Tesla Motors is plotting its way into the Guinness World Records.
The electric car maker dispatched two Model S sedans in a cross-country drive that ended this morning in New York City. The trip, started in Los Angeles, took 76.5 hours and, according to a Tesla press release, “recorded the lowest charge time for an electric vehicle traveling across the country – a feat that is now being assessed for recognition as a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement.”
The 3464.5-mile jaunt is yet another attempt to ease range anxiety among many consumers who worry about being stranded in a car with a depleted battery pack and nowhere near a charging station. While Tesla’s Model S is too expensive for average consumers, the company plans to roll out cheaper models at some point and needs to address the fear that has stopped many people from buying electric cars, even cheaper ones such as the Nissan Leaf (Leaf also has a smaller battery pack than what’s in Model S).
Even carmakers who are selling electric-gasoline hybrid cars, such as GM that makes the Chevy Volt, have had to run commercials that emphasize the ability of their cars to use gasoline should the batteries runs low.
A lack of extensive charging networks remains a big obstacle for electric car adoption. Aside from the that, the time it takes to charge a car usually takes hours with a standard charging equipment, far too long for anyone who wants to take a road trip even just several hours away.
Tesla’s answer to the infrastructure issue is to build charging stations near its customers, chart a network across the country and make charging free to its customers. The company has installed charging stations in 73 locations in the United States, according to Tesla’s website. It built the first six charging stations, in California, back in September 2012.
The company says its charging equipment, called “superchargers,” can fill up a battery pack way faster than standard charging technology. A supercharger can charge fill up half of a battery pack in “as little as 20 minutes,” the company said. But real-world charging conditions aren’t always ideal, so the actual time it takes will vary.
The cross-country trip took 1,197.8 kWh of energy to complete. The crew made pit stops in places such as Worthington, Minn., Macedonia, Ohio and Newark, Del. The two Model S sedans arrived at its destination outside of the New York City Hall at 7:30 a.m. this morning.
The company can’t claim to be the first to drive an electric car across the country, though. A father-daughter team, John and Jill Glenney, did just that last week.