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Tesla Supercharging Stations Make Coast-to-Coast Drive Possible

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author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2014
  • Superchargers mean Model S can now go coast to coast
  • Team completed LA-to-NY run in 76 hours
  • Superchargers add 150 miles of range in just 20 minutes

It's now possible to drive coast to coast in your Tesla Model S. That's the latest word from the automaker, which says that its nationwide supercharger network enables a drive across the country solely using the company's own charging stations.

The announcement comes less than two years after the brand opened its very first supercharger station in 2012. While that station opened in California, Tesla's home state, the brand rapidly expanded its network to provide chargers all over the U.S. Today, the company says that 80 percent of the American population is covered by its 71-station supercharger network. The brand also says that 95 percent of Americans will be covered by 2015.

To celebrate the new possibility of cross-country driving, a team from Tesla recently embarked on a coast-to-coast trip in two Model S sedans. The trip, which took 76 hours, left Southern California and meandered through Colorado, Wyoming, Minnesota, Ohio and other states before finally reaching New York City. The trip incurred no fuel costs and no major issues, though teams faced significant cold weather and ice.

Tesla's supercharger stations are a big deal for Model S owners interested in taking longer trips with the luxury sedan. That's because the stations are equipped with high-speed chargers that can add 150 miles of range in 20 minutes or 200 miles in 30 minutes. While that's not as fast as a gas stop, it's still quicker than the hours-long charge times required by many of today's electric vehicles. Also, the superchargers tend to be located near shopping centers or restaurants, meaning drivers have something to do while their Model S is recharging.

On sale since June 2012, the Model S is Tesla's second vehicle. Its first, the 2-seat Roadster, can't use the supercharger stations, though the automaker says that all of its future vehicles will be able to use them. The Model S is offered in two varieties: a 60-kWh version with an Environmental Protection Agency-rated 208-mile range, and an 85-kWh version with a 265-mile range.

What it means to you: Given Tesla's ever-growing supercharger network, the Model S continues to become a more enticing luxury car choice all the time.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Tesla Supercharging Stations Make Coast-to-Coast Drive Possible - Autotrader