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Father-Son Duo Took Tesla on 28-Day Road Trip

by Staff

A father-son duo went on a road trip around the US.
Courtesy of Simon Wong

  • A Tesla owner took his 12-year-old son on a 28-day road trip.
  • The pair slept in the car every night and visited all four corners of the US.
  • Wong said the experience was a major contrast to horror stories some have shared about EV road trips.

While some EV owners have shared horror stories about taking an electric car on a road trip, other Tesla owners are bucking that narrative.

“How can they have trouble like that when I drove the Trans-Canada Highway in the middle of nowhere?” Tesla owner Simon Wong told Business Insider, referencing an EV road trip where even Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he struggled to find working chargers.

Wong, who took his Model Y all the way from Montreal to Winnipeg through the two-lane highway, said a Tesla might just be the ideal car for a cross-country adventure.

Wong and his 12-year-old son went on a 12,000-mile trip with their Model Y to see all four corners of the US over the summer.

Wong shared a map of the course his road trip followed.
Google Maps

“There were four places we said we must go: San Diego, Key West, Maine, and Seattle,” Wong said. “Beyond that we just relied on the Tesla computer to decide how far we would drive and sleep.”

Tesla has an internal navigation system that will plot out chargers along a trip. Wong said the pair typically traveled between 400 to 600 miles per day, stopping for 15 minute breaks to recharge during the day, as well as charging the vehicle overnight.

Wong, who owns a Model 3 and Model Y, said he’s taken his Model 3 on road trips in the past, but it was his first time sleeping in the car during the trip. Teslas have a Camp Mode which allows owners to use heat, interior lighting, and even the infotainment system with minimal battery drain. Owners have previously highlighted the feature as a handy way to travel without having to deal with hotel stays.

Wong and his son stopped at a rest stop in Montana at one point.
Courtesy of Simon Wong

“It was a big money-saver and it allowed us to save a lot of time,” Wong said. “We didn’t have to lug our luggage into a hotel every night, unpack and then pack it all up again.”

Wong said he would then charge the Tesla while they slept, often finding free public chargers were they could camp out. Then the pair would shower at nearby truck stops or cook breakfast at a rest stop, Wong said.

Wong and his son would sometimes cook breakfast at rest stops along the way.
Courtesy of Simon Wong

Wong said he spent about $750 charging the EV over the course of the trip and estimates if he’d traveled 12,000 miles with a gas-powered vehicle he would have spent about twice as much. At fuel price of about $3.75 per gallon, the trip would have cost about $1,500 for a vehicle that get 30 miles per gallon, according to an online fuel calculator.

Ultimately, Wong said he saw it as a bonding opportunity with his son after he’d been laid off from his role at a tech company.

“That job was really stressful, and I didn’t get much time to spend with my family, my son,” Wong said, adding that he also wanted to give his son a broader understanding of what it’s like to live in America outside of their life in the suburbs of Southern California.

“I don’t want him to just experience one type of culture, which is that suburban lifestyle,” Wong said. “So we thought it was a good inexpensive way to see the country, visiting different regions of the country — anything ranging from the countryside to New York City.”

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