Video: Watch a Slew of Tesla Model S Sedans Climb the Mount Washington Auto Road

12 months ago by Eric Loveday 12

The Mount Washington Auto Road (originally Mount Washington Carriage Road) is 7.6 miles of some of the most terrifying paved and gravel surfaces you’ll find anywhere in the US.

The Auto Road, located in New Hampshire, rise from a starting altitude of 1,527 feet to the summit at 6,145 feet.  The average gradient is 11.6%, making it one of the world’s steepest paved roads.

Mount Washington Can Be a Treacherous Place to Drive

Mount Washington Can Be a Treacherous Place to Drive

The road was completed and opened to the public in 1861 and still today is open to the public, mostly for guided tours and only when the weather permits.

Though not known by most auto enthusiasts, the oldest sanctioned race in the US was hosted by the Auto Road back in 1904.

Even today, the Mount Washington Auto Road remains one of the most terrifying, yet satisfying drives in America.

Recently, the Auto Road played host to one of today’s modern marvels: the Tesla Model S.

There was no racing going on, but the video captured of the Model S sedans climbing into the clouds is stunning.

For a feel of how terrifying it can be to drive Mount Washington, check out Travis Pastrana’s record-setting run below.

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12 responses to "Video: Watch a Slew of Tesla Model S Sedans Climb the Mount Washington Auto Road"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    Very cool. 2 years ago, I was the first production vehicle propelled by electric motors to drive up the mountain with my Volt.

    The fun part was coming back down… Started with an empty battery, and ended with 60% capacity and rotors cool to the touch. “Normal” vehicles have to stop at numerous spots to let their brakes cool, I stopped at none.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Too bad it was so foggy at the top. The views are amazing on a clear day.

      Volt Atop Mt Washington

      1. Cody says:

        How far did ya make it up there on battery? Looks like the model S guys burned about 13kw to make the climb?

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          I had to drive to the mountain, and then I think I made it up about 6 of the 8 miles if I remember correctly, before the gas engine kicked in to create some more juice.

          I think I started up the mountain with roughly 70% battery.

          It was a really cool experience for sure.

    2. David Stone says:

      You are a production vehicle? ;)

      Here in europe, no one would have stopped either. That is because here, ‘normal’ means with a manual transmission; you stay in a low gear and the engine does most of the braking.

  2. anthonykitmcinnis says:

    Very cool.
    Its the safest car ever made so if they fell off the mountain it would be okay.

  3. Assaf says:

    Nice vid!

    We visited White Mountains for the 1st time ever just before July 4th. Didn’t go up Mt. Washington, b/c 1. The weather was even worse than during this Tesla climb, and 2. Wouldn’t enjoy driving thru all those curves with a bunch of disgruntled kids in the back.

    But for a massive EV statement, this is a perfect drive, esp. considering what ClarksonCote wrote about regen on the way back. Arguably the S’s ended up losing a smaller chunk of their range from the roundtrip than a typical ICE car

    I wonder if anyone can answer questions about the charging. The closest Supercharger seems to be down in Connecticut, >200 miles away. So obviously the charge to get there was some combination of trickle and L2. Are there any L2′s scattered about in those hills? How did the 15 Teslas charge themselves to get there and back?

  4. OppChg says:

    According to plugshare, Tesla’s have started using the (20-50 amp 240 volt?) dryer outlets at various campgrounds in the White Mountains, with permission and/or a fee ($10 a night?). It of course depends where they were starting from. If it was the Milford Supercharger, that’s a long way round trip and they’d need some of hours of L2 on the way there or back. I just proved in my Volt last week that a Tesla can’t easily complete a trip to the White Mountains (530 miles for me, got a respectable 69 miles per gallon) using only overnight L1 and make it back anywhere near a Supercharger…might make it to Lowell. But if they used some dryer outlets over night and limited their daily mileage they’d be Ok. Always Be Charging.

  5. OppChg says:

    PS there are basically no public L2s north of Concord where a hotel and I think a car dealer have some. The last major frontier of them is scattered around northern MA (99 Restaurants, Chili’s, and a few town-owned) A Tesla can pull 20-24 miles an hour at at least some of these (6.6 kWh) but that’s still a few hours wait if you need to get Milford, ~150 miles from Lowell.

  6. OppChg says:

    Pps there is one proper L2 station up there (Clipper Creek) right there on the Mt Washington Auto Club Road