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Planning around bad weather: Santa Fe to Phoenix drive


2020 Model S LR+ Owner
May 3, 2015
New Mexico, USA
The current forecasts for New Mexico and Arizona around 12/22 are not good, for Model S driving, seems to me.

Or, Model S without snowtires driving (my car has standard Michelin Primacy 19 tires).

GALLUP expects 3-5 inches of snow that day. They've closed I-40 for less.

If only Tesla had opened more superchargers in southern New Mexico!

I would love to take an alternate, warmer route (Santa Fe --> ABQ --> Truth or Consequences --> cut over to Tucson --> Phoenix) and charge all along the way.

Any one ever done the ABQ--> Phoenix route in an S? How do you charge? The idea of spending a half day charging at a KOA, or even one of the HPWCs (I only have a single-charger S) along the way, is not very attractive. According to Google Maps it's over 410 miles to Tucson... so that's a max battery charge at ABQ supercharger, and then another (slow) max or close-to-max charge somewhere inbetween ABQ and Tucson.

Any ideas?

Or should I give up?


Active Member
Mar 19, 2014
WA State
I'm interested in people's thought on this topic as well. I'm thinking about a trip to AZ this winter, through UT. I've got a 70D and plenty of EV hypermiling experience (mostly in the Leaf) so I'm not too worried. However, a round-trip January trip through WA, OR, ID, UT and AZ could easily include a mini blizzard, which would definitely be a bit outside my previous experiences.:wink:


Oct 16, 2015
Phoenix, AZ
This is going to be a tough one. My experience with the weather forecast that far out is that if they say it will be 3-5 inches of snow then it will be warm and dry!

From Santa Fe to Phoenix (through Flagstaff) there are plenty of superchargers so I don't think the range is an issue. (longest leg is 144 miles) If you are worried about the roads I don't know if that is a Model S question or a safety question. I've made that drive (Denver to Phoenix) plenty of times, including in much deeper snow in my old Volvo S60 and made it no problem - but it took a LONG time. Best of luck!

Also - check out this website to plan your trip: EV Trip Planner


Active Member
Mar 19, 2014
WA State
I read a news story yesterday about snow related closure of I-17 north of Camp Verde. Probably just temporary and reopened relatively quickly but that does make the trip tough in any vehicle.

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