Tesla Model S: Potential/Kinetic Energy Recovery Challenge/Experiment for Arizona Owners

Have been thinking about how a Model S would perform for someone living in Arizona ..., specifically Flagstaff. While driving around Flagstaff it would perform fine or for the most part normally as in many locations. I just had an interesting thought. If you plan a trip to Phoenix (The Valley) ..., used to live in Chandler years back and am quite familiar with Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Apache Junction, Flagstaff, and somewhat with the White Mountains. Though that was many years ago and last I visited Chandler things looked nothing the same. That aside Arizona is a great place for Solar and apparently is adopting EV pretty readily. I just had an interesting thought so did a bit of quick research to look at feasibility. Mapquest shows distance from Flagstaff to Chandler is about 170 miles (~140 miles to Phoenix) along I17. This is well within the range of a Model S on flat terrain. I just had an interesting thought (at least in my mind) so here it is ..., I'm thinking that if I lived in Flagstaff (where I have a sister and brother-in-law)when leaving for "The Valley" I would want to under-charge the battery pack so I could recover energy fully on the way down the mountain. Has anyone done this? I would be interested in miles the Model S gained on the way down!! Also interested in knowing how an 85 kWh Model S would take the drive up the mountain say leaving the valley with a full charge ..., will it make the drive without charge and if so what range would remain upon arriving in Flagstaff.


There have been numerous valley Model S owners who have driven to Flagstaff and beyond. There is a charging station just outside of Flag with a Nema 14-50 outlet.

Coming from Flag to Phoenix I would start with a Standard Charge - you will still have to drive uphill in a number of places along I17 even though you lose 5,000 feet in elevation total.

Thanks for info :-)! Any idea what the range consumption driving up to Flag might be?

How is travel to the Canyon? Is charging available at the Canyon?
Suppose even with a NEMA 14-50 available in Flag you might need an overnight hotel stay to get charged up sufficient to continue?

Are Model S owners able to make the White Mountains and back to valley?

Use this handy calculator to compute energy needs:

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