountains.

Short Videos of Full Self Driving at Night Click Here: 
(The blue warning on the screen is telling me to get my hands back on the wheel.)

The Salem Supercharger  showed 597 miles per hour of charging - very high.

In the last 10 minutes of charging to a set limit, the rate of charging  tapered down to 51 miles per hour of charging, as I have always experienced in charging a Tesla.

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To more night visualizations of Full Self Driving at two intersections.

Morning in Hunting Hills, Roanoke, Virginia in October, 2022

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An excellent place in Roanoke to have an overview of the town is at "The Star"

Downtown Roanoke, Virginia, from the star.

Typical fall street scene South Roanoke, Virginia

A rare sight.  Tesla haters would call this a wrecker, but from the looks of the tow vehicle, this is someone moving.

Rest Stop on I-81 between Roanoke and Charlotte.

This is where the Tesla reported a low tire - right front at 32 mph when suggested pressure was 42 psi.  It stayed the same back to Charlotte.  I called Grady and he said air it free at Discount Tire.  We found a close one in Charlotte the next day and aired it up.  It was back to 32 psi when we left it at the Airport on the 29th.

Rest stop on I-81 between Roanoke and Charlotte.

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Some postings at the Rest Stop

View of the hills in Autumn behind the Rest Stop.

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Worried about the low tire, I pulled off at the Fancy Gap BP station that had a 75¢ air pump.  Tried 3 times to air the tire, but it showed no improvement, so maybe the pump was not working.  I noticed a display auto beyond the pump (above right) of a supposed state trooper's car.


Looks like the imagined state trooper car had been here a while.

Ten minutes later and back on the Interstate, I crossed the border from Virginia to North Carolina.

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After turning on I-77 toward Charlotte, still on FSD (note the green lights above left for me to advance to the supercharger), I stopped at the Mt. Airy Tesla Supercharger, not surprising it was at another Sheetz.

This Sheetz had the Tesla Superchargers in the back, as others had, near the Drive-Through ordering spot.

All Sheetz are laid out the same inside.

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Again the general parking signs were evident.  The iPhone image, right, showed I had 5 minutes to get to enough charge to get to Charlotte.

October 26, 2022 - After returning to Charlotte and spending the night at my brother's, he and his wife accompanied me to the North Carolina Transportation Museum.  We took time in the morning to find a Discount Tire store and have the tire aired properly for our day's drive.

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Near the NC Transportation Museum, we charged at another Tesla Supercharger at a Sheetz convenience store.  This time the chargers were again in the back of the property.

Before going into the store for the restroom and refreshments, I waited for the charger to ramp up and was happy to see it charging to 734 miles per hour of charging.  Teslas charge the fastest between 20% and 80% of the battery's capacity.

The back entrance to Sheetz where the Tesla Supercharger are located at this location.

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This was the first time my brother and wife had been to a Sheetz, with their graffiti-like logo in the lounge area.

Your phone is your key to a Tesla.

With a full day of photography with my iPhone and DSLR, my phone went dead.  Even though I had a "Fuel Rod" battery for my phone, I forget the cord to connect it to the phone.  With only 1/2 hour until closing, I went into the original building where we bought tickets and asked if they had a charge cord I could use to connect the Fuel Rod to the iPhone.  They did and my phone was soon powered up enough to unlock the car.  Once in the car I continued charging my phone.

The North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC, is excellent.

My photos and report on this North Carolina Transportation Museum is at:



A Tesla Trip north on October 28, 2022, found the leaves even more colorful that 4 days earlier.

I charged again at the Lexington Tesla Supercharger and noted the trash cans that I wish more Superchargers had.

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I used the same charger as before, but it was still in need of repair.  I feel moisture might become a problem.  Ten-minute general parking is a good idea with these lightly used Superchargers.

The Tesla computer always shows the cost of the current charge, above. ($23.23 for 212 miles added or 11¢ a mile).  Not a bad idea to take a photo for your records especially if you are renting the Tesla and will be responsible for the charges which goes on the owner's credit card until the end of the trip.

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The Cracker Barrel restaurants are plentiful and have tall signs easily seen from the Interstate so when we needed to stop for restrooms, food, or snacks, and did not need charging, we usually stopped at a Cracker Barrel. 

Also, when you return a rented Tesla, take a photo of the Odometer (the photo will tell the location date and time) to prove you have not exceeded the allotted miles.  We used only 799 of the 1500 miles we were allowed.

We returned the Tesla Model Y to the Charlotte Airport

The final invoice, above, includes the cost of charging.


Keep track of your charges.

The owner requested $107.44 for reimbursement of charging costs.  He included a list (from his credit card I presume) that showed several charges for the dates I had the Tesla, but I did not charge on those dates.

I asked for a copy of the Tesla's invoice for my charging for the dates I had the car - Oct 23 - 29 . Even though what he sent included charges outside of my dates (above), I was able to list what I had actually charged.  If the renter had not been a Tesla owner himself, he might not know that Tesla invoices every charge by location and date and time and amount charged.

I sent the message above, in blue, saying I charged only $80.40 which was $53.86 less than what I was being billed.  I told him what I actually owed plus 3%He agreed with my figures and we settled.  I suggested that his original bill must have been when some charges were posted, not when the charges were actually made.  The Tesla invoice helped make my point.

SUMMARY: Charging a Tesla in SC, NC, and VA always at fast Tesla Superchargers cost 10¢ a mile (799 miles for $80.40).  Total cost of renting a Tesla Y through including parking fees and misc. Turo fees was $130 a day although originally listed for less than $100 a day.

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