Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, has been threatening to take his family on a cross-country vacation in a Model S using only the company’s recently completed Supercharger network to power up the vehicle.
But before he even powered up his car, one family’s already done it and a team of four is seeking to set a world record for the trip.
A father-daughter team drove from New York to Los Angeles in five days. Now, the four-man Cross Country Rally team is currently attempting to break the newly established “record” by completing the 3,400-mile trek in reverse – Los Angeles to New York – in just three days.
The team left the Tesla design studio in Hawthorne, a Los Angeles suburb, at 12:01 a.m. today. The trip will take the cars through mid-winter conditions across the middle of the country, with stops only at Superchargers, which will provide a 50% charge in 20 minutes.
As of about 10:15 a.m. ET, the team had made it to the supercharging station in Arizona.
“The sun is just starting to rise over our Kingman, AZ #Supercharger! The team is making good time so far! #DriveFree,” the team tweeted.
The first team to accomplish the feat, John Glenney, 62, and his 26-year-old daughter, Jill, ran into just two problems during their journey: a flat tire in New York and the possibility they wouldn’t make it to a charging station in Pennsylvania.
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The pair planned to drive form Newark, Del., to the next supercharging station in Hagerstown, Md. However, the Hagerstown station was not complete. So they had to travel more than 100 miles to the next station in Somerset, Penn. The pair made it with 11 miles to spare.
The pair blogged about the experience, much to the delight of other Model S owners, who followed along – some in real time. Glenney set off on his trip with the simple goal of being the first to complete the cross-country journey relying only on Superchargers, but he didn’t expect it to attract so much attention.
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“One thing I really loved about the whole trip is it inspired so many people,” he said.
When the pair arrived at the company’s Hawthorne studios they were met by a congratulatory group of Model S owners. They traveled through 16 states using 28 Superchargers along the way.
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The senior Glenney is no secret to driving a Tesla product cross-country: this was his second time around. Two years ago, he drove his Roadster from Washington DC to San Francisco, charging the car at campgrounds along the way.