The great electric road trip

  • The Supercharger station in Quartzsite, Arizona.

    Shanana Rain Golden-Bear, Desert Messenger
  • Stations already open in the Tesla Supercharger network.

    Tesla Motors

Blanding, a remote city of 3,504 in one of Utah's poorest counties, received the state's first Tesla Supercharger station in January. City Manager Jeremy Redd says it's an ideal spot to power up an $80,000 electric car: "We're halfway between Arches and Monument Valley," and within an hour of Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments. "You really need to stay a couple days and see all these places."

That's not what Tesla had in mind when it planned its first coast-to-coast Supercharger route, now totaling 73 stations. But towns like Blanding and Gallup, N.M., are practical plug-ins between places like Flagstaff, Ariz., where eco-chic Tesla owners actually live, and popular destinations like Moab.

For now, the journey is the destination. At midnight on Jan. 30, two Model S Teslas blazed out of company headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., intent on breaking the "least non-drive" time record for a cross-country trip by electric vehicle. The four drivers took turns sleeping and stopped only for the half-hour stints necessary to recharge their batteries – hardly enough time to peruse Blanding's visitor center, much less explore the surrounding canyons.

Gene Rubin
Gene Rubin
Feb 17, 2014 07:09 AM
We visit the Four-Corners area at least once a year, usually twice a year from California. I am very pleased that Tesla has installed Superchargers at Blanding, Moab and Farmimgton. In fact it was my knowledge of this Supercharger system that influenced my purchase to buy the car. After doing the math vs. buying gas the Tesla is not all that expensive. We had an F150 which was costing over $36,000 in gas every 100,000 miles. Tesla is a full size car with a lot of cargo. Anyway, our family is very pleased and headed to Blanding and surrounds in Spring. My mom has cancer and my young wife has only a few years left to live due to AML leukemia that she likely contracted from living near a petroleum refinery as a child. We did the math how much of our tax dollars go to fight wars in places like Iraq to acquire oil fields. We needed a new car and we just could not support anymore wars and illness for oil, instead we decided to support an innovated car company that actually builds the car in the USA (not Mexico like our Ford was), we installed solar on our house so we drive guilt free.
david congour
david congour
Mar 26, 2014 08:40 AM
Electric cars will only become more popular with increasing awareness of the advantages. My plans for upcoming retirement: a PV array plugin at home, an electric car, and no more trips to the gas station for local driving! For long trips, I'm hoping that we'll eventually have standardized/swap-able battery packs for quick changeouts at battery charging stations along the interstate; then even the 4 hour recharge wait will be a thing of the past. No more gasoline! - and, best of all, no more oil revenues flowing into the Grand Oil Party's campaign machine!