Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Drive Model S From NY to LA (3,200 Miles) in 6 Days With Only 9 Hours of Charging


Yep...The Tweet Confirms What Musk Will Soon Do

Yep…The Tweet Confirms What Musk Will Soon Do

Superchargers Only Folks

Superchargers Only Folks

There’s something to be said of a CEO who stands behind his product to the extent that Elon Musk does.

It'll Be Easy in My Model S

It’ll Be Easy in My Model S

To prove that the Model S is the world’s most capable electric vehicle, Elon Musk will pack his family in one and travel across the entire country.

The trip, from New York to Los Angeles, will be approximately 3,200 miles.  Musk promises to only use Tesla’s Supercharger network during the trip and says he’ll only need to charge 9 times for approximately 1.5 hours at each stop.

We’re still not entirely sure when Musk will embark on this epic journey, but you can bet he’ll let us (and the rest of the world) know via Twitter when trip gets underway.

Only 1.5 Hours of Charging Per Day!!!

Only 1.5 Hours of Charging Per Day!!!

There's No Way Musk Will Be Able to Pull Off This Trip By Fall

There’s No Way Musk Will Be Able to Pull Off This Trip By Fall

Maybe by Winter it Can be Done

Maybe by Winter it Can be Done


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49 Comments on "Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Drive Model S From NY to LA (3,200 Miles) in 6 Days With Only 9 Hours of Charging"

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He should be accompanied by a fleet of Chevy Volts who will arrive in NYC in 4-5 days.

Do we know where he will be travelling? GM – GET ON THIS. Get Volt owners to come along for the ride.

My drive from FL to PA after I bought my Volt was 1023 miles – took under 24 hours with a hotel stay. I didn’t have press following me. I could do the CA to NYC trip in 3 days…unless I was hounded by the press.

I admit, it would be pretty neat to have a Volt owner sign up to do the same trip in half the time, or better yet, NY-CA-NY in the same time.


I think a Volt would be hard pressed to do the same trip only in EV though.

The minute you start burning fuel, you might as well compare the trip with a flight from LAX to JFK.

He is doing it to show that an EV shouldn’t have range anxiety. Which is the point – Volt is an EV without range anxiety.

Another valid point is – if you commute to work 20-30 miles a day, why drag around 260 miles of batteries?

I can’t justify counting the Volt as an EV for a gas powered cross country drive.

Another valid point is – if you commute to work 20-30 miles a day, why drag around 400+ lbs of engine?

A Volt is a plug-in hybrid. It would be in EV mode only a small percentage of a cross-country trip, so comparing what it could do with a Tesla Model S would be almost no different from comparing any ICE vehicle. A Volt would burn quite a bit of gasoline on such a trip whereas a Model S would burn none. That’s my definition of an EV.

To me that argument only holds true if a person is always making that cross country trip.

The point of the Volt is that you have your daily driving gas free, and have the ability to also drive as far as you want without stopping.

Musk is trying to show the second point with his trip, and many people don’t understand that the Volt is capable of that too. The obvious distinction is Musk’s trip would be all electric, and the Volt’s mostly on gasoline. However, the point is to show these vehicles can do it, and most people don’t realize that a Volt can.

Last I checked, the whole point of this article was a cross-country trip in an EV. In such a trip, a Volt is an extended-range EV at best, in reality it is a hybrid. Talking about “daily driving” is completely missing the point of the article.

Well, the point is marketing. Far cheaper than tv ads. The press is the marketing arm.

@ClarksonCote: “many people don’t understand that the Volt is capable of that too.”

That’s because people keep saying the Volt’s an EV, then they say it has 38 miles of range, so naturally some people figure that’s as far as it can go without recharging. Even David Letterman said that a few years ago when he had Elon Musk on the show. What he meant was, it only goes 40 miles on electricity, but that’s not what he said, and if I hadn’t known better, I would have assumed that the Volt has a 40 mile range period.

So is a Model S, or another EV by your definition, your only car? If so, are you occasionally using rental cars or zip cars?

I laugh at the 100% electric stickers I see on Leaf drivers who have second ICE cars. Seems so hypocritical.

The trip is also cost free for Tesla only. Volt would cost 3000 miles / 40 mpg * 4.0 $/gallon = 300 dollars in gas…

@Bonaire: ” if you commute to work 20-30 miles a day, why drag around 260 miles of batteries?”

If you commute 20-30 miles to work a day, why drag around an engine, transmission, radiator, gas tank and generator?

Because i have a weekend and want to go as far as I want to in my only car. Without need for electric infrastructure. Tesla owners can take their ICE vehicle to the remote mountains.

Wow, you have missed the whole point of the journey (and of Tesla Motors as a whole); to prove that you can drive cross-country easily using *no* gas. Also, Musk isn’t trying to set a time record, he’s taking his family with him. You can tell from words like “sightseeing,” if you read the article.

You can also hammer nails with a crowbar if you’re stuck, but a crowbar is not a hammer and the Volt is not an EV.

Contention point. Volt is an EV. With a gasoline range extender on board. Just go to voltstats.net and see many people driving 99+% on battery alone.

people have already drive across the country with no gas

for one example: http://electricroadtrips.com/trip-route/

Elon’s trip is clearly a Supercharger media piece.

If Nissan or Mitsubishi had placed CHADEMOs every ~60 miles across the country, a LEAF or iMEV could do this trip. If BMW or GM puts SAE-L3s at similar spacings then their cars could do the same. It’s all about the EV charge network.

Musk maybe proving the Model S can make the trip but the fact that he intends to use only Supercharging Stations implies the trip will not incur fuel cost. Can’t make the trip in a Volt for “FREE”.


Or he implies you can only charge a tesla at SCs. Why not showcase adaptability, like hotels, plugshare visits to lucky tesla owners homes, other ev system sharing? Of course it is marketing and a little myopic.

Volt is *not* an EV. An EV by definition does not have a gasoline range extender on board.

IIRC, the average Volt driver is doing something like 67% battery miles. Admirable in the face of reducing fuel usage, but not an EV, which does 100%.

Yet to meet an Model S driver that doesn’t have a gas or diesel range extender in the form of a 2nd car. Maybe there are some, but even if so the majority have range extenders.

That may be your definition of an EV, but it is made up. Here are my made up definitions: — A grid-connected EV would be a vehicle that uses overhead wires, catenary, or rails to supply an electric motor for propulsion (i.e. a trolley bus, tram, train, monorail). Modern trolleybuses now have batteries and even onboard diesel generators that produce electricity and allow them to move with the poles retracted. They are still EVs. — A battery EV would be a vehicle that uses a battery to store electricity and an electric motor for propulsion. It does not matter what else is on board when it is not used for propulsion. — A fuel cell EV would be a vehicle that uses a fuel cell, a fuel source and an oxidizer (usually hydrogen as fuel, could also be carbohydrate-based + oxygen) as the electric source, a battery to store/buffer the electricity, and an electric motor for propulsion. — An extended range EV would be a vehicle that uses a battery and an electric motor for propulsion AND after the battery is depleted it uses an additional source of electricity (i.e. an ICE generator) to extend the range. — A plugin… Read more »

I totally agree with your definitions.

Without them, there would be no such thing as an ev; the terms would be as follows:
coal car
solar car
wind car
hydro car
gas car
air car
chemical car

Actually, I think you’ve just hit on the genius of this trip.

He’ll publish the route, he’ll get meet and greet on the way (and I fully expect Model S owners not to hog his Superchargers. ;))

There’s also a great opportunity for others to showcase fuel economy. You want to show the Volt’s ability for marathon drivers to cover lots of miles in a day, go ahead. Then publish the number of gallons consumed and the cost of the trip.

Also, remember to take 3 other passengers with you, because I expect Musk will be taking 4 family members with him to show off the skateboard luggage space advantage.

But, looking at it a different way, other PHEV owners, hybrid owners and diesel owners have a great opportunity to showcase their fuel economy.

Exactly. If his route passed close enough to me, I would stand on the side of the road with a sign greeting him and offering words of encouragement… sounds like free advertising to me… And that’s something you can’t buy.

volt can follow… electric only no gas

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

It’ll take a lot longer though! Drive ~40 miles, charge for between 4 and 12 hours, drive ~40 miles, charge, repeat at least 78 more times.

530+miles/day @ 50mph average (got to decelerate, accelerate etc. and pee-pee stops) with a squirming/screaming kid that is ‘bored’ for 10+ hours.

I have done similar trips both in my youth and as an adult with kids and it ain’t all that easy.

Good luck to you Mr. Musk.

Driving directions to New York, NY
Distance: 2787.46 miles — Time: 40:46 h (68mph!)
(From Yahoo Maps)

Guess following the SuperCharger network is a little longer. (400+ miles!)

On the other hand.. If you want your chance to meet Elon in person.. just figure out when he’s leaving and hang out at one of the supercharger stations he’ll be stopping at.

Most likely he will also plug in the car over night at the hotels he is staying at in that would be one of the most logical things to do.

Read the information above as it says SC only.

I didn’t notice this when they originally posted the supercharger map, but there is a station pretty close to Mt Rushmore.

I can already see the press picture – Elon, the Model S, and Mt Rushmore in the background.

this will be epic

Did anyone do the math on this? There is no way to do the trip on only 9 hours of charging!
If he only charged the car 9 times (@ 1 hr per charge) @ 200 a charge that’s 1800 miles. OR for a 90 minute charge… @ 260 range that’s 2300. Either way… the math is NOT even close.
Typical Musk, inflated promise.
So here is what I see being possible:
16 (1 hour) charging sessions in 7 days
52 hours available to drive (and it will take 46 hours in drive time)
That leaves time for 1 sightseeing stop.
I’ve done the cross country trip twice (one took 6 days, the other way 9 days), at 6 days it’s not fun! If I had to stop an additional 10 times to charge for an hour I would have been even more upset by weeks end.
Poor family!!

Actually 80% charge comes up in 40 minutes according to Tesla’s website. If that gets you 200 miles, 9 hours of charging will get you 2700 miles. Assuming he starts out with a full charge that would make 2900 miles. Pretty close.

I had originally heard that he planned to do this with a Model X this winter, to follow a route that he took in his youth.

That is also why the first “coast to coast” Superchargers will first be in a rather strange zig zag pattern, instead of just droning along on one freeway.

Elon has 5 kids, and assuming they all go plus a nanny, that’s seven people in the car, plus bags for 9 days. I’m assuming he will return on his Falcon 900 jet, N900SX (Space X). I hope you Volt owners will show us how you’ll carry 7 people and burn no gas!!!

6 days, 3200 miles, 5 kids + nanny or female companion, in one car…
The trip is sure to be a success, as long as Musk doesn’t commit suicide before getting to Mount Rushmore. That space station docking seems easy in comparison.

+1 lol, had the same thought 🙂

7 people plus cargo? I think the roof rack would seriously cut his range. 😉

Obviously, he will charge at the hotels. It would be dumb to do otherwise. I suspect they will all magically have Tesla HPWC’s installed just for this trip.

So, at 3200 miles for the trip over 9 days is only 355 miles per day! Super easy.


Kinda tells you where the priorities will be for the “winter 2013” supercharger installations! 🙂

So who is going to be the brave one to ask Musk to turn on the data recorder and publicly release the data for scrutiny of the charging times and mileage?

He’s on twitter you know: @elonmusk.

I’ll be driving a Telsa Model S and a Chevy Volt from Seattle to San Diego in October. Anyone who wants to drive them at any of the cities I’ll be stopping in will be welcome to.

Nothing like a side by side comparison to shed light on the issue.

Driving two cars at once? Who are you, Joie Chitwood?

I hope Elon has better luck than Clark W. Griswold. 😉

It seems no one has considered that Elon just wanted to take his family on a cross-country road-trip, and the Model S happens to be his current ride :-). The PR is just gravy!