Perhaps the biggest advantage the Tesla Model S has over other electric cars isn’t its longer range, but its comprehensive and fast-charging Supercharger network. Tesla wants owners to be able to drive anywhere, including straight across the country, as Tesla demonstrated last year. Many Tesla owners are doing just that, sometimes even in record time.
A team of Model S drivers went from Los Angeles to New York City in 58 hours and 55 minutes, reports Jalopnik, beating the record for electric vehicles set by Edmunds last year by about 90 minutes. The team was made up by Carl Reese and his fiancee Deen Mastracci, as well as a Rodney Hawk, a high school friend serving as the third driver. Another three friends followed in the ultimate anti-Tesla, a Chevrolet Suburban, as a support team, with the Tesla drivers sometimes cozying up to the rear of the Suburban for drafting purposes.
Drafting basically entails following closely in the wake of the lead vehicle, diminishing the air resistance tremendously, thus improving both speed and efficiency. That’s key for Reese’s other title claim, the “least non-driving time” going cross-country in an electric vehicle, spending just 12 hours and 48 minutes recharging. That’s not the kind of record I’d hang above my non-existent mantle, but for now at least, he can at least relish being admired by EV enthusiasts….even if his time is more than double the 28 hour and 50 minute record set by Gumball Rallyers in 2013.
That is, if the Guinness Book of World Records accepts his meticulously-kept data from sponsor and auditor GPS Insight, as well as the internal data from his Model S he is working to get from Tesla. Apparently it costs $8,000 (!!!) to bring a Guinness Observer along for the ride on a trip like this. I probably would have coughed up the cash, if only because this isn’t the kind of record that’s going to last very long. Tesla’s 76.5 hour journey across America only stood for 4 months, and the Edmunds record only lasted about 9 months.
Then again, maybe it was a good idea to skimp on the Guinness observer.
Once charging times go down and battery range goes up, it won’t be long before electric cars blow past Reese’s unofficial record.