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Video: Tesla Model S Breaks Charging-Time Record for a Cross-Country Trip

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Last week Tesla undertook a world-record continental crossing with what it dubbed the Tesla Cross Country Rally. The goal was simple; take a pair of Model S sedans from Los Angeles to New York while spending an absolute minimum of time charging by using the new Supercharger network.

As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the team decided to take a northern route during what has been one of this country’s worst winters in decades. Along the journey the team encountered temperatures well below zero, closed interstates, and more than a foot of snow in some places.

Despite all these challenges, a full seventy-six hours after leaving Los Angeles, the team rolled into New York City. The total trip was 3,427 miles and the team only spent 15 hours and 57 minutes tied to a charger.

The going was tough enough that one of the gasoline powered support vehicles for the trip suffered a breakdown.

I was part of a cross country record attempt last year with Audi, and I can attest that this type of journey is anything but easy. It is a grueling punishment of your mental and physical health. Aside from the sleep deprivation, sitting in a car for that length causes cramps, muscle spasms and many other maladies.

I personally applaud Tesla for their outstanding effort.

If you would like to see some of the crazy weather they traveled through, as well as see a few more facts about the journey, click the play button on the video we have above.

Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S.

2014 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is the second car from electric automaker Tesla. It is a four-door sedan and boasts an electric range of up to 265 miles. It is compatible with Tesla’s Supercharger charging network. This network spans across the country and is the single thing made this trip possible.

Use of the Supercharger network is free for all Model S owners.

Press Release

On Sunday morning, the Tesla Cross Country Rally team completed its record setting trip across the US. We brought you daily updates from the road on our blog. Now, we’re bringing you the numbers.

Total trip time
76 hours, 5 minutes

Total time spent driving
59 hours 34 minutes

Other “non-drive” time
34 minutes

  • Used to put on chains before crossing Vail Pass.

Total charging time
15 hours 57 seconds

Total miles travelled
3,427

Longest distance between Supercharger locations

247 miles from Flagstaff, AZ to Blanding, UT

Longest drive time between Superchargers

4 hours, 56 minutes, 29 seconds to travel 162.5 miles from Silverthorne, CO to Cheyenne, WY

  • This overnight leg included a blizzard, more than 12 inches of snow, icy roads, and high winds, resulting in significant traffic delays, the closure and then re-opening of I-70, the closure of the I-25, and the re-routing of the drive to CO-14 and then US85.

Total number of closed roads & highways encountered
Two (I-70 and I-25, both in Colorado)

Lowest temperature encountered
- 4F / -20C

  • During the drive between Albert Lea, MN and La Crosse, WI Superchargers.

Number of gasoline-powered support vans that broke down
One

Energy drinks consumed

  • Enough to power 1,400 lead-acid batteries
  • This is an estimate. Tesla uses lithium-ion batteries, which are friendlier to the environment.

Fuel saved per car
136 gallons

  • Assumes distance of 3,400 miles and average of 25 mpg for a new gas-powered car.

Dollar amount of fuel savings per car
$435

  • Assumes $3.20 per gallon of gas.

The Route

The new Supercharger route that spans the US cuts a northern pass, taking drivers close to natural and man-made attractions, such as Arches National Park, Colorado Monument, Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, the Grand Canyon, and the Hualapai Mountains. We didn’t have any time for sightseeing, but the views out the Model S windows were amazing. Here’s the exact route we took, including the distance between each Supercharger.

  • Hawthorne, Los Angeles to Barstow, CA 109 miles
  • to Kingman, AZ 210 miles
  • to Flagstaff, AZ 152 miles
  • to Blanding, UT 249 miles
  • to Moab, UT 75 miles
  • to Grand Junction, CO 109 miles
  • to Glenwood Springs, CO 90 miles
  • to Silverthorne, CO 94 miles
  • to Cheyenne, WY 165 miles
  • to Lusk, WY 158 miles
  • to Rapid City, SD 149 miles
  • to Murdo, SD 137 miles
  • to Mitchell, SD 141 miles
  • to Worthington, MN 127 miles
  • to Albert Lea, MN 116 miles
  • to La Crosse, WI 127 miles
  • to Mauston, WI 66 miles
  • to Highland Park, IL 201 miles
  • to Mishawaka, IN 121 miles
  • to Maumee, OH 151 miles
  • to Macedonia, OH 131 miles
  • to Somerset, PA 176 miles
  • to Hagerstown, MD 108 miles
  • to Newark, DE 137 miles
  • to New York City 128 miles

Superchargers skipped

Our goal for the cross country trip was to achieve the lowest possible charge time for an electric car traveling across the US. With that in mind, we selected a Supercharger route that let us spend minimal time at each post. That means the Tesla team necessarily had to skip some of the Superchargers along the route.

Holbrook, AZ
Quartzsite, AZ
Gallup, NM
Farmington, NM
Normal, IL
Rockford, IL
Angola, IN
JFK Airport, NY
Eau Claire, WI
Madison, WI



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