1,300 Kilometer/800 Mile Trip In A Tesla Model S In China – Video


Of All The Long Distance Routes To Be Taken In China, This Would Probably Be The Most Popular

Of All The Long Distance Routes To Be Taken In China, This Would Probably Be The Most Popular

We have heard a lot about the issues Tesla has faced in China in regards to the local population’s concerns over the Model S sedan’s ability to find suitable charging and travel long distances in the country.

But what is it really like?

Bloomberg’s Alexandra Ho set off on a 1,300 mile trip from Shanghai to Beijing, utilizing 6 Supercharging stations and 1 “destination” station, to find out in this video diary entry entitled “Range Anxiety? We Test Drive a Tesla in China”.

Truth be told, after watching the report we still don’t get a keen sense of what it is like to travel in an EV across China, but rather just what it is like in general to travel a long distance by car in the country, without much commentary on the Model S itself at all.   Hopefully there is an extended report out there somewhere we can dig our teeth into soon.

Hat tip to Sven!

Category: Tesla


23 responses to "1,300 Kilometer/800 Mile Trip In A Tesla Model S In China – Video"
  1. ffbj says:

    I think someone, anyone, could a do a better job, unless the memo said do a hack piece on Tesla. Then she did a great job.
    If it was not so sad it would be funny.

  2. Art Isbell says:

    It would have been nice to know why, on 2 occasions, the Model S’ range was so much less than expected that 2 unplanned, slow charging stops were necessary. Could 50 km of range have been consumed by the A/C in Shanghai’s terrible traffic at the beginning of the trip? The video didn’t hint at what might have caused the second unexpected range deficit (goats in the road causing a traffic jam??).

    This video certainly painted a negative picture about driving a Model S (or any EV) a long distance in China without providing enough information about why the problems occurred.

    1. See Through says:

      Rain and watery road conditions can be a big range gobbler. I have had such experiences. Range dropped by half when I ran the wiper blades and windshield defroster.

      1. Lensman says:

        And the world is flat, too! 😀

  3. Cavaron says:

    These non Tesla compatible charging stations at 1:17 look a lot like the Tesla design…

    1. Anon says:

      BTW: Since mid-March, Chinese owners get a free UMC and several adapters to plug in virtually anywhere in the country. 😛

      Did they even bother to check?

      Seems like a Chinese version of Mr. Broder’s NY Times article…

      1. See Through says:

        Yes, yes. Every journalist in every country is trying to sabotage Tesla. Only Ron Barons and the Jonas’ speak the truth, because they have Tesla shares.

        1. Lensman says:

          “See Through” said:

          “Every journalist in every country is trying to sabotage Tesla.”

          No, but you certainly spend a lot of time trying to do that.

          1. Anon says:


            Well played, sir. 🙂

            1. sven says:

              So says the person who certainly spends a lot of time trying to sabotage GM. 😉

              1. ffbj says:

                To be fair GM does really not need any help in that department. The department of self sabotage. I do get a bit tired of the one side or the other, Tesla can do no wrong, or nothing right, but clearly this article was garbage, on so many levels. Fair and balanced, as the one news agency claims to be, this article was not.

          2. Djoni says:

            This guy is just painful to everything that has a brain.
            Enough said!

  4. OB1 says:

    Yes please don’t explain if a regular car would have made the trip a non issue.

  5. Lensman says:

    Well, as others have noted, this seems more like excerpts from a report, rather than being a full report. Just what did cause her to have to make two unscheduled recharging stops, and no less than 6 Supercharger stops?

    It looks like she started out with less than a full charge, and what about that bizarre claim that it takes 90 minutes to recharge at a Supercharger? More like 30-45, unless you’re charging to 100%, which pretty clearly she did not. So yeah, the comparison with Broder seems appropriate here.

    The optimal scenario for an 800 mile trip would be to start out with a 100% charge, which would take you about 200 miles at highway speed, then stop every 150 miles after that to charge to 60%, which should take 30-40 minutes, or 45 at the maximum. So that would be 4 Supercharger stops. Of course, if the spacing doesn’t work out right, then you might either need to stop more frequently, or spend more time at one or two of the charging stops, or drive slower between two stops.

    But 6 Supercharger stops plus a non-Tesla charging stop seems like either poor planning, or failure to allow for energy used while sitting in gridlocked traffic for hours, or both.

    My overall impression is not that it’s especially hard to drive a Tesla Model S long-distance, but rather that trying to drive on highways in China is a nightmare of gridlock. If you’re sitting still for hours in traffic, keeping the car running so you can inch along while keeping the car cool (or warm) by running the air conditioner or heater, then you’re gonna run out of whatever powers your car, whether its gasoline or electricity.

    1. sven says:

      “It looks like she started out with less than a full charge. . .”

      Apparently she did start out with a full charge. After she got past the Shanghai gridlock she said that she had 361 km (224 mile) range, enough to get to the Nanjing Supercharger with 50 km to spare. However, the video shows the dashboard displaying a range of 275 km when she gives a range of 361 km. I don’t know when into the trip the video of the dashboard was taken, but if any amateur sleuths want to figure it out there is a map next to the speedometer giving the GPS location of the Tesla. FWIW, the reporter is listening to “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence” by Dream Theater. I wouldn’t have guessed that either she or her driver are fans of progressive rock/metal music.


      At the end of video she says that “after two and a half days on the road” they finally arrive in Beijing. Didn’t she and the driver/cameraman sleep at a hotel for two nights? If yes, was it possible to charge the Tesla at the hotel overnight? If they could have charged overnight, did they charge, and if they didn’t charge, why not? So many unanswered questions. 🙁

  6. Les says:

    I think the presenter didn’t like the two day drive. It would have been the same in a petrol / diesel car. Just there would only be the complaints about the traffic.

  7. Nelson says:

    She says “after two and a half days on the road.”

    Did she stay at a hotel over night?
    If so, did it have level2 chargers?
    If it did, did she plug-in overnight while she slept?

    Maybe she should plan her trip more carefully next time.
    Then again, maybe car rentals are inexpensive in China.

    NPNS! SBF!

    1. Lensman says:

      Given all the reports about the lack of public chargers in China, don’t you think the odds are pretty high that they didn’t stop at a hotel with a Level 2 charger?

      A better question is why they didn’t just find an ordinary plug, and run an extension cord to it. That might not have been sufficient for a complete overnight charge, but it certainly would have been enough to reduce the number of recharging stops they needed to make.

  8. JakeY says:

    People have done 800 mile trips (SF to Seattle) with the Model S more than a year ago without much drama and in 17 hours (rotating drivers):

    Only roughly 2 hours slower than a ICE would have took.

  9. Steve says:

    In my experience the Tesla does GREAT in traffic jams, even with the AC blowing. It gets better mileage. Not sure how it could have affected them! (and I am not sure they know for sure it was the AC… given their expertise with the rest of the review)

    Rain on the other hand, could be a problem. I don’t have too much data on that myself.

    She also rounded up the maximum amount of time you can spend at a Supercharger to 90 minutes. It’s 75 minutes in reality, and that’s assuming you arrive completely flat and charge it up to completely full.

    It would have been good to see the route they took, where they were in traffic jams and rain, and where they charged.

    1. Nathanael says:

      Rain is a minor problem. Snow is a large problem; range drops by a *lot* in sub-freezing temperatures.

  10. Djoni says:

    After viewing this poor video without any relevant data to base a reflexion on, I came to the conclusion that this video was probably subsidised by See Through.
    Bas investment, again!

  11. James says:

    Well, it’s quite obvious that in China, EV range is much less than in America.

    Perhaps gravity, friction, mass and wind resistance acts differently on their continent.

    Maybe this is why Communism works so well for the common people there – and we here in this free Republic just don’t understand how things like the laws of thermodynamics can work differently in their alternative universe.