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2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited September 2014 in Tesla

image2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds conducts a Long-Term Test of the 2013 Tesla Model S and takes a road trip.

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Comments

  • Oh food definitely needs to be planned out on long road trips. I like to bring along food in a little cooler and make sandwiches or whatever at the stops so nothing gets too soggy. Sure restaurant stops are nice sometimes, but how pleasant are those stops with the family, stretching legs and munching on a thick ham and cheese sandwich?
  • as rock2155 pointed out, that is much better map, crowd sourced with also SCs under constructions :)
  • Go to http://www.plugshare.com and click the wrench icon (settings). Uncheck everything but Tesla Superchargers. Presto! Took me ten seconds to find them all.
  • It makes financial sense to install superchargers in less known towns as they are probably subsidizing the cost of building and energizing the stations in exchange for the potential travelers spending money in their town. When I moved to the States in 2005 the first thing I did was to buy a relatively cheap motorcycle and drive from Miami, FL to Napa Valley, CA and back driving through as many back roads as possible. It was an unforgettable experience and the best moments of the trip were on the smaller less known towns.
  • Looks like road trips aren't this car's forte. The typical wealthy owner is not going to put up with range anxiety, master planning for recharges, and particularly the detours and waiting. They would probably take a gas vehicle and use the Tesla where it makes the most sense--commuting and shorter trips. Oh, the trip is uphill---let me recalculate the range.

    Not to say that if I were a Leaf or other EV owner I would be willing to put up with that much effort to travel outside a comfort range/zone.
  • Yes, I am whining. :)
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    I'm glad you're taking this trip. I know a lot of us were calling for it earlier, before some of the supercharger stations were set up, but it makes more sense now. I will be following this trip closely.
  • The Nav system in the Model S has all the locations of the Superchargers around the world embedded in it (they are updated automatically over the air as more locations are added). If you click on the lightning bolt icon in the upper right corner of the Nav system you will see the locations around the car location (depending on your map zoom level which you can adjust). All you need to do to get the car to route to a Supercharger is tap on the Supercharger station icon on the map and the car will plot out the route and guide you there. In the future Tesla plans to incorporate weather (wind, rain, temperature) and elevation data in the range calculations so you can tell through the nav system what a more accurate range prediction would be based on the actual driving conditions.

    A future update to the Nav system is where you would input your final destination and the navigation will plot an optimal route that would incorporate the Superchargers in your route. As it stands, you must navigate first to the Supercharger in the Nav system and then navigate to your final destination after reaching the Supercharger (No waypoint system in the nav yet).

    Now the argument of 'What if there is no Supercharger that is convenient along my route' is valid and that will have to be addressed by the continued buildout of the Supercharger network over time. But the nav system makes it very easy to find and get to a Supercharging station (as long as there is one generally along the route you plan to travel). Tesla is working hard to have comprehensive Supercharger coverage around the United States and Europe. The West coast I-5 corridor is covered and the East coast is in progress. The middle of the country should be covered in the next 2 years and there is the possibility that third parties will step up and start installing Superchargers outside the Tesla network. I believe there are a few shopping malls that have announced plans to do so already.

    It is really a fantastic roadtrip car (trips longer than 200 miles is how I'm defining roadtrip) that is no less convenient than a gas car for the majority of the population (As long as you have convenient Supercharger access along your general route). If you are one that wants to plant yourself in the drivers seat and power through to a destination, you will not be able to achieve that right now with the Model S (although Tesla has mentioned in interviews that it would be great to get the Supercharger times down to 5 or 10 minutes and there is also the potential for battery swap that would be less than a minute).
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    I think part of the criticism is that most people want to sit at the computer and plot out the route, waypoints, destinations, points of interest, places to stay and places to eat (and make reservations) BEFORE getting into the car. I would add that for travel on superhighways, the SC network will make things a lot more doable, but for those who like to travel the blue highways, it's not that much of a help.
  • k5ingk5ing Posts: 8
    All this talk about the Tesla not being suited for longer distance travel is funny to me. It's like knocking a BMW 3-series because it won't haul 3 yards of wet concrete. Of course it won't, and the main use of a Model S isn't cross country trips. It's everyday use as long as you don't usually drive more than 250 miles per day.

    Besides, don't most people who can afford a Tesla usually fly to distant locations? If they take a car cross country or even someplace 1000 miles away, it's because they have time to burn and want to see the sites.
  • @k5ing: Its really not like a 3-series' hauling capacity, its like buying a 3-series and BMW tells you that you can only have responsive handling and good steering feel for so long until you have to hook it up and recharge it. That's no fun. I'm guessing
  • @quadricycle: Not sure what you're saying here. Sounds like you can drive a gasoline 3-series forever, without interruption. You're pretty lucky. I have to add gas to my car every so often to make it work again. Pretty sure Model S works just as well
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