Took a 775-mile trip around California this week. I wanted to see if real-world long distance travel was possible with the Tesla.
I used the Harris Ranch, Tejon, Buellton, Atascadero and Gilroy Superchargers as well as local chargers in Santa Barbara. Short answer, these trips are eminently doable as long as you add an hour or two in your travel schedule. (With the one caveat, that my the trip was in the middle of the week with no waiting at any of the chargers.)
Details: I have a P85, air, tech package, pano roof. Left Silicon Valley and went down Highway 101 and across to I-5 stopping at the Harris Ranch charger. No one else was there and my first time plugging into a supercharger and … nothing happened… got a message on the dash about “preparing to charge” but charging never started. I unplugged and moved to the next charger and then the magic happened. (That was the only problem I had in any of the 5 Superchargers, but I did see other individual stations cone’d off at Atascadero.) Had lunch at Harris Ranch, and if you're a carnivore this is your place.
My charging rates at all Superchargers seemed to follow a curve of starting off at ~275 miles/hour then declining to about ~165 miles/hour (regardless of whether I was doing standard or range charge.)
My trip down I-5 from the Tejon charger took me to Glendale and then up Highway 101 to Santa Barbara and ultimately back home to Pescadero (between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz), stopping at Buellton, Atascadero and Gilroy.
I had no range problems getting from a charge at Tejon to my first destination in Glendale and then up 101 to Santa Barbara. However once in Santa Barbara I was worried that I wouldn't have enough range to get to the next Supercharger in Buellton. Since I was staying overnight in Santa Barbara, I found a Chargepoint charger in a public lot near my B&B and then the next day at a public lot at UC Santa Barbara. Before this trip I would only charge at home and never used public chargers, but using the Recargo app on my iPhone made finding them easy. (BTW, I had signed up for Chargepoint and had gotten a card, which I put on my Tesla key ring. All you have to do is tap the card on the Chargepoint display and you can use the charger. Magic. )
The car was a pleasure to drive (except that my newly repaired pano roof howls in the wind when going 75mph or greater.) Met interesting people at a few of the Superchargers, including someone from Germany who bought a used Tesla that day and was going to drive it to Canada.
I gave 4 different test rides to 8 interested friends and I can testify that the Tesla grin not only exists but it is accompanied by a look of utter astonishment.
Please Login to Comment