Evolution of road trips

Evolution of road trips

My wife and I did our first Tesla road trip (FL to New England) in June 2016, in our 2016 Model AP1 S85 (265-mile range). Supercharger coverage was pretty good all the way up and down the east coast, but I planned our stops using,, and an old Supercharger Reviews thread in this forum. I kept track of my actual mileage between stops and charging time at each supercharger.

Our second road trip was about 15 months later, same itinerary (more or less) and the same car. There were a few more superchargers available than on the previous trip, but most of our supercharger stops were going to be the same as before, so I didn't do much planning.

We're about to do another road trip, the usual itinerary, but this time in a 2018 S100D with 335-mile range. There are a LOT more superchargers along the route than there were on our previous trip 2 years ago. Between the extra superchargers and extra range, I don't have to think about where to stop -- our bladders and stomachs will probably make the choice for us. :-) I don't expect the superchargers to be as uncrowded as they were 2 years ago, but I'm not worried about it either.

I'm just amazed at how easy road tripping in a Tesla has become (not to mention having AP to make the drive easier). I realize there are parts of the country where coverage isn't as good and you still need to plan a bit, but that will change. I know some of you long-time owners started doing road trips back when supercharger coverage was very limited, so you must be even more amazed by the changes over the years.

Thanks Tesla!

NKYTA | September 21, 2019

Yay! Grin!

Shesmyne2 | September 21, 2019

Thanks for the memories EV.
Yes, ‘back in the day’ road trips were very different.
Now, it’s a breeze.

Enjoy the ride.

Still Grinning ;-)

PrescottRichard | September 21, 2019

As a model 3 owner once said on this board- thanks to all of you who jumped in early and made owning a Tesla what it is today.

SamO | September 21, 2019

It’s amazing how much further you can drive in 24 hours with 320 miles of range instead of 208.

And with Supercharger density improving every year, it’s much more convenient than gas refueling.

bhanuk99 | September 21, 2019

@EVRider, it should be easier with so many superchargers along the way. I have done from DC area to New England and from our area to NC. I have 2018 S100D too and it is very pleasant to drive with AP and NOA thro all those tolls. i just listen to music, enjoy the car, and the view. I am due for another trip to New England for fall foliage. I do lot of day trips to Blacksburg, VA, and the superchargers are amazing. Best of luck!

sbeggs | September 21, 2019

You're right!
West Coast Canada trip 2014, to Banff, no superchargers on the Canadian leg!
It was a blast, and no problem in the 5350 mile journey. Would be a breeze today.

barrykmd | September 22, 2019

I'm still waiting for a SpC in SE New Mexico so I can visit Carlsbad Caverns without going hours out of the way.

jordanrichard | September 22, 2019

When we took delivery of our S85 in March 2014, there were only 3 supercharger locations in ALL of New England. Now there are 11 locations here in CT alone. We also had no built in route planner. We had to plot out our route on the proverbial “back of a napkin”.
Presently I am in FL for the 7th time and it is now a breeze to get here.

SamO | September 22, 2019

Barry complaining? Shit covered glasses strikes again.

stevencsimpson | September 22, 2019

My experience after 33,000 miles in 2 years there is very little difference in TIME road tripping in my Tesla S over gas. The difference is when gassing up you spend 5-10 minutes getting the credit card machine to work or moving to another pump, frustrating!!, and then going in the store for a bathroom break and food. Totally difference experience charging a Tesla. The Tesla management system monitors the car in real time and displays all needed information on the large center screen. From the start of the trip you know where every stop is, how long you need to charge, how many chargers there are and how many are in use. The display also informs you if food and bathrooms are available which they usually are. With the Tesla Supercharging network charging is free, you simply plug in, eat, relax and in 20-40 minutes your Tesla will text you that you're charged and ready to get back on the road.

AlsoRan | September 23, 2019

I too look forward to a charger in SE New Mexico in order to visit Carlsbad Caverns. Just sayin. And I don't wear glasses.

sklancha | September 23, 2019

For the amount of EV driving I've done over the past 5 years, I've done very very very little Tesla Road trip planning. I did have to burn a few brain cells for a few of them, however. Nova Scotia, Mexico, and a Guadulpe Mountains/ Carlsbad Caverns National Parks road trips would have been impossible without preplanning a bit.

@Steven- I was visiting my daughter in Alabama, and made the mistake of offering to pay for her to fill up her car.... We ended up at a gas station that had some 'slow pumps' sign which we didn't notice. The poor girl had to squeeze the pump for so long that she asked me to take over after both her hands/wrists were burned out (no do-hicky to keep the handle in pump mode). By the time both of my hands were hurting (and we learned the entire life history of everyone around us in the same trap)- I convinced her it wasn't worth doing the whole fill-up. The college kids on the pump next to us thought they'd be clever and go inside while it was pumping, only to find out that it stopped pumping after only one gallon of gas. Of course those 'slow pump' issues don't happen all the time, but it still was a quick (or slow and painful) reminder of the joys of snorting gas fumes, and the other fossil fuel pleasantries.


EVRider | September 23, 2019

To offer up another example of slow fueling:

We used to live in MA and drive to FL just before Christmas. Every trip, we’d stop for lunch at one of the NJ Turnpike service plazas, eat lunch, pee, get in line at the gas station, and maybe 20 minutes after getting in line we were on our way.

Now when we drive home to FL from New England, we stop at one of the NJ service plazas with superchargers, plug in, eat, pee, and we’re ready to roll.

sklancha | September 23, 2019

I loved listening to my daughter, as she whined with the college kids. She kept giving examples of, 'if we were in my mom's car...'
We would be dealing with these fumes
We'd be standing here like idiots...
We'd be eating at that [next door to the fueling station] restaurant
I wouldn't be wondering if my arms will be functional tomorrow.

She's the one who let her dad convince her that it was worth giving up the ugly Leaf in favor of a cool looking ICE... Which made those pro-EV comments all the sweeter

tjhlaw | September 23, 2019

I am amazed at the number of new hotels that now have destination chargers. It makes things so much easier now to continue in the morning with a full charge after staying overnight. Many of these hotels don't even mention their chargers on their websites. Certain hotel brands seem to really be embracing EVs and Tesla in particular.

SamO | September 23, 2019

New record 3 hours 40 minutes 278 miles to Las Vegas with 15 minute charge at Baker. V3 Superchaerge got me back to 80% in 17 minutes.

Amazing improvements over my S60 on this drive in 2013.

sklancha | September 23, 2019

A new twist on the evolution. I was talking with a [new?] gen 2 Nissan Leaf owner that said they now have adapters for the Lead so they can use the Tesla destination chargers. I wouldn’t have a problem with that if they will be financially contributing to Tesla’s program... but something felt reeeeeally fishy about what he was confidentially reporting. Do these other manufacturers now have adapters so that they can plug into a Tesla finances charging station? If so, is Tesla getting money from it to support the program expansion?-

NKYTA | September 23, 2019

That seems odd. True?

PrescottRichard | September 23, 2019

I believe the destination pays for the electricity, Tesla supplies the equipment. So maybe not as bad as you think? Still, the Leaf is benefitting from the Tesla equipment if that is true, and that sounds familiar.

Give ‘em a smug ‘You’re welcome’ from me then.

Bighorn | September 23, 2019

There have been destination charger adapters for years that other marques can use.

nwfan | September 24, 2019

@BH when you finally make a TX swing and stop at the recently reopened Ft Worth SC.
Be prepared to be ICE. The 16 urban chargers during the daylight hours are routinely blocked
by gas cars/trucks. You are lucky to find 1 open spot for charging. The area has changed with many new customer orientated shops open from the light industrial use prior. They require parking that only available at the small lot Tesla SC shares. I've been here at 0600 with just 2 spots available for charging. By 0630 my car had the only charging spot. 8 charging spots have general parking 30 mins sign. The other 8 Tesla charging only.
Doesn't bother the late running workout person who's running late. They pull into the 1st open spot and usually
that means another charging spot is gone.

It didn't help the cause when the SC was off line for 7 months and all the ICE vehicles started spreading to all parking spots. The local Tesla owners group has contacted local govt. Time will tell if it helps.

Bighorn | September 24, 2019

Yikes! Thanks for the heads up. I’ll probably head through at the end of next month after the worst of hurricane season has passed.

EVRider | September 26, 2019

Drove from SE FL to Santee SC yesterday. In my old S85 we would have stopped to charge in Port St. Lucie FL, Port Orange FL, Kingsland GA, snd Savannah GA. In the S100D we were able to skip Port St. Lucie and Savannah. The other two superchargers that we did use and the one in Santee were empty when we arrived; one car showed up at Port St. Lucie while we were there, two others at Kingsland.

So far so good, except that Tesla might be charging me for supercharging even though I’m supposed to get a 400kWh annual credit. Didn’t check my credit card yet, but I’ll deal with that later.

Onwards to Washington DC.

Bighorn | September 26, 2019

Looks like I might head for TX today. I'll try to hit Ft Worth off hours.

EVRider | September 27, 2019

Day 2 update: Santee NC to Washington DC. Charged at Santee after arriving there. Charged at Fayetteville NC and Chester VA on the way to DC. I was the only one at both locations, though a second Model S showed up in Chester while I was there. The Chester location is a Wawa, and there’s a touchless carwash behind it, which was handy because there were lots of bugs on the drive up. Ironically the Wawa gas pumps were unavailable and roped off.

I verified that Tesla did charge my credit card for supercharging, so I contacted them. No response yet.

sbeggs | September 28, 2019

@jordanrichard, is that you?

jordanrichard | September 28, 2019

Yes but I don’t know how my user I’d got screwed up or that fandolls thing.

jordanrichard | September 28, 2019

Dam auto correct. I meant I don’t know how my user ID got changed.

sbeggs | September 28, 2019

Alternate universe?
Time slip?
Autocorrect gone ludicrous???

Bighorn | September 28, 2019

Some bot/spammer copied his text to insert a link.

jordanrichard | September 29, 2019

I will go with what BH said. Oddly the post is gone now because it was just above where sbeggs asked if that was me.

Bighorn | September 29, 2019

Probably flagged off as spam