Tesla stays chill to finish 3-day cross-country rally

Neither snow nor distance between Supercharger stations could stay a pair of Model S sedans from their appointed three-day rally between LA and New York.

Tesla Supercharger rally
Tesla Motors

To those of you wary about range of electric cars, and especially the prospect of finding enough charging stations along your chosen route, Tesla Motors has this message: we just drove from LA to New York -- in three days.

Less than two weeks after the company set up its final Supercharger station along a 3,400-mile cross-country route, a pair of Tesla Model S sedans pulled up in front of New York's City Hall. The arrival came three days and four hours after the two vehicles departed Los Angeles.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted the news Sunday afternoon: "Tesla LA to NY Supercharger rally just completed in 76 hours across northern route in dead of winter thru heavy snow!"

The electric-powered vehicles did indeed pass through some heavy-duty winter weather including icy roadways and two snowstorms, the first in Colorado, which resulted in a time-sapping detour, and the second while going through Wisconsin and Illinois. "Road closures, detours and traffic delays as a result of the [Colorado] snow storm ended up costing the Tesla team a total of eight hours," Tesla said in a blog post chronicling that portion of the trip.

"Since getting through the storms of Colorado, the cars have met all their time goals and have never been short on charge," Tesla said in its Day 3 post.

Part of the publicity stunt aspect of the trip was Tesla's intention to set a Guinness-recognized world record for lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the United States.

Tesla says that its Model S sedans average about 300 miles per charge at 55 mile per hour and that one of its Superchargers can deliver half the charge of a Model S in about 20 minutes. The recharges are free to Model S owners.

The company now has more than 70 Supercharger sites across the US.

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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