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Tesla Model S 90D 2016
Trip from Maidstone, Kent to Murcia, Spain, a round trip of 4,276 miles – 6882 km. Passing Rouen, Bordeaux, Burgos, Merida, Cordoba, Cartagena, Murcia, Valencia, Barcelona, Millau Viaduct, Bourges, East of Paris, Arras & Calais Eurotunnel. Went to visit friends near Murcia and spent 6 weeks away.
Planning & preparation
This was trip number 5 of 6 to South Spain. We like to take a different route across France especially, crossing the Pyrenees and down through Spain. The centre screen on the Tesla Maps plots out the route in about 20 seconds with live charging availability and the Tesla phone app is a great source of information as well.
We used Tesla Superchargers and destination chargers. We aim to start the day fully charged from a hotel that Tesla have located superchargers. When travelling, the toll routes we use allow us to utilise the Superchargers at the service stations, when crossing Spain we use the destination charges in local car parks or hotels.
We time our meals around charging stops as this avoids wasting time. Twenty minutes is usually enough charge to the next stop. It is best to charge from 20% up to 70% as this is the quickest charge speed. By the time you top to the max you could be 70 miles further down the road, little and often is the best method and keeps the chargers free for other folk to use.
The EV itself
The car just loves the toll roads, cruise control keeps the speed cameras at bay but I don’t use the auto pilot. If you stick at a constant speed on the toll roads then you will get a better range from the battery than if you use the non-toll local roads travelling at a slower speed. This is because the toll roads are a better gradient road without all the bends, hills and junctions.
If needed, you can surpass the rated battery range by going slower, the 90 kW battery from new had 275 mile range. In Spain on a 26 degree day, I managed 345 miles from the battery; in the UK on a 4 degree day it gets you 158 miles! Of course, its all about the air con and extras.
Road trip conclusion
These road trips are what make the holiday, looking back I can remember the trip better than the time on the beach. Photos of the different places visited while travelling across France and Spain are locked-in memories. Sitting on a plane for a few hours looking out the window gets boring.
If you can spend a few days on a road trip it’s fun, just don’t try and do the maximum miles in a day. 400/450 miles allows breakfast in the hotel and you still can get an early check-in and charge at the end of the day. 900 miles a day is possible with the Tesla Supercharger network.