I want to drive my Telsa Model S from Georgia to Michigan before 2015

I want to drive my Telsa Model S from Georgia to Michigan before 2015

I live in Atlanta but I'm from Detroit. I take the trip back home at least once a year. It's a simple drive. I get on I-75 in downtown Atlanta and get off of I-75 in downtown Detroit. You would think that this mid-west corridor would be among the first to receive Supercharger service.

I have two sons and 4 brothers that live along the I-95 corridor. By the end of 2013 I-85 to I-95 through Maine will have SC service. Surprisingly, an obscure corner of Michigan near Lake Michigan will receive SC service before the busy I-75 route from Michigan to Florida.

Finally, some routes are packed with SC service. I-85 has SC stops less than 100 miles apart. Couldn't the postpone density for coverage?

Is anyone with me here or am I off-base and out of touch with the realities of SC network development?

I'm enjoying my Model S. I picked it up exactly 1 month ago today. 3,600 miles later, I'm more happy with it than the day I got it. I guess I just want it all.

Brian H | July 21, 2013

Do you do that 600 mi. in one day? Try secondary hwys, perhaps with an overnight in an RV cabin with 14-50 service? Many owners relish the off-thruway experience.

Tâm | July 21, 2013

Hi Doug:

Sorry to hear about the delays. Could it because there are less reservation holders along I-75?

soma | July 21, 2013

Permitting issues?

cloroxbb | July 21, 2013


Its much more than 600 miles...

kcveins | July 21, 2013

The "obscure corner of Michigan" is actually on the busier corridor of Chicago to Detroit...

Doug H | July 21, 2013

kcveins - No that corridor would be fine. I'm talking about the one on Lake Michigan toward the middle of the state not the bottom.

Docrob | July 21, 2013

They need to balance geographic spread with focusing on customer dense areas, a fine balance. I tend to agree that they are perhaps rolling hem out in too clustered a way, particularly if coast to coast travel is such an important goal for Tesla.

Having said that looking at your trip its about 720 miles or three relatively comfortable legs. This means 2 charges along the way. You could do that with three easy days or one long day covering two legs with a long midday charge and a short day. You could even do it over even longer, 4 or 5 days and find some places to see along the way, perhaps you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find when the trip becomes a journey rather then just a race to a destination.

cfOH | July 21, 2013

I agree that I-75 should be one of the major US highways to be blessed with Superchargers every 120 miles along its length, and sooner rather than later. The volume of traffic that I-75 supports on a daily basis makes it one of the busiest highways on the continent. It's pretty stunning that Tesla will take nearly 3 years to add SC stations along even part of it.

Pungoteague_Dave | July 21, 2013

There are simply destination limitations with our cars that we must accept until the SC network is ready. For example, we have to go to a family wedding in Rochester, NY in early September.

The 375-mile trip from Baltimore to Rochester is virtually impossible to do in our 85 without the car taking over the trip. The wedding is on a Saturday. We plan to drive to Rochester on Friday and return on Sunday. We will also need to drive around in Rochester on Saturday.

This is a trip that takes 6-7 hours in an ICE, but the installed SC network is of no help. Some of the route is on highways, but most is on a 2-lane road network. I have looked for charging stations along the way and in Rochester, and have found some, but none en-route with 30A or higher, and all would require two more days on the road, or a VERY long day going and coming, with 5-7 hours of waiting during charging at a KOA. This means that it simply isn't practical to make the trip with the MS - the compromises are too great.

So we will spend about $200 in fuel for our F150 instead, even though we would love to have the car there for family and friends to experience. This will eventually get solved, as the TM SC map shows two chargers to be installed in central NY and one in northern PA - but not until 2015. This means that for the next two years, our Model S cannot be used for get-togethers with the Rochester side of the family. And even then, it won't be perfect - there will be routing compromises that will cost time and convenience for many itineraries that go off the interstates.

Doug H | July 22, 2013

I plan to take my first long road trip next week. My goal on the 2 long drives (600+ miles each) is to drive a max of 400 miles per day. I have a 60kw battery. I will drive from Atlanta to Chicago in two days. After my stay there, I will drive from Chicago to Detroit (<300) in one day.

I will then take the 750 mile drive back to Atlanta on I-75. This final leg of my trip will be 2 days.

We will charge my MS at State parks or RV parks and find places to work (IT business) or shop.

I'm excited about the adventure of it all. I'd just like to have the choice of direct one-day trips when I don't have the luxury of time.

I has been said that the Interstate highway systems makes it possible to travel from one end of the country to the other without seeing a thing. Well, for the first time in my adult life I will be forced to see something.

BTW: The savings in gas more than pays for the hotel stays; just like it mostly pays for my MS.

Brian H | July 22, 2013

Sounds like a plan!

I'm sure you'll love it when it comes together. :)

robby81 | July 23, 2013

Can't wait for all the Roadtrip threads that will start to appear, once the SC network is dense enough!!

Brian H | July 23, 2013

Yeah, it could get real inventive even in the early days. "Connect the dots", changing weekly!

Doug H | July 26, 2013

Headed out tomorrow for Chicago. I have the specific details of the first leg now.

Here goes:

Leave home in time to catch the local Tesla Service Center when it opens. I'll use the HPWC to charge back the 40 miles.

I will then travel to Chattanooga, TN where I need to visit a book store. I'll pick up an hour of charge down the street at a Cracker Barrel.

I will have enough to make it to Nashville between 12 and 1. There I will charge for the next 5 hours and visit Opry Mills outlet, eat, and get a little work done.

Our final leg of day one takes us to Rend Lake Resort in southern Illinois. Where we will spend the night. There are 243 powered camper sites 1/2 mile from the hotel.

On day two, we will have a full charge for the 180+ mile to the Normal, IL Supercharger. We'll eat lunch while we charge. We will the go on to our final destination, Chicago.

That's the plan. I will let you know how it goes.

Docrob | July 26, 2013

Yes, the inventive road trips will be great when the SC coast to coast route is 50-80% complete, we will see people making most of the trip with SCs with a few level 2 charges to bridge the gaps. Ell be g rea to see the solutions people come up with and there will certainly be an incentive for hotels in the gaps to install chargers.

RWDPLZ | July 26, 2013

I would love to see more in Michigan, especially here in the Detroit area. The longest drive I regularly make is Detroit to Traverse City, 265 miles, and having superchargers along the route would make Tesla ownership a much more realistic possibility.

Speaking of Detroit, why are the closest Supercharging stations apparently planned for Ann Arbor or Lansing?

cloroxbb | July 27, 2013

If you hover over "2014" on the supercharger map, you will see that there is one IN Detroit, planned. So you will have one right where you are.

It did seem odd though, that they planned Superchargers in MI, so close together, looks like one at I96, I69, and 23 and fairly close together...

At least you will benefit more from having one IN Detroit, there wont be anything close to Grand Rapids.

cloroxbb | July 27, 2013

Whoops, looks like it will be on 401, and not necessarily IN Detroit, but close.

aphysician | August 5, 2013

Hi everyone, first post in official forum. We have a forum on TMC (I think cloroxbb knows). 2 owners (one from chicago and one from Detroit) made the trip to Traverse city recently. I am planning a trip soon in my 60 kWh. All the charging details are in the thread. Hope it helps Doug. I think I saw your message on our facebook page.

Also we are looking for more owners in the state. By latest count there are atleast 100 in Michigan, though we only know around 30. If anybody here from Michigan then please let us know, we should get together.

Brian H | August 5, 2013

Only "friends" can see the facebook posting.

Doug H | August 8, 2013

I've completed my trip now. I drove from Atlanta to Chicago, Chicago to Detroit, and Detroit to Atlanta. I'll tell you that the need for Supercharger service on I-75 earlier that 2015 is real.

Actually, this is easily accomplished:

A Chattanooga SC is already scheduled. SCs in Knoxville, TN, Lexington, KY, and Dayton, OH would almost complete the drive.

An SC is already scheduled for Toledo, OH in 2014.

This stretch of I-75 was one of the most challenging. If not for a HPWC owner in Dayton sharing on PlugShare, I my trip would have taken more than 2 days.

At least on the trip to Chicago I had the SC in Normal. There was no SC on the last leg of my trip and only 1 planned (according to the SC map) until 2015.

It looks like the map is flexible. Since I am hearing rumors of an SC in Chattanooga, I'm hoping more rethinking will happen for places like Dayton, Lexington, and Knoxville.

tobi_ger | August 8, 2013

Is there a Supercharger team that you could/will send your valuable feedback/driving experience to?
It would be a pitty if that wasn't taken into account by TM.

In any case your report nicely demonstrates that long range driving isn't an issue (with just a little planning ahead).

Doug H | August 8, 2013

I forgot to give credit to Bill in Granger, Indiana. He left his garage open when he went to work so that we could use his High Power Wall Charger on our trip from Chicago to Detroit. This cut 3 hours off of my trip. I have twin chargers.

After our charge in Granger, we were able to make Ann Arbor at a decent hour and take my niece out to dinner during our final charge to make Detroit.

By the way, reservations clerk at Marriot in the RenCen in Detroit told me to use the one of the two ChargePoint stations at the front of the complex to charge overnight. Coincidentally, the RenCen is now General Motors World Headquarters. The chargers were placed there to showcase Chevy Volts while they charged. However, there was no restriction imposed by ChargePoint so I charged my MS in this great display spots with CHEVY VOLT all over the space. Light were beaming out of the ground on to my MS. This was quite a display spot in front of GM world headquarters.

But last Friday night, is was showing off my blue MS. A little thumb of the nose at GM for killing the EV-1 felt kinda good.

jat | August 8, 2013

I live in Atlanta as well, and it would be great to have Superchargers where I personally want to go - in particular, having one on 20 halfway to Birmingham would make it so much easier to take my Model S to Barber Motorsports Park. I frequently go to Montgomery and Chattanooga, but I can make those without any SCs (just charge at dryer outlets where I am staying, or for Chattanooga I can even do it without charging at all if I drive a bit slower).

However, I think the way they are doing it, which is to make one corridor at a time a viable option, is in fact better than having a scattering of Superchargers that are useful to those nearby but don't really help you make your long trip anyway. So, the approach they are taking is to build skeleton pathways and then fill in more pathways rather than just sticking a bunch of dots out in the middle of nowhere.

bmkuppe | April 9, 2014

Doug I am trying to make the trip from Atlanta to Normal, IL. I do not see a charger at Opry Mills. Also where did you stay when you charged overnight at Rend Lake Resorts?