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Cross-Country in an Electric Car? Elon Musk to Prove It's Possible

Model S. Source: Tesla Motors.

His roles are split in impossible proportions. SpaceX CEO, SolarCity chairman, Hyperloop designer, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) CEO, husband, and father of five children, Elon Musk is a busy man. But he's not too busy for a good oe' cross-country road trip -- at least not for this one. This trip has a purpose.

The trip
It's official. Elon Musk and his family will travel from Los Angeles to New York in a Model S on a six-day road trip.

Wait -- that's nothing new, right?

There's a catch. Musk will spend only nine 9 hours charging -- and only at Superchargers.

He explains further in a tweet:

The purpose?

The general perception of electric cars is that they simply aren't feasible for long-distance travel. What better way to spread the news that electric cars can feasibly cross the country than to get the iconic Elon Musk himself at the wheel of 2013's best car?

A celebration of Superchargers
Musk's timeline for the trip hasn't been announced (and I doubt it will -- can you imagine the train of loyal fans who would follow?). But it's probably not this week. Based on Tesla's map of planned Superchargers, it won't be until the winter of this year that there will be sufficient Superchargers for a cross-country trip.

Charging Model S. Source: Tesla Motors.

The possibility of feasible cross-country travel in a Model S by winter of this year will mark an impressive accomplishment for the company. Earlier this year, the company had just 19 Superchargers, and the only possible travel, from Supercharger to Supercharger, was mostly on the West Coast -- particularly in California, where the company was founded. 

By 2015, Tesla plans to have 98% of the U.S. population and parts of Canada within range of Superchargers. Musk's cross-country road trip will solidify the undeniable aggressiveness of the company's expansion plan.

Whether electric cars are the future or not, Tesla-branded electric cars in the U.S. will soon feasibly travel wherever they please.

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Read/Post Comments (18) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 12:52 PM, weaponz wrote:

    It is more than that, Musk is saying that he will spend 0 time waiting for a charge and only opportunity charge.

    Which means he is going to pull up, set it to charge and go eating. Once he comes back from eating he isn't going to stand there waiting and will instead unplug the car and go.

    So what he is trying to prove is more than just "I can do a cross country trip", he is saying "I can do a cross country trip with no inconveniences"

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 1:43 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    I travel a lot, and never do I take an hour to eat a meal. Additionally, at 1.5 hrs charging per day, he is only going to be able to go 450 mils per day (that is based on Tesla's own information and based on city driving) Remember, the Tesla has a longer range in city driving than out on the interstate, so the actual interstate range is about 200 miles per charge. So, now we are at 300 miles per day.

    I typically do 750 with one fuel stop between destinations, and no need to take a special route.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 1:47 PM, nonqual wrote:

    I thought Musk bragged he would make the trip "this summer" Two weeks left in summer. Musk will get special treatment. The trip would be a more realistic test if he loaned Broder a Model S for the trip.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 1:49 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Cross country family trip with 5 kids? Best choice is a Chevy Suburban.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 1:51 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Since a big portion of highway funds comes from fuel tax, how are Tesla owners going to pay their fair share?

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 1:56 PM, Fidelity123 wrote:

    Your pretty healthy, I have to stop every coulple of hours for a break. So whats the big deal about recharging?

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 1:59 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    And how much fuel will the diesel flatbed, following him, use?

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 2:05 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    A week ago the charging stations were "already in place" Now, the minimum required will not be in place until this winter.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 2:54 PM, blando3 wrote:

    So many naysayers. In a few years, the charging process will be faster, there will be more chargers, and battery technology will likely have improved to provide greater range. Tesla is the beginning of the future.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 2:58 PM, weaponz wrote:

    @kca124cain - Who ever said anything about taking an hour to eat? Also he is not traveling alone but with 5 boys. 750 miles with 5 children in 1 go is not realistic. You'll get your children taken away from you for child abuse.

    Judging by the 1.5 hours per day, he is either going to make 2 45 min stops or 3 30 minute stops.

    The range of the Model S depends on city or interstate, in city driving you can get up to 400 miles on 1 charge but in highway driving its probably going to be around 250 miles on a full range charge at 75mph.

    I think the bigger question comes down if he plans to charge overnight at his hotels. But assuming he is not:

    If he makes 2 stops per day with 45 min charges for 6 days will able to cover 3250 miles total or 541 miles per day.

    If he does 3 stops and does 30 min charges. He would be able to cover 3800 miles total or 633 miles per day.

    If he goes with option 1, he will have only have room of 50 miles for side trips. Option 2 will give him 600 miles for side trips.

    So my guess is if he plans to charge over night, he will go with option 1. If he doesn't he will go with option 2.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 5:49 PM, tigerade wrote:

    tigerade85 - that's me. :D

    I also wrote Musk that once the Generation 3 car came out, I would probably attempt something similiar. I live in the South, so maybe a trip to TX or NY. Not at the same time, of course.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 6:44 PM, rcmansid wrote:

    I guess that Elton Musk has never camped at an RV campground. They have 50 Amp outlets at every parking site that can quickly recharge an electric cars batterys. Also most campgrounds have a cafe where you can sit and have a nice meal while the car is charging. This must be the best kept secret about range exiety by the news media ever.

  • Report this Comment On September 08, 2013, at 9:24 PM, vet212 wrote:

    Oh its possible but i'll bet it takes longer than 6 days were I him I would have said a mounth

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2013, at 11:52 AM, 76R906 wrote:

    In our New America, anyone who dares to excel and test the limits meets with naysayers and snotty comments (some of which posted on this string). Is this what we've become?

    BTW - I test drove a Model S yesterday and it was a completely satisfying and delightful experience in every possible respect. The only reason I didn't buy one is that I've reserved a Model X.

    Have a great trip, Elon! The challenge is more to endure a car full of young boys for six days than to prove Tesla technology.

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2013, at 12:44 PM, ffbj wrote:

    I love tsla and musk, but when I drive long distance I want to get there. Example: St. Paul to Charlotte in 36 hours non-stop. That was tough, but you can't do that in an ev. Of course I have only made a few trips like that, driving straight through. St.Paul to Frisco, and back. San Diego to St. Paul...Took a few naps on those last trips...ran out of gas once and rolled into a gas station in New Mexico and waited 2 hours for them to open up.

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2013, at 7:11 PM, BBBBandit wrote:

    I don't need to be convinced it is feasible. I already believe it is. And congrats, Elon, for your efforts in making the supercharger network a reality. But what I DO need is an affordable Tesla. I sincerely hope you will soon ramp up to a scale that allows us ordinary folk to buy one.

  • Report this Comment On September 09, 2013, at 8:52 PM, oTeslaManiax wrote:

    I will do a NY to Florida trip with my model X.

    I don't see any inconvenience with supercharging. Once there are more of them, life will be no difference from gas. When all the hotels have chargers too, life will be even better. Full charge every night while I sleep.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:37 PM, ScoopHoop wrote:

    I see only one charger station in Colorado, in Silverthorne, Co. None in Kansas.

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