Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to eat his own dog food. The entrepreneur said on Twitter that he’s been finalizing plans to embark on a six-day road trip across the U.S. — from Los Angeles to New York — in a Model S with his family. He says he can make the 3,200 mile journey with only nine hours spent charging the Model S, or 1.5 hours of charging a day.
Ever since Tesla unveiled its plans a year ago to install Superchargers — Tesla’s own branded fast electric car chargers — across the U.S., Europe and Asia, the company has been pushing the idea that Model S owners can take extended road trips that aren’t normally associated with the short battery range of most electric cars. The Model S has among the world’s largest battery ranges for an EV, of up to 265 miles, and with the swift charging option, Tesla says its cars can operate more closely to the ease of the internal combustion car.
As Tesla rolled out its Superchargers on the West Coast and East Coast, the company offered road trip test drives to various journalists. The most famous of these was a negative one from the New York Times, which Elon Musk attacked for being inaccurate and disingenuous. Model S owners, of course, have done these road trip drives, too, and the vast majority of Model S owners are fans that rave about their cars and driving them (not unlike Apple fanboys).
Now that there are more Superchargers across the middle of the country, the Tesla cross country road trip is doable, too. Though remember the Superchargers are just for the Model S — not other electric cars — so these EV roadtrips are truly Tesla-style only. With Tesla owning the infrastructure for charging, too, it’s creating a vertical business model that could be hard to compete with — imagine the same company owning your car and the gas pump you use.
With Musk taking this journey, he’s likely trying to show that the Tesla road trip is the real deal, and not something for early adopters and EV enthusiasts. Musk is also well-known for innovating with Tesla’s services to create an Apple-style cult customer experience. No doubt, traveling 3,200 miles in the Model S across country will give him some ideas for how to make the road trip experience better.