by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
As has often been the case with our 2016 Tesla Model X, we used most of its electrons in January to get us from our SoCal homes to the Edmunds office and back. In fact, my co-worker Ed Hellwig almost ran out of electrons while commuting to the office one day, which you can read more about in his comment below. I'm sure that was fun for him.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Much like last month, our Tesla Model X was confined to commuter duty for most of November. It wowed kids in school parking lots, carried plates of food on Thanksgiving, and otherwise played the part of a typical family vehicle. Unlike last month, however, it didn't spend any time cooling its heels at the service center. We did see that a recall was issued for certain Model X charge-plug adapters, but our particular parts were not affected.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Following last month's Hydrogen Highway vs. Tesla Supercharger experiment, our long-term Model X has returned to its regular commuting duties. The big news for October was a service call to address 16(!) minor issues that had piled up. As fate would have it, yet another isolated issue arose after the service that may affect us on the few rainy days we get here.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 30, 2016
I step around the power cord that juts from the rear flank of our 2016 Tesla Model X, pop open the hatch and arrange my bags in the luggage well. After unplugging our Lake Tahoe hotel's complimentary Destination charger, I click a ballpoint and note the battery's full status and new range — 248 miles — in the Tesla's logbook. Jay stands nearby tossing his gear into the trunk of his Toyota Mirai, which I know has less than half a tank of hydrogen because I parked it last night.
We exit the hotel lot together and line up at a red light, waiting to turn left. The border runs down the middle of the street we're on. I briefly consider opening my door and stamping my foot across the dashed center line so part of me can be in Nevada, but then the left arrow turns green and I drive my entire self into the state instead.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 19, 2016
Cross-country travel in a car like our 2016 Tesla Model X is possible and practical because of the Supercharger network. And today's network is even stronger than it was two years ago, when we drove our 2013 Model S to New York and back in less than a week. As of today, the fansite supercharge.info says there are 296 active Supercharger stations spread across the USA, with 15 more under construction and 13 others that have received permits.
But Tesla's free charging network has another component. It's called Destination Charging, and it's not as well-known.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on July 20, 2016
Heading into a long weekend, I decided to give our long-term 2016 Tesla Model X a full charge rather than the usual 90 percent. Once on the road, the regenerative braking system was clearly feeling the effects.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on July 12, 2016
Batteries will slowly deplete themselves without powering anything, this is a fact of life. Our 2016 Tesla Model X is no different. I spent five days with it and between the time I parked it at night until I dragged myself out of the apartment the next morning, I noted a slight decrease in range.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on July 8, 2016
When I signed out the 2016 Tesla Model X for the weekend and realized I had no plans, I did what any reasonable car nut would do.
Checked the Supercharger network and headed for Big Sur.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on July 5, 2016
A couple weeks ago, I attended the U.S. launch event for the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider in San Diego. From the Edmunds office in Santa Monica, my hotel was a straight shot south on Highways 405 and 5. I decided to make the trip in the 2016 Tesla Model X for a couple reasons. I wanted to test the Tesla's Autopilot function on the highway as well as use a Supercharger station for the first time.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on May 25, 2016
Electric cars are fundamentally different from gasoline ones on many levels, and fuel consumption tracking is no exception. Like many electric cars, our 2016 Tesla Model X has a set of dash readouts that summarize electricity consumption. They display the consumption rate in Watt-hours per mile (Wh/mile) and total usage for a given "tank" in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
Confused? The first is akin to mpg and the second is like gallons.
But there is a bigger problem. Both numbers are drawn from the point of view of the battery. That doesn't tell the entire story for electric cars because of something called charging losses. Imagine pumping 12 gallons at a filling station and spilling two of them on the ground in the process. The car only knows about the 10 gallons that made it into the tank, but your wallet knows about all 12 of them.
This is no clumsy accident when it comes to electric cars. It's another type of routine consumption that stems from the resistance in the long charging cord and the needs of the on-board battery temperature control systems that operate during the charging process. The only way to account for everything the car is using, charging losses and all, is to look at the meter on the pump. But many EV charge stations, including our Tesla HPWC (High Power Wall Connector), do not have the sort of meter found on every gas pump on the planet.
So we added one.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on April 29, 2016
Tesla's Supercharger network has grown tremendously, and that means we have a lot more road trip options to explore with our 2016 Tesla Model X . The map above represents the state of the network in mid-June 2014 when Kurt and I undertook a massive LA-to-New York-to-LA cross-country round trip road trip, a feat we completed in less than a week.
Back then there were just 95 stations. You can guess which way we went just by looking at the map. Apart from our decision to chance a straighter path between Las Vegas and Utah, there was but a single cross-country option.
That map looks significantly more crowded today.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on April 11, 2016
Electric vehicles are still rare, but improvements in range and desirability have raised their profile far beyond their actual sales numbers. Most of the electric vehicles (EVs) currently on the market are compact hatchbacks or sedans. Other than the short-lived Toyota RAV4 EV, electric SUVs have largely been absent.
The new 2016 Tesla Model X changes that. With seating for up to seven passengers and a larger cabin than the Model S sedan upon which it is largely based, the Model X is as close to a purpose-built electric SUV as the world has seen to date.