Advertisement

Life With Tesla Model S: NY-FL Supercharger Road Trip, Returning


2013 Tesla Model S in Florida, during New York to Florida road trip [photo: David Noland]

2013 Tesla Model S in Florida, during New York to Florida road trip [photo: David Noland]

Enlarge Photo

Last week, in the middle of a prolonged and depressing stretch of winter weather in New York's Hudson Valley, I decided I had to get the hell out. Time for a road trip to a warm place.

It was a perfect opportunity to test out Tesla's new East Coast Supercharger Highway, the just-completed string of proprietary ultra-fast DC charging stations the company has installed along Interstate 95 between Boston and Miami.

2013 Tesla Model S in winter, Hudson Valley, NY [photo: David Noland]

2013 Tesla Model S in winter, Hudson Valley, NY [photo: David Noland]

Enlarge Photo

Over a period of two and a half days, I drove more than 1200 miles down I-95, making it as far south as Stuart, Florida, where an old friend lived.

Along the way, I charged up at nine Superchargers, at a total fuel cost of.......zero.

I've previously described that southbound leg in some detail. But there's much less to say about the return trip.

Frankly, it was pretty routine.

Boring, even.

MORE: Tesla Model S: NY-To-FL Trip, Day 4, Florida Destination--Made It!

MORE: Tesla Model S: NY-To-FL Trip, Days 1-2: From Home To South Carolina

MORE: Tesla Model S: NY-To-FL Trip, Day 3, South Carolina To Florida

And that's the point. Tesla has proven its Supercharger cross-country concept beyond a doubt. There's really not that much adventure to it. It works.

2013 Tesla Model S at Supercharger station on NY-to-FL road trip [photo: David Noland]

2013 Tesla Model S at Supercharger station on NY-to-FL road trip [photo: David Noland]

Enlarge Photo

It works so well, in fact, that it quickly became routine. On the return trip, having learned the basics of Supercharging on the way down, I pretty much drove as I would drive any car, and always arrived at the next Supercharger with a comfortable cushion. 

Range anxiety?  What's that? 

Here are some random facts and observations about my six-day, 2,400-mile journey:

  • The Model S is a splendid road trip vehicle. In fact, I can't imagine a better one. It's preternaturally smooth, quiet, and responsive to the right foot. The seats suited me; even at the end of 10-hour days behind the wheel, I never felt stiff or fatigued. With its Internet connection, the car will play virtually any song on demand. (Music is a very important part of a road trip.) And your right-seat mate, if any, can amuse himself or herself endlessly online.
  • The Model S is particularly adept in the high-speed close-quarter traffic found on busy urban and suburban Interstates. On the notorious Washington D.C. Beltway, for example, the Tesla's instantaneous acceleration and regenerative braking let me dart instantly into gaps in the traffic.
  • The Superchargers are as fast as advertised. At the full 120-kW charging rate, Superchargers add 1 mile of range every 10 seconds. At the tree-shaded lakeside Supercharger in St. Augustine , Florida, for example, I started charging with 40 miles of range showing. Within 5 minutes, I was up to 74 miles. I hit 120 miles in 13:30; 200 miles in 35:00; then 230 miles in 47:00; and 255 miles in exactly an hour. These charging rates will improve in the not-too-distant future as more existing Superchargers are upgraded to 135 kW.

Advertisement
 
Follow Us

Advertisement

Find Green Cars

Go!
Advertisement

Advertisement

 
© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.