Tesla Road Trip to SQLSaturday #300 in Kansas City

I am going to be driving my red Tesla Model S P85 from Parker, Colorado to SQLSaturday #300 in Kansas City (which is happening on September 13, 2014). I will actually be leaving on Thursday morning, and driving to Topeka, Kansas (where I have family).

Then, on Saturday morning, I’ll drive from Topeka to Kansas City to the event. Finally, I will drive back from Topeka to Parker on Sunday. I’ll be able to do this nearly 1200 mile round trip with no cost for gasoline or electricity, using the free Tesla SuperCharger Network. This trip would cost about $150-160 in a typical gasoline car that got around 30 mpg.

Tesla Superchargers represent the most advanced charging technology in the world, capable of charging the Model S 16x faster than most public charging stations. Many of the stations are capable of delivering up to 120 kW to a Tesla Model S, which can replenish half a charge in as little as 20 minutes, for free. It works by delivering DC power directly to the battery using special cables that bypass the regular onboard charging equipment that you would use at a public charger or when charging at home.

These Supercharger stations are spaced out about every 100-150 miles along many of the major Interstate highways in the United States. There are currently 112 Supercharger stations in the United States, with more being opened every week. They typically have four to eight charging bays at each Supercharger station, and they are usually located near restaurants and shopping areas. The idea is that you drive for two-three hours, then stop for 20-30 minutes to charge while you take a short break.

Normally, most Tesla Model S owners do the vast majority of their charging at home. You simply plug in when you come home, and your battery is fully charged when you leave. I use a common and inexpensive charging method, with a 240V, 50 amp NEMA 14-50 outlet in the garage that cost about $500 to have a licensed electrician install. This circuit can fully charge the Tesla Model S 85 kWH battery in about eight hours, but my charging time is usually much less, since I very rarely run my battery down very low.

It is also possible to use a Tesla High Power Wall Connector (HPWC) charger (if you have dual, onboard chargers) to fully charge a Tesla Model S 85 kWH battery in about four hours.

I will be hitting the following Tesla Superchargers on this trip:

2221 6th St, Limon, CO 80828

2631 Enterprise Rd, Goodland, KS 67735

4101 Vine St, Hays, KS 67601

755 W. Diamond Dr., Salina, KS 67401

Since the Supercharger in Topeka is not yet completed, I will be charging at my sister’s house in Topeka (using a NEMA 14-50 circuit) on Thursday night and on Saturday night.

I plan to blog about how the trip goes, which should be fun.

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4 Responses to Tesla Road Trip to SQLSaturday #300 in Kansas City

  1. John Cranston says:

    Hi Glenn. I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip. What happens if there’s a line at the charging station? Can you make a reservation?

    • Glenn Berry says:

      So far lines at the Supercharger are not a problem at least in the mid-west. Each one that I hit during the trip had eight separate chargers, so eight people could be charging at the same time with no lines. I actually did not see any other Tesla’s charging either way on this trip.

      There are sometimes some short lines on busy weekends on both coasts, but even this is pretty rare.

  2. Darn, I wish I could be there. I had considered it, but ended up heading the opposite direction to Virginia then Orlando for their SQL Saturday. Would love to see this famous car of yours… and you too, naturally 🙂

    Free is a pretty good fuel cost. Even at ~43mpg that my Non Plug-In Hybrid C-Max gets, it is still a bit more than free (and I am heading out for 2100+ miles this weekend).

    Have a great trip!

  3. Pingback: Analyzing I/O Performance from SQLSaturday #300 - Glenn Berry

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