Tesla founder plans cross-country road trip

Elon Musk says he and his children will go from Los Angeles to New York in one of the company's electric cars, presumably to prove Tesla's reliability to the general public.

By Bruce Kennedy Sep 6, 2013 5:06PM

Credit: From left: © Jack Plunkett/AP
Caption: From left: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk gives the opening keynote at the SXSW Interactive FestivalThe long, strange trip that is Tesla Motors (TSLA) continues, with Thursday's announcement by founder Elon Musk that he and his kids will soon be going on a long, strange road trip.

"Just finalized the LA to NY family road trip route in Model S. 6 day, 3200 mile journey with only 9 hrs spent charging," Musk tweeted. "At 1.5 hrs/day, we will only ever need to charge when stopping anyway to eat or sightsee, never just for charging itself."

CNN.com reported that Musk (pictured) spoke about plans for the road trip with his five kids in June at the company's annual meeting -- after he unveiled details on expanding the electric car's supercharger network nationally.

The trip/stunt appears to be Musk's way of responding to concerns over recharging the Model S.

You may remember that, back in February, Musk got into a war of words with The New York Times after one of their reporters took the Model S on a Washington-to-New York test drive and then wrote a scathing review of the vehicle. Tesla shares, which had dropped sharply following that report, rose after a Times internal investigation acknowledged there were problems with the reporter's initial article.

While Musk hasn't announced just what path he might take on his epic cross-country voyage, he'll obviously need to follow a route that includes the 19 Tesla Supercharger stations -- but most of those are located on either U.S. coast -- which could create some dicey moments in the American interior.

However, a Tesla spokeswoman told Wired.com the company's supercharger map hasn't been updated for several months, "and that many more stations are planned to be online by the time Musk and his family set off."

The Model S can seat five adults, but Tesla says it can add seating for two children in the back with rear-facing seats for a total of seven passengers. Musk hasn't said where he'll put all the family's luggage.

According to CNN, Tesla plans to have around 100 of its supercharger stations across the U.S. by 2015 -- giving Tesla vehicles travel and charging access to about 98% of the U.S., as well as some parts of Canada.

In the meantime, Tesla got an unexpected endorsement on Thursday from Mike Jackson, the chairman and CEO of AutoNation (AN). He told CNBC his company would sell Tesla's "marvelous product" if Tesla ever moves from direct sales and into a retail model.

More on moneyNOW

Sep 6, 2013 9:41PM
Your cars are beautiful.  Get 'em.  Wish I could afford one.
Sep 6, 2013 5:57PM

I wonder if he's considered the "Daddy, are we there yet?" aspect of this plan?

Sep 7, 2013 3:53AM


Elon Musk is a very bright guy, and it's no secret that his SpaceX company has been doing some amazing things. Considering how this vehicle has only been on the market a few years, it's remarkable what they have been able to achieve with their advances in electric car technology. Gasoline and diesel cars will be around for a long while yet, but we're not far away from some major breakthroughs that will make electrics more affordable and with far longer ranges. The paradigm is that every technologically challenging product needs some time to be perfected and mainstreamed into public use. Peace to all ~

Sep 7, 2013 9:46AM
Here is a guy writing about a car he doesn't know about . I am pretty sure they will put the luggage under the hood where the engine would normally go .its huge.
Sep 7, 2013 10:28AM
I Love Tesla..What a great car. And Elon has always moved forward to the future.
Sep 6, 2013 11:31PM
Tesla going from Westla to Eastla. Can't wait to hear about the trip. Sounds electric. I'd get one if I could afford the Pricela.
Sep 7, 2013 12:41AM
My guess is he's going to "eat and sight-see" a lot, and I doubt his trip will be the most direct.  He will probably have to "bob and weave" to hit charging locations at the optimal distances.
Sep 9, 2013 10:16AM
This has to be "if you build it, they will come" deals. Looking at our current political crisis, with oil prices again rising, this technology needs expansion, oil needs to go away.
Sep 9, 2013 12:19PM

Elon Musk is a big talker and he knows how to drum up publicity for his product.  The Tesla is a great car, so let's wait and see how it performs whilst being driven for 6 days nonstop carrying 7 kids and luggage.  I'm sure it will do just fine.


Does it come with seat back TV monitors to keep the kiddies busy?

Oct 3, 2013 8:54AM
Great.  Have that fire extinguisher right next to you on the seat.  Bring marshmallows.  Aluminum suit.  Make sure your lackey runs ahead and makes sure nothing is laying in the road.  Double check the door latch to make sure it doesn't stick shut.  Make out your will.  Have a nice drive!!
Oct 3, 2013 7:40AM
... thanks for the warning! 


Sep 7, 2013 3:35PM

Think I'll read about trip when it is over....To read the "hype" is only a waste of time for me...

I have to live in the "real World."


But good luck to him and the family, seems it might be interesting.....

But I believe to make it fair, It should only be them going; If that's the case...

Not an entourage to make sure they get there...

Did I mention..."Real World."

Sep 6, 2013 6:12PM
He'll be too busy with that Talulah Riley (who referred to his boys as being like puppies) to hear them ask "Are we there yet?" It's bad enough she took him for over $4 million in the divorce & then showed back up for another go at him. I admire the man's genius, but allowing her back into his life isn't logical. Still, I don't think he'll have a hard time making the trip with the Model S.  
I drove across the USA in my 02 Civic and I only had one minor headache.my car's serpentine belt snapped in Minnesota,and I had to spend the night at a hotel there.my car was towed to the nearest repair shop and I got charged about $70 total to get my car back on the highway. 
Sep 7, 2013 12:05PM

         I can just see Elon Musk (worth billions) stopping at a diner and hauling out his extension cord and trying/asking to find a suitable outlet to charge his car most likely without compensating the proprieter. I really hope he documents all the time and driving around it takes, to constantly charge the car.

      (Reality)  Most likely he will have his staff map the route out and plug the car in for him whenever he stops....like we (commoners) all would of course, if we went on the same trip


Sep 6, 2013 10:10PM
Top Gear did this across England.  300 miles and only 17 hours due to recharging.  If Tesla leaves L.A. now, he should be able to make NY around next July.
Sep 6, 2013 7:52PM

“Tesla says it can add seating for two children in the back with rear-facing seats” It’s not very safe for the children in the rear-facing seats with no air bags. If he is concerned about the children’s safety, I would recommend front-facing rear seats.

Sep 6, 2013 6:03PM
 Cool battery charged by oil gas coal and nukes.....or why not just burn gas for power? Oh well don't hurt your pretty drooling liberal head.
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