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.
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.
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.