The United States of America is pretty big, and while her neighbour to the north is substantially larger in terms of size, getting across the U.S. takes a long time if you’re at the wheel of an automobile. For as long as cars have existed people have crossed the U.S. from east to west, north to south, sometimes as an adventure and sometimes out of necessity. Sometimes, they’ve even raced across the U.S., as portrayed in the 1981 Hal Needham comedy film The Cannonball Run.
Until recently, electric cars haven’t really been part of the great American road trip, but ever since Tesla Motors [NASDAQ:TSLA] completed its Supercharger highway linking east and west coasts together, there’s been a growing number of Tesla owners making the trip from coast to coast. Naturally, there’s a bit of an unofficial competition going on to see who can do it in the shortest time.
First came father and daughter team John and Jill Glenny — who crossed the U.S. in just five days from east to west coast. Then a week later, an official works team from Tesla Motors braved the bitter cold of February to drive two Tesla Model S cars from west to east coast in three days, four hours and five minutes.
Now a team from Edmunds.com have broken Tesla’s own record, making the same journey in two days, nineteen hours and 21 minutes and slashing Tesla’s own record by 8 hours and 44 minutes.
Admittedly, the team from Tesla had to deal with torrential rain, heavy blizzards and ice storms along the way — not to mention a broken down support vehicle. Dan Edmunds and his co-driver Kurt Niebuhr had only themselves to worry about.
It’s worth noting too that the Edmunds team pushed their car a little further than Tesla’s works team did, pushing their car to its absolute range limit by driving from Las Vegas to Beaver, UT. While the distance between the two superchargers is only 223 miles, several massive mountain passes and elevation changes lie in between the two.
After finally arriving in New York, the duo turned around and headed back, completing the LA to NY to LA trip in a total of six days, twenty-three hours and four minutes.
While we think this particular trip seems to push up to the limits of what a human driver is capable of doing without major, dangerous fatigue, we suspect someone, somewhere will take it upon themselves to try and complete the Tesla Canonball in even less time.
As more Superchargers come on line, we suspect it’ll be easier to sit nearer 70 mph for the entire trip rather than the 50 mph some pioneers are ending up at today. And with Google Maps telling us the trip is possible in 42 hours straight without charging, we wonder just how quickly the trip can be managed without breaking any legal speed limits in the process.
JJ McClure, it’s over to you.
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