2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Charging Network Extended

July 23, 2013

2013 Dodge Dart

Dan Edmunds approaches me once a year to reserve a car for his annual family tour of the northwestern states. This year he asked for our 2013 Tesla Model S. A week or so later he changed his mind, citing the lack of supercharging stations along his route. The extra time required to refill at civilian charging stations didn't fit into his time schedule.

Now Tesla has announced an extension of its supercharger network in the Pacific Northwest. Dan may want to rethink his plans.

New charging stations opened in Washington State. Tesla owners now have access to free supercharging stations from Vancouver, BC to Burlington, WA to Seattle, WA to Centralia, WA to Portland, OR. There is still a gap between Portland and Folsom, CA, a span of about 600 miles. But according to the Tesla website, the supercharger build-out will link those areas by the end of this year.

The Tesla supercharger network is almost ready for an Edmunds road trip.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 6,200 miles


  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I sympathize with him that it's a family roadtrip and that is the point of it, but editor after editor is considering this car for road trips and then passing on it due to range/charge time/schedule issues. This car and the Supercharger network were designed, are being marketed and promoted as the road trip solution for EVs, but they're not being tested as such by Edmunds. Long trips are this car's weakness. Fuel economy is for example the SLS' weakness, and handling is the Hyundai Santa Fe's weakness...but you don't just decide not to test and report on those aspects of those cars just because they won't do well at them - you're supposed to give a complete picture. You guys are treating the Tesla S like it's a glorified Nissan Leaf. There is a limit to how many Sunday drives, evenings out and airport pickups you can do before people get the idea that's all it's good for.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    fordson1, you've convinced me to fall into your camp. They should definitely give this road trip a try, despite the gap in Supercharger coverage. There are bound to be other non-Supercharger options along the route. A quick glance at plugshare.com shows dozens of them. I see a lot of Tesla Model S's around here (NE IL / SE WI), at least one a week, and there are NO Superchargers here. I'd like to see if a little extra planning and a little extra downtime are fairly easily workable into a family road trip schedule, and if not, what great sacrifices must be made. I don't currently have the money to experience it for myself, but if I keep my current car and save for another couple years, I could easily afford a Model S.

  • jim_in_nj_ jim_in_nj_ Posts:

    I agree too. But if Edmunds is going to use the Model S on a road trip, they have to prepare by getting signed up with the relevant charging systems. That means getting key fobs for Chargepoint, Blink, etc. Perhaps Edmunds already have these from the time they had their Leaf and Volt. Also, a good resource for charging information in Washington and Oregon can be found here: http://www.westcoastgreenhighway.com/electrichighway.htm

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