Las Vegas Road Trip - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S: Las Vegas Road Trip

April 18, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

I was psyched to get the chance to be the first Edmunds editor to drive our Model S to Las Vegas. But then reality set in.

Las Vegas is 275 miles from my house. The Tesla only goes 265 miles max, and probably more like 240. Okay, I'll stop in Barstow for an hour to juice up at one of the super chargers. But what if they're full? And what happens when I get to Vegas and need to charge? And what about valets driving this quirky luxury car?

Lots of questions. Some anxiety. But I'm going anyway and I'll embrace the adventure.

Then I hit my first problem.

2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged

I'm leasing a 2012 Nissan Leaf so I have a 240-volt charging station at my house. I drove home two nights ago, plugged in and then checked the Tesla app: "Charging stopped." What the -- ? Turns out, my SPX charger isn't compatible with the Tesla even with the adapter on the cord.

In a panic, I emailed William Korthof, owner of Sustainable Solutions Partners and the guy who installed my charger to see what I could do. He got right back to me and said that SPX was going to do a software upgrade to fix the problem. He offered to temporarily install a compatible charger. But, I needed one right away so I could leave for Las Vegas with a fully charged battery.

I used to locate the closest charger and found it in the parking garage at California State University Long Beach. Nearby was this sign saying the chargers were dedicated to Doug Korthof, an EV proponent who turned out to be William's father. He passed away last year at 68.

Anyway, checking on my Tesla app I was able to see when the battery was charged. I went back over to the campus and drove the car back to my house, ready for an early morning departure. There's a lot of desert to cover between here and Las Vegas, and a lot of mountains to climb. Wish me luck.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 2,267 miles

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2013 Tesla Model S Research