Tesla Model S Trips From Mexico to Canada Now Possible Thanks to Supercharger Network Expansion; Tesla Motors to Road Trip Route in Celebration

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 22

Tesla Superchargers in US

Tesla Superchargers in US

Tesla Motors is pleased to announce that its West Coast Supercharger corridor is so complete that road trips from Vancouver, Canada to the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico are now possible for Tesla Model S owners.

West Coast Superchargers

West Coast Superchargers

To celebrate this occasion, Tesla Motors will set out on a road trip today from San Diego, California and will head north to Seattle, Washington.

The 1,750-mile road trip will conclude on November 3.

Along the way, 4 Supercharger ribbon-cutting ceremonies will be held.

The sites for ribbon-cutting include:

  • Corning, California (Thursday 31 October, 4pm)
  • Mt. Shasta, California (Friday, 1 November, 9am)
  • Grants Pass, Oregon (Friday, 1 November, 2pm)
  • Springfield, Oregon (Saturday, 2 November, 9am)

Those interested in following the progress of Tesla’s first Supercharged West Coast road trip can do so here: #DriveFree Road Trip on Twitter.

Official press release below:

ENABLES FREE LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL BETWEEN SAN DIEGO AND VANCOUVER

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

PALO ALTO, Calif.– Tesla Motors today announced the opening of the West Coast Supercharger Corridor, energizing a network of stations that enable Model S owners to travel for free between San Diego, California and Vancouver, British Columbia.

With stations along U.S. Highway 101 and Interstate 5, the West Coast’s key routes, cities and destinations are connected by Tesla Superchargers. Model S customers can drive between San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver for free with minimal stops. More than 99 percent of Californians and 87 percent of Oregon and Washington owners are now within 200 miles of a Supercharger.

Tesla Superchargers are substantially more powerful than any other charging technology in the world, capable of charging Model S 20x faster than most public charging stations. Superchargers deliver up to 120 kW DC (Direct Current) power directly to the Model S battery, providing half a charge in as little as 20 minutes. Superchargers are strategically placed along major highways connecting city centers. Stations are located where customers want to stop, near amenities like roadside diners, cafes and shopping centers, so owners can stop for a quick meal while their Model S charges for free.

This morning in San Diego, two Model S will embark on a 1,750 mile #DriveFree road trip to Vancouver powered only by Tesla Superchargers. The journey will take them through Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento, Mt. Shasta, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, with stops at popular destinations such as the Santa Monica pier, Monterey Bay and the world famous Pike Place Fish Market. Throughout the trip, Tesla will be hosting owner and media events and providing real time updates from the road on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

X Out the 2 in Colorado and Here's Your List of West Coast Superchargers

X Out the 2 in Colorado and Here’s Your List of West Coast Superchargers

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22 responses to "Tesla Model S Trips From Mexico to Canada Now Possible Thanks to Supercharger Network Expansion; Tesla Motors to Road Trip Route in Celebration"

  1. Dan Frederiksen says:

    I think they should work on cost optimizing charge stations to the bone and work with restaurant chains and hotels to get the location for cheap/free. That way they can littler the land which is what’s needed. I figure they’ll need about 10 times as many as they have now for it to change from gimmicky/pioneering to near practical.

    Then Jack Rickard could be right that the big automakers come begging to use the network but I doubt it if nothing else from pride. This standards mess is far from over.
    While the Tesla plug is a lot better than anything else it could still be better. I’d advocate a blade style connector. Tiny crack so you can easily have charge ports on multiple locations on the car yet carry huge current.

  2. I made the reverse trip a couple of weeks ago from Seattle to San Diego, just before the Grants Pass and Mt Shasta stations opened. I’ve made that trip several times but never in a nicer car. Fueling using the Superchargers is no less convenient than using a gas station when you have 250 mike freeway range and need an hour break for a meal by then. Except when they’re all busy, as happened in Gilroy. 8 more stations were under construction there so evidently Tesla is on top of it.

    The only thing that could be improved is the quality of food available at some if the sites. Since they tend to be at small town waypoints, there’s a dearth of good healthy food choices you would find in a city. Some sites, like Harris Ranch, are very good (all things considered). Hopefully, the sites will attract complimentary services. A bistro, car detailing and a Massage Envy franchise come to mind. (hey, after driving for 5 hours, it’s time for a shoulder rub…)

    I’ll be going back in spring. Here’s an open invitation to drop me a line if you’re anywhere near the route and want to ride along or take a spin in town – yes, you can drive.

    1. kdawg says:

      Uh oh, now you sound like the Germans, “We don’t eat at McDondalds!”. haha

      1. I laughed out loud (self-consciously) when I heard that comment on video.

        When you consider that part of everything you eat is going to end up in your arteries, it does make you think twice about what’s on your plate.

    2. HVACman says:

      Re: food quality – the Grants Pass OR charger is at a Black Bear Diner – inexpensive comfort food in massive quantities, but better than Denny’s. The Mt. Shasta CA charger at the Best Western is about 2 minutes walk from the original Black Bear Diner. So, if you want healthy upscale California-cuisine dining, probably not in these areas, but be ready to have left-overs.

      I recommend their pot-roast after a day of skiing.

      PS – when in Mt. Shasta, if you want to really test the S’s hill-climbing prowess, just keep going uphill on Lake St (where the BW is) until it turns into the Everitt Memorial Highway. This road climbs continuously for 14 miles from downtown Mt. Shasta at 3500 feet elevation up to the old Ski Bowl at the treeline of Mt. Shasta, at 7,400 feet elevation. Talk about major regen coming back down!

  3. scott moore says:

    Elon realized early on that the I-5 corridor, the superhighway that runs the length of the western states, was the key route through all of the key EV states, the COW corridor (California Oregon Washington).

    Perhaps this will wake Nissan up, but I doubt it. There is NOT A SINGLE CHADEMO charger on the I-5 between LA and the Oregon border. North of the border they are thick as weeds.

    1. Give new meaning to the phrase “the journey is the destination”

  4. Brian says:

    Very cool. I’m still waiting for one to open in NYS – we’re the largest state with practically no fast charging: zero supercharges and about 0.1 CHAdeMOs (currently limited to something like 9kW for 15minutes). Tesla’s map still shows 2 under construction this fall. Maybe by Christmas one or both will be open.

    I’m envious of the network along the west coast and long for the day that the Northeast will be plastered with high speed charging. Right now we seem focused on L2 charging at home and work. That’s a great first step, but we also need these fast chargers to ditch the pump completely. Otherwise you’re left with either a range extender or a second car.

    1. Mark H says:

      I am pretty sure we are getting one pretty close to Douglas Airport in Charlotte NC which will go along way to closing the gap on the east coast. I bet we get another one on the I-95 corridor at the intersection of Hwy 74.

      1. Brian says:

        Yeah, the I-95 corridor is almost definitely the most important road on the east coast – and that’s covered for New Yorkers via DE and CT. But we still don’t have a supercharger in our state. And upstate NY is completely unserved.

  5. philba says:

    @Dan, The original supercharger plan is pretty much that – a couple hundred SCs nationwide. It is interesting to consider that within a year, they have gone from just a couple to a real, usable network on the west coast. The east cost network is not far behind. They started a bit slow but the ramp up to a national network is in full swing. It seems like they are opening a new SC every week now.

    The issue of dining is, frankly, a complete red herring. When you road trip in your ICEmobile, do you think “I want to have a fine dining experience while I gas up?”. No. You think “bathroom break, cup of coffee and back on the road”. With SCs being so fast, I believe most MS drivers with think the same way. The 2 hour dinner charge is quickly going away.

    Also, I believe that Tesla has had trouble negotiating locations for the SCs. This clearly slowed them down at the start. As the visibility of SCs increase, they may have an easier time but owners aren’t going to give up parking spaces easily. Over time, more will see it as a benefit in that it will attract higher end customers.

  6. scott moore says:

    Of course, the folks using the Tesla chargers are the ones who least need it. $70k to $100k don’t drive from LA to Washington, they fly. Something tells me these Telsa supercharger jaunts are rich folks having a joyride for bragging rights.

    1. Scott, your post made me smile. I just wrote an article for the November print edition of Electric Car Insider about the experience of driving a Tesla. The title is “Joyride”.

      I don’t mean to brag, I’m a fairly modest guy, although I would like to tell people about my experience. Because to me, this is the most exciting thing that has happened in the automotive world in my lifetime. In my younger days, I was an auto mechanic, usually exotics, and worked for shops that had race teams. So I am (or was anyway) a car guy. Very enthusiastic. Then I got into tech (software, Internet). And now I’m excited about cars all over again. Because EVs really are different. Both because of the eco angle (as I got older and wiser, the adverse consequences of burning fossil fuels bothered me more and more) and also because *this is really cool technology*. And as Tesla has shown, the user experience can be vastly better, which is kind of the point of my article. To the point that just going out for a drive can be a lot of fun. Cal State Professor emeritus and former Fulbright Exchange Professor George Parrott recently made a similar remark to the Sacramento Bee at National Plug in Day: “This is a joy,” he said of his car. “You find reasons to drive it.”

      People used to take their car out for a Sunday drive. To visit places. To explore. Sometimes just to experience the pleasure of driving.

      I assure you. The Tesla Model S is that kind of experience.

      Before you roll your eyes and think “F’ing rich buzzard” let me tell you something that will surprise you. I didn’t buy my Model S so that I could take it on joyrides. I bought it so that other people could take it on joyrides. So that they could experience and really understand this technology. Sounds crazy, I know. I’m not saying it’s rational. But that’s the real reason and hopefully you’ll hear more about those crazy plans soon.

      After I started flying I thought I’d never do a “road” trip again. But on the right road, with the right company, this car is really a delight.

      If you’re interested, send me a note (contact info on web site) and you can drive my Tesla Model S. S for Seriously.

      P.S.

      My daily driver is a Ford Focus Electric.

      1. scott moore says:

        I only have two issues with Tesla drivers:

        1. They are clearly arrogant do-gooders.

        2. I can’t afford to be one.

        1. scott moore says:

          I guess I should also specify:

          I am also a software engineer. My money sink is not cars, but airplanes (noisy, non electric airplanes). Its a habit just slightly more expensive than a serious cocaine addiction.

  7. Spec9 says:

    I gotta admit that the genius of the Tesla large-battery and super-charger combo is something that did not occur to me. By having such a long range, Tesla does not need many super-chargers to connect various areas. And more importantly, a long range means they don’t need chargers in any city/suburban area. People live in those areas and can use their own home-chargers. Tesla only needs a few chargers in remote rural areas in between the large city/suburban areas. And the land in these remote rural areas in between the large city/suburban areas is very cheap so they only need a few cheap sites for super-chargers. And since the super-chargers will attract Tesla drivers, companies with restaurants and other rest-top type of facilities may provide such land very cheap as a way of attracting customers.

    So other than the cost of the chargers themselves, it is probably very cheap for Tesla to install super-charging stations since they are few, they are in cheap areas, and people will want them as a way to attract customers.

    The difficult aspect is the high price of the cars with these massive batteries.

    1. Good observation, Spec, but if I could offer an observation from personal experience.

      You said >> they don’t need chargers in any city/suburban area. People live in those areas and can use their own home-chargers.

      That’s true when you are in your own city. But if you’re using the Supercharger network, you are likely going to have a destination outside your own city. And you are very likely going to want to charge, if not at supercharger speeds, at very fast speeds. Because otherwise you can get there and have no choice but to park your car for a long time once you arrive and you might want to or need to drive around town for a bit first.

      I discussed this with a Tesla person involved in building the Supercharger network this morning at the San Diego kick-off of the inaugural Tesla west coast Supercharger road trip. We weren’t speaking for publication so I’ll leave him nameless. And he told me that they had recently revised their views on this subject and would be doing some infill in cities, although they wouldn’t necessarily be Superchargers.

      The CHAdeMO adapter is going to go a really long way to satisfy this use case, and that’s expected to be available in North America by the end of the year.

      So although fast charging within cities is very much needed, and is currently inadequate, especially for Tesla, there is a solution in the offing. And maybe more businesses and hotels will make 80 amp Level 2 chargers for Tesla Model S’ available as a draw to these big-ticket customers. If I ran a hotel, I sure as heck would. Because as a customer, that would be my primary decision point on a hotel, assuming it was a decent place to stay.

      1. Spec9 says:

        Meh . . . you can probably get by with a combination of level-2 and even ordinary outlet level 1 charging. You won’t be able to do touring with that but Level-1 charging at night should be able to get you some 40 miles each night.

        1. Level 1 charging gets you 3 miles per hour on the Model S. It’s a heavy car. I don’t know anyone who owns one who would consider Level 1 for anything other than keeping up with the parasitic draw when it’s parked for a while.

          If you’re traveling, 40 miles cruising around another town is a pretty small budget.

          I’m in the process of writing an article about this, to address these exact misconceptions. Like I said, I drive a Focus Electric daily. It’s a real mental shift from a steady commute where you’re going from home to work, and maybe to the gym or store. And knowing where your local L2 chargers are.

          I spent a lot of time planning out my trip (with a spreadsheet) but until you actually do it, you really can’t anticipate what it’s going to be like.

          Electric road trips are a whole new ball game.

      2. scott moore says:

        Don’t underestimate the “damm I forgot to charge it” factor. There is a DCFC a few blocks from here that has saved me on occasion.

        1. Josh Bryant says:

          +1

          This has only happened to me twice in 2+ years, but may have saved me a divorce.