Sep 5th 2013 @ 12:15PM
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has made it his business to defend the modern electric vehicle as a viable mode of transit. Tesla's sporty Roadster, the company's first car, debunked the myth that electric cars couldn't be fun. Now Musk is seeking to overcome the notion of "range anxiety" with his Model S sedan and solar-powered Supercharger network. As he announced on Twitter earlier today, Musk plans to personally show how convenient a cross-country trip in a Model S electric car can be.
Just finalized the LA to NY family road trip route in Model S. 6 day, 3200 mile journey with only 9 hrs spent charging.- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2013
While some vehicle manufacturers have responded to battery range limitations by adding onboard gas generators to their vehicles, like the the one found on the Chevy Volt or available on the forthcoming BMW i3, Musk has made it clear that Tesla's strategy is gas-free. He points to improvements in charging and battery technologies as the longterm answer, with near-term solutions like rapid battery-swap.
There's little doubt that electric vehicle technology will continue to improve over time, but Musk's planned trip from Los Angeles to New York indicates that the future is now--at least as it pertains to long distance travel in a Model S.
At 1.5 hrs/day, we will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee, never just for charging itself- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2013
The automaker's strategically located Supercharger stations will apparently enable Musk to charge for only 1.5 hours a day during his 6 day, 3,200 mile trek. As he explains on Twitter, that 1.5 hours will be spent eating or sightseeing. (While we accept the premise that charging could be achieved while taking a rest stop on a long road trip, we question the sort of sightseeing opportunities that can be had within walking distance from Tesla's Supercharger stations.)
Another presumed motivation behind the CEO's all-electric road trip is to negate a contested New York Times report that a Model S broke down during a journalist's test run of Tesla's Supercharger Network.
Whether it's to disprove his critics, dispel perceived myths or simply partake in the great American tradition of the summertime road trips, we imagine we'll hear much more from Musk once he's underway.