My 1,670 Mile Tesla Road Trip – Here’s What It Cost Me In Time And Money

Trip Type:
1670 miles / 2672 km
Trip Date:
Starting Place:
Central Coast Califronia

The sole purpose of this trip is to ascertain to know how much “money” would be saved driving an EV an extended distance.

In 1910, J. Smeaton Chase rode his horse from Mexico to Oregon, which he memorialized in California Coast Trials. It was a time of transition, from horse travel to the car. Chase notes that in many towns he had difficulty finding a stable for his horse Chino, when only a few years earlier, hostler facilities were plentiful.

I have empathy for Chino, as I felt similar anxiety as I hopped from supercharger to supercharger when I recently drove our Tesla from California’s Central Coast to Oregon, a portion of the same route taken by Chino and Mr. Chase.

Make no mistake, we love our Tesla, which my wife named “Baby” (yes, Tesla’s software allows you to name your car). However, the reality remains that in 2019, electric vehicles (EV) are sub-optimal solutions for extended road trips. As with all challenges associated with new technologies, entrepreneurs, such as EVmatch’s Founder and CEO Heather Hochrein, are creating solutions that make EV drivers’ cross-country drives more efficient and enjoyable.

Key Highlights from the trip

  • If one drove a gas vehicle with a sub-optimal efficiency of 20-miles per gallon, assuming a California gas price of approximately $3.85 per gallon (yes America, it’s really that high), the trip would have required about $320 in gas.
  •  the necessity of charging added six hours to our trip
  • An additional, yet less obvious cost was the mental gymnastics required to optimize our route and charging possibilities. Tesla’s mobile app and its in-car navigation system assist in this planning, but both require significant patience.


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