Walking down a dusty road in Moab, Central Utah, I was surprised to spot a brand shiny new Tesla Model 3. Moab, after all, is the land of the V6 (or even V8) truck, loaded up with off road jeeps and other clobber for petrol fuelled camping trips in the desert. So a Tesla (especially the Model 3 that has been rather behind on order fulfilment) is more than a rarity. I had to take photos.
As I was busy checking it out and snapping away, the owners arrived back. They were extremely proud of their new acquisition – happy for me to take as many pictures as I wanted. Not only this, it transpired that they’d hatched a pretty spectacular plan for their first ride out.
Instead of taking delivery in their home town, they’d flown to Portland, Oregon to pick up their Tesla. They were then driving it home via as many national parks and monuments as possible to Kansas City. A cool 2,500 mile road trip.
Whilst this may not be the first thought you’d have on acquiring a new electric vehicle, Tesla drivers, it seems, are different. Not just in their out and out enthusiasm (there really are some super fans out there) but also in that Tesla has a network of chargers that should actually make this kind of a trip possible.
A quick look at the supercharger map for the US, and you can start to plot a route yourself. A row of dots is strung out from Portland to Utah along the interstate highway – I84. If you want to divert and go via the Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, well yes, yes you can do that. Quite what route you’d take to go via Death Valley and the Grand Canyon, I’m not sure. But the route is lined with superchargers so whether you plot your way south from Portland via Reno, Yosemite and Vegas and then head east to Utah or go from Portland via Idaho and loop down through the desert east to west until you’ve seen all there is to see and trek the long way back north and east to Kansas, there’s an electrified highway all the way.
Tesla leaving town... we weren't stalking them, honest
If you set out with your car charged in the morning from your hotel, you can probably drive at least 500 miles a day in it with a couple of 30 minute stops. Tesla reckons the supercharger will add 170 miles worth of charge in 30 minutes. To be honest, any more than that and I’d be worrying about maintaining concentration at the wheel.
And is it too much of an assumption that you’ll be able to charge overnight? No, it’s not. The Tesla super chargers are also installed at various motels and resorts (and even the odd brewery – explain that one to me).
So, crazy Tesla people on your mammoth scenic road trip, I salute you.
Fisher Towers, worth the detour...
Main image: Corona Arch Moab. All pictures c. the author
By Beate Kubitz at 7 Dec 2018, 00:00 AM