Edmunds Sets New Record For Tesla Model S Cross-Country Travel

JUL 22 2014 BY MARK KANE 29

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla Supercharger

As more and more Tesla Superchagers go on-line and temperatures climb to levels higher than in Winter, when Tesla did its maiden cross-country journey using Superchargers, it is obvious that the first record of 76 hours and 5 minutes set by a team of Tesla staffers would fall.

And fall it did.

A team from Edmunds.com smashed the record driving a Tesla Model S from from Redondo Beach, Calif. to New York, NY.

67 hours and 21 minutes is the new record.

“Edmunds.com Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds and Photo Editor Kurt Niebuhr completed the cross-country journey in less than three days while stopping at 23 Tesla Supercharger stations across the nation. And unlike Tesla’s cross-country attempt, Edmunds.com’s duo completed the journey on its own without the safety net of a trailing support staff.”

Detailed story on the trip can be found here.

Dan Edmunds stated:

“The key to breaking the record wasn’t to drive fast; we had to drive smart. Fast, aggressive driving will only succeed in sucking down an EV’s battery. We had to drive responsibly to make sure we had enough juice to get from one charging station to the next. And we saved time by charging only a little more than what we figured was necessary to get to the next Supercharger.”

And now it’s time for some statistics:

  • Total Distance: 3,331.9 miles
  • Driving Time: 52 hours, 41 minutes
  • Average Driving Speed: 63.2 mph
  • Total Supercharger Plug-In Time: 14 hours, 40 minutes
  • Average Supercharger Plug-in Time: 38.3 minutes
  • Number of Other Stops: 0
  • Total Energy Consumption: 1.06 Megawatt-hours
  • Total Fuel Cost: $0 (thanks to Tesla’s free superchargers, available to all Tesla owners)

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29 Comments on "Edmunds Sets New Record For Tesla Model S Cross-Country Travel"

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“Total Fuel Cost: $0 (thanks to Teslaโ€™s free superchargers, available to all Tesla owners)”

Make that:

“…owners of the 85kWh battery or 60kWh battery and paid for the supercharger access”


Kind of interesting how it came out to be almost exactly 1MWh to cross the country. I wonder how that compares to other forms of transportation.


Good question. A valid/meaningful comparison would have to be on a per passenger basis.


Back-of-the-envelope answer:

The ICE energy consumption would be larger by 3x to 5x, depending upon how energy-efficient the ICE vehicle is.

(their 3.2-3.3 miles/KWh is roughly equivalent to 100 MPGe).

Although I imagine ICE vehicles can still use somewhat shorter routes, making the factor a bit smaller.


A quick Google came up with 22 gallons of airline fuel for each passenger per 1000 miles. LA to NY is ~2500 miles, so 55 gallons of airline fuel. At 37kW per gallon, that’s 2035kW, so double the amount the Tesla used.

I’m thinking a train may be the least energy per person, or a bus, but not sure. I guess we need to know if they had 5 people in the Tesla.


Per the article…”Edmunds.com Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds and Photo Editor Kurt Niebuhr completed the cross-country journey in less than three days”

That would be two people…


But could you put 5 people and 2 kids in there and still do it w/1 MWh?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Assuming ~33mpg for ease of calculation, call it 100 gallons of gas, or about 3.4MW.

Which (using $0.12/kWh for power and $3.60/gal) makes the gas-powered trip about 3x as expensive and consumptive, except that the Supercharging power was free/prepaid. So, you’d probably need to make 8.5 round trips to recoup your ‘investment’ in the Supercharger.


So they averaged 318wh/mile. Not bad.


I wonder if Tesla is concerned that people might cause accidents in attempts to beat this record. They do not want sleep deprived drivers driving Teslas at high speed.

They could prevent that by adding some checks in the software that controls their superchargers.


You can’t break this record by driving at high speed. They averaged 63.2 mph. Because charge time is such a big factor with an EV, going faster won’t help, unless you can increase the charge rate. Battery swapping is the only way…if racing cross-country had any point.


“You canโ€™t break this record by driving at high speed. ” Yes you can finish much quicker if you drive at 115 mph, according to YOUR OWN POST BELOW ๐Ÿ˜‰


You’d need a lot more Superchargers, not a bad thing in itself. But the kilowatt burn rate, at 115 mph is bad enough that you you could miscalculate pretty quickly. Ever push a two ton car? ๐Ÿ™‚


The total time was never the issue; rather the Tesla team set a record for how little charging time was needed to cross the country. So far, this team doesn’t seem to have even addressed the Tesla record that was set.


Ok, they did break the charging time record:
Tesla record: 15 hours, 57 sec.
Edmunds: 14 hours, 40 min.

Ocean Railroader

Let’s see someone try this in a Mitsubishi i-miev. Or at least try something with a Mitsubishi i-miev trying to go 300 miles in a day.


Heh. We’re not foolish enough to try that!


Actually, I believe in Japan a Mi-EV should have little trouble going 300 miles in a day b/c ChaDeMos are so densely located.

In the US only on very selected routes.


I’ve driven a Nissan LEAF 400+ miles in one day in the UK. Took 9 recharge sessions!


Why not try this in a Yugo GV? That makes as much sense as in a i-MiEV as neither is suitable for any long distance travel.


Oddly, no drive trains were replaced in gaining this record.


The drive line WAS replaced when they got back to California…


So the energy required to manufacture and replace the drive unit should be added to the total trip energy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mike I

Should be “rebuild and replace”.

See Through

Also add the cost of 14 hrs 40 minutes charging time. At an wage rate of $40/hr ( pretty low for people who drive these cars), this amounts to $700 per person in the car.
Total cost here: $1400 each way in lost GDP.

Al S

This is an inflated number, because even in a gas car they’d have to stop for fuel, food, and restrooms.


Their average including charging was 49.47 mph. If you drove 115 mph, instead of 63 mph, and had a charge station every 120 miles, you could get that up to 89.6 mph average. What earthly point would there be? Take a plane already!

transport persoane

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