Monday, April 17, 2017

Epilogue - Some impressions on a second road trip

Unlike the last trip this one was not without detailed planning of how charging would be accomplished ahead of time.  Decisions on where to charge and how long to remain hooked up were mostly made one charge at a time rather than all before the trip. This approach worked fine except in the two instances heading north where I had to use the slower Charge Point network.  In both cases I probably could have, with some better planning, avoided this fate.  The first time I got lucky, the second was not so fortunate.  All in all though given the number of superchargers especially along the interstates you can with a little practice master travelling without undue planning at least on the coasts.

Some random reflections follow.

Of all the electric cars out there none can charge quickly in as many places.   Chevy is discounting the Bolt already while Tesla still has 400,000 orders for the Model 3.  I think this is a a large part a reflection of the charging network which we Model S owners paid for but we will reap the benefit of Tesla not going the way of Bricklin, Tucker and Delorean.   I think the superchargers are a great selling point.

While looking at the map of charging stations our trip out west last year would be a lot different this year thanks to a raft of new chargers in the Midwest.  We might even be able to take it to Iowa for RAGBRAI this year although as we will be time pressured it might not be the wisest choice.

If you are reading this and considering a Tesla which you plan to travel with get the biggest battery available.  I certainly wish I had.  They pick up charge faster and once charged you can skip stations that I have to stop at.  I could have also made the Myrtle Beach to Kitty Hawk run straight up the coast had I had 40 more miles of capacity and that would have saved 5 hours of driving and charging.

The Tesla is still a great car for travelling despite being a bit slower to go long distances due to the long charging times  The fact that it drives for long periods allows the driver to rest and allowed me, driving alone, to do 12 hour days without undue fatigue.  The stops to recharge the car can also recharge the driver a bit too.

I did not like the looks of the new Model S but am growing to like it.  I still think the Model X is a bit ungainly looking but those falcon doors sure are cool.

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