Field Report: Round-trip from New York to Florida

Home again, home again! As you know, this car (Model 3) is far, far superior to anything else for regional travel. Here's my thoughts and recap after our long distance trip to Florida and back.


Departure 4:30 pm 1/26

Return 3 am 2/6

Travel observations:

Superchargers are often a few minutes further off the highway than gas stations. Even so, we averaged roughly 50 miles per hour with stops on the way back.

We like to stop at least every 3 hours and sometimes had to stop when we didn't need a charge.

We never stopped because the car needed a stop that we didn't also need. We never waited for the car either. Simply plugging in and walking away is so much nicer than the gasoline experience.

We left St Pete just before noon Monday. After visiting a client in DC on Tuesday late afternoon, we decided to drive the rest of the way home rather than do our movie/car camping in Harrisburg.

Back to back 700 mile days are tough.

We didn't ever wait for the car, but that's probably due to long walks to get services/bathrooms/etc. For example, Savannah supercharger is at far end of short term lot, a 5-10 minute walk to the bathroom.

The additional 50 miles of range over the s85, and 100 miles over the 70d probably make a huge difference in charging choices and in avoiding taper. This may matter less in warm climates. For those who live in the north and like to road trip in winter, a smaller battery car will come with constraints.

The car in warm weather easily does 4 miles a KWH, even at 80 mph.

There are times when charging constraints will limit choices in ways gas cars won't. I think we are at the bridge from early adopter to early majority, but not sure this is truly a suitable replacement for all "early majority" types.

Last time we drove to Florida I said I'd never do that without autopilot again, and the RAV4 had Range Following Cruise, and lane assist.

Sitting in a seat 10-12 hours a day is hard. Having to do that and concentrate on staying between lines - sounds like absolute torture. I was right on my thoughts about AP. I would never freely do that drive without autopilot ever again.

Bathrooms and restaurants are often a few minutes walk from Superchargers. (This is good and bad. Good is the walk enforces exercise between trip legs which means at the end of the day you don't feel crippling muscle ache. Bad is it does add time to the trip.)

For those who can go a lot further than 3 hours between stops, they will be stopping to charge this car when they don't personally need to pee, eat, stretch, etc... They WILL be waiting for the car to charge.

Autopilot - again, I will never buy a car without it. We both used it nearly the whole time.

In Washington DC traffic Autopilot was godsend. It sees the car in FRONT of the car in front of you, and frequently slows before the car in front of you slows.

Data suggests that you are 3x less likely to be injured in this car, and 6x less likely to be injured when using autopilot.

Rough numbers:

3390 miles

1063.74 kilowatt hours

663 Supercharger (paid)

400 free

$152.50 energy cost

Feel free to share this with folks who might be EV curious.

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