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How do Tesla owners make long road trips?

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by Tonca, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Tonca

    Tonca New Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    las vegas, nv
    I am considering buying a Tesla. I drive only 10 miles a day 300 days a year. Three or four times a year, though, I go on extended road trips of more than 1000 miles, usually west to east and back. Spending 30 minutes every 200 miles does not seem practical to me. I don't want to spend humdreds of dollars replacing the batytery multiple times on each trip either. The only alternatives I can think of is having a second car for those trips or renting one.

    Can anyone think of another solution?
  2. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

    Sep 6, 2012
    Basin City, TX
    Take your wife's Armada. That's what I do.
  3. Six

    Six Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Well I drove in an EV Rally from Canada to Mexico and back so have some experience.

    - If you have an 85Kwh battery there is no need to stop every 200 miles the rated range of 270 is easy to reach driving at just under 65. Yo can go 300 miles at 55 easily.
    - I would challenge that most people will stop and eat lunch while on a trip so that easily covers one 30 min charge
    - Depending on the range of your ICE car you would stop at least once for refueling & rest break per 250 miles which is realistically 15 min so you are talking about an extra 15 min
    - A Tesla is FAR more enjoyable to drive and is well worth the extra 15 mins one or two times a day (when not on a meal break)
    - Using battery swaps (if available) is the same cost as a fuel fill up so I truly dont understand how that is a negative

    And finally if you really need to drive 24 hours in a row with as short and as few stops as possible yes an ICE car has an advantage so rent one for that week and enjoy the best car on the road for the other 51 weeks.
  4. napabill

    napabill Active Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Napa, California, United States
    It's hard to explain without actually experiencing it, but the road trip in the Tesla is more than transportation. It's a lot like doing a cross country in a small plane. The process is half the fun. If time of transportation is the issue, fly.
  5. Zythryn

    Zythryn M3 Silver, M3 Midnight Silver

    Mar 18, 2009
    We made arrangements to simply swap cars with our neighbors for any trips prior to superchargers being available.
    Once the superchargers are in place, I expect to use those as my trips are for vacation. I don't need to get to the destination ASAP.
    If I were going 1000 miles and did need to get there ASAP I would fly (first class with a small portion of my gas savings).
  6. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    It's preferable avoid range charging, since it takes a long time to range charge at superchargers. The fastest way to make a trip using superchargers is drive to near empty, and then charge just enough to get to the next supercharger.
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA

    The battery has a no-miles limit guarantee of 8 years. No replacing necessary.

    And to add to all the other posts above. Once the Supercharges are installed E to W (by the end of the year) the fill-ups at them are FREE.
  8. GlennAlanBerry

    Dec 3, 2012
    Elizabeth, CO
    Several alternatives:

    1. Fly
    2. Rent a car
    3. Borrow a car
    4. Have a second car that is an ICE
    5. Have a second car that is a Chevy Volt
    6. Be willing to spend a few extra minutes charging with a Super Charger (which is free)

    If you drive a 2000 mile round-trip in a 25mpg ICE, and gasoline costs $4.00/gallon, then you will spend $320.00 on gasoline for your trip. You would have a pretty large savings on each trip by using the Super Charger system, once it is available on your trip route.
  9. jerry33

    jerry33 (S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20

    Mar 8, 2012
    I stop every 150 to 200 miles for 20-40 minutes when driving an ICE car, so I don't see how it makes a difference if the car is electric. A couple of months ago I went on a 650 mile (each way) vacation. Charged at RV parks about every 150 miles as there were no Superchargers within 1500 miles. It was no problem. The Superchargers are a nice-to-have but they are not necessary. In a Tesla, getting there is more than half the fun.
  10. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2013
    Redmond, WA
    It's actually closer to 20 minutes every ~140 miles, out of practical reasons (SuperCharger locations). So basically every 2 hours you would take a 20 minute break.

    That might seem long at first but it's really not. It's long in the context of weekly gas station fill-ups when you're alone, out of gas and late for a meeting, but when you're driving for hours on end, with other passengers in the car, stopping for 20 minutes every couple of hours is no big deal.

    If you don't do it already, it takes tiny behavioral changes to accommodate a 20 minutes stop.

    * Do you eat breakfast before you leave? Eat it at the first stop.
    * Do you drink coffee on the road? Finish the coffee at Starbucks rather than in the car.
    * Do you have a dog or a small child? Yeah, try stopping for ONLY 20 minutes. Generally it will be longer.
    * Any kind of lunch is a freebie. Time to fill up more than you need.

    I do a 2-SuperCharger stop trip once or twice per week with dogs. By the time the dogs are done, I have more charge than I need for the trip.

    You change your behavior ever so slightly to accommodate for the stops, but after a few trips you won't notice it anymore. And when you sit down and do the finances, you'll probably realize that it's not worth paying $30 in gas to skip 20 minutes of waiting. (Unless of course you make more than $120 per hour before taxes...)
  11. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

    May 11, 2013
    Silicon Valley
    My wife and I went on 1 5540 mile trip May - June in our P85 Model S. We stopped at lots of RV parks along the way. Sometimes it seemed like it took a long time, but most of the time we were tired from driving the day before and didn't mind hanging around, talking to folks about the Model S. My wife took 3 books and finished them on the trip. She doesn't read while the car is moving. On the last day of our trip we started from Las Vegas and stopped at 3 superchargers. That day alone we traveled 570 miles in 12 hours. We stopped for lunch, a snack, and dinner. The car was charged more than enough each time without waiting any extra.
    It wasn't until the third week that we started to have sore seats... We NEVER made it that long in any other car before.
    Once Tesla gets the superchargers between east and west coasts, 550 miles a day will be a breeze. That would make our trip 10 days instead of the 21 it took us on RV parks. You can see some of the photos we took at the following thread. (There's a link to Google+ photos in one of the posts.)

    Model S Western US Tour

    There are a few other road trip threads too!

    Bottom line is, buy the car and ENJOY!!! You won't look back and you'll wonder why you were so worried about it in the first place.

  12. richkae

    richkae VIN587

    Jan 15, 2008
    How many miles per day do you want to drive?
    If its 400 - 500 miles per day, then that is achievable with 1 stop, you charge to full overnight at a hotel/motel.
    So 1000 miles isn't 5 stops, its 2 stops over 2 days. If you want to drive 1000 miles in one day, do something else.
  13. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Jan 15, 2011
    I'll never understand the mindset required to be this incredibly impatient. If speed is your most "practical" concern, why are you driving?
  14. PeterK

    PeterK Model X & 3 Owner

    Jan 17, 2013
    Cambridge, MA
    Agree. We drive back and forth between Boston and the west side of Lake Champlain several times a year. Usually stop for fast food and gas / bio break along the way. With the S85 I could make it on one charge (245 miles) but it's hilly and I like to have a little buffer. So we stop to charge for an hour or so in downtown Montpelier VT, a small city that I've driven past dozens of times previously without ever going to. And we've discovered nice restaurants and shops, often staying far longer than needed to charge. Will be interesting to see what happens when two superchargers open along the route - back to fast food?
  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    I bet your neighbors give you great vacation advice.
  16. Odenator

    Odenator Member

    May 2, 2011
    Olympia, WA
    My wife and I just finished a 3300 mile road trip from Olympia, WA to Vegas with side trips to San Fran and San Diego. Using the superchargers made the trip so enjoyable, my wife wants to do it again once the entire I5 is connected with the superchargers. We chose to stop at every supercharger on our path and stayed no more than 30 min at each time. We made San Diego to Folsom (~550 miles) in less than 10 hrs but we were hampered by LA traffic, Tesla time :smile: and leisurely meals. I'm not sure if your 1000 mile road trip is total or one way but believe me, these stops at superchargers are not an impediment to long road trips and you will be giddy like a school girl when you realize that you saved hundreds of dollars in gas alone.

    And we charged at 90kW each time. Once the superchargers are updated to 120 kW..fugetaboutit
  17. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Nov 10, 2011

    4000 miles in 11 days, including 3 days at teslive and 1 day at Yosemite east of Fresno, so really 4000 miles in 7 days

    If you need faster than that, you need to learn how to take more enjoyable vacations. ;)
  18. DavidM

    DavidM P2624, Delivered

    Aug 18, 2011
    I've had my Model S for more than 8 months. Periodically I take a business flight and rent a ICE car. Driving a gas powered car is now the low point of my business trips. You couldn't pay me to drive a 1,000+ mile trip in a gas powered car. I will be taking my Model S on every future extended road trip from here on out. Can't wait to traverse I-95 from Florida to Boston via supercharger stations when this corridor is completed.

    In 1976, I filled up my Corolla from empty for $6.00 total. That's 50 cents per gallon. Every time the oil industry closes a refinery, the prices go up. they're playing with a rigged deck of cards. The only way to win, is to change the game. Thanks to Elon and Tesla for giving us a way to change the game.
  19. scottjenney@gmai

    May 2, 2014
    Austin, TX
  20. flashflood

    flashflood Member

    Jul 1, 2014
    Los Altos Hills, CA
    * And if you drank a big coffee at the last Supercharger, the car will last longer than you will. ;-)

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