Tesla Looks To Set Cross Country EV Speed Record Using Supercharger Network This Week

JAN 26 2014 BY JAY COLE 19

A New Game Of "How Far And How Fast Can I Go" Has Been Born Since Tesla Supercharging Went Coast-To-Coast

A New Game Of “How Far And How Fast Can I Go” Has Been Born Since Tesla Supercharging Went Coast-To-Coast (photo via Sunday Driving Times)

Things happen fast when you are talking about being first at something – or setting speed records.

Currently, "John & Jill" Have Logged Both The First Coast-To-Coast Trip, And The Fastest At 6 Days

Currently, “John & Jill” Have Logged Both The First Coast-To-Coast Trip, And The Fastest At 6 Days

Last week, with the addition of an innocuous Supercharging station in Kingman, Arizona, the ability to travel from one coast of the United States to the other was enabled.

And the games were on!

Sure enough, just a few days later a couple arrived in Hawthorne, California, via 30-odd Tesla charging stations from Tesla’s JFK Supercharging station in New York; the first coast-to-coast trip had been completed.  (that story here)

Apparently, Elon Musk and Tesla really want to be first and/or best at something, because shortly after we announced the completion of the first long distance voyage, the Tesla CEO tweeted he had formed some “teams” to set a mark of their own – a cross-country land speed record.

The Tesla teams have been given the directive by Musk (via Twitter) to complete the task in just 3 days…approximately half the time it took for the first cross country Model S trip.

Model S Cross Country Record Attempt Starts on Friday

Model S Cross Country Record Attempt Starts on Friday

We can imagine that as soon as this mark is set it will be challenged my other Model S owners inside the US – so Tesla better be fast, otherwise this is one record that is going to be fairly short-lived.

Categories: Charging, Tesla


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19 Comments on "Tesla Looks To Set Cross Country EV Speed Record Using Supercharger Network This Week"

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For the record, it seems that John and Jill did it in just under 5 days and 11 hours.

They left the JFK SC at 9:45 AM EST on Monday, and arrived at Hawthorne SC at 5:30-5:35 PM PST on Saturday.

Surely a team of professional drivers with corporate support, sleeping en route (instead of on proper beds at motels as John and Jill did) and better luck with weather (it was winter storm or close to that for John and Jill, from the Appalachians to the Dakotas or even Wyoming).

Come summertime, things will get faster as better weather allows drivers to skip quite a few SC stops.

I meant, surely a professional team that sleeps in the car while someone else drives and has better weather, will easily beat 5 days 11 hours.
And all records will be shattered again come summertime and another shorter route open.

Teams are OK but they have to use the same car. Jumping from one car to the next, or passing the baton doesn’t count.

A panel van and and jumping through the window would do it. Probably illegal, but then I’ll bet that a few speed limits are going to be exceeded here and there…

Looking at Tesla’s range calculations, doing that 3600 mile route in 3 days (72 hours) is quite doable. Getting to 2.5 days (60 hours) would require averaging 70 mph on the road, and keeping charge stops to a half hour in and out. Getting below that would require running 90 mph the whole way and pit-stop like precision.

This was figured running no AC or heat, and 70 temps. In reality, they will probably need to break the speed limit to do it in 3 days even.

Just do what Astronauts do when they drive cross country quickly– Adult Diapers. No pitstop needed. 😉

The pit-stops I was referring to are the ones required to charge the car. And this assumed the chargers would be right where you needed them at the end of range. In reality, they won’t be of course, which means running faster to make up for the extra/more frequent stops. Even three days won’t be at speeds I would drive.

Astronauts don’t drive, silly. They fly! 😉

I think this “fastest time” stunt is kind of silly. Didn’t we get over the Cannonball Run in the 70’s?

If you want to get there fast, fly.

If you want to do a great American road trip, make good time with the emphasis on “good”.

Stay off major highways. Talk to the locals when you stop. Really, listen.

And take the time to find the best food in town.

That’s a road trip worth taking.

Are we there yet?

They are doing “fastest” because the couple (John and Jill) beat them to the “first” cross country trip on superchargers. So they had to come up with another “first”.

I’m sure that’s part of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Musk had the idea before then…you’d think they would wait until the network was expanded more…as mentioned elsewhere, the trip wasn’t exactly efficient because the superchargers currently permit only 1 route cross-country…

Elon DID have this trip planned earlier, but postponed it because of his schedule. I’m sure he’s kicking himself now.

Yup! Totally pointless breaking the speed limit, and burning up lots of extra energy for a stunt. The whole thrust of OEM EVs seems to be, “We can be just as wasteful and selfish as always…but green.” Whatever that means when you are in a car.

Actually, I guess the Cannonball Run era was the 80’s since it was released in 1981. I remember the 80s. Still trying to forget the 80s actually.

I must have been thinking of that other hell bent for leather cross country dash, Vanishing Point, released in 1971. That was worth watching, especially if you were 12. “You’re never gonna out run the radio, sonny”.

Hopefully the Tesla team will do something more interesting than Supercharge 30x and tweet. Maybe they could deliver a kidney or something. That would be worth following.

All Tesla had to do to be ‘first’ coast-to-coast was turn on the last critical supercharger just as their car arrived. When you can see all the cards it’s pretty easy to win.

Yeah, they missed the boat on that one.