Coast-to-Coast Trip - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test
Edmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited June 2014 in Tesla
Coast-to-Coast Trip - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test
We've always wanted to drive our 2013 Tesla Model S on a coast-to-coast trip from Los Angeles to New York. Now we're doing it.
The leg between Vegas and Beaver, UT looks like it's right at your range limit. 220 miles with a 3000 foot elevation increase. Make sure you range-charge it in Vegas. It looks like Tesla's going to fill that gap soon, but probably not by the end of Game 5. Hopefully you'll be hitting this stretch in the wee hours of the morning and won't need A/C (or heat). Good Luck!
Awesome. Good luck!
Please post the pictures here as well. Some of us are not users of twitter or instagram. Shocking, I know. Road trips are always fun, but part of the fun is taking the odd side trip. My guess is any side trips will be short!
In June 2007, a friend and I drove from Toronto to Oakland in a 2003 Toyota Matrix with two adults up front and fully loaded backseat and trunk with her stuff. We left Toronto on a Sunday 6am, took Hwy 401 West, crossed Michigan via I-94 and stopped in Chicago to visit a friend and stayed for the night. Left 6am the following Monday morning and took I-80 West all the way to California, stopping every 4 hrs to gas up, toilet and food stops, taking turns to reduce fatigue. We reached Oakland Tuesday 11pm. In total, it took us 50 driving hours. This included an off-the-road side trip to check out the covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa.
I drove a small van-based motorhome from Daytona Beach to Seattle in 3 days with two other guys. It can be done, but not much fun. I think we only stopped once for about 3-4 hours while we all had to sleep, otherwise we were moving 24/7.
It was nice to be able to lay out to sleep in the back...something you won't have in the Tesla.
good frieking luck having to stop every 300 miles for 30 minutes to an hour sounds miserable.
I agree, it's much better to go 300 miles and stop for the rest of the day.
Well, the first thing that occurs to me is that that route is around 500 miles longer than it would be in an ICE - Google Maps is giving me 41 hours to go 2,794 miles. That is huge.
Second, this looks like taking the train - as long as you want to go where the rails go, you're fine...but if not, or if you would maybe like to keep your options open for some side trips, not so fine.
The fact that the car will spend an absolute minimum of an entire day - 24 hours - parked at Superchargers - is a given. In an ICE, at 400 miles per tank, you would refuel 6 times. Allowing a very conservative half-hour per stop, since you would be eating at those some of those fuel stops, gives 3 hours total to refuel.
The odds of it making the trip with no mechanical or electrical issues...I give it 3 out of 5.
LOL, I was eager to hear what bad you were going to say with your constant negative attitude. Driving cross country in a car is not something anyone realistically do often, its more something like once in a life time, a special trip / achievement. As for your railroad comparison, infrastructure is being built, in maybe 1-2 years there won't be that 500mi detour.
Either way, most would take the plane for such long trip. Superchargers will be pretty useful for <500mi trips. Its perfectly acceptable to stop 20min every 200mi to have a break, eat, drink and stretch your legs... I agree that longer trips are better with two drivers and less stops. Point is, this is not something 99.9% people do anyway.
But this is a long term test and this cross country drive is a great test. I'm glad they kept the car and doing this. Keep your always negative comments coming, they are really appreciated and entertaining!
If you speed, don't complain about lost range. But I'm looking forward to your posts.
The extra 6500 miles could mean the car needs its 4th drivetrain somewhere around Colorado on the return trip.
So to refute what I've said, you claim that it's great that as part of the test they're seeing how well the car can do something that nobody will actually do with it anyway. Maybe they should put a class III hitch on it and see how well it will pull a 30-foot Airstream up the Grapevine.
And if you think you can get 200 miles of range into a Tesla S in 20 minutes, that's news to everyone, including the makers of the car.
Good luck, Kurt and Dan. Please drive the car as you would any other car. I'd like to hear what your experiences are with charging and range when you drive normally. For your readers who are potentially considering this vehicle, it would be better to hear how it performs when driven normally. We do not want to have to calculate anything - just drive at normal speeds, and when the battery runs low, SuperCharge as needed. We would like to hear if any special circumstances force you to either drive slower or charge longer (> 80%). Please do not turn off A/C, stereo. Real life long trips need those creature comforts.
Its great that they are putting a lot of miles in a short period of time, no mater if the test is realistic or not for everyone. More testing, more media attention. Lots of data to crunch, for you to bash, for me to enjoy.
I also hope they to a realistic test, not like Tesla did in their cross country trip. AC on, stereo rocking. Heating is actually what hurts the range most, driving at 65mph AC on or off doesn't make much range difference in my experience. Beside heating, speed is the most important factor, then comes elevation change and wind.
For some people a coast to coast drive is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Others may do it every few years. Me? I've only driven coast-to-coast once, but I've done 5-6 other trips that involved 2000+ miles of driving in a week or less. And countless trips that involved driving 1000 miles over a long weekend.
That's why I'm excited to read about this trip-- not because I expect to duplicate the EXACT route of this coast-to-coast trek but because it's an excellent shakedown exercise that shows the readiness of the Tesla S to make lengthy roadtrips that are non-issues in an ICE vehicle.
Unless you're exceedingly tall, if you fold down the rear seats there should be plenty of room to stretch out in the back (certainly more than in most cars). You shouldn't have much for luggage so that would all go in the frunk.
This is a very good point. Using the Supercharger network route is Tesla's ideal use-case. If you can't drive it like a normal car during this trip, you never will.
I'm curious why Tesla built their first transcon route with that northern kink through South Dakota. Building out along the I-80 corridor through Nebraska or I-70 through Kansas would have made a shorter connection between Denver and Chicago. As others have pointed out, this routing adds hundreds of miles to trips between major population centers. Did SD offer Tesla a financial incentive to get on the network first? Did NE and KS have prohibitive zoning laws?
Ok, this is a great development in your testing of the Tesla (I say as the owner of a P85). The one question I have is: What happens with the car once you get to NY? Do you return on the same path? One thing I've wondered about is how feasible it is to travel long distances without the Supercharger network, using instead something like Plugshare to locate available charging locations.
Hate to break it to you guys, but I'm not sure that you'll actually set a world record by traveling across the US in less time than the Tesla team. It looks like their record was for the shortest charging time to travel across the US, not shortest overall time (see Tesla blog post link below). Not saying that your 69 hours won't be a world record, just I wouldn't be using Tesla as your standard-bearer.
Believe it or not, the only reason the Superchargers were built along the northern route is because Elon Musk made his first coast-to-coast trip in the US along that route many years ago (I believe with his brother). So it was just a personal decision, because he wanted to recreate that trip. I suppose he figured that Superchargers would build out fast enough that it really didn't matter what route was first.
I'm tending to think that building a coast to coast charging system is a waste of time. The charging stations should be in major metropolitan areas and if you can't make it from Chicago to Nevada, well so what? Most coast to coast drivers are either commercial, RV or family cars stacked with luggage piled on the roof. Hardly EV compliant uses.
This strikes me as a publicity stunt. It's another way to spend the advertising budget. I think a percentage of these charging stations will have cobwebs on them.
While I am sure that few people will do coast to coast trips in their Tesla, I can't agree that having a nationwide network of charging stations is a waste. In fact, I'd say that such a network is going to be essential to the proliferation and success of both Tesla Motors and the electric car in general.
It's not so much a matter of connecting the east and west coasts, but having a system in place so that any owner can make a trip that's longer than the car's range. That doesn't have to be a continental trip, it could be a short as going into the neighboring state to visit family. The appeal and usability of the electric car have to be broadened or its ownership will continue to be regarded as unappealing by the vast majority of auto shoppers.
I agree, the current thin line of chargers connecting the two coasts is more about supporting a marketing effort than satisfying the need of Tesla owners to complete road trips across the continent. When any owner, in any state, can travel to any other state for whatever reason; then we'll have that effective charging network I was talking about. We're well underway though.
I can't wait to read the article on this. They are now more than 3/4 done based on their Twitter feed. Last update was 2h ago, in Macedonia, OH.
If there is going to be a coast-to-coast charging network for EVs in general, it's certainly not going to be free. This concept might work for a Tesla, wherein you have pre-paid the electric bill by buying the charging unit, but if you are envisioning large scale re-charging by large clumps of EVs, then I don't see this system as the one that will work for this.
They've made it! 67.5 hours, about 8h less than the Tesla team (76h).
Correct. You don't see. According to recent reports, Nissan and BMW do, though.