Coast to Coast in a 60 kWh Model S

Ethan Weinstein, February 28, 2014

The smallest battery currently offered by Tesla, the Model S 60 is the bare bones of their line. Starting at $63,070 (with Supercharging enabled & living in CA), you get free long distance travel, for life. Add in HOV and HOT access (solo) and you are able to drive at a reasonable rate of speed in areas that rank among the worst commutes in the U.S.

It just so happens that my hometown also offers free metered parking as a perk of living in what some derisively call the Republic of Santa Monica.

But this is about the drama. What everyone wants to read and see. Cars on fire, stuck on the side of the road, struggling through adversity. If that’s what you are reading ahead here for, then please close your browser, block my tweets and unfriend me immediately.

This is a story about anyone doing a trip across the country (and back). That's if you would even consider doing this trip in a gas car. Most people never drive across the country. I was going to Google the actual percentage, but you can do that yourself. That’s if you care to, which I don't.

If you do like to drive, there is no better road warrior that the Model S of any flavor. I’ve put on fourteen thousand miles since my August 2013 delivery.

Cross country is different. A great city car, be it ICE or EV, can turn against you on the open road. Hoses burst and belts snap. Worst of all you run out of fuel. Since the advent of the pure EV, range has been the forbidden five letter word. The Model S 60 kWh is different. It has a range of 208 miles that you can extend even beyond that with careful driving. But we’ll come to that later. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. First, the route. The Hawthorne Supercharger to Virginia Beach and back.

Most people with the 85kWh version (and a range of 265 miles) are over it. They know it can be done. At least it has been twice already. Once by a father and daughter team from NYC to LA. And then a few days after by Tesla Motors team.

This trip isn’t going to break any records for speed or charging. I reckon it’s going to be a bit of a snooze. But if you want to see how an EV works. How the Supercharging Network work. And how, with superfluous laziness, you can still drive cross country for FREE in about 4 days.

There is a purpose to my trip, but I could just as easily have flown. No I’m not telling. Nosy.

This trip is like any other road trip. It’s also the final nail in the coffin of range anxiety when discussing Tesla. Tesla will NEVER have another car that has a shorter range than mine. I can fail. There is no net. I will be posting updates over the next week (or so) and I’ll try to answer as many questions as possible.

Ethan Weinstein

Tags: Customer Stories, Cross Country