Tesla Teams Complete All-Electric Cannon Ball Coast-To-Coast Run In 3 Days, 4 Hours, 5 Minutes

Just a week after John Glenney and his daughter Jill completed a coast-to-coast trip in their Tesla Model S in just five days, two teams of Tesla employees completed their own coast-to-coast Model S odyssey yesterday, setting a new Guinness World Record in the process.

Cold but happy: Tesla's teams arrive in NYC. (Photo via TeslaMotors blog)

Cold but happy: Tesla’s teams arrive in NYC. (Photo via TeslaMotors blog)

Taking just three days, four hours and thirty minutes to make the 3,464.5 mile trip from Los Angeles, California to New York City, the Tesla teams — consisting of fifteen drivers, two Model S cars and one ‘sleeper’ truck – rolled into New York City at 7:30 am local time yesterday. Along the way, the teams faced everything from sandstorms to blizzards, heavy rain, and sub-zero temperatures, but managed to complete their trip well within the time frame promised by Tesla CEO Elon Musk last week.

The trip was made possible thanks to Tesla’s continually-expanding network of Supercharger station, which are capable of refilling the 85 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack of a Model S sedan from empty to half full in just 30 minutes, equivalent to 170 miles of range in optimum conditions. Last year, thanks to the west-coast Supercharger corridor it became possible for the first time to drive from Vancouver, Canada to Baja, California in a Tesla Model S using just Supercharger stations.  Soon after, it became possible to drive from New Hampshire to Florida using the east-coast Supercharger corridor.

This weekend’s trip — and the one made by John Glenney a week earlier — mark the opening of the coast-to-coast Supercharger corridor, weaving from southern California through Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and Maryland before meeting up with the east-coast Supercharger corridor.

Naturally, the teams only stopped to refuel at Supercharger stations, resulting in the fastest-ever trip across the U.S. by electric car — and the shortest amount of time spent recharging en-route.

Keeping track of just how much energy was going into each car, Tesla claims that a total of 1,197.8 kilowatt-hours of electricity was used on the trip, which we make out to an approximate average energy efficiency of  about 5.8 miles per kilowatt-hour, not bad considering the weather they had to drive through.

In some parts, temperatures were well below freezing, with biting winds and heavy snow.(Photo: Tesla Motors official blog)

In some parts, temperatures were well below freezing, with biting winds and heavy snow.(Photo: Tesla Motors official blog)

Late on Friday night, just over a day into the trip,  the team encountered their first and only vehicle breakdown. With temperatures in South Dakota hovering around -17 degrees Celsius (around zero degrees Fahrenheit) one of the two ‘backup’ trucks — powered by gasoline — broke down.  Forced to abandon one of the trucks — which were on the trip just to provide mobile sleeping accommodation for the two teams of Tesla drivers — part of the Tesla Model S support crew then had to fly from South Dakota to Chicago, Illinois, leaving their remaining colleagues to fight sleep depravation and the bitter cold on their own.

On behalf of ourselves at our regular viewers, we’d like to congratulate Tesla on this fantastic new world record — and we wonder how long it’ll be before Tesla makes the same trip, but battery swapping instead of charging en-route.

Next time? There's going to be one, we're pretty sure.

Next time? There’s going to be one, we’re pretty sure.

Of course, while we’re glad to see it’s now technically possible to drive from one side of the U.S. to the other in a Tesla Model S in under four days and think it’s a great testament to Tesla’s technological lead on the rest of the EV industry, we would of course like to caution anyone thinking of doing the same thing that covering 3,464.5 miles in three days puts this trip well beyond the limits of most normal family trips. 

Given a few weeks, places to stay along the way, and of course a Tesla Model S to drive, we’d quite like to make a leisurely version of that trip ourselves one day.

What about you?


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