It's often said that very few Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have the drive of Tesla CEO and PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, but this is taking things to another level.
On Thursday, Musk announced on his Twitter account that later this year he’ll be taking his family on a six-day, cross-country trip in one of his company’s Model S electric cars. Musk says traversing the states from New York City to Los Angeles will amount to about 3,200 miles, but it should require only nine hours of charging, or an hour and a half each day. (A Hyperloop would of course be much faster, but one has yet to be built connecting New York to Los Angeles.)
Just finalized the LA to NY family road trip route in Model S. 6 day, 3200 mile journey with only 9 hrs spent charging.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2013
At 1.5 hrs/day, we will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee, never just for charging itself— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 5, 2013
According to CNN, Musk will be bringing all five of his children along for the ride, which is no problem: the Model S can seat seven.
Though Musk is using the trip to show off Tesla's new Supercharger stations, it might also be a firsthand attempt to generate some positive press to dispel some skepticism over the battery life of the Model S. You might remember the flap that ensued after The New York Times published a negative account of a reviewer’s experience test-driving a Model S. Musk claimed the reporter wasn’t being totally truthful and that the review cost the company “$100 million” and a “few hundred” order cancellations. The NYT review, published in February 2013, complained of inconsistent battery charging and less-than-promised driving range between charges. It also involved the drained Model S being strapped to a flatbed tow truck.
Musk will now set out at the end of the year to defensively display what his company claims are the particularly long-range capabilities of the Model S. He first made public mention of his plans for the trip during Tesla’s June meeting to discuss the continued rollout of Supercharger stations across the U.S., as reported by CNN. The coast-to-coast expansion of the stations is what will help make Musk’s proposed trip possible.
"I'm planning to do a road trip with my kids from L.A. to [New York] at the end of the year,” Musk remarked at the time. “Which will be an adventure. Kind of like those Chevy Chase movies.”
It sure sounds like a fun and fuel-efficient getaway. Let’s just hope the Tesla CEO’s Model S weathers the trip a little better than the Griswolds’ poor station wagon.