You Can Now Drive A Tesla Model S Cross-Country — If You Don’t Mind An 800-Mile Detour

Power up.

Power up.

After earlier test drives up and down the East Coast last winter, the next obstacle for the Tesla Model S in its quest for acceptance was the task of setting up superchargers across the country, to enable the kind of American road trip everyone says they’re planning to take someday. Anyway, you can now drive cross-country in a Tesla, but you’ll just have to take a bit of a detour.

Two teams of Tesla employees are in the midst of a publicity stunt to showcase the network of charging stations, reports CNNMoney. The teams left L.A. on Wednesday and hope to be in New York in three days.

“Easy! I did 2,800 or so miles in less than two days and with only one case of energy drinks and 18 packs of Slim Jims!” you might be saying.

But it’ll take these Teslas a bit longer, as the cars aren’t driving the most direct route due to the twisty, windy ways of the supercharger network. It spreads across 3,600 miles (according to Google maps) and more than 600 of those are on small highways instead of faster interstate freeways.

Tesla claims the route is more like 3,400 miles, which is still miles and miles longer than the usual route. This path meanders north a bit, skirting Mt. Rushmore, before it joins up with the more direct northern route. Then it swoops down to Maryland and Delaware before hitting the New Jersey Turnpike (a route that is never fun for anyone, believe me).

Each station’s chargers are supposed to juice up the cars for about 170 miles of driving, and there are 32 stations on the route Tesla will be taking.

At the rate it’s going, Tesla says there will be a new supercharging station every day, so that by the time we’re ringing in 2015, drivers can opt for a more direct route.

Tesla’s 800-mile cross-country detour [CNNMoney]