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Tesla Road Trip – debunking the New York Times

Late Friday night I came across a blog post saying that some Tesla Model S owners were going to attempt to recreate the now infamous DC to CT road trip in a Model S. By this point CNN had already completed the same journey and done a lot of the debunking, but you could still hear the chorus of naysayers: “not the same temperatures” “only one car” etc.

I then went on to the Tesla Owners Club forums and read through the twenty some pages of discussion pertaining to the road trip. 5 or 6 owners had enthusiastically signed up for the drive and had planned to meet at the Rockville, MD Tesla Motors service station (20 minutes from my house) the next morning.
I woke up the next morning, grabbed some cameras and drove to the service center. I arrived at 9 and saw the owners gathering and planning for the journey. It seemed that 2 more owners had committed overnight including some guys that drove their Model S 3 hours from Ocean City, MD at midnight and a guy that drove his Model S from Boston.

With all the cars charged or charging at the service center, the owners drank coffee, traded notes and stories about their cars, and of course expressed their disdain for John Broder and the New York Times. The term “Brodering” was coined: running out of power due to human error, or generally dropping the ball when dealing with electric cars. These owners were determined to not broder it up that day.

This is Peter Soukup and his home made charging device. Peter has driven his Tesla across the country several times.

The device enables him to double the speed of in home charging. An engineer by trade, Peter was happy to show off his creation to the owners and the curious Tesla Service staff.

After arranging the cars in some classic internet meet-up poses, we headed out on the highway and began the journey. Seven cars left Rockville with two planning on only making the trip to the Delaware Supercharger station because of prior commitments that night. Four or five more Tesla Model S would meet the convoy in Delaware and continue on the journey. I managed to get a ride in one of the Delaware bound cars and enjoyed my first ride in an all-electric car.

Due to my filming the convoy leaving the parking lot and having to hustle to get in a car, we were briefly separated from the convoy. This was my first experience with the acceleration capabilities of the Model S. Needless to say we caught up to the group in no time and continued on in our impressive convoy. A single Model S is attention grabbing by itself; a convoy of seven is a spectacle.

Baltimore Tunnel
We made the trip north past Baltimore, and into Delaware. When we arrived at the supercharger station at the Delaware Welcome center, there were a few Model S filling up at the superchargers. Some guys from the owner’s club and some Volkswagen engineers testing a Model S and the supercharger system. The VW employees unplugged and left us to plug in to the four supercharger stations.


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