Trippin’ in EV

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since we’ve got Nikola. Over 22,000 miles on the odometer is a testimony to the fact that it is still as fun to drive as when I picked it up. While some of the details might be fading away, I clearly remember the excitement leading to making it happen. The research, the test drive, the approval from my better half and my daughter, the pros/cons debate… finally THE day:

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I asked one of my best friends to accompany me to the Tesla Service Center in Dallas, as he was always very supportive of my journey to Tesla ownership. I could not have it any other way, but to share the joy with him (he’s the one taking a quick photo of me trying to put a believable grin on my face, as at that moment I could not come to terms with the fact that it is really happening ;)). He also had an honor of driving it back – not without a fuss though, as he was insisting the honor should be mine. He reluctantly agreed on the notion that I will have plenty of time to enjoy the time behind the wheel after that. I digress though.

Our family has always enjoyed taking road trips. Some people might think that I am crazy when I say that I love to drive, but I really do. Maybe it is because of the fact that I have only gotten my driving license in my 30s (there was no sight of me ever getting a car when I was growing up, then there was no need for it when I moved to Asia), or maybe it is the breathtaking landscape that United States has to offer. Probably both. Our first trip was just few months after I’ve got my driving license – I was invited to a technical conference at Virginia Beach, VA. What a great excuse to drive there!

It should not come as a surprise then that the tradition continues with our model S. Just a week into ownership we have taken it on a maiden voyage to Waco, TX. It’s about 2 hours away from our home, so it gave us a good opportunity to try out the range anxiety (spoiler: there was none) while sweetening the deal with some great pastries on the way: first at the Czech Stop, then at Collin Street Bakery while testing the Supercharger.

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On the way back we had found out about one of the (many) benefits of owning an electric vehicle – when the weather is nice (such as early summer in Texas) there’s very little penalty for idling in a stop-and-go traffic. The car has hardly lost any range despite being stuck in the traffic for about 45 minutes. Emissions-free, I might add. A win-win.

We’ve been thinking for a while now about revisiting some of our favorite spots from the previous trips, particularly Tennessee and North Carolina. Encouraged by the Waco excursion it was a quick decision to take Tesla for a real road test. Destination: Asheville, NC!

Day 1 (July 30th, 2017): Denton, TX – Memphis, TN

Denton-MemphisMap is courtesy of Google and A Better Route Planner.

We have traveled this route quite a few times before, so we decided not to stop much between our home base and Memphis. The only stops would be dictated by the need to recharge the car. We knew that we will need some extra time for that, so we left way before dawn. The first stop would be in Sulphur Springs (TX) some 100 miles away.

Sulphur-Springs

It’s a small, but lovely town – one that we promised ourselves to come back and explore later (since it is relatively nearby). The management seems to be taking a great care of restoring its buildings and streets to its prime, but also to attract some tourists by keeping the schedule busy with events. The Tesla Supercharger is definitely a great addition, conveniently located just a walking distance from town square. We plugged the car in and went to explore the town center while waiting for it to be recharged. That mirror-covered structure proved to be very handy before continuing on our journey ;).

Since you can see clearly from inside out, I wonder how it works after dark, when the light turns on…

Next stop was Texarcana, TX. Since we were new to the supercharging game we decided to get some extra “juice” on top of what the on-board trip planner was suggesting. We better not take any chances, especially that early into our trip.
IMG_2457The Texarcana Supercharger is conveniently located along I-30, right next to some chain restaurants and a strip mall.

From Texarcana we headed to Little Rock, AR. The Tesla Supercharger is located next to outlet mall. While getting off a freeway we missed the intersection/road that leads to it, so we had to loop back, which cost us few extra miles. No big deal though, since we had plenty of range left. The outlet was still closed when we arrived, but we took some time to wander around. Again, we spent more time than we needed, just to make sure we can arrive with plenty of range left at our final destination.

Finally, we were off to Memphis, TN.

Memphis

It is a must for us to stop by and have a dinner at Gus’s Fried Chicken. I would highly recommend to anyone to give it a try. It does have a nice kick to it, so be warned 🙂

This concludes the first leg of our trip. We stayed in the city for the night. The supercharger was right behind the hotel where we lodged in. I went to charge the car in the evening, since we would be on our way bright and early next day.

Number of miles traveled: 470
Number of other Teslas spotted along the way: 0

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