Thursday, July 9, 2015

On vacation in the Model S: A 'faster' Tesla Supercharger shortens our return trip

On our return to New Jersey on Tuesday, we stopped at the Colonie Center, above, a mall outside Albany, N.Y., to charge our Tesla Model S 60 for the third and final leg of the trip. My Tesla app reported a charge rate of 221 miles per hour -- much faster than another Supercharger we used when we stopped at the same mall on the way to a Montreal vacation. 


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

Not all Tesla Superchargers are created equal.

At the Colonie Center, a mall outside Albany, N.Y., we used two of the six free Superchargers on our vacation, and found one dramatically slower than the other.

On June 27, on the way to Montreal, the initial charge rate of the Supercharger I used was only 84 miles per hour, according to the Tesla app on my smart phone.

On Tuesday, on the way home to New Jersey, the Supercharger I used was blindingly fast at an initial charge rate of 221 miles per hour.

Both Superchargers slowed during the time I was plugged in.

But on Tuesday, we left the Colonie Center in under 45 minutes -- including 30 minutes for the charge and the rest to have soup, brown rice and coffee at the nearby Whole Foods Market, and use the bathroom.

That was about half of the time we spent at the same mall on the way to Montreal.


At Whole Foods Market in Colonie, N.Y., I combined two soups -- Vegan Mushroom Barley and Vegetarian Split Pea -- in the same 16-ounce cup for $5.99. A smaller cup of brown rice was $3.99 ($8.49 a pound).

My wife tried a free sample of spicy sausage in a bun at Whole Foods.

On Monday morning, as we headed for the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vt., we found ourselves behind a Cabot Cheese truck on two-lane roads, and passed dairy farms where cattle were grazing.


Roads less traveled

On our vacation, which ended Tuesday evening, we didn't avoid interstate highways completely, but managed to miss crowded service areas and their long and smelly bathroom and gas-pump lines.

After we left the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vt., where we stayed overnight and charged our Model S, we rolled through small towns and past one dairy farm after another on Route 22 south.

Then, we headed west on another two-lane road, Route 4 into New York State, and took that to the Thruway and the village of Colonie, N.Y., where we charged the car for the final leg of our 360-mile trip.


Details

Basin Harbor Club, 4800 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, Vt.; 1-800-622-4000. Two Tesla Connectors available 24/7.

Find Tesla's Destination Charging Network here:

Destination Charging at hotels, resorts and malls


The imposing library in Swanton, Vt.
The U.S.-Canadian border.

We had to call Tesla Motors in Paramus, N.J., to find out how to turn off Range Assurance, the navigation tool that doesn't allow Tesla owners to run out of range on long trips by routing them via Superchargers. When we tried to leave Montreal on Monday morning, above, the navigation system tried to send us to the Tesla dealer to charge the car, even though I knew we had enough range to reach our first stop in Vermont.

On Monday morning, our buffet breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Montreal, the headquarters hotel for the International Jazz Festival, included a made-to-order vegetable-and-cheese omelet with skin-on potatoes and French green and white beans.

Saveur, the restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Montreal where the buffet breakfast is served.