Just a couple of years ago, traveling cross-country in an electric car would have required a great deal of planning and a great deal of time.
But with Tesla's Model S and its 265 miles of EPA-rated range in 85 kWh form, it takes little more thought than in any other vehicle. Throw in a cross-country network of free-to-use Supercharger fast-charge stations and it's a trip any Model S owner can now do.
There's one such voyage going on right now, with updates appearing in the Tesla Motors forum.
It's turning into quite the trip, and the two drivers, a father and daughter team, are set to reach the end this weekend.
Having started in Kentucky, driver John took a trip up to New York to pick up his daughter, Jill. Setting off on Tuesday, the pair have driven west, headed north to Minnesota, headed west once more and then steadily meandered south-west through Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, following the existing Supercharger network.
From the descriptions in the forum thread, the path traces the current Supercharger map across the country almost precisely. Initially, some of the distances required slower driving--not helped by the extreme cold and heavy snow in some northern states.
But over later stages of the trip, where Superchargers are more tightly packed, range has been even less of a concern. The two drivers have been able to enjoy the sights and scenery, and travel a little quicker between stops.
As you read this, the pair will be well on their way to Los Angeles for the final stop, having crossed through Arizona into southern California.
The Tesla forum is sure to remain active for some time after--this will be the first time that Model S drivers have attempted a cross-country trip using only Tesla's Supercharger network.
That's impressive on its own, but more so when you consider the trip, crossing through some of the most beautiful parts of the country, hasn't cost a penny in electricity--since Supercharging is entirely free for Tesla owners.
Such a road trip in the past, covering thousands of miles, would have cost hundreds of dollars.
But drivers now really do have another option, and one that makes touring the USA without spending any money on gas a realistic proposition.
With more Superchargers opening all the time, it'll only get easier. We suspect this trip won't be the last cross-country Model S journey we hear about...