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Travel Free From DC to Boston. I Don't Think So

Hi, so here's my situation. I am traveling to Boston from NJ at the end of August and instead of taking my SUV, I really have my heart set on taking the MS. However, I can't seem to figure out how am I going to get back from Boston back to NJ? I can get there via the CT superchargers but once I am there, there are no superchargers in Boston yet and would have to find a charging station which I would most likely have to pay per hour. From the Milford, CT supercharger, I doubt I can make it back from Boston. So what Tesla says 'Travel from DC to Boston for free' but they fail to mention that it's only ONE WAY! Ugh! Any suggestions?

Hey: there are free charging pods around the Boston area that are free, although you will have to pay for parking. These are Charge Point pods so you will have to join the network, one time fee of $5.95 if I recall. The max aps are 30 so you will be charging at the rate of 18/hr. Hope this helps

Thanks Amp, how to find these charge point pods?

Also depends on where you go. I've made a couple round trips from SF to LA which is 765 miles round trip.

The first time I didn't have the right adapter to plug into my cousin's dryer outlet so we used the 110 circuit when not driving the car. Also used the Tesla store charger for a few hours since she only lives a few miles away.

Next trip, I had the correct adapter, and charged in her garage.

Point being, if you're visiting someone, perhaps you can charge there? Or hit up a Tesla store at a mall and use their charger for a couple hours? And as Amp_On states there are charging possibilities.

Some pay some free:

Shows all charges that are public.
Some residents with charges may even help out if you call or email them:

I believe it is correct to assume that when one starts on a journey for which you're going to use Superchargers on the way that you're responsible for starting out with a full battery. You can do it by starting with a full battery from your home and charging in your destination city. Tesla never promised a Supercharger in every city to which you might want to travel.

As others have said, you can charge using a 110 outlet for a couple of days or you can find a commercial charger. As others have said, the Boston area is full of commercial chargers, although you may have to pay for it.

You can travel from Boston to NJ for free, if you start out with a full battery. Depending on your destination in NJ you can tank up at a Milford Supercharger and get to our NJ destination having used relatively little of it.

I traveled in April from Chapel Hill NC to Tinton Falls NJ in my MS and never assumed there would be a Supercharger in or near Tinton Falls. I had to charge in an RV park in Virginia, at the Supercharger near Wilmington, and then at my destination. Going back, I started with a full battery, charged at the Wilmington Supercharger, charged in the RV park in Virginia, and got home.

It will be easier when Tesla builds the promised (by June 30) Supercharger near Richmond, VA.

Getting charged at your destination has never been the goal of Superchargers, just getting you there. The assumption is that you will find charging accommodations at your endpoint - i.e., hotel, a pay charger, your relative's house, etc. I think you're expecting a little much if you don't think you should ever have to make an effort or spend any money on a road trip, ever.

Nothing is free you still have to pay for tolls. LOL

One way is free, return trip costs double.

Long term plan is to have SC about 50 miles outside the city like Darien to NY and Gilroy to Bay Area... so you can fill up do your business and return on one charge. The SC outside Boston hasn't been build yet - later this year.

My family of four +inlaws +luggage just did this trip from Maryland to Boston and it was all free! Ok tolls cost $ but way less then train or plane and we got to stop in NYC for lunch on the way. Yes parking and charging in NYC was also FREE. It was a Friday so traffic was really bad. Total drive and charge time was about a 12 hours. Never got below 60 miles of range (P85). AC maxed and going the flow of traffic so at times 70+ MPH. Kids seat did get hot but the (ugh) $12 clip on fan helped. For charging in Boston we went to a "charge-point" location that was free with free parking. We also used Whole Foods free parking and charging. Granted this was just outside of the city so charging and parking might not be free in the city.

Ok Paul1839, where did you park and charge for free in NYC? Very interested. I was in NYC and our family paid like over $200 in parking fees through our various stops and visits.

They failed to mention "from Boston to DC" is one way? It sounds exactly like one way. It doesn't say from "Boston to DC and back for free". The superchargers are for the highway, I guess they assume you have the ability yourself to find charging at your destination and it really isn't their obligation to make all your driving free.

Re: hamer's post

Thank you for this post. (First post - please go easy on me....) My biting the "plug" on ordering an S85 is ... imminent. On my second test drive last weekend, the TM rep and I discussed the SC map and how it makes it look as if you could drive from Richmond to the far reaches of southwestern PA easily (for an example of many). But that map is just showing us groups of overlapping 300mi range circles. It does not account for the charging required to reverse your trip (i.e. round trip) to get back home. Assumption is that you have sufficient charging options on arrival at your destination, sufficient time to stay there for charging back up, and as you wrote, making sure you always start out (departing or returning) with a full charge, essentially regardless of SC use / availability. The TM rep conceded this point. Not a deal-breaker, but it does reduce some of the "convenience factor" or worry-free feeling for long distance travel. For example, if I could convince the grandparents to let me pay to install a 240V in their garage, long distance round trips to Grandma's would be a worry-free no-brainer in the S85. But, I don't want to have to consider persuading them (or any other family member residing at the endpoint of a long trip) to let me put in a 240V just to show them that the S85 is a 'practical' ICE replacement. Without that, and without having to drive somewhere else after arriving just to charge (assuming such a place exists near your endpoint), I am limited to the 110V option. BUT... to recharge on 110, say in winter temps, well there are other forum posts about how that is not practical for weekend-type long distance trips (e.g., 200 mi charge at 3mi/hr = 66+ hrs charging not including time/energy to heat the battery). And driving long distance to Grandma's with kids and gear, only to have to then drive to find a place to charge up (requiring someone to accompany you in another car unless you don't mind hanging around at your charging spot for several hours) is a downer. In one example, I too would need to drive from Virginia to Tinton Falls NJ, but admittedly haven't researched nearby charge locations. My point is that after 4+ hours of driving, I want to enjoy the company of family and not have to worry about coming / going to deal with charging the S85, worrying about the 'safety' / availability / operational status of the charging location, and any other perceived or actual inconvenience. To me, just installing a 240V at Grandma's is the best solution, but it is difficult to 'impose' that on someone just so I can drive up in the S85 "conveniently." Well, just take the SUV, then, would be the reply. So, in worst case situation (cold weather, long distance and too far to return to a SC, 110V charging only), to me the bottleneck remains in charging conveniently/timely at your destination. Any other thoughts (nothing snarky please ;) ) would be appreciated. Also, hamer, what charging option worked for you in Tinton Falls? Thanks.

In my humble opinion, you should not look to Tesla to provide destination charging. The purpose of the supercharger network is to provide a quick charge to enable long treks between major cities. However, charging at the source and destination are the driver's responsibility. Ask to charge at your buddy's house or wherever you happen to be staying. If it's a business trip, stay at a hotel that provides a charging port. If at a friend's house, use their dryer plug or pay to install a 240v outlet in their garage if this is a frequent trip and you could find value in doing that.

It is absolutely two way, you can travel from DC to Boston or from Boston to DC however both ways assumes you start with a full battery. Tesla has always said their primary goal of superchargers was to allow travel between destinations and that is exactly what their NE SC's allow, however charging AT the destination is and always was intended to be your responsibility. Ironically their are free charging options in Boston, however suggesting it is in any way common for someone to drive DC to Boston then turn around and come straight back again without an overnight stop where one could easily fully charge is just specious.

@northern-va-dave: While the Model S has no equal as a practical daily driver, we're still in the early-adopter stage for EV road trips. Superchargers make cross-country driving practical and fun in a Model S, but the overall charging infrastructure is not built out yet, not even close. For now, those of us who make road trips in EVs do so in the knowledge that having a plan and making the plan work require some effort and time; the benefits of driving a car like Model S outweigh any disadvantages.

That will change, with time. Meanwhile, ask yourself why your Grandma would be reluctant to let you install a charging outlet in their garage, when it means facilitating visits from you and your family. Sounds like a win-win, to me: you get to drive the Model S instead of a gas guzzler (trust me, that's huge: the Tesla Grin is real) and she get to see her grandkids. Your savings in gas alone will cover the cost of the electrician in a handful of trips.

A thought: does she have a laundry room adjacent to the garage? Any way to get your 240V from there, without calling in an electrician?


For charging while in Tinton Falls NJ: I was visiting my mother, who lived in an old-folks (otherwise known as a continuing care community) complex which was very large (7-10 buildings of 4-6 stories each). I asked at the front desk (one of them at any rate) whether there were any parking spaces near outlets so I could charge my car, and the lady called buildings and grounds and told me where one was (near the car wash in back of the assisted living building). I went there and around back of the car wash were a bunch of parking spaces with outlets where they could charge their electric carts and things like that. But I couldn't get any outlets working; there was not power in them. So I called and they sent out a person. He said that it was right next to the entrance to the car wash and showed me. I plugged it in and told him it would be a lot faster on a 240 volt 50 Amp NEMA 14-50 and he said, "Oh, I think we've got on of those on the back of the building." So we looked and there it was. Back of the huge trash compactors.

So I drove around the build, plugged in, and in 3-4 hours was charged up. (Had plenty of charge left from the Wilmington supercharger.)

So that's where I charged up before I returned. But in that general area, there are public chargers at Monmouth University, various Neptune Board of Education buildings, and there are Nissan dealers nearby who if asked nicely, by telephone, will often be happy to let you charge. Those options will all charge at about 20 miles in an hour.

Northern VA Dave, personally I would have thought that showing your grandparents how with a simple dryer plug in the garage one can avoid ever needing to visit a gas station ever again is incredibly practical and convenient. I would think that would be worth doing anywhere you plan on visiting more then a few times a year, anywhere you plan on visiting less then twice a year its probably worth finding the most convenient public charging solutions. That doesn't only have to be overnight, public charging during a day trip to an attraction is becoming a common reality as well. If you combine some public charging with 110v where you stay then you may find a 15-40 unnecessary anyway.

You make a good point about the overlapping circles. You can only get to the edge of one circle; being at the edge of another does you no good. You need to be at the center to get a charge!

Yes, the SC map is a little misleading like that, the circles touching means nothing, the centre dot of one circle must be within the other circle to reach from SC to SC. This issue I predict will lead to a number of "Broder events" during the SC rollout as the SC's will not necessary be rolled out in a step wise manner leaving coverage gaps initially. There will be a period during the rollout where a cross country trip will mean a mix of super and standard charges, still more convenient then all standard charges, just important that Tesla manage expectations throughout the process and always remember its better to under promise and over deliver.

Ok, just for the record, I am a die hard new fan of TM and Elon and everything that the guy touches. This car has really changed the way I look at cars and that is a big statement the fact that I have been a car fanatic since I was of age 5. BUT, I can't help in reading that most posts here suggest the limitations of what the concept of 'superchargers' is suppose to be. I thought that TM is the company that makes things simpler so you don't have to think twice about your destination plans in your MS. I do think that this company is exactly that but for some reason I sense a form of limited boundaries by what TM's intentions of free driving is. I never meant to use the word 'free' in sense of $$$ but instead I used the word 'free' in sense of driving to a destination FREE OF WORRIES. I think TM always has intensions to make our travels free of worries and I'm sure they will get there ONE day but today is not that day. When I want to travel with my family of two kids and a wife, I want to be free of thinking of where to charge at my destination. And yes, to charge in someone else's dryer socket is not what Tesla intended. I highly doubt that my relative will think so highly of my MS once I ask him that I want to plug my car into his dryer outlet. None the less, I have big hopes in future TM plans to expand their SC network and for me to be able to drive worry FREE.

Free free to stop by my place and charge while in Boston. You can find me on Plug-share in Charlestown.

Thanks Jason. Will do if I have no choice :)

However, I spoke to my relative and told him about the situation and he did offer for me to plug into his dryer outlet which can solve the temporary problem of going out and charging. Does anyone know what kind of an adapter I would need for doing this?

dryer outlets are 10-30 before 1996 and 14-30 after. Ask your relative if it 3 prong ( 10-30) or 4 prong (14-30).

The Tesla store in Natick has 2 HPWC. Stop by, do some shopping and have a meal while you charge. The Watertown service station is also available for charging. I find locating a local Nissan dealer is the best bet for overnight charging and have been trying to get plan my overnight stays at hotels close to them. Did the same when we went to Cape and NH. Happy travels!

@MSAddict - seems we misunderstood the meaning of "free".
On the other hand Tesla announces a multi year plan and then we expect it to magically appear over night the next day. Wrong expectations.

Come on MS Addict. Electricity is everywhere. Even on a 110 outlet if you are staying one day you can get 75 miles of range. Milford to Boston is 145 miles, about 300 round trip.

Thus you need only 70 miles in an 85, or 125 in a 60, to go milford- boston- milford. Are you really driving washington to boston and not even spending one night there??

In an ICE car you would have to find a gas station. There are more electric plugs than gas stations in Boston, I assure you.

You might expect Tesla to want to solve the issue of charging at destinations however they have clearly indicated that charging at destinations is the owners issue to solve and that their superchargers are to solve the issue of charging during the journey. There are already 11,000 public charging stations in the US, and millions of high current home "dryer" outliets, Tesla has decided that the market will solve the problem of charging needs in high density areas. The gap is that there is very little incentive to place public charging infrastructure along routes where they will see less traffic and where a slow level 2 charge is of very little use. Tesla has decided that is the issue they wish to provide a solution too and are doing so impressively. When you explain to your friend that your car's total Gas fill will cost around $7 and then offer to buy him dinner in return I'm sure he will be both impressed and content once again. If not, best go find one of those 11,000 public charging stations.

The free parking and charging in NYC was at a Co-op at 186 Clinton St
New York‎ New York‎ 10002. Found it on the Plugshare app.
In Boston I used the free charger at Newton City Hall. You do need a chargepoint card to use them. I also topped of at the Whole Foods at 442 Washington St Wellesley‎ Massachusetts‎.

How long are you staying at your destination? If a couple of days, a 120v outlet in the garage will work. A dryer socket is better, but it'll have to be within 20 feet of the tesla to use Tesla's adapters. There is a solution for plugging into a dryer socket more than 20 feet away but it may be more complicated than you would want.


We did what you suggested - we put a 240 outlet in at grandma's house, because we know we'll be making that trip a lot. We're in Boston, she's west of Philly - problem solved, thanks to the superchargers in-between.

It helped that she's wildly enthusiastic about the car to start with, and that DH could do the work himself. But think of it - when your grandma's convinced, and ready to buy her own, she'll be all set!

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