Road-Tripping 1,120 Miles In Tesla Model S From Seattle To Los Angeles – Video


Hellcat, With Its Real World MPG Of Like 2, Isn't An Ideal Road Tripper

Hellcat, With Its Real World MPG Of Like 2, Isn’t An Ideal Road Tripper

Don’t worry, you’ve got the right video… It starts off with discussing the new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat for a few seconds (a horrible road-tripper due to its awful MPG rating).

Car Advice then takes a Tesla Model S P85+ on a 1,120 mile road trip from Seattle to Los Angeles.  How does it fare?

Per Car Advice:

“The plan: to drive from Seattle to Los Angeles, a trip of more than 1800 kilometres – almost the same distance as traversing the Hume Highway from Brisbane to Melbourne. And, just like you would if you drove that trip, we’d be travelling through three states to our final destination.”

“Charging up: the idea is to rely upon the Tesla Supercharger network for as much of the journey as is possible – thus enabling us to figure out whether the car copes in its ideal environment.”

Road Trip Time!

Road Trip Time!

“The potential problems: running out of charge between cities, or when exploring beyond the Supercharger route.”“There are two major limitations when it comes to electric cars – battery range and charging infrastructure.”

“Without either of these, you’ll be hard-pressed to travel any more than 150 kilometres using a conventional pure electric vehicle. But electric car startup brand Tesla and its luxury-focused Model S turn convention on its head.”

“That’s because this sleek liftback sedan has the longest battery range of any pure electric – that is, non plug-in hybrid – car ever made, with up to 460 kilometres of claimed range. Aussie cars will come attached to an even higher claim, with 504km of range.”

The Model S did not fail to impress!

Who needs gas to road trip? Certainly not Car Advice, or the countless others who have road-tripped a Model S.

Just for the record, the Charger Hellcat SRT officially gets 13 MPG city and 22 highway.  And yes, it comes with a $1,700 gas guzzler tax.  Seriously, who would buy a car such as the Charger Hellcat in this day and age?

Back to the Model S.  Have you found it to be a capable road-tripper? Any gripes?

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15 responses to "Road-Tripping 1,120 Miles In Tesla Model S From Seattle To Los Angeles – Video"
  1. George Parrott says:

    I have driven the same route from Portland to Sacramento twice in my S85 and it functioned perfectly, but the Woodburn Supercharger location is about a good 3 blocks from the actual shopping stores, so one of my trips the weather was hellishly raining and there is no way I would have walked to the mall without a snorkel that day. The presenter also failed to note great “road food” at two of the other possible Superchargers which are either AT or very convenient to, Black Bear Diner restaurants with huge serving breakfast options.

    1. Mikael says:

      No frunk is complete without an electric foldable scooter 😛 (with an optional home made umbrella holder 😉 )

    2. Miggy says:

      Great review over a 1800km road trip and a lot better than most of the reviews done by local USA car magazines/web-sites.

  2. George Parrott says:

    I also lived in and owned an apartment in Adelaide, Australia, and I see no current Tesla proposal for any Supercharger to get back and forth from Adelaide to Melbourne. Too bad, as some of my Adelaide friends could well be candidates for a Model S or a Model 3 when that arrives.

    1. Mikael says:

      I find it very surprising that the first goal of the Australian superchargers weren’t to connect Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

    2. George: I’m sure Adelaide-Melbourne is in the works…give it a little time. The company can’t do everything at once.

  3. What’s the point of this article?
    “With mere km to spare we made it to our destination!
    We make it to LA after 1800 km and almost a week of driving … our road trip is over.”

    This reviewer appears too have a case “Supercharger station anxiety” … passing by a number of supercharger locations, only to worried they won’t made it to the last one before the battery charge is depleted. The Broder effect lives on in e-car reviews.

    Sadly the Hellcat wasn’t seen in the video of the trip. It would have been nice to see a little gas-needle anxiety as drivers alternated between the Hellcat and P85D+. Perhaps the point being that CarAdvise journalist couldn’t afford the gas for the trip, so the HellCat got left behind. Confirms that ICE-age is thawing and “super-ICE cars” may go extinct as noted in the intro.

    A LA-to-BC RoadTrip in a Model S was news back in Oct 2013, but today no more than driving to work on a Monday morning.

    Today the same trip could also be accomplished without use of a single supercharger; using a network of ~125+ Tesla HPWC (High-Power Wall Chargers) along the I-5 route. A HPWC is a bit slower at ~60 MPH (~18 kW) charging speed vs. the 320+ MPH at a Supercharger. The same 1800 km (1100 mile) trip could still be completed with free charging in under a week (3-4 days).

    FYI: The are now over 500 publicly available HPWC scattered along major travel routes throughout the US. A large number are located at lodging establishments enabling the Model S to recharge while the driver gets a good nights rest.

  4. Ocean Railroader says:

    I really don’t care for stories like this that are about some guy driving in a Tesla over a 1000 miles. The reasoning is that the Tesla has a 250 to 300 mile battery range. So even if the Tesla super chargers where none existence you could in theory drive a good chunk of miles and stop over night to recharge. Also the Tesla cars have high powered level two charger that can take in double or even triple the amounts of power that regular EV’s can take a wall outlet. One more thing Tesla is very good at supporting and building new superchargers. Such as you rarely hear about a Tesla Supercharger kicking the bucket or not working. Not to mention that Tesla is building a new super charging station every two to three days. In fact I think if a fictional land was ever discovered. I think Tesla would have super chargers built along it with in a few weeks before the first gas station could be built in that Tesla is that aggressive.

    Now if this story was about a Nissan leaf or better yet a Mitsubishi i-miev then it would be very fun. The reason why it would be fun is that the DC Fast Chargers are very unpredictable at one stall each and a lot of them don’t work. Not to mention you only get like 50 to 60 miles on the highway so your living in fear if your going to run out of range.

    If I ever get my first EV I will do a 200 to 500 mile road trip in it and record it. It for one thing will be far more entertaining then this Tesla story here.

    1. JRMW says:

      Tyrel Haveman does/did this.

      Although I find these Leaf trip stories entertaining, in my opinion they send the wrong message to the masses. They are hard to do that they make EVs look difficult to use.

      Obviously they show one CAN road trip. With significant difficulty.

      The right tool for the right job. Short distance city cars are not made for long road trips.

      I could haul 20 tons of rock using my Aston Martin Vanquish. But I’d rather use a truck.

  5. Anton Wahlman says:

    To be fair, you don’t need the Hellcat version of the Dodge to make it to your road trip destination faster than a Tesla. The regular base 300 HP version will suffice for that benchmark. Approx $35,000 nicely equipped.

    1. Robert says:

      Anton, it’s not as satisfying pumping gas and paying for it, quite the opposite of the free Supercharger experience.

      My last Road trip of about two weeks, Toronto to Key West, via Panama City, FL, and many other side trips, in a Prius, might have been trickier in a Tesla, but in about another year, that won’t even be a big deal! With Superchargers popping up about every 3 – 4 days, they will have many, if not most, of the gaps filled in the network in the US by next Christmas. Canada, not so much – we are wider/longer coast to coast, and with less and thinner population!

      1. kdawg says:

        They are building a Supercharger on the FL Keys too.

  6. Robert says:

    Of course, he could have done OK on his overnight charge, without the Supercharger, as a normal Level 2 could have been just fine, unless he is a fast/short sleeper, but to park at a Supercharger overnight – Overkill, plus blocking a spot needlessly!

    Also, Clipper Creek makes a nice Level 2 Charging Station equal to the Tesla Model S HPWC, at 80 Amps Service, and there are many of those in Canada, on the Sun Country Highway Cross Canada Network! (They Brand them with Their Info)

    1. Foo says:

      A lot of inexperienced EV drivers still haven’t fathomed that EV charging spots are, in fact, supposed to be used as charging spots — and NOT parking spots.

  7. Foo says:

    Does anyone else find all the references to the “Charger” Hellcat SRT a bit ironic?