Posted on September 11, 2019 by Matt Pressman
Guest Post: EVMatch
I have been a pure electric vehicle driver for six and a half years, and ours has been a pure EV household since my wife Molly got her first EV three years ago. None of our first three EVs had a range of over 85 miles, so, needless to say, we haven’t taken a ton of road trips over the past few years.
Above: Author Jeff Pickett driving the Model X (Source: EVMatch)
Everything changed last September, though. That’s when we got a Tesla Model X 100D. With its standard black exterior and white “son of Naugahyde” vegan interior, we lovingly dubbed it the Oreo. We haven’t owned the Oreo for even 11 months yet, and it already has well over 20,000 miles on it. I want to tell you about how we recently racked up around 4,000 of those miles – on an epic road trip across nine Western states to visit five national parks.
The weary travelers: a 6-year-old-boy and an 8-year-old girl whose very existences have coincided with our inability to go for truly extended driving journeys (not that we have been shy about pushing the limits of our various batteries on weekend rambles), a pregnant lady already into her third trimester, and me, your trusty narrator/driver.
Here’s how it went down.
After Molly flew down to San Diego to host a graduate school reunion conference she had planned, I drove the kids south from Sunnyvale, CA to San Diego to meet her. Our first night, we stayed at Harris Ranch – home to one of the six Tesla Superchargers from the company’s very first rollout in 2012.
The next day, we headed to Paradise Point Resort in San Diego (which is soon to be rebranded as a Margaritaville…don’t ask) after a stop at Legoland. Although we didn’t need them, it was nice to know that Legoland has standard J1772 chargers, while Paradise Point has a Tesla destination charger, which we very much did need.
Once Molly finished her conference, we began the National Parks circuit in earnest, spending the next 14 nights in these places:
Above: At Zion National Park (Source: EVMatch)
We charged primarily along the Tesla Supercharger network but wouldn’t look askance at any arrangement, from:
Certainly, many aspects of an EV road trip are the same as they would be when using an internal combustion engine vehicle. Alas, as the dueling sayings go, “God and/or the devil is in the details.” With that in mind, some of the electric car- and charging-related highlights/lowlights include:
Above: The whole family in Glacier National Park (Source: EVMatch)
So – why did we go to all this hassle? you might ask. Well, I’m a sustainability obsessive, obviously, so there’s that. But the main reason is that it allowed us to have an incredible array of experiences that are now etched indelibly onto our collective family memory (a miniscule sampling of which are presented in pictorial form below), all while sleeping a quality of sleep that can only be achieved, as I like to say, with the knowledge that one isn’t speeding the demise of the planet by burning copious amounts of fossil fuel simply to take a frivolous vacation.
We also learned a lot that we couldn’t have without entering into, and then completing, such an ambitious undertaking. So much so that although “I am not in the advice-giving business,” as I like to say, I feel compelled to offer some tips to future e-roadtrippers. To find out what those are, stay tuned for Part 2!
Source: EVMatch; Author Bio: Jeff Pickett is a passionate advocate for clean energy and transportation. By day, he works as Director of Marketing for ACTenviro, a fast-growing environmental services firm. By night, he is a devoted husband and father of two or three - depending on when you're reading this - and is involved in multiple entrepreneurial ventures. Born and raised in Portland, OR, Jeff earned his undergraduate degree from Yale, an MFA in film production from USC, and, most recently, an MBA at Wharton's San Francisco campus, earning the rank of Palmer Scholar. He has been a resident of California for nearly 20 years and is a lover of art, cycling and tennis, all of which can be enjoyed in abundance in the state.