Driving 715 Miles In A 2015 Tesla Model S


A little planning goes a long way.

We recently noted that electric vehicle road tripping in the UK can have its challenges. But what about an excursion on the European mainland? Well, it just so happens a Bloomberg contributor just recently tried to do this very thing, so let’s look at her experience and see how well that went.

In a symbolic tribute to Bertha Benz, who made what is thought to be the first road trip (110 miles!) in 1888 driving her husband Karl’s contraption to Mannheim and then back to their home, a two-way trip from Paris to that German city was decided upon. While we can’t say how much planning went into Miss Benz’s trip, it doesn’t seem like this 715-mile foray was especially well thought out.

For the journey, the author chose a 2015 Tesla Model S with a range of 215 miles when fully charged. Given that the California automaker has its own Supercharger network, and that a voice request will make the car plot a complete route for you with all the stops needed, along with the expected charge times, it should have been a breeze. It wasn’t.

Now, a lot of people have taken the author to task on Twitter over the resulting article, and we can understand why. There’s a pessimistic tone throughout the piece and it concludes with worries about range anxiety. This strikes many as absurd, since thousands of Tesla owners have easily made much lengthier trips with no problem.

But, cut her some slack. She’s not coming from a place of malice. The venture was not about the brand, but about European charging infrastructure in general. It’s true some of the language is unfortunate. If you were skimming through, you might have gotten the impression that a trip that should have taken 10 hours actually took four days, and included over 11 hours of charging.

“Over the next four days, I’ll spend 11 hours and 42 minutes charging—and that’s not counting failed attempts and time wasted on detours to stations—on what Google Maps tells me should be a 10-hour trip.”

That aside, she does make some valid points. Charging infrastructure is not where it needs to be at the moment. Even one of the Supercharger stations along the way wasn’t available for use. One network required a subscription that couldn’t be completed on the fly. Yet another charging station was at a BMW dealership and not available to other brands. And, as we saw in the UK, another simply wouldn’t work.

So, while it’s easy to find fault with this writer — why would one choose to stay at hotels without charging amenities, for example — perhaps we just need to realize that the charging infrastructure is still a work in progress and the unitiated may easily experience problems if they jump into a car and head out on a 700-mile adventure.

Luckily, this problem is rapidly being addressed by outfits like Ionity, Fastned, Fortum, and others. The future is electric. There are just still a few speed bumps along the way.

Source: Bloomberg

Categories: Tesla, Test Drives

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14 Comments on "Driving 715 Miles In A 2015 Tesla Model S"

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“Yet another charging station was at a BMW dealership and not available to other brands.”
I have a charging station on my property as well. Only available for friends and family.

What a silly statement to begin with. Why would you expect someone to let you use their private charging station?

Have to be careful, businesses aren’t completely private and have to follow certain laws, so if they offer a free public charger they shouldn’t discriminate by vehicle type. If they offer it for customers only, then it makes sense. Again, the key point being that if they make the charger available publicly, they can’t discriminate who uses it. Beverly Hills reverted their no PHEV charging because of this.

Luckily we do have freedom of contract in Germany. If the parking space is on your property you are free to exclude red cars or only allow blue cars.

The actual idiots here are those EV zealots that have to list all those non public chargers on the map just so they earn some internet points. The goingelectric forum chargemap luckily lets you filter those out once someone with a bit more brains has marked the charger as not being barrier free.

Took my 2017 BEV i3 700 miles to Vegas and 900 miles to San Francisco. Sat-Sun trips..no problem whatsover. 4000 miles in 2 months.

I was gonna say, I did a couple of trips from Belgium to south of France in my ioniq ev. The first one, in winter, was maybe a little challenging, but completed in 2 days each way, including 1 night in a BnB. The second one was easier because it was summer and I ended up using the Corri-door chargers mostly… easy, just for safety we spend a night in a BnB again, but even including that stay it took us only a little over 24 hours (mind you, it was not needed from a charging point of view)

This experience reminds us that only one electric car model is currently mainstream, and in order for the mainstream public to use electric cars, charging experiences and road trips should be a comparatively smooth experience for everyone.

Yadiyadiya da.
I don’t have to plan my trip with my ICE based on charging. I plan my trip based on what I want to see and eat along the way. There are gas stations near the freeway exit every mile.
But someday my children shall have better EV charging infra everywhere

You need only wait 5 years, so, you’d better have had your children.

Wow, I am glad I don’t live in Europe. This sounds like a mess. Not ready for prime time.

I am sure if I lived there, I would not even drive a car. Why drive a car if you can get anywhere using efficient public transportation?

I don’t get this article, why do you want to use other charging network than supercharger
This trip is piece of cake with a Tesla
Start from Paris, charge in Reims, Metz Kaiseerslautern and you are in Mannheim, even with the smallest battery pack No Problem.
For me i would properly just charge in Metz and Hirschberg

She didn’t want to reach Mannheim as quickly as possible but take the scenic route through the Champagne. The blog post is essentially about the fact that you can’t just drive where you would like but where you can fuel the car.

While my hat is off to Tesla for the SC (SuperCharger) network even in my model 3 LR I still need to do some planning on road trips not involving routes with the shortest distance between SC sites. I don’t mind this and actually find it enjoyable but it is very different than just jumping in an ICE vehicle, driving until the fuel tank drops to 1/4 full and then looking for the gas station you know you will be able to easily find. Certainly the SC network covers point A to B travel well assuming you take the route suggested by the car and keep your speed down especially in cold weather. But, we are still quite a ways from no planning free-form route road trips. But, we will get there quickly. As more long range BEVs are sold I am hoping businesses will see an opportunity to make money either by selling fast charging directly or offering it “free with a meal” at road side restaurants.

Gee, if we could only publish the Corner Cases, and the Statistical Outliers so we can Paint Tesla and Electrics in a Bad Light. SHOCKED I tell you that Bloomberg, almost as Negative as CNBC can’t find the proper way to plan and drive an EV.

I drove 2824 miles in my 2013 Tesla Model S in 2016:

to take my family of four to National Parks and other sights like Bryce, Zion, Mesa Verde, Arches, Monument Valley, and Antelope Canyon.

I drove 4647 miles in my 2013 Tesla Model S last summer:

to take my family of four traveling through 10 western states to see National Parks and sites including Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Devil’s Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Petrified Forest, Capitol Reef, and the Million Dollar Highway using both Supercharger and Destination Charging.

Everything worked and we had a great time! That completes 10,767 miles of all electric family road trips under my belt, in my 2013 Tesla Model S, so Tesla’s formula definitely works. Send them my site to see how it’s supposed to be done.