UPDATE 2: Tesla Model S Coast to Coast Road Rally Kicks Off Tonight


Tesla Coast to Coast Road Rally

Tesla Coast to Coast Road Rally

And so it begins…

71 and Counting

71 and Counting

Tonight at midnight (12:01 AM Thursday PST to be exact), Tesla Motors will set off in a two Model S sedans on its quest to “set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the United States.”

Here are the preliminary details:

At midnight tonight, a Tesla Motors team will depart Los Angeles en route to New York City in two Model S sedans to mark the completion of the first cross country Supercharger route. We’re aiming to complete the journey within about three days and set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the United States.

We energized the final Supercharger in the cross country route last week, marking the completion of a network that spans more than 3,400 miles. There are now more than 70 Supercharger sites around the US, at which Model S owners can charge for free. A Supercharger takes as little as 20 minutes to replenish half a charge.

The Cross Country Rally team will gather tonight at the Tesla design studio in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, for a launch event, before starting the drive at 12.01am on Thursday. The trip will take the cars through mid-winter conditions across the middle of the country, with stops only at Superchargers.

We’ll be posting daily updates to our blog so you can follow the team’s progress as we attempt to set the record. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Here’s the latest info from Tesla Motors’ Twitter page (Images below were added by us at 9:52 AM EST):

tesla trip 2tesla trip 1UPDATE 2: Tesla released this blog entry to update the progress of the rally.Β  The blog post was released on Thursday evening:

At 5.30am on Thursday, January 30, an email came in from JB Straubel, co-founder and chief technical officer of Tesla Motors.

“It looks like the send off was exciting,” he wrote. “Go go go!”

Five and a half hours earlier, hundreds of electric vehicle enthusiasts had gathered at the Tesla design studio in Hawthorne, CA, to send off a Tesla team in two Model S sedans attempting to set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for least non-drive time for an electric vehicle traveling across the United States. The plan: drive all the way to New York City in about three days, stopping only to charge at Superchargers, and for as little time as possible. And, of course, don’t pay a cent for gas.

Now, heeding Straubel’s advice, they were off in pursuit of the record. By 5.30am Pacific Time, the Tesla drivers were already approaching the Supercharger site in Kingman, AZ, where they were greeted by a sunrise that toasted the edges of the Hualapai Mountains. Here, at the second stop on a 3,400 mile journey, everything was working according to schedule.

Down the road from Kingman, heading towards the high plains near Flagstaff, AZ, the news got even better. The Model S drivers looked at their dashboards and found they had more energy to spare than expected. They turned to the walkie talkies.

“How about some tune-age?” asked Dan Priestley, chief organizer of the Cross Country Rally, sitting in the front passenger seat of a Model S that the team christened “Thunder”.

“What, you mean tune the speed up?” responded Christ Ford, a member of Tesla’s Supercharger team, from the other car, which, naturally, had been given the name “Lightning”.

“No, I mean, like, music.”

In an effort to keep the cars’ energy use as efficient as possible, the drivers had turned off all the vehicles’ extraneous features. But now was time to spend their energy profit.

“Okay, we’re on it,” came Ford’s response. “Time to rock out.”

The cars, and the support vehicles in which resting drivers catch up on sleep, had been on the road about seven hours by the time they pulled into the Superchargers in Flagstaff, where they’d charge for the longest leg of the drive. Then came a phone call. Priestley, the man in charge of the trip, looked concerned. Soon, the cars would be driving through a sand storm close to the Utah border, but that wouldn’t slow them down. Instead, they had a different kind of storm to worry about.

Snow in Colorado. Lots of it.

The team began the rally expecting fine weather. The forecast had said as much. But now they were hearing that there could be as much as 15 inches of snow near Grand Junction that evening. Portions of I-70 were reportedly being closed and other roads might follow suit. Chains would be a necessity.

Well, no one thought traversing the country in mid-winter conditions in the space of three days would be easy.

Conditions Are Worsening by the Minute - Photo Uploaded by Tesla at 3:44 AM on January 31 in Colorado

Conditions Are Worsening by the Minute – Photo Uploaded by Tesla at 3:44 AM on January 31 in Colorado

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31 Comments on "UPDATE 2: Tesla Model S Coast to Coast Road Rally Kicks Off Tonight"

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And have you seen, reduced prices for Model S in Europe πŸ™‚

Glad to see that Tesla is positioning this as fastest charge time rather that fastest trip time.

Why? Are you implying that the Tesla Model S is slow or something? It would be nice if you expressed your concerns truthfully and constructively instead. That way, other people can learn from it.
Regardless, your comment made me curious of the current record. It seems to be held by Moto Electra Racing as 84.5 hours (3.5 days):

If all goes well, I’m guessing Tesla will beat even that, even though the old record was a motorcycle, and thus more energy efficient. So unless you have some other information on that, I don’t really understand what you mean.

So no Elon Musk? maybe Martin Eberhard would be available πŸ™‚ who? πŸ™‚

“We’ll be posting daily updates to our blog so you can follow the team’s progress”

Seems like we just went through this πŸ˜‰

Totally different. This trip is from LA to New York. The last trip went from New York to LA. Its so much more important to head East rather than West. Lol

Oh yeah.. wind at your back πŸ™‚

The intent is to do a marathon run, with no overnight stops like John and Jill did. It seems like Tesla originally thought they could leave on Friday at 12:01 AM and arrive in NYC on Sunday. Maybe in the summertime that would be possible, but not with the weather in the middle of the country now. That’s why I suspect them moved the start time to Thursday.

I’ll definitely follow them online – and maybe say hello at the Newark, DE Supercharger, which is only 4 miles from my daughter’s house.

I assume since they are going for the record of “the least amount of charge time”, that they will want the most kWh for the least amount of charging time. That means they probably won’t charge for more than 20 minutes at each station. (fastest miles per hour charge). That should give them about 150 miles enough to squeak by to the next station. If they use 30 stations that’s 30 x 20 min = 600 min or 10 hours. Now Elon said he was going to do his trip with just 9 hours of charging. That must mean either they are not going to count the full charge at the beginning and/or they can skip a station here or there and keep it under 30 total.

Its also against the rotation of the earth, which makes it tougher!

Always faster against the rotation. Its nice when the earth rotates under you rather than trying to keep up with you.

I know John and Jill already did this, but I do hope the mainstream media will follow this…

The mainstream media probably isn’t keen about giving free publicity to a company that spends no money on advertising.

John and Jill took the wind out of Tesla’s sails. Been there, done that.

Thanks, Captain Obvious…

This is how I imagine a “positive” CherylG



Godspeed, Teslanauts!

If trying to set a record, why not do a Vancouver to Key West run? Who wants to be in freaking NYC this time of the year anyway? πŸ™‚

They arrive in NY right into all the media that’s there for the Super Bowl. Perfect timing for coverage!

Go Tesla! Go Seahawks! πŸ™‚

Go lucking wishing the best. Don’t get too tired behind the wheel, hope they have people in the car to drive while others sleep.

Anyone up for fastest autonomous cross country race? πŸ˜‰

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Cannonbot Run!


To: Tesla Motors team
Re: LA to NY record breaking run
Subj: Getting off to a good start

Please don’t forget to peel out when leaving the Tesla Hawthorne facility. A multitude of video cameras and crews will be recording your departure, which, if suitably impressive, will generate that much more national media buzz regarding Tesla SC network.

An interested sharholder

Heavy snows will slow progress.

Re UPDATE: Thanks for posting an update guys. πŸ™‚

Does anyone have a DIRECT link for the Tesla Blog / Event info?

Thanks! πŸ™‚

Thanks Omar. πŸ™‚

I hope they won’t get ICEd

Ha! Yeah, 15 inches of snow and closed roads suck. πŸ™

Thanks again for another update!