Owners Guide

How Does Optiwatt Compare to the Tesla App?

Matthew Grace
Matthew Grace
April 12, 2022
How Does Optiwatt Compare to the Tesla App?

Tesla recently rolled out their Tesla app charge stats, allowing vehicle owners to see charging history, gas savings, and average costs right in the app. Optiwatt pioneered this feature back in early 2020 by being the first to offer Tesla owners the ability to track the cost and savings of every charge. Our users love us for the insight and control we bring to their everyday home charging, and we have been hard at work bringing new value to the app with every single update. In fact, we now support 16 electric vehicle brands across every inhabited continent.

However, this new offering by Tesla has many drivers asking us, what does Optiwatt currently offer that Tesla doesn’t? The answer is A LOT, so we broke it down section by section so you can decide for yourself if Optiwatt is right for you.

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Smart Charging

Tesla’s charge scheduling is pretty rudimentary. As you can see on the right side of the image below, the driver is only given the option to begin charging at the same time every day. Even Tesla’s so-called “Off-Peak Charging” feature, which is inexplicably located in the Departure tab instead of the Charge tab of the scheduler, really just waits until midnight to start. There’s no option to change the start time of the off-peak window or integrate your rates from the Charge Stats portion of the app.

Optiwatt, on the other hand, integrates your utility rates directly into your charge schedule, so you get more flexibility, convenience, and available charging time without having to lift a finger. Why wait until midnight to start charging your car if your off-peak rates start at 9 PM? You never know when you might want a full charge for a midnight drive or (hopefully not) a rush to the emergency room.

This direct rate integration also allows us to handle any amount of complexity. If your time-of-use rates have multiple tiers, your utility changes your plan, your rates change with the seasons, or you want to optimize for rates and other variables (like emissions), we’re here to help. After all, why worry about it when Optiwatt is free and a breeze to set up?

More Rate Support

Since Tesla doesn’t integrate with your utility, the app also has no ability to track your usage over time. That leaves Optiwatt as the only app that tracks when users with tiered rates cross over into the next tier and should consider slowing down their energy consumption until the next month. Optiwatt even supports real-time rates, where prices change by the minute, using advanced prediction models and charging algorithms to get the lowest possible cost per charge.

Don’t know or care what type of rate plan you’re on? At Optiwatt, we value your time, which means you can simply upload a copy of a recent bill, and we will build your rates, so you don’t have to. If you use the Tesla app, you’ll be stuck constructing your rates from scratch to eventually get the Tesla app charge stats you need.

Home Integration

This is one of our newest features and an absolute blast to dig around in. Simply connect your utility account to the Optiwatt app, and we can help you visualize your entire home’s energy usage. This data comes straight from your meter, so you know it’s accurate, and it allows you to compare spending across months to see how you can reduce your bill. We even break out your car as its own data set, so you can see exactly how much energy your Tesla needs compared to your whole home.

Whether you use this information to reduce peak activity, avoid doing a load of laundry until after your billing cycle restarts, or just want a prettier picture of your utility bill, Optiwatt has you covered.


Improved Departure Control

Does your schedule vary often? Perhaps you pick up the kids from school on Monday and Tuesday, work from a coffee shop at your leisure on Wednesday and Friday, go to hot yoga early on Thursday, and do all sorts of fun things on the weekend. Tesla only allows you two departure times for weekdays and weekends, but Optiwatt has you covered. You can pick a different departure time for every day of the week! But that’s not all…

Every responsible Tesla owner preconditions their battery before departing. This will ensure your battery is primed for driving and helps keep your maximum range from decaying with age. However, if you use a fast charger, Tesla will finish your charging way ahead of your departure time and then use extra energy to precondition your battery before you leave. Optiwatt simply saves a small portion of your charge right before you leave, so the act of charging preconditions the battery, and there’s no further warmup needed. It’s the little things that count.

Trip Functionality

Ever gone on a trip, raised your target battery percentage in the Tesla app, but then forgot to reset it once you came back? It’s a pretty common occurrence and can damage your battery if you leave your target at 100% for a significant period of time. Fear not, though, for you can set a trip in Optiwatt, and we will automatically raise your battery percentage for the trip and reset it once you’re done. You don’t have to worry about range anxiety or long-term harm to your battery if you forget to lower it once your trip is over.

Emergency Preparedness

Speaking of raising your battery targets–sometimes we don’t know when Mother Nature is going to require us to take an unexpected trip or endure unexpected power loss. Climate change is increasing the rate and severity of weather anomalies, and having a fully charged battery can help to quell anxiety and help you weather a storm. To that end, Optiwatt has your back. During the Texas winter event, we notified users that the storm was coming and raised battery targets to 95% to keep families ready for anything. If you opted into the event, we tracked the storms passing and reset all battery targets to their normal levels once the dust settled. Surely it never hurts to know when a little extra juice might go an extra-long way?

Multiple Brand Support

As of March 2022, Optiwatt now supports 16 different battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle brands: Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mini, Nissan, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo. 

If you own an electric vehicle other than a Tesla, then the Tesla app obviously won’t support it as it’s only designed to give Tesla app charge stats. 

Optiwatt is brand agnostic, meaning we can visualize the data from hardware across many different providers and be your one-stop shop for all your charge scheduling and energy visualization needs.


Save the Planet Plan

This brand-new feature has been a fan favorite ever since its launch in early 2022, so let’s break it down. Optiwatt has introduced the ability to schedule your charging around the emissions of power sources in your local electric grid. Depending on where your utility sources power from, purchasing a kWh for your car can result in wildly different amounts of CO2 being released into the air. Using data from our partner WattTime, we can predict when the grid is likely to be cleanest and then only charge your car during those hours.

For those of you with flat or tiered electricity rates, this means you can reduce your car’s carbon footprint by 70% or more without spending a dime! And for those of you on time-of-use plans, we introduced the ability to optimize for both cost AND emissions, ensuring you almost never pay more than rock-bottom rates. Under these preferences, charging will only occur if your rates are cheapest or emissions are projected to be 20% or lower than their typical average. Even when you’re in the super off-peak period, we will still optimize to charge when the grid is cleanest, meaning you can relax knowing you are making a dramatic impact on our atmosphere without worrying about your wallet.

Zero Carbon Offset

If you live in California or Oregon, Optiwatt is able to go above and beyond when it comes to reducing C02 emissions. In fact, we help select electric vehicles on our platform to go zero-carbon by matching them with renewable electricity sources across our grid. You already made the choice to go electric, do you want to go all the way?

Grid Support

Optiwatt is proud to foster a unique community of environmentally and cost-conscious EV drivers that is over 40,000 strong. That’s why, no matter what preferences you want to optimize your charging around every day, we offer the ability to occasionally opt into events that can have a significant impact on the world we all share. Reducing extreme stress on the electric grid helps all of us to prevent blackouts, avoid starting wildfires, and deter climate change. We guarantee you won’t even notice these small shifts in charging behavior, and as always, you can opt out at any time.


Responsive Customer Support

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Struggling to build your rates? Or think you might have spotted a bug in the app? We are here to help! Just reach out, and our friendly customer service staff will be in touch within a day or two. Just look at these reviews for proof!

Referral Rewards

That’s right, we PAY YOU if you spread the word about all these great features! If you tell your friend about how cool Tesla app charge stats are, that’s where it ends. But at Optiwatt, we reward those who champion our product, and we hope you consider joining the referral program and cashing in on your network. Whether you run an Instagram profile full of EV content, a blog on the latest Tesla news, or just want to spread the word to your family and friends, we’re glad to have you on our team.

Fuel your savings. Spend 70% or less with every charge!

Matthew Grace
Matthew Grace

BS Mechanical Engineering, Cal Poly SLO. MBA, UCLA Anderson. Passionate about IoT, clean tech, and the great state of CA.

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