It's a cross-country trek few could have imagined a couple of years ago.
A team of employees at Tesla are racing from Los Angeles to New York City in a pair of Model S sedans, in hopes of establishing a Guinness World Record for the lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the country.
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But here's the catch: they are only stopping to recharge their batteries on the brand's Supercharger network, which includes 71 stations in North America.
It doesn't leave the drivers with the most direct route—it requires them to cross through the Upper Midwest and the Rockies—but the Tesla team hopes to make it coast to coast in less than three days. They departed the West Coast at midnight.
Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise and Jack Elam star in the film, "Cannonball Run", where they compete in a cross-country car race.Source: Golden Harvest | YouTube
Sure, at the end of the day this is a marketing ploy by Tesla to further ease range anxiety among potential buyers. But it's a testament to how far Tesla has come in building out the Supercharger network over the last few year, which after the opening of a Maryland station last week, now covers about 80 percent of America.
The route across America
Most of Tesla's 71 Supercharger stations around the U.S. are along the East and West Coast, but there is a clear line of stations running from the Southwest, up through the Rocky Mountains, and across the Upper Midwest and East to New York City.
The stations are located on or near major highways to allow drivers to pull off, recharge their batteries 50 percent in as little as 20 minutes, and hit the road again. It's not as fast as stopping for a five-minute fill-up on gasoline, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long argued that people making long drives won't mind stopping every 200 to 250 miles to take a short break.
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To drive that point home, Musk will be the first to say that the Supercharger stations are often at rest stops where there are diners, restrooms and places where Model S drivers can stretch their legs and take a break themselves.