It wasn't without problems, but Tesla's record-setting electric drive attempt has crossed the finish line. The pair of Tesla Model S EVs that left Los Angeles late last week has made it to New York City using nothing but Supercharger power. Last week, Tesla said the cars would be trying to set a Guinness World Record prize for the "lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the United States." According to Tesla, the Guinness team is now looking at the data to assess if that record was actually set. We don't know how much time was spent charging during the drive, but Tesla said that the two cars each put on 3,464.5 miles and used a total of 1,197.8 kWh. The entire drive took 76.5 hours. Tesla CEO Elon Musk told CBS that the trip was an "important, historic milestone."

The weather wasn't exactly forgiving during that time, but the 15-person team made it safely to NYC in the early morning hours yesterday. The biggest problem was when one vehicle broke down near Mitchell, SD. Fortunately for the record attempt, it was not one of the Model S EVs, but one of the gas-powered support vehicles. This hampered the rotation system the drivers had: eight-hour drive shifts, eight-hour navigator shifts, eight-hour sleep shifts in one of two support vans. Tesla quickly bought plane tickets for the drivers left behind, and you can read details about this and more in the official blog posts here.


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  • 152 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      why would they need a caravan of support vehicles? When I was going school in Boston , every summer for 4 years I drove across the country back and forth. I averaged 60 hrs of driving time with some sleep from Santa Monica, Ca to Cambridge Ma. I was getting average of 27 mpg on Volkswagen Rabbit almost 30 years ago. The car never broke down doing 55 mph - 70 mph during the 5 years I own the car. Good job Tasla driving it across the country , what was the average speed on the interstate hwy since now most are 70 mph and up?
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 1 Year Ago
        You can go about 230 miles at 75 mph. Most stations are 120 miles apart here on the west coast. If I was to head east from Portland OR I would have to go south almost into SoCal and then head east. Please put some in spud country Idaho so I can head east right out of P town OR. Admittedly I would not head east out of P town much. Mostly head north to the Seattle area. Hats off to Tesla for the SP85+ it is a hell of a car that wears many hats well.
          Mike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          You're not doing an average of 75mph from Portland to Seattle. You probably average 45mph with the traffic flow on I-5. Typically you find that around Centralia you get a bottle neck and slow for about 5 miles, then again in Tacoma, then again in Federal Way and if you're lucky you might not deal with the 520 bridge closures and avoid a few mile backup near the Seattle downtown core along I-5. Has anyone calculated the solar energy input that the superchargers actually use vs. hydroelectric, wind and coal power from the grid in WA? I am actually curious, it's a substantial amount of energy created by hydroelectric dams in WA that we export to other states where they consume more than they can produce. I like the idea of solar to help boost input to the grid, but I'm curious if it's self sustainable for charging EV's.
          Val
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          They will put some in spud country, eventually. This was just the first corridor completed, and they wanted to promote it. Later there will be at least 3 direct east-west paths, which will eliminate the need to move north or south to go cross country.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EVSUPERHERO
          I went and into Seattle last Wed. 78 mph just beyond Centrailia. 72 mph in the 60 mph zones beyond Centrailia. Only ran into traffic once I hit Seattle. The Tesla service center is in south Seattle. Went back to Seattle on Sat and was able to do the same as above. Got lucky I guess, but I do know what your talking about. Usually a bottle neck in Olympia. Never been in a bottle neck in Centrailia yet.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        --"why would they need a caravan of support vehicles?" Camera crew. They basically needed to be ready for spontaneous acts of publicity.
          Ron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          That is where they put the spare battery packs and charging cables.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        Camera vehicles and a place for the resting crews to sleep...
      • 1 Year Ago
      Although I don't see many people trying the cross country drive, I think it just goes to show how far Tesla has come. The Supercharger technology is always getting better. Elon acutally just announced it will be going up to 135 kW by the end of this year. Elon and JB Straubel just had a Q&A at a major Tesla event is Oslo, Norway. Here's a summary of all the upcoming things. http://www.MikeBlogsCars.com/elon-musk-confirms-4wd-model-s-135kw-supercharger-and-autonomous-car/
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        "135kW at most Supercharger stations by the end of this year." That implies that this upgrade is fairly easy to implement. i.e. software mostly, but change out some of the equipment.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Exactly. I agree completely. I wonder if we'll see any improvements in how the charge rate tapers off as it nears 95% charge. Either way it's great to see a company that is always continuously trying to improve their product. And the Supercharger has come a long way since it's introduction.
      rboote
      • 1 Year Ago
      At an average price of 14 cents a kilowatt-hour that means the whole journey cost, what, $200 in "fuel?" Actually, not even. Aren't the Superchargers free for Tesla owners? Where are all the Tesla hater comments on that?
        wittlief
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rboote
        you have to pay $2500 for the adapter to use the superchargers. In the higher end cars its rolled into the price of the car, whether you want it or not. $2500 / 14 cents = 17,857 kw-hrs that you are paying for upfront, whether you use them or not which would be enough to drive a tesla about (210 charges * 240 miles) 50,000 miles all tesla is doing is added 50,000 miles worth the electricity to the price of the car.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wittlief
          You can get a 85 kWh pack car with access to the Supercharger network for $81,070, not the $100K you say. That wasn't including any tax credit either.
          wittlief
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wittlief
          its $2500 if you order it after the car is produced its included in the cost of the most expensive versions now (all over $100,000).
          paulwesterberg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wittlief
          Actually the supercharger option is $2k extra for the 60kWh model S if purchased at the time of ordering. There is no special adapter needed the car itself is authorized for supercharger access.
          wittlief
          • 11 Months Ago
          @wittlief
          Grendal whats the problem? Why shouldn't people buy a tesla? why is musk being given the Edison award for innovation this year? (if you don't see the irony, the joke is on you). I could do an entire story length report on this..... but after giving it some thought, if you cant glean from what Ive already posted here, if you cant see musk and tesla for what they really are, then Im more inclined to let this wonderful free capitalist market run its course right over you. If you cant figure it out for yourself, then you get what you deserve.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wittlief
          By the way, a Ferrari doesn't work for me. I even think it is a silly car. I don't go around Ferrari forums trying to convince others to not buy a Ferrari though. I have lots of very good reasons that I would never buy a Ferrari personally.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wittlief
          So don't buy the car. Your point seems to be that no one should buy the car because it doesn't work for you. Oh well. There are 30,000 cars on the road now and going up by 100 cars a day. Tesla can't even make them as fast as people want them. The customer satisfaction rating is amazing and everyone who buys the car says they plan on buying another one. It doesn't seem to matter to you that people that own the car disagree with you. Again, don't buy the car. Please stop trying to convince the rest of us that you somehow know the truth.
          wittlief
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wittlief
          ...the fact remains, you are PAYING upfront for the supercharger use. First rule of economics: Nothing is free! If someone is telling you something is free, they are scamming you.
      kca124
      • 1 Year Ago
      And in a gas powered vehicle, the trip could be done in 1/2 the time.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kca124
        Costing how much in fuel, oil changes, and giving money to foreign countries? I love the people that think its cool to waste 75% of the energy content they put in their tanks, which is nothing but pure profit for insanely rich oil nations.
          wittlief
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          all the oil and gas you use for the next 200,000 miles in an ICE car wont even come CLOSE to the $100,000 price of the cars they drove on this fiasco PR stunt. Their average speed for the trip was 45MPH! that SUCKS!
          kca124
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          M, I change the oil every 15,000. Run synthetic. It is not that I do not think EV has a future, but I get sick of Elons hype packed with lies. What is even worse is how the media then takes it over the top. Tesla is 11 yrs old and has never made a profit (by SEC standards). They have abandon their Roadster support for things like replacement batteries and fairly minor repairs. They are an innovator, but not really an automobile company.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          You can get service for the Roadster just fine. In fact, service has gotten better since they have more service guys now on the road. Batteries are still under warranty, no? 15,000 is not the norm, not yet. That's still high end territory and likely a $100 oil change or a $60K car right up front. Industry norm right now is between 6K and 10K. Lets not base a good company on profits, or lack thereof..ahem, GM. Billions of dollars spent in research, development, factories, and tooling. This stuff isnt cheap, especially when dealing in an unfriendly environment.
        Zapbrannigan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kca124
        Not in those weather conditions, best you can do in a gas car is 40 hours with ideal conditions in the summer and no traffic. And it will cost you $400 instead of nothing which is what Tesla owners pay. And good luck giving your hard earned money to the arabs and russians to buy their oil.
        AnOld BlackMarble
        • 1 Year Ago
        @kca124
        No one is stopping you from driving your oil powered car, but why are you so despotic that you wan to deny my the right to drive an electric car?
      Skicat
      • 1 Year Ago
      At the dawn of the auto era, men like Henry Ford and August Horch (Ford/Audi) did things like this to prove the worth of their vehicles and for the publicity. They were roundly criticized by the horse and buggy trolls of the day and hailed as pioneers by their admirers. Funny how little things have changed. I, for one, am suitable impressed. I'll never own a Tesla because I can't afford one. If I could, I'd be an early adopter.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Skicat
        GenIII car will be the same as an average priced vehicle basically, with less service and fueling costs involved. $35K in a few years will be average new car price; I believe its already above $30K.
          Ron
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          If the GenIII car can beat a 35k sports sedan can drive 1 hour to a track, race around it for 30, and drive an hour back home; all while setting better lap times an said 35k sports sedan, it will have my attention until then, these cars are nothing but a waste of time a resources as they are not viable.
          mycommentemail
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          Ron, you are right. If I can't track race my car then nobody should have one. They simply aren't viable. Nor are water bottles. I tried to track race one of those the other day and I couldn't even fit inside it. They are useless. So is my computer monitor. I tried to drive that to the track and it didn't budge one F*&^ing inch. Worthless to me, worthless to everyone.
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          Sure, install a charger there. ALL the tracks I have ever been to have gas stations because not even a gas car can race long and drive home. Most gas cars get between 5-10MPG's while on the track. On a 2 mile track and and 20 minute session, that is not very long. Then after racing, you need to change the oil because of fuel dilution from running pig rich to keep from overheating. There goes another $50-100. I would just charge up for $10 and move on, no service needed.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          @Ron No one has said you have to buy it. That's the easy answer if it doesn't meet your needs. Just try and understand that other people have views and needs different from your own. That makes them viable to 99% of the population. Your needs seem to be extreme and way off the norm. See only about 1% of the population needs a car for the track. Some people might consider not ever paying for gasoline ever again is more important than setting a lap time. Maybe think about it, Ron.
      wittlief
      • 1 Year Ago
      telsa has proven 3464 miles divided by 76.5 hours = 45mph average speed for their "luxury" $100,000 car. any other $100,000 car could cruise at 150mph all day long and repeat the trip in 23 hours, needing only minutes to stop and refuel. to make it worse, the faster you go in a tesla, the quicker your battery goes dead (by a factor of FOUR), which means you have to stop and recharge four times as often if you drive twice as fast. Tesla is NOT a highway car. All the "super charger" stations in the world wont change that.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      You didn't answer my questions below. Why would anyone drive across the US? You use an airplane and it takes 8 hours. Driving a car is pathetic and a huge waste of time. This is just showing that it can be done, not that you should do it.
      PiCASSO
      • 1 Year Ago
      "We don't know how much time was spent charging during the drive" This is very important information.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PiCASSO
        Full release soon. Already estimates on the blog.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      It seems that 30K owners disagree with your belief. Those same people are smart enough to know that the quickest way to travel across the US is by airplane. You seem to believe that a VW bug is the best way to travel. So go do it and leave us alone, wittlief.
      wittlief
      • 1 Year Ago
      3464 miles divided by 76.5 hours = 45mph average speed and this was with Tesla drivers sleeping IN the car on a three day trip, stopping only to get a 50% charge. repeat this in a 1960 VW bug, which will cruise all day and night at 72mph on the highway. They got 25mpg and had a 10 gallon tank. 3464 miles / 72mph = 48 hours driving. Stopping every 250 miles for 10 minutes to refuel and use the bathroom is 14 pit stops = 2,3 hours, a full 26.2 hours faster. THANK YOU MUSK for showing the folly of your business plan. A 1960 VW bug has a faster average highway speed 68.8 mph than your $100,000 personal EV whim sickle engineering nightmare. BTW 200,000 miles worth the gas for a 1960 VW bug is 8,000 gallons or about $28,000 at todays prices. Paying $100,000 for a car that cannot keep up with a $600 car from 1960, all arguments about 'free fuel' are a sick joke on the customer. Tesla is an obscenely expensive commuter car. Pretending it is a luxury class highway cruiser is down right FRAUD! So a pair of drivers could repeat Tesla's feat in 50.3 hours,
        wittlief
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wittlief
        THE REAL QUESTION NOW is: will musk grasp the data from this trip and realize (finally) the folly of his business plan?! The future of EVs is charging at home, driving all day as needed, then recharging at home. If your daily usage is less than the range of your car, life is good. The Nissan Leaf is already there. The PRICE of the Leaf after tax rebates, combined with the cost of electicity averages out to about $2 per gallon to use gas instead, over 200,000 miles. The tesla is NOT there. The $100,000 car price + cost to recharge is the same as paying $10 per gallon for gas over the LIFE OF THE CAR! its a sad joke. If you thing the lottery is a tax on people who cant do math, the Tesla is the car for the same market group!
          Phoneboy101
          • 1 Year Ago
          @wittlief
          Sorry about your dog. You're comparing very different cars. By your reasoning everyone should be driving a Honda Fit, or a 50 cc scooter. A Honda Accord has more space, comfort, and better performance than a Fit. People pay for that too. People pay for the looks of a car. They pay for the comfort, performance, aesthetic, and even the image. Using your convoluted adjusted cost per gallon factoring in the purchase price of the car is incredibly narrow minded. Some chose to drive a Sentra, some chose to drive a 5-Series, other choose to drive a Ferrari. A tiny portion of their decision is based on the cost of fuel. The Tesla is selling so well not because people are interested in saving every penny they can on fuel, but because it's a terrific car by every other measure, not perfect, but terrific. They're obviously not buying Teslas to take cross country trips, but now they CAN if they so choose.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wittlief
        Such a sad troll. So many wrongs in that post I won't even attempt. A bug that can go 72 for days on end through one of the worst winter storms in history - funny.
          wittlief
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          the bug was designed by a guy named Dr Ferdinand Porsche. It was the basis of the 911. The fact that you would snub the engineering quality of the beetle shows that you don't understand kwrap about cars. You cannot dismiss teslas OWN report, or deny that 3464 miles divided by 76.5 hours = 45mph average speed. Musk really blew it this time. Now tell us how bad it was snowing all the way from CA to NY. Excuses excuses excuses!
          wittlief
          • 11 Months Ago
          @m_2012
          Grendal , so you are admitting that musk's entire cross country supercharger network is insane? because no sane person would drive across the US in a $100,000 car? thank you!
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          Why would anyone normally try to speed across the US in a car? The folly of your argument, wittlief, is the following: It takes 8 hours to take an airplane across the US and that is what any sane person would do.
        Planet Green
        • 11 Months Ago
        @wittlief
        you really are a f8gking idiot
        rboote
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wittlief
        Imagine that. I'm genuinely shocked that a vehicle based on a technology with 60 years of technological and infrastructure development could be farther ahead of that that's been around for what? 5-10 years tops? Would you sit there and criticize the people that took weeks to cross the country in gas-powered cars in 1915? Probably not. Same stage of development.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rboote
          The trip normally take 8 hours in an airplane. It is much easier and convenient.
          wittlief
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rboote
          the problem is not the infrastructure. Tesla staged this PR stunt to SHOW OFF their new infrastructure, The problem is, on 65mph highways it takes only 3464/65 = 53 hours to drive. That means either the tesla cannot keep up with 65mph traffic in the highways or they spent 23.5 HOURS recharging the car on a trip that normally takes two days!
        Phoneboy101
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wittlief
        Did a Tesla run over your dog? Seriously, I can't understand what's driving your stupid hate. I don't believe in most conspiracies, but your post makes me wonder if the oil industry is paying you off. Your claim that a 1960 bug is superior based on long distance travel time alone is silly. Calling this a fraud is just wrong. Musk never claimed that the Tesla is the fastest cross country vehicle. By the way, I'd rather spend 10x more time in the comfort of a a model S than in a 1960 Beetle driving anywhere. For 99% of daily driving, the Tesla is better than the Bettle in every way including travel time since most trips taken are shorter than the range of a Model S. In what way is the Model S a "whim sickle" engineering nightmare? The entire drivetrain is much simpler with a fraction of the moving parts. You do sound like a ICE critic from the days when they were replacing steam engines in cars.
          wittlief
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Phoneboy101
          the tesla is an engineering nightmare because the ONLY thing musk has done is put a $50,000 battery in an electric car. there is no innovation. there is no breakthrough. Throwing money at a problem does not solve the problem, it just throws away money. From a transportation perspective a 1960 VW bug beats the tesla out on EVERY aspect. Its average speed on road trips is faster. Its price is lower, its cost of ownership is far lower. And that's just the bug! EVERY CAR BEATS the tesla on every aspect, because a Ford Fusion or a caddy or a $35k BMW are ALL also faster (FAR faster) on cross country trips, the price is lower, the cost of ownership is lower and you NEVER have to spend an hour or half hour or 20 minutes to refuel that car. At real highway speeds (75mph) the tesla range drops to 160 miles. That is like a car with a ten gallon tank getting 16 mpg. A mouse could pee in a ten gallon gas tank and fill it up faster than one hour - THAT is the reality of these so called 'superchargers'. Again: if you want to throw your money away on vapor luxury, that is your mistake, by you are literally pissing your money away if you spend $100k on a tesla. For the same price you can buy FIVE Nissian Leafs, and drive a different one every day of the week for the rest of your life.
        PeterScott
        • 11 Months Ago
        @wittlief
        Nice Troll. Says more about you than Tesla. Internet Trolls are horrible people: Psychopathic, sadistic Narcissists: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2014/02/internet_troll_personality_study_machiavellianism_narcissism_psychopathy.html
        wittlief
        • 1 Year Ago
        @wittlief
        a pair of drivers could repeat Tesla's 76.5 hour 'record' in a VW bug in just 50.3 hours!
      wittlief
      • 11 Months Ago
      Joe, expect they did NOT sleep on the trip, they drove continuously stopping only to recharge. They had to stop EVERY 90 minutes to 2 hours to recharge. If they had stopped to sleep every night, the trip would have taken 20 hours longer - 4 days.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Full details here: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/cross-country-rally-numbers
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        I nailed it. 15 hours of charging for the trip. That's a perfectly reasonable time frame. Congratulations Tesla team.
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