With some consumers and one particular New York Times writer still unwilling to spend more than $70,000 on a car that requires considerable planning to drive long distances, Elon Musk will take his Tesla Model S on a cross-country road trip to prove the reliability of the electric vehicle. Musk will drive the car 3,200 miles from Los Angeles to New York only re-charging the battery at the official Tesla supercharger stations that charge a reported 12 times faster, according to a series of tweets:
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
Musk isn't the first person to take Tesla all the way across the country, but the last high profile Model S road trip didn't make the electric car look competent. Back in February The New York Times' John M. Broder stalled out in Connecticut trying to drive from D.C. to Boston, leaving many with the impression that taking a Tesla on a road trip is complicated undertaking. Musk's setting out on this family vacation to prove all those people wrong.
Musk's trip will have some key differences from the Times trip, though. Both rides vowed to stop only at official Tesla stations, which pepper the country as shown in the map below via the Tesla Road Trips Made Easy website:
But back in February, only a couple Supercharger stations flanked the East Coast; Musk (and all potential new Telsa owners) have a lot more options now. Musk will also take the car some 2,700 miles farther. But, the biggest difference may be the temperature. Musk didn't name the dates for his 6-day trip, but just after Labor Day, the temperatures are still warm across the U.S. One of Broder's main complaints was about how the Model S performed in cold weather, with the need for heating draining the battery. If Musk and his family head out soon, they'll still catch the lovely part of the year when neither air conditioning nor heat are necessary.
But Musk's trip is about more than just proving The New York Times wrong. Musk wants to demonstrates how much he believes in the car. If the CEO is willing to take his family across the country in his car, you should be, too.
As PR stunts go, this one should be full of pictures and anecdotes — Musk loves to share on Twitter. He has already assured his fans and watchers that while the charging stops can take up to 1.5 hours a day, it won't get in the way of fun. "We will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee," he tweeted.