I woke up at 4:00 am this morning, while it was still dark outside. My first destination was St. George, Utah. Unfortunately, since I did not have enough charge to get there, I had to drive back to the Las Vegas Supercharger located on the old strip.
There weren’t many cars on I-15 so early in the morning, so I was able to cruise at 80-85 mph all the way through. And that’s where I have the main complaint with the Tesla’s trip planner.
Before I left Las Vegas, the built-in trip planner showed that I will arrive in St. George, Utah with 10% battery remaining. That was a lie. My guess is that it does not take into account people’s average driving speed or high winds that could create a significant amount of drag. Doing 85mph in a 75mph posted limit does not seem that unreasonable. I barely made it with 0% (less than 5 miles) remaining.
The charging stations in St. George are located behind the Starbucks, which was extremely convenient because I really needed a coffee! I charged with 20% extra this time, just in case, since I already knew that I will be driving 90mph+ in Utah with a posted speed limit of 80mph.
At one point I have reached 111mph while passing another car. The car was pretty stable even at that speed.
The next supercharger was in Beaver, Utah. I let the car charge for 10 minutes then left. The trick to getting to your destination quickly is stop at as many superchargers as possible, while charging the least. That’s because you are getting the highest charging rate (around 380 miles per hour) at 0-20%, then charging rate gradually reduces to 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, <75 miles per hour, as it gets closer to 100% charge capacity. That’s why you never wait for the car to charge completely on a road trip.
Utah has some incredible scenery along the way. Here are just a few photos I have managed to capture.
A few superchargers later I was finally in the Grand Junction, Colorado.
Both Utah and Colorado have spectacular sceneries in their own way — dry, desolate, rocky canyons in Utah and green mountains and blue rivers in Colorado. Check out the following video of the amazing view you get while driving on the Interstate 70. It is a little shaky because I had to pay attention to the road more than recording the video with an iPhone 6.
I tried to stop at every single supercharger along the route because it is faster than spending 40-50 minutes charging the car just so that you could skip the next one. That also gives me a chance to stretch, wipe the windshield, use a restroom, get a drink and/or a snack.
Silverthone, Colorado was my last charging stop until Denver. I got a Starbucks coffee to wake myself up and was on my way to the city about 15 minutes later. At this point it was around 7:10pm and already dark outside. I was getting really tired, but did not mind driving for another hour or so.
While in Denver, I met up with Roniit — dark pop/electronic vocalist, and Erik — producer of Roniit’s first album. Since all of us were starving we decided to go to The Source for some tacos.
That was the most hipster food market place I have been to. But we’ve had a really good time and those tacos were delicious!
Less than a year ago I could have only dreamed of meeting Roniit some day. And now this. I am truly gateful for everything!
So what’s next? Either Kansas City (604 miles) or St. Louis (850 miles). I was so exhausted driving 740 miles from Las Vegas to Denver, so I am not sure if I can do 850 miles in one day. I would like to avoid driving at night, so in order for me to traverse 850 miles I would have to wake up and leave around 3:00am (in less than 2 hours) which is not going to happen.