I’ve posted about this before, but venting a little because I just took my daughter on a road trip from CT to upstate NY, and the experience was pretty poor. I have had my M3 now since Oct 2018, and on most days I really enjoy it. I charge at home and this works out fine.
But I have taken a few road trips, and generally speaking, the experience is poor.
Factors that make a Tesla road trip a bad idea:
- Cold weather
- Speed, or time being a factor
- Superchargers are fewer and further between, and have no amenities
My trip to upstate NY checked all of these boxes. For starters, temps were in the 25-45 range, with winds. This automatically crushes your range. So you are starting out there. Second, if you want to make good time (i.e. drive 70-75 mph, this also has a large impact on your range). The result here was that I was only able to drive about 2 hours between charging stops. So you drive 2 hours, then stop for 20-30 mins to charge, repeat. This turned a 12 hour round trip into more like 16 hour trip.
In upstate NY, the chargers are more spaced out, understandably. But this means it actually starts to become more nerve wracking to plan your trip. You can easily miscalculate and end up out of energy, in a very remote area. I shudder to think how long it may take a Tesla ranger to find you midway between say Binghamton and Rochester. So several times I looked at a route and saw that it was going to leave me with say 5-10% battery if I reached for the second charger, but in these cases with the weather, it was too mush risk. So we would have to stop earlier.
Another thing is what is near your superchargers. In upstate NY, the choices are varied.
Binghamton and Roscoe NY – There is nothing around these except for diners, and not the good kind you’d want to eat at. Since you are stuck for at least 20 mins or more, sometimes you do anyway. I am trying to figure out how some of these places came to be. I mean, the one in Binghamton is next to some odd places, like
Rochester NY – This one was nice, next to a mall with plenty of coffee shops and such.
In the future, I am likely to rent a car for any road trips, as the Tesla is just not designed for it. Perhaps if you are cruising at 55 with no need to arrive anywhere, in California in the warm sun, it’s just fine. The car works great for me on normal days, commuting, going to the grocery store, bringing kids to practice. But if I am leaving the state, the charging takes forever. My kids even despise going for these trips because all we do is sit and charge.