We drove our 2022 Model Y Long Range to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in July for a family celebration. Three adults and luggage. Historic high temperatures throughout the trip. We saw 126°F at one point in Mesquite, Nevada. This trip included trips down to a remote campsite where my dad and stepmom were camped, fishing. Then a trip to Denver and back to drop off other family who had a flight home and a quick lunch with old friends. The total distance traveled and total cost of charging will be listed.
- San Clemente, California to Rifle, Colorado to Craig, Colorado to Steamboat Springs, Colorado = 988 miles.
- Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Kremmling, Colorado to Gore Pass Camp = 292 miles
- Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Denver, Colorado = 387 miles
- Steamboat Springs, Colorado to San Clemente, California = 991 miles
- Total = 2,658 miles
Charging costs = $370
Cost per mile: $370/2,658 = 13.9 cents per mile
Super charger pricing changed on the 12th of July to time of day charging and most of our super charging was during the peak that ranged to around $.54/kW. Home charging the night before the trip and the evening after were mostly around $.11/kW, but is also a time of day scale.
Super Charger Experiences
The Super Charger in Las Vegas at Lynq was a pain to get into and navigate around to find restrooms and possible food. There is a pin code required to enter the lot. You can only get this by pushing the attendant help button. Then the isles are narrow and tight with limited shade. It was 116° in the shade according to the car display. I’ll avoid this in the future. In Mesquite the super charger is at another casino with no shade, but once inside the smoke-filled casino we found restrooms and decided to head to McDonalds rather than brave the smoke and noise for lunch.
The Super Charger in Kremmling Colorado and the one at Craig are at Cum & Go gas stations. In Kremmling the stations are in back of the building. In Craig they are out front. When we pulled in to an open space in Craig there was a lifted 4×4 diesel pickup parked across two of the spaces. He moved up to near the building then drove off before we were done charging.
South of Cedar City Utah the super chargers are new at an updated/new construction tribal fuel station. Very clean and nice open space. In Richfield Utah the small super chargers are at the hotel nearer the interstate and seemed pretty slow at below 50 kW. Craig, Cedar City, Kremmling and Colorado Mills at Denver West were all upwards of 150kW.
My rule of thumb for desert travel was to charge to +100 miles range above the distance to the next charger. This came in handy several times thanks to traffic holdups such as the usual Las Vegas construction and an interstate closing accident on I-70 at about Rifle. That delay was over two hours and resulted in our reaching Green River at below 6% when the prediction had been 38% when we left Glenwood Springs.
Our old Murano would have cost closer to $600 to drive. My motorcycle would be about the same as the Tesla, but without the comfort. Riding in 100°+ heat is zero fun. A new Toyota Prius would cost less to buy and less to operate, but is not early as large of vehicle. A closer comparison in size is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, similarly as expensive as the Tesla Model YLR and about similar to fuel.
Travel cross the western US and southwestern US can be quite remote at times, but for this trip we had no problems finding superchargers. Supercharging did not feel like we were being delayed much. The extra time allowed us to get some walking in and a good rest way from driving. Even in the heat some walking was better than just sitting in the car. Driving an EV does require a little preplanning, as an example, our charging at the west side of Grand Junction was predicted to take us to Steamboat Springs, but knowing there was not a super charger there, we stopped in Craig to top off so we would be able to drive down to the campsite the next day then charge up at Kremmling.
I now route each leg of a trip and not the super charger locations, then check the distances on my phone mapping. I can add a charger stop between stops if I need to on the Tesla routing.
We found the AutoPilot still has unpredictable “Phantom Braking” this is most concerning in slow bumper to bumper traffic and high speed interstate driving. There were also episodes of Auto Steering trying to steer off into the wrong lane, such as a left turn only on a two lane highway or wanting to center the car between solid lines of an exit ramp and lane dashed lines. In one case of the exit ramp lines the car alarmed the take control warning as I steered down the center of the lane rather than toward the void between the exit lane and highway lane. The car attempted to correct the vehicle course into the void rather than down the highway lane. That only happened twice, but one of those was in a construction zone with orange and while plastic barrel barriers at the lane dashed lines and marking the void and exit lane.
The area where my parents were camped does not have cell service. The Tesla map doesn’t know where it is going exactly. The display shoes only a road, lane lines and shoulder lines, but all in a white background. The speed limits get messed up too. Since I knew where I was going I didn’t care if the car didn’t.