“Range anxiety” is a term that’s been tossed around a lot over the years as EVs struggled to reach the mainstream due to limited range and a lack of charging infrastructure. But Tesla has solved these problems. A road trip from Orange County, CA to Las Vegas for CES 2014 proved that road trips in a Tesla are easy, enjoyable, and best of all, don’t cost a cent thanks to Tesla’s fast and free Supercharger network. Our Tesla has the 60kwh battery, the smaller of the two packs Tesla offers – but regardless, making the trip was no problem, and we closely matched (and in some cases exceeded) EPA estimated range the entire way despite the major elevation changes on the route. Here’s the breakdown:
- Left Orange County with 202 rated miles (almost a full charge, which would be around 208 for the 60kwh car).
- Arrived at the Barstow Supercharger with 97 (actual distance 102 miles, rated range used: 105 ).
- Left Barstow with 200 rated miles, arrived in Las Vegas with 39 (actual distance 157 miles, rated range used: 159).
- Left Las Vegas with 198 rated miles, arrived in Barstow with 43 (actual distance 157 miles, rated range used: 155).
The weather was perfect – it was cool outside, so AC usage was minimal, with just a fan blowing to pull in fresh air. Perhaps a trip in the hot summer months would have required AC usage that would have increased energy consumption, but the exact same is true in an ICE-powered car.
Since the Las Vegas Supercharger was still under construction during our visit, we made do with charging at the Tesla Service Center in Las Vegas, a few miles south of the strip, and topping up using a 110v plug at our hotel. The availability of the Supercharger in downtown Las Vegas will make this trip even more seamless in the future.
The Model S is an awesome road trip car and made this trip even more memorable.
Photo credit: Rudy Pesci