And then we practically turned right around — after a couple of days at Autonomy — for a looooong, long, long drive back to Poland.
The idea of such a long road trip seemed a bit masochistic to me before we headed off … and I think it probably was. But it was also much more relaxed, serene, and low-stress than I expected.
Frankly, Tesla makes a road trip superbly easy — even easier than driving a gas car a long distance, I’d say. Tesla indicates the places to stop to Supercharge all along the way, how long to stop, and what your battery’s driving range will be before and after charging. The level of planning is nearly nilch. The only things I felt like I genuinely had to think about were where we’d end up at the very end of the drive, if we’d have parking there, and if we’d have a place to charge nearby before leaving again. (We did have parking, but we didn’t know of a place to charge, so we just made sure to Supercharge enough at the last stop.)
The Tesla was also more comfortable than I expected for such a long trip. Due to my body type or something, my lower back tends to get very tired after a couple hours of driving. This has been the case in dozens of rental cars of various stripes and sizes. Somehow, despite sharing the driving on a 19½ hour trip to Paris and an 18½ hour trip back to Poland, my lower back never really got tired. If you had asked me a year ago if I thought that would be possible, I’m sure I’d say no. Newer Tesla vehicles apparently have softer and more luxurious seats, but I think it’d be hard for any other seats to leave me feeling better than I felt after 38 hours in this Model S. That was honestly a super awesome surprise.
Perhaps the Autopilot — which is brilliant — also had a part to play in that surprise.
Given the extremely low level of planning needed and the lack of any real surprises, I figured the most useful follow-up would just be a photo essay of the trip (the parts we bothered to photograph, at least). Hopefully you enjoy it! And let me know if you have any specific questions about the trip.
Wrocław (Poland) to Paris (France)
I already wrote a bit about the trip to Paris. After that article, we basically rode into the evening, charged a few more times, took turns resting our eyes, and arrived in Paris … after 3:00 am. But below’s a recap of the first leg of the trip if you missed it or want a few more details.
Wind turbines in Poland! (9:38 am)
Lexus LC — surprisingly beautiful, but no competition for a Tesla
Solar panels & wind turbines (look closely) in Germany!
Interesting solar farm at an Amazon facility in Germany
Tesla Superchargers + Allego fast chargers & 22 kW Type 2 chargers in Germany (12:15—1:15 pm)
Average energy use (175 Wh/km over previous 50 km) & navigation screen approximately halfway to Paris (3:53 pm)
Charging at a surprise Innogy DC fast charger after stopping to urinate (5:25—5:45 pm)
After arriving at our hotel in Paris (3:47 am)
A Few Pics from Paris (for now)
Electric scooters on Paris streets
Robert Llewellyn (Producer & Host of Fully Charged, among other gigs), Simon Lonsdale (Vice President of Business Development at ChargePoint), and Store Portvick (Project leader for EV and charging infrastructure in the City of Oslo, Agency for Urban Environment)
Janette Sadik-Khan (former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, “Elon Musk of city planning”) & Gary Fisher (“creator of the modern mountain bike”)
Gary Fisher (“creator of the modern mountain bike”) & me
Paris (France) to Wrocław (Poland)
Instead of leaving in the morning and arriving in the middle of the night again, we decided to leave Paris in the evening after the second conference day. As such, we had less opportunity to take pictures in good light. Nonetheless, I found a few interesting things to snap photos of.
Departing Paris (8:00 pm)
1st Supercharging Stop — Changing World (10:45–11:20 pm)
3rd Supercharging Stop — Getting Sleepy (2:35—3:15 am)
4th Supercharging Stop — Short Sleep Stop (5:05–6:00 am)
Neat Infotainment Features — Highway Exits, Tunnels, Open Doors
5th Supercharge (7:57—8:32 am) … & my driver profile has changed …
6th Supercharge (10:05—11:07 am) — Spotting an Audi Q7 e-tron! … and a weird ExxonMobil ad
Sorry we didn’t snap more interesting shots, especially of other electric cars. Aside from some Tesla vehicles we saw at Superchargers, and due in good part to the fact that we drove overnight on the way back, we didn’t see any electric vehicles on the drive home except for that Audi Q7 e-tron. We saw a few in Paris, but just a few. Again, what we saw on the drive to Paris were:
1 — Nissan LEAF, from our friend meeting us at Kostomłoty Supercharger
6 — Tesla Model S (5 at Superchargers)
1 — Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
2 — Model X (at a Supercharger)