Friday, August 5, 2016

Tesla Superchargers- Long distance travel in Tesla Model S- Part 2

We did another 1200 miles trip over last weekend in Tesla so I have some more experiences to share with you about Tesla Model S and Tesla Superchargers.

If you have not yet read the first part of this series, please read it here first. Long Distance Travelling in Tesla with Tesla Superchargers. It lists many of the lessons I had learned during my first trip.

Luckily, we won in the lottery for Tesla Gigafactory grand opening on the Friday of the last weekend of July 2016! My wife, Arian and I decided to take Tesla on this trip. Arian and I were excited for touring supposedly the largest factory or any man made structure in the world! (Unfortunately only 14% of the structure is ready so it is not yet the largest factory/structure in the world! It is not a #Gigafactory yet but will be in few more years!) I wanted to take Tesla for two reasons. Just two days before the trip, my other son Miraj and I had come back from a 2000 miles trip to various national parks in Utah in our Honda Pilot. (Curious to see photos of the trip? Click here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/photosbyjayesh/photos/?tab=albums ) It was a bit tiring journey particularly when we were driving back home! That is why I was inclined to use Tesla for a more comfortable trip. Another reason was that we were going to visit Tesla's factory so why not drive in a Tesla!

After the first long distance trip in Tesla during the last weekend of June 2016, we were well prepared this time. Also, we knew what we were getting into. Our expectations were more realistic this time.
The distance to Gigafactory in Reno from Simi Valley was around 490 miles!

We had our first charge at

INYOKERN SUPERCHARGERInyokern Market 1353 Brown Road Inyokern, CA 93527. 

We encountered one of the same issues we had during our first trip. First charger we tried started off well but then power dropped! So we changed to another supercharger and we were able to get above 120 plus Amps.

Then we stopped at Mammoth Lakes for second charge. We were running late so we didn't charge fully. We intended to charge at the next superchargers at

GARDNERVILLE SUPERCHARGERTOPAZ LODGE 1979 US 395 GARDNERVILLE, NV 89410 

Our stopping at Gardnerville could have been a story of misery as there was power outage! Luckily, at Mamoth, I had charged some extra which could help me reach Reno with 15 miles left. However I heard from a fellow Tesla owner, whom we kept meeting during our trip, that when he reached Topaz Lodge, Gardnerville supercharger, there was an owner of a red Tesla who did not have enough charge to reach Reno!! Not sure what happened to him! I hope he didn't have to stay there waiting for the power to restore!! I THANKED GOD AS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN US STUCK THERE had we not charged some extra at Mammoth Lakes!! So one more lesson, which could be very painful when you are travelling with a family: Superchargers depend on power/electricity and any place could have power outages or technical issues!

After fun trip of Gigafactory, next morning, we decided to go visit Lake Tahoe. We stopped by at Superchargers in Reno! Well, TeslaConnect group had a meet at Superchargers itself! Guess what? So many Teslas there and the supercharger was pack! I had to yell at the group. I had to request loudly to all Tesla owners who had their cars charging. I requested them to charge there for no more than 100 miles! There was a line and we had to wait almost an hour! Some Tesla owner told us that some other Tesla owners, who were staying at Atlantis hotel which is next to the Superchargers, left their Tesla for charging overnight at these superchargers! This created quite a headache for others who were there to charge their cars in the morning!
This reinforced the lessons that I had learned earlier: Not all Tesla owners are reasonable human beings and you need to be ready to wait if you want to use Tesla superchargers. 

I need to be honest on my side. I have mentioned only bad side of driving long distance in Tesla cars. Let me write about the green side of driving in a Tesla:

  1. Driving and riding in a Tesla is much more comfortable than most other cars.
  2. It is really GREEN to drive long distance in a Tesla! You do not need fossil fuels and you do not cause any carbon emissions. We drove green all those 1200 miles.
  3. It is free!! Supercharges are free!!! Driving 1200 miles in Honda Pilot would have cost us 48 gallons of gas! At around $3, it would be $144!!! We saved all that money.
  4. Stopping every 100-150 miles for charging is a refreshing break. You get a chance to relax. 
  5. Last but not least. You get a chance to meet fellow Tesla owners when you stop at a Supercharger. Most of them are fun to talk with.