Tesla was the first company to make electric vehicles practical for long-distance driving when they introduced a car with greater than 200 mile range plus a network of supercharger stations across the United States. Europe now has a substantial network, as well. Instead of waiting hours for a charge, a driver can now pull into a supercharger station, plug in, and be on his way in about 20 minutes.

Papafox’s 70D Model S taking it’s first jolt of supercharger energy at the Woodburn charger, south of Portland, Oregon

Only 17 months ago, three Tesla Model S vehicles headed east in the dead of winter to prove that cross-continent driving was now possible in the United States. Come summer, Michael Fritts and Lita Elbertson bagged all 50 states in their Model S adventure. Those were pioneering efforts, but now Tesla’s supercharger network has expanded to the point where taking a tour of the states with your dog is no big deal. Still, the network is anemic compared to what it will look like next summer, and so a few challenges fortunately still remain. Alaska tops the list, but then there’s Northern Michigan and the black hole of Tesla’s U.S. network: Arkansas. Naturally, I must visit these places in order to call this outing a proper adventure.

Initial reactions to supercharging? Fast! I’ve seen more than 350 miles per hour of juice flowing into my S. At times I drove for two hours and the charge to get to the next supercharger station was a mere 15 minutes. That’s hardly enough time to check your emails.

Just for fun, I walked by the pumps at a local gas station while picking up a quick charge at Mt. Shasta supercharger, in California. This one said $65, that one said $71. My supercharger fillup didn’t cost a dime. Ford or Honda drivers will get back on the highway a few minutes faster than me, but how long did it take them to earn the money to pay for that fillup? All things considered, I’d rather supercharge!

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3 Responses to Superchargers

  1. Fred Burger says:

    Happy electric motoring! I like the color of the new Tesla.


  2. RomeoCharlie says:

    PapaFox – I should have known that you had a Model S… On Saturday before it got too warm in Davis, I was showing off my 2002 Toyota Rav4EV to a new owner of a 2012 Rav4EV owner, and I told him how pilots are quite often EV owners because from the beginning, we were taught that good pre-flight planning and refueling stop planning are essential skills for successful trips!

    Please let me know if you can swing through Davis or you need a place to stay, as we have good Tesla EVSE infrastructure here with great pizza nearby… You know my number…
    Safe travels – and I’m looking forward to meeting Iceman… RomeoCharlie


  3. papafox510 says:

    For a chance to talk story with you and eat good pizza, I’m quite sure that Davis will pull me in. It’s amazing how tailwinds and headwinds affect energy consumption with an EV. You’re absolutely right about the planning side of the EV thing that attracts pilots.


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