Musk Family Road Trip - Cross Country Supercharging!

Musk Family Road Trip - Cross Country Supercharging!

Tweets from Elon this morning:

"Just finalized the LA to NY family road trip route in Model S. 6 day, 3200 mile journey with only 9 hrs spent charging."

"At 1.5 hrs/day, we will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee, never just for charging itself"

napacab | September 5, 2013

I am a big fan of Elon, but is this the whole story?
How is it possible to traverse the entire country and spend only 9 hours charging?

Is he not counting charging at night in the 9 hours?

Or is there a new network of Superchargers that no one else knows about?

AmpedRealtor | September 5, 2013

He is probably using the Tesla financing calculator to determine those numbers :)

Jamon | September 5, 2013

He's planning to use the superchargers in the "Winter 2013" tab here:

If they drive 3,200 miles, stopping to supercharge every 200 miles, it would be 16 total charging stops. 34 minutes at each supercharger would get you to 9 hours total. Seems reasonable to me. Assuming you get the full 120kW every time you charge.

Probably too optimistic for the average driver to expect those perfect conditions in the real world. But when you're iron man...

hillcountryfun | September 5, 2013

He does keep it interesting...

9 hours charging x 400 chrg-mi/hr (assuming 120Kw SCs) = 3600 miles.

So, no I don't think he plans to charge at night. I'm also sure he's planning on a version of the software that removes the vampire load.

My question is when, originally he said the end of the year and that implies that all of the required SCs will be in place by that time. From this, I'm guessing that their pace of rolling out SCs is about to increase...a lot.

Very cool and very excited! I hope his trip is well documented and well publicized!

Carefree | September 5, 2013

But he talks in the past - he says "I just finalized the LA to NY family road trip". How could he do that? As far as we know there are no superchargers yet anywhere outside CA and WA to cross the country. Something is not right here.

Carefree | September 5, 2013

Forget my previous post! He just did the planning - that's all.

ENGINEER | September 5, 2013

Maybe we'll get a Follow Elon app during his drive, where we can track how his distance traveled correlates with the inevitable increase in the stock price.

AmpedRealtor | September 5, 2013

I know they are probably going to clear the superchargers ahead of his arrival since this is a PR thing, but wouldn't it be funny if the stalls are all occupied with ICE vehicles or other Model S that have been sitting there for hours... LOL

Alex K | September 5, 2013

@AmpedRealtor | SEPTEMBER 5, 2013: wouldn't it be funny if the stalls are all occupied with ICE vehicles or other Model S that have been sitting there for hours

I was just thinking the same thing! I think we would see a quick change in policy or attitude if that were the case.

Tylyoung | September 5, 2013

"What kind of man would live where there is no daring? I don't believe in taking foolish chances, but nothing can be accomplished without taking any chance at all."

Charles Augustus Lindbergh

"The Spirit of Elon Musk"

negarholger | September 5, 2013

I am sure a Tesla person will occupy a slot for him.

amish.bhatia | September 5, 2013

This could be a fantastic or TERRIBLE PR move.

sharpe222 | September 5, 2013

looks like they flooded the zone with permits and expect a massive amount of Superchargers to come online during the fall/winter. Great news!

negarholger | September 5, 2013

At least he doesn't have to charge at Gilroy... so it could be done less obvious. And the the fix the SC team stands by around the corner...
The only question I have will he do it quietly or with a horde of reporters behind him.

Mark K | September 5, 2013

This is a great way to focus the team on hitting the SC goals.

And it's a terrific way to prove your dog food is the best.

A roadtrip moment that dad and sons will remember forever, and probably read about in the history books.

Vicelike | September 5, 2013

I used the winter map and came up with a trip that required 20 charges of 1/2 hour each. Mine trip is a bit longer than Elon's as I am planning to go from San Diego to Tarrytown, NY.

I am going to allow a week and if I pick places to stay overnight that allow 240/40 charging, I may be able to skip some of the Supercharger stops or shorten them. But as the plan stands today, it's all supercharger for free.

DouglasR | September 5, 2013

I get a kick out of the idea that a company schedules the build-out of a major support system for it's only product based upon a college road trip taken long ago by its CEO.

Still, it's a risky play, since it puts the successful completion of a large number of superchargers directly in the spotlight. If he makes that trip when and as promised, it will be quite a coup. If he doesn't, it will be quite an embarrassment.

mikeflb | September 5, 2013

Expect a back up Model S will be driving with him in the unlikely case of breakdown and for security.

If he event they broadcast the start time and route expect: Press at some charger stops, MS Owners (fans) and perhaps hecklers. All of which could extend stop time.

It would be cool to see a small group of enthusiastic MS owners to follow by a few hours and get to meet him at the finish line.

bradslee | September 5, 2013

We should have the confidence in Elon in making his MS across country journey. If he plans well as he said, I wouldn't doubt his ability of execution. Who wants to bet against his world class ability of execution? Only those foolish shorts and this time Mr. John Broder again perhaps.

jonlivesay | September 5, 2013

I'll bet against him but you got to give long odds! Hoping I can make same trip next summer.

AmpedRealtor | September 5, 2013

Anyone know if his expected route will bring him through Arizona? I believe one of the superchargers is supposed to be constructed here in Buckeye, where I live. I would love to wave at Elon from my Model S! :)

romainiacWV | September 5, 2013

Lol on the financing calculator @ampedrealator. In terms of route. Using the map it seems they are building out I-80 to accomplish this. That will be his route most likely, no Zona. Just hope Wally Wprld isn't closed when they get there......."sorry folks!"

Bighorn | September 5, 2013

Folks, this isn't rocket science.

tes-s | September 5, 2013

His route will be well known. Unlikely there will be more than one cross-country route with SCs.

If others are correct that permits are what is holding up SCs, then they must already know the exact location of all the SCs he will be using, and have all the permit applications in and be well along in the approval process on all of them.

His trip will require the doubling of the number of SC locations currently operational.

Missing his summer SC schedule must have been a big embarrasment for Elon. Hopefully he has made the necessary changes to fix it, and will have made enough progress on the fix so he has a good response on the next quarterly investor call.

portia | September 5, 2013

+1 Bighorn, really, it's going to be easy with the superchargers in place. and the 120kWh chargers are going to speed things up too.

no @AmpedRealtor, as far as I can tell, LA to NY does not go through AZ (via superchargers!)
@DouglasR, and what about the trip to Mars? probably hatched that idea when he was a kiddie reading Sci-fi or watching some movie, what's wrong with that? Most of us don't dream big like Elon, or make the dreams come true.

Neech | September 5, 2013

I sure hope there aren't hecklers out on the trail. Elon is bringing his children with him. If the haters would sink so low while his kids are riding along that just proves they lack any sense of integrity and should be exposed.

Brian H | September 5, 2013

Overall, the Fall '13 map adds 51 to the current 19 SCs. That works out to about 1 every 2 days till Dec 21.

Brian H | September 5, 2013

Clarification: 1 every 2 working days, assuming 6-day workweeks.

tes-s | September 5, 2013

Did he say when he plans to do this? I seem to remember December, 2013.

Dramsey | September 5, 2013

I notice in the Wired article:

"However, a Tesla spokeswoman tells WIRED that the Supercharger map hasn’t been updated since April and that many more stations are planned to be online by the time Musk and his family set off."

Um...why hasn't the map been updated since April?

JZ13 | September 5, 2013

@Dramsey - the map has been updated since April. The Florida, Chicago and Texas Superchargers are all new since then.

JZ13 | September 5, 2013

I hope they have lots of security. Us shareholders can't afford to have a Musk kidnapped. I would imagine they bring reporters but they do not report live for security reasons.

Brian H | September 6, 2013

Which WIRED article? What date?

tes-s | September 8, 2013

Is the trip still planned for December?

shawns | September 8, 2013

He doesn't mention when. I'd guess not until 2014. They'd have to complete installation on at least 15 new stations before he could take this trip. And looking at the "winter 2013" map, most of the dots are black, not red. And most are not on a direct route, ie having to go through S Dakota, Minnesota etc. So probably more like 3500 miles. Mid to late 2014 I think will be great for cross country travel, according to the map at least, if they stick to it. Trust me I want it as much as anyone, but I think it'll be a while.

sharpe222 | September 8, 2013

not a trip to made in winter so most likely summer 2014 I would think.

tes-s | September 8, 2013

I thought he said December - maybe on an investor call.

Back in May he was quoted as saying the SC network would triple by July, would be in most major metropolitan areas and cross country trip using SCs would be possible by the end of 2013.

I'll see if I can find the transcript where I thought he said he was planning his trip for December. Could be his plans got delayed due to the delay in the SC network.

To be fair, I'm sure there is small print somewhere to the effect "The Company's forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company's business and performance, the economy and other future conditions and forecasts of future events, circumstances and results. As with any projection or forecast, forward-looking statements are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and changes in circumstances."

GDH | September 8, 2013

Maybe during the trip he will realize how uncomfortable the seats are and redesign them!

Brian H | September 9, 2013

Many find long distance travel in the seats to be superior to any other car they've experience. Negative first impressions of aspects of the MS tend to reverse in due course.

Mf66 | September 9, 2013

I stopped by a supercharger on a business trip on the west coast and talked to a contractor. He had built two and was bidding on more. Comments from the guy.

- they are building 100 and he thinks they will go to 300.

- permitting is going ok. Finding local contractors that can do the electrical work is the issue. They have had some issues with local unions if they bring in their guys.

- lots of these are located on the edge of malls and in places with limited power. Getting power there is the main issue.

- the dots on the map are directional. They are moved to make sure they don't block city names in many instances.

Good guy and he was bidding on many more. I believe that as they get up the learning curve these will go a whole lot faster.

Vicelike | September 9, 2013

News Story from today: Looks Flaky to me!

Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA) is lower on the session amid CEO Elon Musk starting his six-day, 3,200-mile cross-country road trip in a Model S sedan to dispel media concerns over battery charging times and distance limitations.

DouglasR | September 9, 2013

Putting a reason behind a stock's movement in the market is always speculative, but most think the stock is lower because Aswath Damodaran put a value of $67.12 on it.

I also thought I read somewhere that the trip was to take place before the end of the year, but I can't find the reference. Obviously, Musk won't undertake the trip until all the planned supercharger stops are completed. In the northwest, the contractor building several of the stations has gotten faster and faster. Once they break ground, they take a couple of weeks to build, although sometimes it takes a while for the utility to do its side of the connection, and to actually energize the station.

fbramble | September 9, 2013

This is great. If Musk says he's going to do it, it will be done. After all he did something
that most people said can't no done. Besides he will have first hand knowledge of how
the car works in the real world.

Mitchell Waite | September 9, 2013

How did the family eat at all the supercharging stations within a half hour? Wouldn't that require a) there be restaurants or a 7-11 or some where to buy food and b) to eat really fast or in the car? Details needed.

tes-s | September 9, 2013


The contractor is right - they are building 100 more by the end of 2013, and then 200 more. It is on the website.

Interesting that the conractor says permitting is going ok - they would know, since they are probably the ones that put in the application locally. There has been speculation that permitting may be the issue, but boots on the ground seem to say otherwise. I'm sure there are electricians in each locale that know how to get permits approved - and some that don't.

I can see where power is an issue, depending on the location. But wouldn't that just be part of deciding the final location? I worked with a company that built out a datacenter, and power coming into the locations they were looking at was a consideration. If you want to build a 100MW power plant, you can't just expect to connect to the grid wherever you want.

I would think a contractor could put in a couple of SCs a week - just move the different crews from one to the next.

tes-s | September 9, 2013

...and if Elon Musk can get his company to send a rocket to the space station, I would think he can get a few SCs built so he can take his vacation.

TeslaRocks | April 14, 2014

So what did happen to the Musk family trip? It seemed it had started, but then now news other than a snow storm. Did snow cause Elon to abort? It would be reasonable since I'm sure he's got more important things to do than get stuck and unstuck in snow while the kids get agitated. I was just wondering about that and couldn't find any news about it, which is odd because I suspect there would have been articles written if the trip had been a success. Does anyone know what happened?