Final Thoughts: On Long Distance EV Road Tripping

In a nutshell, I will come out and say that the existing infrastructure in the US supports a cross country EV trip right now!  And it’s only going to get easier.  RV parks, your best source of high amperage electricity, are abundant enough that you could repeat our trip with a much smaller battery.  And on the flip side, you’d spend less time charging and have the option to use other types of charging stations (30A, Public Stations, and a 110V standard outlet if you must)

In talking with other Model S Reservation Owners, we met 3 others who are incorporating an extended road trip into their delivery process.  I wish them a successful journey and look forward to hearing about their adventures.  I’m very curious to hear about their charging experiences, to see what improvements (on the car and with the charging infrastructure) are made in the few short months between our trip and theirs.  Because EVs are very close cousins with computers, perhaps even Moore’s law applies to improvements in charging infrastructure

How fitting that Tesla unveiled it’s Supercharger Network yesterday.  I can imagine doing this again where 150 miles of range is available within 30 minutes.  This is a game changer in regards to the speed limitations of 55-60mph, sitting in a field for 6 hours, or having to walk to the nearest gas station to find something to “eat.”


11 thoughts on “Final Thoughts: On Long Distance EV Road Tripping

  1. The Tesla Supercharger Network looks amazing and everyone I’ve told about it gets that “Ohhhhh!!!” look of understanding on their face.

    Another question for you: I’m not sure if you experienced this or not but at the Freemont Model-S event last year Elon Musk mentioned that the car regulates its internal temperature and will keep the cabin relatively comfortable at all times and even ‘learn’ your schedule (meaning it will warm up in the morning before you go to work and cool off when you are leaving work, provided you have a somewhat regular schedule). Did you notice or were you told about this feature or anything like it?

  2. This is belated, but I wanted to say how nice it was to meet and talk to the both of you at the DC reception (including the Dad). You guys were obviously exhausted but your enthusiasm shown through.

    Thanks again for sharing your adventure and good luck in getting back to the daily routine. Driving will never be the same, will it.

    All the best.

  3. Very nice and thank you. We (my wife and I and our 1 year old) had considered taking the drive from Freemont to Trenton, NJ (via Dallas). We’re P2124 with a 60kWh and when we originally researched the project decided that we may very well spend uncomfortably long times in RV parks and that it was too adventurous for a baby.

    I regret it a bit but think it was the right call.

    I’m already plotting out trips to both Dallas (via KOA and I-81 and 40) and Charleston via I-95 for 2013.

    Let me assure you that this blog helps allay fears of using RV parks as a charge network. In fact, I quite like the notion of the EV special as an alternative to boring road-side motels.

    Thanks again,


    • Hi Dan,

      I also think you made the right call regarding a cross country road trip with a 1 year old. There’ll be plenty of time to do an EV road trip with the kid when they’re older.

      Also, you might check out another Model S owner’s blog, Peter, who met us along the way. He picked up his car in Portland and is driving to NY, the long way.

      Wishing you a speedy delivery and many memorable experiences with your Model S!


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  5. I doubt Moore’s law applies to battery technology, which is the most important part of the car and the charging process. It hasn’t gotten much cheaper and hasn’t improved much. It also depends a lot on raw materials only available in certain countries. If I’m not mistake 70% of lithium is produced in South America in Argentina, Mexico and Bolivia, Chile and a large reserve was found in Afghanistan. It’s funny how people complain about where oil comes from, lithium isn’t much different. Both only a available in large quantities in a few countries.

    It need new processes and technology to be able to improve, there are some labs that have come up with stuff. If they can pull it off, it will improve, but let’s just say it isn’t Tesla that can help improve range, charging or price much. I’m hoping some of great lab results I’ve seen in the news can end up as real products.

    But there is one thing that makes it pretty clear, all these lab results show improvements for delivering solutions for electric engines (hydrogen for example also generates electricity), not combustion engines.

    More super charging stations is the only solution Tesla can really help with right now.

    • I should add something.

      Do you know what the fastest way is charge the battery of a EV car ? The answer is: to not charge at all, but to change the batteries.

      I think there was a project/company in the UK or mainland Europe where they did that.

      When you visit the station they would have a small lift under the car and drop the battery on it and replace the battery that way. The company owned the batteries. You rent the batteries or something like that.

      This process takes a lot less time.

      I think the cars they supported was one brand/model, which is obviously what is needed because there is no standard right now.

  6. On your behalf, I have filed as the Adjudicator with the Guinness World Records for the longest EV tour thus far (6,000+?)

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