2 February 2018

An electric road trip with Tesla

If you're wondering whether an electric car can really do the long distance driving thing as seamlessly as a petrol or diesel car, well it can, write Brian Byrne and Trish Whelan.

The Tesla Motors company had invited us to Alpbach in Austria earlier this week to experience driving their Models S and X in snow, to show off the AWD capability of their cars.

And they also offered us the opportunity to drive a Model S all the way back to Dublin. It was one of those invitations one couldn't turn down.

Leaving Alpbach late on Tuesday afternoon, after a busy day under the slopes of the resort — with Tesla cars instead of skis — we arrived back in Dublin at lunchtime today, Friday, a total distance of more than 1,900km of which 1,750km was actual driving. The rest was crossing the English Channel by EuroTunnel, and the Irish Sea courtesy of Stena Line.

Under the sea on the Eurotunnel.

Charging at lunch stop in Nancy, France.

Overnight charging in Dorint Hotel, Zurich.
On the trip we recharged from Tesla supercharger stations at Nancy and Reims in France, and Warwick in England. The car was also charged during hotel overnights in Zurich, Calais, and Holyhead  — that last in the very unusual Chateau Rhianfa on Anglesey.

Overnight charging in Chateau Rhianfa, Anglesey.

It was long and sometimes hard driving each day, far more than anyone on holidays would sensibly do, and in a variety of conditions which included torrential rain. But it showed very much to us that electricity can be just as convenient a power source for a car as any other 'fuel'. And that the Tesla S as a touring car would pull the socks off much of its luxury car competition.

The oldest and the newest, on the historic London to Holyhead road.
Both of us will be writing in detail of the experience in our respective motoring outlets, including the next issue of our own 'Irish Car+Travel' magazine — the current Car Guide 2018 issue is in the shops at the moment.

But we thought you'd like to have a taste of 'That Was the Tesla Week That Was' (with no apologies to the BBC's TW3 satirical programme of the early 60s).