Sunday, September 15, 2013


To date, the 50-amp hook-ups Arnie used to charge his Tesla Model S, powered the Battery of the electric luxury sedan at roughly 25-28 miles per hour. If the Tesla was properly hooked-up for four hours at an RV Park, Arnie added about one-hundred miles to his driving range. The farthest range of the Battery on the 2013 Model S was about 269 miles. When embarking on a 3000-mile coast-to-coast road trip, Arnie’s new toy needed to charge nearly 120 hours on such hook-ups—that’s five days.

The author suspects Arnie scored near 700 on the math portion of his SAT's as a youth--though neither Reggie nor Arnie could not confirm this suspicion.

Since he was used to waiting over ten hours to fully charge your Tesla’s Battery, finding a Tesla supercharger was like discovering the Holy Grail. One such charger existed at the time on the planned route of Arnie’s Adventure, in Normal, Illinois.

Arnie did not know what to expect: Would there be Tesla’s lined up? Would people leave their cars and go to lunch?—or leave them overnight? How is it regulated? How many chargers would be there? Will it take less than an hour?

He exited the highway and drove five miles on back roads through multiple four-way stops. (Editor’s note: If you want to get Arnie’s blood boiling, ask his opinion on the four-way stop.)

He and his writer arrived within one hundred feet of the supercharger, according to Miss Navigation System, but they could not find a sign to direct them further. It could be in any one of the two parking garages they passed. So they circled the Uptown Station neighborhood with an 8-mile range left on their Battery to make a second pass. 

 Arnie turned his attention to the second GPS map on the dash behind the steering wheel and turned into the second garage. He circled the Tesla up to the second floor where they saw four Chevy Volts charging stations and what’s “affectionately known as a WalMart charger,” according to Arnie. Two of the stations were in use. After circling to the third level of Uptown Station parking garage they spied four Tesla charging stations—all waiting to pump volts of energy into the next customer. The time was 4:55 pm on a Friday. They had a 5-mile driving range on the Battery.

In an hour and fifteen minutes, the Tesla gained 272 miles in its range. The amperage of the charge ranged from about 88-300 and the voltage from about 350-400. The speedy charge allowed Arnie and Reggie to cover the most ground in their trip.

Arnie’s Electric Car Mileage: Days One through Ten
Wed. Sept. 4:   Portland to Seaside to Cascade Rocks, Oregon                                              270 miles
Thu. Sept. 5:    Cascade Rocks to Pasco, Washington to Pomeroy                                         301
Fri. Sept. 6:      Pomeroy to Orofino, Idaho to Missoula, Montana                                         249
Sat. Sept. 7:      Missoula to Virginia City to West Yellowstone                                              282
Sun. Sept. 8:     West Yellowstone to Yellowstone National Park to West Yellowstone         191         
Mon. Sept. 9:    West Yellowstone to Cody, Wyoming to Buffalo                                          328.7
Tue. Sept 10:     Buffalo to Mount Rushmore, South Dakota to Custer                                  232
Wed. Sept. 11:  Custer to Gregory to Yankton                                                                            411.8
Thu. Sept. 12:   Yankton to Onawa, Iowa to Newton                                                                  316.8
Fri. Sept. 13:    Newton to Rock Island, Illinois to Normal to Greenfield, Indiana                   466.1

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