Elon Musk is once again grabbing the public’s attention, but this time it’s not about grandiose ideas centered on a 200-year-old concept of Hyperloop public transport by pneumatic tubes. This time it’s about something that matters: convincing American drivers that they need not worry about running out of battery power in the middle of South Dakota.
On Thursday morning the founder of SpaceX and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) tweeted that he would be taking a family road trip across the United States in his critically acclaimed Tesla Model S, in an effort to show America that his company is working hard to overcome the range anxiety that is keeping many car buyers from embracing the gospel of electric-only transport.
Musk didn’t offer many details, except to say his 3,200-mile, six-day itinerary has been planned out. When this trip will take place and by what route is a matter of speculation.
This won’t be the first time someone has driven a Tesla coast to coast – Telsa owner Bill Clarke of Maryland won that crown when he drove from San Francisco to D.C. last year, which he chronicled on his blog.
But Musk’s family trip will be different. When Clarke did his cross-country trip he used Tesla’s NEMA adapters that allowed him to charge using various methods, such as electrical outlets at RV parks. Musk plans to showcase his Superchargers.
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“Elon is planning a road trip from L.A. to N.Y. in his Model S using the Tesla Supercharger network,” Tesla spokesman Alexis Georgeson told International Business Times by email on Thursday, referring to the company’s expanding network of proprietary charging stations. “He will only be charging at Tesla Supercharger stations on his trip (not utilizing public charging stations therefore he will not need to bring an adaptor).”
To do that anytime soon, Musk will have to stick to a route that will take him out of Los Angeles, up to Utah and northwestern Colorado. After that, his itinerary will have to follow a narrow corridor through Wyoming, South Dakota, and southern Minnesota on his way to Chicago. After that, Musk’s options expand; he could even taunt Detroit on a pass into Canada and back into upstate New York, or just barrel on through Pennsylvania and New Jersey into the Big Apple.
As to when this could happen, it depends on how quickly the Supercharger stations are up and running in the central part of this route. This map from Tesla’s website (above) shows a lot of gray dots between California and Wisconsin/Illinois into the winter. We can probably assume Musk has made those stations high priorities to be ready by the end of the year—if not sooner.