Cross country in a Tesla Model S

Cross country in a Tesla Model S

My wife and I just completed a cross country, 3000 mile, coast to coast trip (Berkeley to Washington, DC) trip in our Model S. The trip lasted from March 25 to April 12, but we actually were driving for about 12 or 13 days, stopping about 24 times to charge up during the ride, mostly following I-80, but hit some tiny roads as well. The trip cost us $137 in charging fees, and about 4 cents/mile average overall. Half the time we were able to charge up at no cost beyond the cost of an overnight stay in a RV park cabin. We used the Superchargers in Folsom, CA and Newark, Del. as well as Chargepoint and PlugShare. One Tesla owner, Roger, in Princeton, NJ let us charge up all day and used 70 kwhs that were created by solar panels. That was sweet. The car performed exactly as promised. We had zero problems with the car. Often, we'd spend an hour or two on the web seeking the golden quarry of a Nema 14-50 outlet and a place to stay overnight nearby, always succeeding. Long distance electric car travel is here! Would love to hear others' experiences with this.

herkimer | 19. april 2013

Thank you for posting! It's inspiring to know that it can be fun and stress free to go coast to coast in an S, and cost so little, even now, before supercharger networks. As long as you have time. Just got to have plenty of time and to enjoy the journey! Exciting to think that its only going to get better from here!

JZ13 | 19. april 2013

Bob, I did a factory tour on 2/21 when I picked up my S. There was a nice couple in the tour who were describing their planned trip which sounded very similar to your trip. I wonder if that was you guys? Congrats on your successful journey.

DonS | 19. april 2013

Possible isn't the same as stress free. Our experience within a hundred miles of home has been great, but spending "an hour or two on the web seeking the golden quarry of a Nema 14-50 outlet" sounds not so great. Public charging has a long way to go before I'll consider a cross country trip to be stress free.

RonaldA | 19. april 2013

Just hosted my first plug share Model S at my home in Buffalo. Am installing my HPC this weekend and will add a 14-50 NEMA on the side of the house to enhance my plug share ability if Im not home.

Bubba2000 | 19. april 2013

What does the factory look like? Does it run smoothly? How about the robots? Does the final semi manual assembly work flawlessly? How about the electric motor manufacturing, does it take a lot of labor?

rkang | 19. april 2013

Hi Bob! Roger here (Princeton). Sorry I didn't get to meet you, but I did take a nice pic of our two Model S cars side by side in my driveway!

Mike C | 19. april 2013

Congrats on the successful trip. I'm jealous that you got to drive so much! You may be the first person/car ever to use a Supercharger on both coasts!

GeekEV | 19. april 2013

A similar trip was done by @JackB last month. More details here:

Brian H | 19. april 2013

Here's the Nat Geo tour, if you haven't seen it. The battery and motor works on the second floor are not public.

Bob Kroll | 24. april 2013

Don S.

A cross country trip, whether by ICE or EV will always involve the unexpected, the unanticipated. We actually anticipated that we'd have to spend some time finding our next evening charging point and overnight accommodation.

But to imply you'd not consider a cross country trip because of the need to put an hour to two into planning the next stop is like saying you're not going to use computers any more because you still have to spend an hour or two on the phone to Bangalore dealing with tech support. It's part of the experience.

DonS | 24. april 2013

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, but I believe I would find it too stressful to enjoy it like you did. I've had experience enough to know hotel accommodations can be difficult to find when driving cross country, particularly in the summer. You may have had better luck by traveling in the off season. To add nearby charging as a lodging requirement, sounds painfully difficult. It seems a summer family road trip would revolve around the car, instead of using it as a means to reach other adventures.

I really want to see chargers at national parks so it can charge while I hike though Yellowstone, Devil's Tower or Mt. Rushmore.

Bob Kroll | 01. kan 2013

It can only get better and easier. You're right - this trip would have been much more stressful with kids, or in high season (though we did run into the problem of RV parks that were closed for the cold months and not yet open.)

We enjoy the uncertainties - we crossed the country on one 1975 Norton Commando motorcycle, so the Tesla trip was a comparable breeze.