Tesla Model S
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  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

  • Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Model S

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  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
  • Image Credit: Tesla Motors
As range anxiety lessens, and more chargers are installed along major roadways, increasing numbers of people are taking road trips in their electric vehicles. The Tesla Model S in particular has become the go-to vehicle for electric touring. When equipped with the 85-kWh battery pack, the Model S offers up to 265 miles of range, which is a respectable distance to cover in one sitting. It's still notable, though, when a Model S driver makes a particularly long trek, especially when much of the route is mostly devoid of Tesla Superchargers.

Guy Hall, the president of the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association, drove his Tesla Model S from the US/Mexico border outside of Yuma, Arizona to Fairbanks, Alaska in 17 days. He calls the trip the T5 (Tesla Tijuana to Tundra Tour), and he encourages other people to make the journey, despite the challenge of driving through areas that are sparsely populated.

Charging "slows you down to take a break. I've met some marvelously nice people here." – Guy Hall

Driving through California, Oregon, and Washington isn't too difficult. North of Vancouver, British Columbia is where charging starts to get a little tricky. Hall says that when gas stations with electrical outlets were few and far between, he stopped at RV parks to charge (a trick of the Tesla tripping trade we've seen before). Hall made use of his charms, and would offer rides in his Model S to curious employees at mechanic and welding shops in return for the opportunity to more quickly charge his battery using their 240-volt outlets. While the trip took quite a bit longer than it would have in one of the Ford Tauruses Hall owned before switching to EVs, it allowed him to soak in the beauty of his surroundings, meet people along the way and answer questions about the Model S. Charging "slows you down to take a break," says Hall. "I've met some marvelously nice people here."

Guy Hall now hopes to turn the T5 trip into a sort of event, where EV drivers who make the trip in the shortest amount of time could win a trophy. If you're interested in making a similar journey, Hall has posted his route from Sacramento northward, here. Read more about Hall's journey at News Miner, or read his thread at Tesla Motors Club.


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  • 34 Comments
      thecommentator2013
      • 6 Months Ago
      I'd like to see what range a Tesla gets with 7 passengers and luggage. It won't be 265miles. I notice quite a loss fully seated and loaded with my Volt. Won't be any different with a Tesla or any other (B)EV I suggest. I remain firm. EVs and EREVs are here to stay, ICE only is done. It's just so 20th century. I recently drove in an Alfa Romeo. I mean, nice car, no doubt, but gear shifting (manual hahahaha!), engine revving, shaking, vibrating, just all this awful stuff.... Thanks, but no thanks.
        bluepongo1
        • 6 Months Ago
        @thecommentator2013
        Cool Story Bro
        Greg
        • 6 Months Ago
        @thecommentator2013
        Weight has only a small effect on hwy efficiency. It's city efficiency that really takes a hit with added weight.
        ElectricAvenue
        • 6 Months Ago
        @thecommentator2013
        The GVWR of the Model S is 5710 pounds. Empty weight is 4650. So, with one light driver, say, the car weighs 4750 pounds. That's 83% of GVWR. The difference, in other words, between full and empty is relatively small. (Just 20% more). And, as Greg points out, weight is a small factor in efficiency at highway speeds. I think you can make a much bigger impact by just altering your speed by 5 mph.
        Koenigsegg
        • 6 Months Ago
        @thecommentator2013
        alfa romeo is garbage
      Nick Kordich
      • 6 Months Ago
      By the way, this North-South route has been electrified for some time, years before the Supercharger network was put in. In 2009, SolarCity started installing Roadster High-Power Connectors (some with solar arrays) at locations along Highway 101. They eventually ran short of money, and some Tesla owners installed HPCs so that you could drive from Mexico to Canada in a Roadster using just free Tesla-compatible chargers. By October 2013, Tesla had Superchargers all along the route.
      • 6 Months Ago
      When you have to go long distance and you have no time to waste, airlines are there to help. But when you do it as part of a vacation and want to explore things on-route, Tesla Model S is starting to become a viable alternative and any enjoyable vacation includes stops on the road and with super chargers the stops are not too long. It's also a nice thing that you don't pay for gas or even for the electricity when you use these chargers.
        ChrisH
        • 6 Months Ago
        the very wealthy, those buying these cars, are about the only people who can spend 17 days traveling that others would do in three or less. Luxury is having the time available to make long odd trips like this.
          fairfireman21
          • 6 Months Ago
          @ChrisH
          You hit the nail on the head with that one. We took a trip that was about 400 miles in 6 hours and 30 min with no stop for gas. How long would it have taken us with an EV probably the week we had for the vacation. NO SUPERCHARGERS!
        fairfireman21
        • 6 Months Ago
        How is the Model S a viable alternative? Were are the super chargers? 30 min for an 80% charge is not too long.
      atc98092
      • 6 Months Ago
      Why include Tijuana in the name, when he was starting nowhere near there? I realize most people will recognize Tijuana as being in Mexico, but if he really needed a identifiable Mexican town name, why didn't her start in San Diego then? Tecolote is close to Yuma, keeps the T and is a Mexican town. :) That said, nice trip. I'll bet it was overall enjoyable.
      jphyundai
      • 6 Months Ago
      Good thing it was Summer
        purrpullberra
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jphyundai
        SO we know you are a filthy criminal, a professional liar, ripping off people who need to buy a new car. Thanks bluepongo1 for the truth. How many old ladies do you rip off a year? You are a parasite leeching off of other people who actually earn or produce in society. Or you're a cancer, I can't remember. Probably both. Unlike you Tesla doesn't charge someone more than others; absolutely everyone is treated the same, WITH RESPECT. That's something you can't offer.
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jphyundai
        Why is that a good thing? Lots of Model S are used in cold regions of the planet. For example, it's one of the most selling cars in the cold country of Norway. What are you imagining?
          bluepongo1
          • 6 Months Ago
          google " jphyundai " and you'll get a desperate F.U.D spreading car dealer.
          jphyundai
          • 6 Months Ago
          The AAA Automotive Research Center in Southern California found that the average range of an electric car dropped 57% in very cold weather – at 20 degrees Fahrenheit – and by 33% in extreme heat, a temperature of 95 degrees.
          Nick Kordich
          • 6 Months Ago
          AAA hasn't released the details of their test, other than to say that over 50% number comes from the average range of vehicles they tested going from 105 miles under optimal conditions down to 43 miles in a temperature-controlled room on a dynamometer. That doesn't sound much like a Model S. It sounds more like a 'cold blooded' Nissan Leaf, which doesn't manage its battery's temperature as the Model S does, or a Mitsubishi iMiev (aka Peugot iOn) that only air cools the batter, which isn't of much use in wintry conditions. Bjorn Nylund of Norway's done a lot of winter driving in his Model S, which is much more realistic than the AAA tests performed in Southern California. At 20F he has been getting about 233 miles a charge. http://green.autoblog.com/2013/12/24/norwegian-tesla-model-s-driver-goes-233-cold-miles-single-charge/ According to Bjorn's comments below the article: "I'm not trying to hide the fact that Model S loses range in cold weather. The question is just how much. I was surprised to hear that the Leaf/iOn owners was getting such a big reduction. While the Model S was getting 20-25 % less range, the others have been getting a whopping 50 % reduction. And one of them was running 17°C inside the car while I was doing 19°C." (19C = 66F)
      fairfireman21
      • 6 Months Ago
      There is no dought you can do this on the Eastern shore or the western shore, or even at the northern, and souther banks but try this across the plains and the Ohio river valeys.
      SO
      • 6 Months Ago
      And this will only get better as long as short sighted idiots stay out of Elon's way.
      purrpullberra
      • 6 Months Ago
      So he paid nothing to fuel his cross-country adventure? That is another coup that ICE cars or, laugh, HFCV's can NEVER expect. I think some Tesla competitions start to happen in the next few years, quickest trip, least energy used, venturing furthest from a Supercharger etc. Add some geocaching or food/beer/wine places in the mix (weed in WA and CO). You could get some fun games going.
        fairfireman21
        • 6 Months Ago
        @purrpullberra
        Even not paying to recharge does not add up. $70,000 to purchace the car, when you can get a great MPG car for $20,000. $50,000/$10 per gallon= 5000 gallons x 35 mpg = 175,000 miles / 13,000 anualy = 13.46 years woth of driving. I am not bashing EV's they are great cars for many but not for most yet.
          Edward W
          • 6 Months Ago
          @fairfireman21
          You say that you were not trying to compare a $20,000 with the Tesla but your comment is moot because you tried to devalue the reason why someone would choose the Model S, and pay over $70,000 over lower priced cars. Why purchase a Rolex for $10,000 when a $ 20 Timex will do just as good of a job? Ask anyone if they would trade their high end product for a cheap one, and see what response you'll get.
          fairfireman21
          • 6 Months Ago
          @fairfireman21
          Did I say it was going to be or compare to a Tesla? No! I just said you can get some great MPG cars for around $20,000.
          itsme38269
          • 6 Months Ago
          @fairfireman21
          Show me a 20k car which is anything close to a Model S.
      jphyundai
      • 6 Months Ago
      The AAA Automotive Research Center in Southern California found that the average range of an electric car dropped 57% in very cold weather – at 20 degrees Fahrenheit – and by 33% in extreme heat, a temperature of 95 degrees. All you liberal jingoists out there, try to read the truth in this research. I stand by my comment. It is a good thing it was summer.
        purrpullberra
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jphyundai
        So YOU know nothing but how to cite absolutely unrelated BS. The Tesla isn't 'average' is the BIG reason that your 'comment' is instead a failure. And don't let the facts get in the way of you spewing lies. At least your not Kathy the Klown stupid. Take a big gulp of antifreeze and celebrate, a kind word tossed your way. ;-)
        ElectricAvenue
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jphyundai
        There is no significant drop in range of the Model S in extreme heat. Now if you sit still, in the sun, and have the climate control set cool with the ambient temperature above body temperature then, yes, it will consume significant energy to keep you cold. Roughly 2% of the battery per hour. I'm not in the habit of sitting still in my Model S.
          EVSUPERHERO
          • 6 Months Ago
          @ElectricAvenue
          I sit in mine in the sun and your calculation sound right.
        Edward W
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jphyundai
        Go to YouTube and search for Tesla Model S Bjorn. He lives in Norway and reports that his Model S doesn't lose that much range at all even in near zero degree temperatures. The Model S, and it's battery pack is not "average", and I stand by that comment. Also keep the idiotic comments to yourself about this being a "liberal" issue.
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jphyundai
        The range drop is in cars such as the Leaf. The Tesla has an actively managed battery so it does not get cold or hot. I don't see a drop in hot weather and see a 20% drop in real cold weather due to heating.
      Nick Kordich
      • 6 Months Ago
      This is essentially the same route as the BC2BC (British Columbia to Baja California) rally that took place in 2012 and 2013. They had some difficulty organizing sponsors and the venue - lots of interest but not commitment from the state, Nissan or Tesla. As a result, they ended up canceling it just two months before it was supposed to be held. Drivers could still make the drive, as Guy did, but there's no arrangements made by organizers to make it a more formal rally. http://wordpress.allelectricvehiclerally.org/ http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/32161-CANCELED-World-s-Largest-Electric-Vehicle-Gathering-Sat-Aug-9-2014-Irvine-CA
        Nick Kordich
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Nick Kordich
        Small correction to this - I was focusing on the California-Oregon-Washington legs of the trip, and Guy was going quite a bit further, from Yuma, Arizona to Fairbanks, Alaska. That definitely goes beyond what Tesla's covered with the Supercharger network.
      Rotation
      • 6 Months Ago
      Sadly, the welding shop thing is a bit harder now that Tesla won't sell you a NEMA 6-50 adapter for their charger anymore. Home it comes back soon. According to some it is only gone because Tesla had to redesign the adapters with the thermal protection them and they are concentrating on the more popular NEMA 14 first (used in trailer parks and in Tesla owner's garages)
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        You can buy all the parts to go from 6-50 to 14-50 at home depo.
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