Tesla Is A Top Choice For Summer Road Trips

2 weeks ago by EVANNEX 30

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

DRIVING ELECTRIC: FOR SUMMER ROAD TRIPS, TESLA IS THE BEST

When it comes to taking an all-electric summer road trip, nobody has you covered like Tesla. After all, Tesla recently announced that by the end of 2017, they’ll double their worldwide charging infrastructure to total more than 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Charging connectors all around the globe. That said, what if there were no electric vehicle chargers available for your summer road trip — which electric car would actually take you the furthest?

*This article comes to us courtesy of Evannex (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman.

Tesla Model X

Model X

Recently, two different companies created infographics to show you how far you could go in an electric vehicle (on a single charge) in both the U.S. and Europe.

First up, the folks at EV-Box (below) have looked at the summer road trip in Europe while noting that, “today’s most popular electric cars will take you a very long way, even on a single charge… [take a look at] how far your electric car can go from our home city, Amsterdam. A perfect plan for your weekend getaway or euro trip this summer.”

Without any stops for charging, guess which electric car takes you the furthest? You guessed it — an electric car from Tesla.

Tesla

Starting from Amsterdam, no other electric car will take you as far as a Tesla — although we wouldn’t recommend driving across water to London (Source: EV-Box)

However, when planning a euro trip this summer, remember that:

“NEDC is the official measurement for electric-car range in Europe, yet we’re aware that the given numbers are sometimes overly optimistic. The actual range is dependent on the way you drive, whether you turned on your AC, weather conditions and so on. Most importantly though, plan your route based on the availability of charging points.”

For Tesla owners, this is much easier based on the vast network of both Tesla Superchargers and Destination Chargers already available across Europe.

Above: The all-electric road trip across Europe in a Tesla (Youtube: Tesla)

To that end, you’d want give yourself some breaks at charging stops along the way.

After all as EV-Box states, “you may ask yourself if 1000 km on a single charge is really needed. What driver with a clear conscience can manage to stay on the road for that long without making any stops… [you’d] surely need to find a restroom, and stretch your legs. Not to mention that any combustion engine car would need to stop and fill up the tank to be able to reach 1000 km,” and you’d probably want to stop for a bite to eat after driving that long of a distance anyhow.”

Tesla

Superchargers in Barstow, CA in action (Image via PlugShare)

That said, it’s still fun to see how far an electric car can go without any charging stops in the U.S. as well.

For that, the folks at Plugless put together another informative infographic with San Francisco as the starting point. Using range data complied by InsideEVs, this “infographic only includes the in-production, U.S. plug-ins with ranges that exceed the U.S. average daily driving of 37 miles… [and] of course, Tesla dominates the high range segment.”

Tesla

Starting from San Francisco, no other electric car will take you as far as a Tesla (Source: Plugless)

One caveat: these infographics don’t include all of the longest range offerings from Tesla — the Model X 100D, with its 295 miles of range, didn’t make its way onto these infographics.

Regardless, even in a lower range Tesla, if driving conservatively, you might be able to make it all the way from San Fran to LA (or Amsterdam to Stuttgart) without having to stop for a single charge. You just have to plan appropriately and use a few tricks along the way. In any event, it’s time for you to get on out there… take that summer road trip in your Tesla. Just be sure to check out our top 11 Tesla road trip tips before you head out onto the open road.

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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30 responses to "Tesla Is A Top Choice For Summer Road Trips"

  1. guyinacar says:

    Or, if that plan fails, just flag down a friendly BMW X5 40e owner, who will be happy to flatbed your Tesla back to the grid. LOL.

    1. Toni says:

      The BMW X5 50i (for example) has the same highway range as the S 100D. Never heard anyone complaining that it is not enough…

      1. guyinacar says:

        Unfortunately, some moonlit night when you’re out of range of a cell tower (to say nothing of the grid), you may realize that the internet was right, after all.

        I’ve nearly run out of fuel three times in my decades’ driving experience – twice on gas (both times in the wilderness of Canada) and once in a classic hybrid, on an urban interstate. It’s a lesson one never forgets. Fortunately, I was able to limp and refuel. I won’t subject myself to that risk again. It’s hard enough finding a one-horse town amid all the mountains. So good luck finding a supercharger in Angry Bear Gulch, or wherever you go. Ski/camping trips become a lot less fun on the side of a cold, desolate road at 2am.

        And as for the X5, the 50i is the big V8. The ICE in a 40e is less than half the size of that ICE, and is a profoundly more efficient arrangement. Yet both can refuel anywhere in North America in about three minutes, even while towing. The diesel can refuel literally anywhere in the world, no matter how remote, in the same three minutes. Petroleum distillates are just inherently energy-dense. They transfer rapidly from underground tanks to vehicles. It is what it is.

        I feel I’ve made the right compromise with a 40e PHEV. But good luck with your BEV road trips.

        1. EV-A says:

          So, they sell diesel / gasoline, but they have no electricity? ^^ That made me chuckle.

          I’ve roadtripped my Tesla for 3 years now, each trip in excess of 4500 km’s, and I haven’t had any problems with range at all. Also, the car was charged before I was ready to continue my trip every single time.

          These comments just don’t apply to me at all. With the massive increases in charging facilities, they won’t apply for anyone soon enough.

          1. guyinacar says:

            Thanks for the snark.

            Of course *THEY* have electricity. That’s what runs *THEIR* gas pumps. They need electricity for all the ice and cold beer they sell, too (else, what would be the point of selling the fishing bait, right?) That doesn’t mean *YOU* have electricity… your BEV sad, pouty face notwithstanding.

            So, next time you’re in dire need of a charge, try insisting that you’re a fancy urban person from the big city, and you deserve to plug in your Tesla. Tell ’em the UN has declared electricity a basic human right. They’ll enjoy that.

            Better yet, just plug in without anyone’s permission. Why not? You have an adapter, yes? And an extension cord? Rural folks enjoy that the most.

            Sorry – contemporary BEVs are for exurbs, and I’m as big a proponent as anybody. PHEVs (and ICE) are for thousand mile road trips through nowhere. I fuel up my body far more often than my BMW. I can easily go 1100 miles with one 3-min fill-up in the middle. Oh, and with heat.

            Stop being a zealot. Driving simply everywhere/anywhere in a BEV is not a good idea yet. It verges on reckless, in many rural situations. It may someday be a good idea, but it certainly isn’t now.

  2. Timothy Vollmer says:

    I’m really looking forward to the long range and charging network for the Model 3. I have a huge road tripped plan for when I get mine next year, starting in upstate NY, to CA and back, hitting 20 national parks and monuments along the way.

  3. FISHEV says:

    To be accurate its 614 km (381 miles) from Amsterdam to the Supercharger at Rodekro.

    Fun part is that while EV road trips will add up to more hours/days of travel, the guilt free road trip is back.

  4. SparkEV says:

    Fiat 500e isn’t available in Europe, yet included in Euro infographic. If that’s the case, SparkEV would do a whole lot better due to DCFC availability which the 500e doesn’t have.

    For plugless graphic, SparkEV is shown as 72 miles when it’s in fact 82 miles, more than BMW i3. Considering SparkEV is more efficient than any car on this list when driven at 62 MPH, it deserves even more range, not less.

      1. William says:

        Interesting video. GM sure hit the ball over the center field fence, with the upgrade from the Spark to the Bolt. Now, will Tesla blast the next pitch (Model 3) out of the park, and into the parking lot where the Bolt is parked?

        “Sorry about that windshield” – from the boys of October.

    1. wavelet says:

      Both infographics are misleading in other ways. The Europe one also lists the Mercedes SLS electric, which hasn’t been produced for 4 years, and the Audi R8 e-tron, which was never sold publicly. Neither really count as “production vehicles” in the accepted sense, and <100 were made of each.
      And of course using NEDC ratings for freeway trips (the only way the distances hold betwenn major cities) is very misleading — It's not actually possibly to drive legally at such low speeds.

      As for the US one, despite the "infographic only includes the in-production, U.S. plug-ins" claim, it references 2 not-yet-in-production cars (next-gen LEAF & Model 3), so there's no actual official EPA range numbers for them, or published numbers of non-official public tests. And of course, all 90kWh Teslas have just been discontinued.

      I find it annoying that companies in the EV space who should know better publish misleading info. This does the sector a disservice.

  5. James P Heartney says:

    A different way of saying the same thing that this article says is that (at least in the U.S. midwest), if you don’t have a Tesla, you’re screwed for long distance EV travel. The fast chargers are so spread out that even a Bolt can’t go from one to the next.

    1. FISHEV says:

      “They’ll tell you that it’s for green energy when in reality they’ll use that to make more bombs and invade other countries.”

      But enough Level 2’s are there that you just add a few hours and, frankly, even Teslas are going to add lot of hours to a road trip.

      Look at as an opportunity to explore those off the track places that make road trips road trips.

      Key is the initial range and Bolt’s 238 mile range is definitely top shelf.

      1. James P Heartney says:

        A trip from St. Louis to Chicago is <5 hrs in a gas car. Relying on Level 2 chargers, even a Bolt will need the better part of 2 days to make the same trip. And I guarantee you there's nothing in mid-state Illinois that you're going to want to wait around for a day looking at.

        1. FISHEV says:

          Trip is 297 miles and Level 3 DC Fast chargers in Bloomington so Bolt would do fine.

          But is a trip from St. Louis to Chicago a “road trip”? Typically road trips are leisure trips to see the country, no better way than to find out of the way spots with EV chargers. Patronize those businesses that provide chargers and chat them up, meet the locals and have EV fun.

          1. James P Heartney says:

            The charger in Bloomington is Tesla-only; you can’t charge a Bolt on it. Same in Springfield and Champaign. Which is why I said you’re screwed if you don’t have a Tesla.

            “Road Trips” for me are things like taking kids to college visits, or for a spring break trip to Chicago, etc. Really not interested in wasting extra hours on the road.

  6. GeorgeS says:

    Super charging trips are fun but you can’t be in a hurry. Ive found 50 mph is the average speed you should figure.

    So if you want to go 400 miles figure 8 hours.

    I was going to do one from AZ to NH but it looked like 5 days on the road. Even with the free fuel once you figure hotels i might as well hop a plane in phx and be there in 5 hours.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The infographics seem pretty pointless. One or both seem to consider only “as the crow flies” miles. Getting from Amsterdam to London would involve either taking a car ferry or putting the car on a Chunnel train, so at least part of the distance traveled wouldn’t count against the EV range at all.

    Not unless the car is equipped with an “amphibian” package, and I haven’t seen any major EV manufacturer offering that. 😉

  8. Maaz Jilani says:

    Superchargers

  9. Warren says:

    Tesla will save happy motoring. The planet is saved. We can have it all. Ain’t it great?

  10. Four Electrics says:

    If I lived in California or Germany, I’d choose a hydrogen vehicle like the Clarity FCV. Refuels in five minutes with 366 mile range, is zero emission, and has electrolysis options available for hydrogen. In CA there are sufficient stations to drive from Lake Tahoe to San Diego without spending hours at a supercharger.

    1. Four Electrics says:

      Oh, and the fuel is free for at least the next three years.

      1. James P Heartney says:

        Right, all 30 H2 stations in CA. Please note that unless you are within 10 miles of one of them, you’ll be spending a LOT of time commuting to and from in order to get fuel (assuming your local stations isn’t down, as they are a lot of the time). No home charging for you.

        Of course, if you want to travel outside CA, you’re out of luck. Currently three stations scattered on the east coast, but you don’t have the range to reach them; most of the country is a no-go zone for H2 cars.

        And if you ever run out of fuel, you can’t emergency refill with a plastic fuel container as you can with gas, or by plugging into any outlet as you can with electric. No, you’ll have to get the Clarity towed. Also, if you leave your Clarity in the garage for a few weeks while you go on vacation, you’ll lose significant amounts of your fuel to leakage. And in a few years, when the “free fuel” deal ends? You’ll be paying around double the cost of gasoline and four times the cost of electricity for refueling.

        Last of all, your H2 isn’t green; if it’s made from steam reformation of NG, producing it emits as much carbon as a gasmobile. Theoretically, it could be made from solar-powered electrolysis of water, but of course that process wastes over half the energy compared to just using it to recharge a battery. BTW, as far as I know, none of the current H2 stations create their H2 from electrolysis.

        1. William says:

          One could also say “that process wastes WELL over half the energy”. That might be a bit more fair, to those FOOL hearty souls trying to use solar power and electrolysis to make hydrogen. This flawed business plan to make solar powered hydrogen for vehicle fuel cells, while remaining profitable, as an ongoing business venture, is ridiculously hilarious!

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “…I’d choose a hydrogen vehicle like the Clarity FCV.”

      Sure, you can replace your imaginary Tesla Model X with an equally imaginary Honda Clarity, 4E. Swap ’em back and forth a hundred times a day, if you wish.

      And they don’t even take up any room in your garage! 😉 Sadly, though, your imaginary cars can only take you on imaginary journeys.

  11. w says:

    Both the infographics are quite misleading. The European one not only uses NEDC numbers, but employs distances to cities that are only reachable via direct freeways, where driving at NEDC speeds would actually be hampering prevalent traffic and so illegal. And as someone noted above, mentions at least one car that was never offered in Europe (Fiat 500e) as well as the Mercedes SLS Electric, which hasn’t been produced for 4 years, and doesn’t really count as a production car (<100 sold overall).

    The US one lists both the Model 3 as well as the next-gen Nissan, cars which haven't been tested forrange either officially by the EPA or publicly — neither are in production in contradiction to what they say. For that matter, 90kWh Teslas are also no longer in production.

    Boo to EV-Box and Plugless.

    1. Pedro Amaral says:

      If you read the articles of both EV-Box and Plugless, you will see that both mention that the exercise is not about road travel and choices, but how far is reaches each electric car as comparison to each other. That’s the point of the article.

      Actually, EV-Box even mentions apps and other travel planners to try and check where you’ve to stop, and refers to NEDC because it’s official numbers, otherwise what to use them?

      Don’t get why boo to companies that wrote good articles. If you’re so keen in correcting, why don’t you create a better infographic then?

      I think it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty ok.

  12. Nick says:

    Can’t refuel at home == Lame.

    Lack of useful fueling infrastructure and much less efficient operation is the nail in the coffin.

    Using a CNG powered vehicle would be better if you can put up with compressed gas fueling limitations. You can get a home fueler for a CNG powered vehicle, and it’s not just a pie in the sky theoretical option, it’s one you can pull the trigger on for $4k today if you wanted to (still much worse for the environment than an EV, but better than a FCEV).

    Thanks!

    1. Nick says:

      Reply meant for Four Electrics above.

  13. Ron M says:

    International Business Times has an articl where Trump is saying that they will soon begin installing the next generation of Superchargers a 350kv Supercharger that will charge your EC in 10 minutes instead of an hour and where ever feasible it will be off the grid powered with solar panels and batteries.

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