As range anxiety lessens, and more chargers are installed along major roadways, increasing numbers of people are taking road trips in their electric vehicles. The Tesla Model S in particular has become the go-to vehicle for electric touring. When equipped with the 85-kWh battery pack, the Model S offers up to 265 miles of range, which is a respectable distance to cover in one sitting. It's still notable, though, when a Model S driver makes a particularly long trek, especially when much of the route is mostly devoid of Tesla Superchargers.
Guy Hall, the president of the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association, drove his Tesla Model S from the US/Mexico border outside of Yuma, Arizona to Fairbanks, Alaska in 17 days. He calls the trip the T5 (Tesla Tijuana to Tundra Tour), and he encourages other people to make the journey, despite the challenge of driving through areas that are sparsely populated.
Driving through California, Oregon, and Washington isn't too difficult. North of Vancouver, British Columbia is where charging starts to get a little tricky. Hall says that when gas stations with electrical outlets were few and far between, he stopped at RV parks to charge (a trick of the Tesla tripping trade we've seen before). Hall made use of his charms, and would offer rides in his Model S to curious employees at mechanic and welding shops in return for the opportunity to more quickly charge his battery using their 240-volt outlets. While the trip took quite a bit longer than it would have in one of the Ford Tauruses Hall owned before switching to EVs, it allowed him to soak in the beauty of his surroundings, meet people along the way and answer questions about the Model S. Charging "slows you down to take a break," says Hall. "I've met some marvelously nice people here."
Charging "slows you down to take a break. I've met some marvelously nice people here." – Guy Hall
Guy Hall now hopes to turn the T5 trip into a sort of event, where EV drivers who make the trip in the shortest amount of time could win a trophy. If you're interested in making a similar journey, Hall has posted his route from Sacramento northward, here. Read more about Hall's journey at News Miner, or read his thread at Tesla Motors Club.