Posted on April 09, 2018 by Matt Pressman
What's it like taking a Tesla Model X into the mountains to go skiing or snowboarding? Ryan ZumMallen reports that in order "to find out, Trucks.com drove a $165,550 Model X P100D on a 430-mile roundtrip journey from Las Vegas to Brian Head, Utah, an elevation of 9,800 feet. It’s the second highest town in the U.S. and highest in the state. Much of the trip was in subfreezing temperatures on icy and snowy roads."
To test the Model X, "We brought along an expert panel of four snowboarders and skiers to help evaluate the vehicle. They pushed it hard... [and] even tried it out on a steep, unpaved climb in the deep snow." Arielle Shipe, an avid outdoor adventurer from Aspen, Colorado said, "I was surprised that it was so capable... when I went up the hill at night when it first started snowing, it was awesome.”
This was all part of the Trucks.com Brian Head 2018 Winter Adventure Drive, which evaluated four vehicles: Chevy Tahoe, Ford F-150, Suburu Outback, and the Tesla Model X. And after reviewing the Model X, the team concluded, "Without a doubt, it was the most fun of the four vehicles to drive."
“I was obsessed with the speed, the quickness, the handling,” said Samuel Lippke, an expert snowboarder and Long Beach, California. Justin Mayers, an experienced skier from Jackson, Wyoming explained, "Before this trip I associated the Model X with city cars but [after] driving it in the snow, now I categorize it as a trusted mountain car."
Were there any valuable takeaways after spending so much time up in the mountains? Absolutely. Driving the all-electric Model X definitely differs from standard gas-powered trucks. To that end, check out these lessons learned in order to help you enjoy your next Model X snowboarding (or ski) trip to the fullest.
1. Be sure to plan your charging
By planning ahead, "The route from Las Vegas [had] required pausing at the Tesla Supercharger in St. George, Utah. In 35 minutes of charging the Model X gained 159 miles of range, bringing it to a total of 214 miles. That top off was sufficient to power the crossover up more than 5,000 feet of elevation in rapidly dropping temperatures." Lippke added, "It didn't feel like the battery usage was that much of a pain — charging with the Supercharger is pretty quick, and I was surprised."
2. Turn on and pre-heat
It's reported that, "During both days on the mountain, our morning ritual included using the Tesla mobile app to remotely turn on the Model X. This process is what Tesla calls 'preconditioning.' It warms the cabin and battery so when you’re ready to start driving, range is preserved. Without preconditioning, sub-freezing temperatures could reduce the range."
3. Use the hitch mounted snowboard rack
Of course, "The most notable design feature on the Model X is its falcon wing doors that open upward. While visually appealing, the doors eliminate any ability to mount rooftop racks or cargo boxes. We used a hitch-mounted ski rack, built by Yakima with Tesla branding... [but there's] potential trade-offs: the ski rack increases drag, which affects efficiency. It also extends the length of the crossover, which can make parking in tight spaces difficult."