Three Minnesotans Escape the Cold By Road Tripping to California in a Tesla Model S – Fuel Cost? $0


Road Trip Time

Road Trip Time

With the coast-to-coast Tesla Supercharger network complete, more and more Tesla Model S owners are road-tripping across the nation for free.

Driving With Free Electricity

Driving With Free Electricity

A few weeks ago, three Minnesotans set out to escape the cold by venturing west to California using Tesla’s growing Supercharger network.

Tesla owner Lee Bakewell, along with friends Jukka Kukkonen and Pavel Zhuravlev, didn’t even really have to plan the trip.  That’s a bonus of the Supercharger network.  They simply packed the Model S up and hit the road to California.

As Zhuravlev stated:

“Just proving the point that electrical cars can be just as useful as a normal car.  It’s just going to be the future of automotive.”

Convenience is key.  With the Supercharger network, you don’t have to plan for 8-hour charging stops.  Instead, 20 to 30 minutes of charging will get you to the next station.  This means that the Model S can cross the country in a reasonable amount of time.  Sure, it’ll still take a bit longer than ICE, but we’re not talking days longer anymore.  Now it’s just hours longer.

Update: Mr. Kukkonen reached out to InsideEVs to pass along a note about his full update and daily dairy of the trip (with lots of pictures) can be found here – worth a look for sure!

Video at link below.Source: 6 News

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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17 Comments on "Three Minnesotans Escape the Cold By Road Tripping to California in a Tesla Model S – Fuel Cost? $0"

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Don’t you need more like 60 minutes to get a good charge at supercharger station? 85KWH is a lot of battery to charge.

75 minutes for 100% charge according to:

40 minutes for 80% charge.

(why does the site look all goofy now?)

Looks like 170miles for a 30 min charge, which will get you passed the next location (and my bladder capacity).

As much as I like what Tesla is doing, this ‘6 News’ story is pretty crappy reporting and more like a free advertisement.

Its not free, its prepaid.

You do have to prepare for much longer than 20-30 minute stops, unless you don’t count re-arranging your route and take a longer route so it is along where the current stations on. They make no mention of that in the video. The route from Minnesota to California using the Supercharger network is not the most direct (regardless of if you want to go to Northern or Southern California). The route to pretty much anywhere outside of Texas to somewhere to Texas doesn’t work all that well. The route from Denver east to D.C. or west to San Francisco doesn’t work either. It is more than hours longer.

Have a little patience, buddy. Very soon they’ll have stations in Utah to Denver to SoCal is more direct, and by the end of the year there will be multiple paths across the country.

It is downright amazing that nationwide alternative fuel infrastructure can be economically justified by a private company, smashing through the chicken and egg barrier facing every other technology (hydrogen, ethanol, natural gas, etc).

I never thought pure EV could compete with PHEV due to this barrier, so I think some appreciation is in order that Tesla is actually executing their supercharger plan.

Yes what they are doing is fantastic, but the report makes it sounds like you can drive across the country with no special preparations — right now. In most cases that is not really the case.

Nate is correct about “prepaid”. Plus using the word “free” overlooks the cost of tires, maintenance, insurance, depreciation, etc. The fuel/electricity is just one of many vehicle operation/ownership costs.

Oh, that’s right… You have to BUY A TESLA before you can use their SuperCharger Station. 😉

Hi Eric, do you guys in have any information about this event: it seems it went unnoticed, unfortunately I couldn’t find anything on youtube either…

That would be the “gigafactory”…

Really, just the gigafactory, I must have missed that. How about Elon talking about raw material costs of batteries at $60. I never saw that mentioned anywhere so I thought that might be newsworthy in these circles, plus who knows what else was said at the event…

Awesome! Thanks for the link.

I had long suspected raw material cost was in that neighborhood (I estimated it by looking at Li-NCA battery composition and market prices for lithium carbonate, nickel, cobalt, and graphite), but it’s nice to hear a direct quote from Elon.

That really does make $100/kWh possible, and they could make a tidy profit selling battery packs to other manufacturers at $150-200/kWh.


The Gen III Model E will have a 48kw battery and approx. 200 miles of range, and be 20% smaller than the Model S. Cost approx 35k with tax credits.

Isn’t the Gen III supposed to be around $35,000 BEFORE tax credits/ine ties?

In a video Musk says 35k then softly mutters, including tax credits. At least that’s what I heard.