First Supercharger-Only Coast to Coast Road Trip in a Tesla Model S 60

Call me Sam. I’ll be your driver for the next week (or so). Guy . . . girl. Doesn’t really matter. This story isn’t about me. This is about a Tesla MS60. And the Supercharging Network.

The smallest battery currently offered by the company, the Model S 60 is the bare bones of their line. Starting at $63,070 (with Supercharging enabled & living in CA), you get free long distance travel, for life. Add in HOV and HOT access (solo) and you are able to drive at a reasonable rate of speed in areas (Bay and SoCal) that rank among the worst commutes in the U.S.

Just so happens that my hometown also offers free metered parking as a perk of living in what some derisively call the Republic of Santa Monica.


Sie erwarten jetzt vielleicht eine Story voller Dramen, die jeder so gern liest und weitererzählen will. Brennende Autos, auf einsamen Landstraßen gestrandete Autos und so weiter. Wenn Sie solche Storys wollen, ist jetzt der Moment gekommen, Ihren Browser zu schließen, meine Tweets zu blockieren und mir die Freundschaft umgehend zu kündigen.

This is a story about anyone doing a trip across the country (and back). If you’d consider doing this trip in your gas car at least. Most people never drive cross country. I was going to google the actual percentage, but you can do that yourself. If you care. Which I don’t.

But if you do like to drive, there is no better road warrior that the Model S of any flavor. 14K miles since August 2013 delivery.
Cross country is different. A great city car, be it ICE or EV, can turn against you on the open road. Hoses burst and belts snap. Worst of all you run out of fuel. Since the advent of the pure EV, range has been the forbidden five letter word. The MS60 is different.

It has a range of 208 miles which you can extend even beyond that with careful driving. But we’ll come to that later. Can’t get ahead of ourselves. First the route. Hawthorne Supercharger to Virginia Beach VA. And back.

Die meisten Leute mit dem 85-kWh-Modell (und einer Reichweite von gut 425 km) haben das längst hinter sich. Sie wissen, dass es funktioniert. Zumindest hat es schon zwei Mal funktioniert. Einmal hat es ein Vater-Tochter-Duo von New York nach LA geschafft und ein paar Tage später ein Team von Tesla Motors.

Dieser Trip wird keine Rekorde in Bezug auf das Aufladen oder die Geschwindgkeit brechen. Wahrscheinlich wird es sogar eher ein bisschen langweilig. Aber wenn Sie wissen wollen, wie ein E-Mobil funktioniert ... Wenn Sie wissen wollen, wie das Supercharging-Netzwerk funktioniert ... Wenn Sie wissen wollen, wie Sie selbst mit schier unaussprechlicher Faulheit KOSTENLOS durchs ganze Land fahren ...

Es gibt einen Grund für diesen Trip, aber ich hätte ebenso einfach fliegen können. Nein, ich verrate ihn nicht. Wie neugierig!

Dieser Trip ist wie jeder andere Roadtrip auch. Außerdem gibt er jeder Reichweiten-Angst den Rest, wenn es um Tesla geht. Tesla wird NIEMALS ein Auto produzieren, das eine geringere Reichweite hat als meins. Ich kann versagen. Es gibt kein Netz und keinen doppelten Boden. Ich werde im Lauf der nächsten Woche (oder so) Updates veröffentlichen und versuchen, so viele Fragen wie möglich zu beantworten.

I’ll post updates and photos at on Twitter and Instagram: @TeslaMS60


The first half of my journey is complete. I arrived in VA Beach tonight at 7:45PM EST. I drove ~3800 miles and charged using nothing but Tesla Supercharging Stations.

I want to thank everyone that gave me hints, suggestions, and made me laugh along the way. Most of all I want to thank Tesla Motors for making the best car I’ve ever seen, driven or owned.

Tesla, you are changing the world one drive at a time.

Everything is possible in this new world. Sustainable transportation. Free Cross Country Travel. Most of all, you are changing heart and minds. Not through advertising and manipulation. But my making an incredible product that sells itself.

I’m going to sleep 12 hours (at least) and then turn around and come home. If anyone is interested if it is possible, twice, I will continue to post here. I don’t have the numbers yet, and likely won’t for another week. For that, I apologize.

If anyone is interested in meeting along the way, please email me and I’ll do my best to let you know the route and timing.

@teslaMS60 on twitter and instagram


Wrap Up: So made it back, 7700 miles round trip, from Los Angeles to Virginia and back to Los Angeles. I learned so much about driving the Model S 60 that I don't think I could have learned any other way.

I experienced almost every single driving condition imaginable:

Heavy rains in Arizona (2 inches/hour)
Heavy winds in Minnesota (50+mph that caused a big-rig to jackknife)
Heavy snow in Colorado
Extreme cold in Wyoming and South Dakota (4-8F)
Big elevation changes (5000ft climb from Denver via the Eisenhower pass)

I also made many mistakes along the way. Fortunately, I was cautious with my speed and kept an eye on my range whenever there was a longer distance that needed to be traversed.

I nearly shot myself in the foot once: heavy rains on the climb to Flagstaff coupled with failing to do a range charge taught me the lesson to only leave with at least 25% buffer.

I also learned to pick my spots. Slowing down on a climb and then allowing myself to go +5-10 over the speed limit on the downhill resulted in significant increase in range without reducing my average speed. If the hill was steep enough, I coasted until I reached a designated speed, and then engaged the motor for engine braking and regeneration.

On the topic of regeneration, it is always more efficient to coast. Unless you start to reach an unsafe speed, and then use regeneration.

I think anyone can make the drive I made in an MS60. But it would also be easy to run out of electrons, too. Try to drive from Cheyenne to Silverthorne at 75mph. Even in an 85, that might be tough.

I called the MS60 a road warrior and nothing I've seen over the past 10 days and 7700 miles changed my opinion. I now have a grand total of 22,000 miles since Fremont pickup in August and I look forward to the next 100,000 with alacrity.

I wouldn't trade my car in for any other model in the world. Not an exotic. Not a classic. And not a collector car.

I've been driving for 25 years and I've never experience the sheer joy of being on the road. It's my hope that the feeling of piloting what I affectionately call the "spaceship" never ends.


Great to see you made it! Lowly 60s are as able as the 85 in a cross country trip!

Thanks for then information Sam. You've proved the utility of the 60S for long distance. Enjoy your rest - such that it is. I would want more time but your pressures, desires and interests will differ.

Not as able, but adequately able!

Had a great stop in Bethesda Maryland. The store manager Julia happen to be in the garage when I walked in and she obviates us to the store and give us some really cool hats. We are now stopped in Somerset Pennsylvania and this will be the longest range charge we have to make during the entire trip. 178 miles.

My posting may be limited so thanks in advance for everyone's support.

Invited not obviates. (Damn speech to text)

A man received an e-mail from his neighbor:

"Sorry Jim, but I have been using your wife... day and night whenever you're not at home. In fact, probably more than you. I'm confessing now because I feel really guilty. I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies. I will ask your permission in the future."

Upon reading this, Jim gets his gun and, without uttering a word, he shoots his wife.

A few minutes later he received another e-mail: "Sorry Jim: I meant 'wifi,' not 'wife.'"

(Auto correct has become my worst enema.)

NKYTA chuckles

So the longest leg is complete Somerset to Macedonia Ohio. Starting charge was 201 miles ending charges 39 miles ground covered 178.1 miles.


where all the guys who say a 60 is just a town car?

Sam, what was your average speed from Somerset to Macedonia?

Magi-flaw, the current peak in AI. Siri-all stupidities.

61 mph

@Samo, that's impressive at 61mph and 247Wh/m! I'm guessing the midwest isn't below 0F anymore?

Oh, and BTW, call up Guinness with your final result...most ICE folks won't be that impressed with what you've done with merely a MS60, but everyone should take note of total time, in an EV, coast to coast...AND BACK!


Are the Tesla crew that hit New York still there? ;-)

The crew might not be there but one of the cars was on display at the Syosset opening event on Long Island last Friday.

Currently supercharging in Maumee Ohio. Planning to skip Angola IN supercharger.

Will stop to to sleep some day ;-)

No sleep till Brooklyn, or something.

Quick charge at Mishawaka and maybe a quick nap!

Super charging at Pleasant Prairie. Also went over to the Radisson for bio break. I am going to sleep well as my copilot will be driving for a few hours. I will update more later.

Wow, congratulations Samo on your excellent adventure. You are truly a trail blazer for the ongoing EV revolution, and you make all fellow MS owners proud. We sincerely cheer your safe and successful completion to your journey.

a bit soon for a final congrats, but well done and safe trip home.

I met a young Canadian couple in Atascadero super chargers they were in their 60 going down west coast from Vancouver to Disneyland, so glad that the 60 can do the roadtrips well.

I picked up one of the first 60s at the factory in JAN 2013 and drove it home to Los Angeles. The story is on my website and was not uneventful. Since then I have been unafraid to take my 60 anywhere. I am waiting for warmer weather to visit relatives in South Carolina, however.

SamoSam -- wish I could have been the trailblazer, but it is fantastic that I get to read your exploits in almost real time.

Sorry, I forgot the 60 owner who put 15,000 miles driving to every corner of the US in April 2013. He, his girlfriend, and his dog were the real trailblazer and I should have given them credit above.

Of course there were few Superchargers then and there were many 7-8 stopovers needed to complete the trip.

...7-8 hour stopovers...

You are a ROCK Star!! Hang in there....


Thanks. Today has been "interesting" but I'll get to that later. Finishing East to West hasn't been a slam dunk.


When I picked my car up at the factory, all I wanted to do was drive around all day. I put 1000 miles on in the first 3 days.


Please do visit the relatives. That would be a great story and perhaps you can connect via a more direct route by that time.

+ I'm glad you mentioned the couple that drove everywhere in their 60 for like 6 weeks. That was incredible. Seems like what I'm doing is so easy.

Also +1 to Pungoteague_Dave. We may not agree on swap stations, but much respect for his road trip stories.


Thanks! Today has been crazy.


I haven't had great access to computers other than my phone and using speech recognition which others above have shared humerous stories . . .

I'm at the Holiday Inn @ Worthington MN. Route 90 was shut down about 1/4 mile ahead of us with a overturned bigrig blocking every lane. The roads were covered with ice and there were 40mph wind gusts blowing snow everywhere. We were 100 yards before the exit for RT 26 (10 Miles east of Jackson MN) so we exited and got some local knowledge.

We took RT 26 for 12 miles (driving 20 mph) on totally iced roads until we could connect back with 90. Very hairy.

Then another 20 miles east the roads cleared and the snow stopped blowing, and we rolled into Worthington with our lowest rated range of the entire westward journey . . . 5 miles.

Considering several zero and one mile readings on the Eastward trip, this may seem anticlimactic, but the road conditions were seriously scary.

I didn't post every stop this time and we skipped a 3 Superchargers on this route, but it's been pretty tame. Drove overnight and still haven't slept in a bed. Probably stop tonight if we can make it through South Dakota.

I've been told that RT 70 to Eisenhower Pass in Colorado is closed today. I'm hoping it will be open tomorrow.

I'm definitely stopping at the temporary SC in Denver and my travelling companion is doing a weather check as we speak.

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments and suggestions. I may not be able to post as often on the road, but I'm still tweeting and instagram-ing pictures and updates.

I'll post more here when I have good access to a full keyboard. For anyone that has seen my TSLA earnings reports live blogs, you'll know why my iPhone keypad is KILLING me :-)

The solution is obvious. Get a Blackberry! :)

Exiting the 90 freeway into Mitchell South Dakota my tire pressure sensor light came on saying to check my tires and when I got out of the car, I heard a hissing down and realized that I had a small metal embedded in my right rear tire.

I immediately drove to the super charger and plugged it. I then called the 800 number on the supercharger and spoke with Dan in Service who got me a tow and a tire patch within 15 minutes.

Not surprising that Tesla motors comes through again.

On the road and headed to Murdo South Dakota.


Wow! Long distance driving without a spare tire and I am glad that Tesla came through in a flash for a flat!

Drive safe and hope to see you at the finish line in Hawthorne during non-business hours (got to keep my day job.)

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