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Alex Roy and Daniel Zarrilla set a new record for cross country travel in an electric car in the last week of 2017. The journey offered insights into the effect of cold weather on battery life and range.


Tesla Model 3 Sets Cross Country Record In Bitter Cold

Alex Roy and Daniel Zarrilla set a new record for cross country travel in an electric car in the last week of 2017. The journey offered insights into the effect of cold weather on battery life and range.

Daniel Zorrilla is one of the first owners of a brand Tesla Model 3. Most people would be content to park it in the garage and drive it around town, but Daniel had something else in mind for his dark blue beauty. He called up Alex Roy, who has been involved in several record-setting cross-country electric car journeys, to propose driving the car with him to New York City.

Model 3 cross country record

Apparently Roy had nothing better to do at the end of December, so on December 28, the pair set off from Redondo Beach near Los Angeles. 50 hours, 16 minutes and 32 seconds later, they were at the Red Ball parking garage in Manhattan, not far from the Empire State building. Officially, that’s a new record for the transcontinental journey by an electric car according to The Verge. It’s 5 hours quicker than Roy and another co-driver managed in 2016 in a Model S, and more than an hour faster than the team of Jordan Hart and Bradly D’Souza did last summer in a Model S 85D.

The fact that the old record was set in the summer is an important part of this story. As most of our readers will attest, it has been unseasonably cold across much of the United States in the past week. Electric car manufacturers don’t like to talk much about how the cold affects the batteries in their cars, but suffice it to say, frigid temperatures do a number on range.

The cold temperatures meant Zorrilla and Roy needed to make more stops to recharge their car’s battery than they would if they were making the trip in July, adding time to their journey. But thanks to the ever expanding Tesla Supercharger network along America’s highways, the extra time spent charging did not prevent the pair from establishing the new record. One suspects they were not dawdling between recharging events.

The Model 3 does not qualify for free Supercharging for life, so Roy and Zorrilla had to pay for the electricity they used on their 2,860 mile trip. Their final cost was $100.95. Try that with your 20 mile per gallon gasmobile! Check out this video for more about the journey.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?


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