The Cross-Country Tesla Trip

Video by Mike DeVito and Clara Pak

Cruising across this gigantic country is a time-honored tradition. You get a few friends, split the gas, hope the car doesn't fall apart under you and go. Simple, easy vacation that anyone patient enough can handle.

But what would that trip be like if you had to hunt for the gas stations? What would happen if you got to one and no one understood exactly what you were asking for?

That's the dilemma one faces when attempting to make this most American of trips in an an electric car. In a country made for gas, where is the EV owner supposed to fill up?

Steve and Jesse Clark, two EV enthusiasts from California, did their best to find out when they took a fresh-off-the-line Tesla Model S and drove it from their home all the way to Washington, DC for National Plug-In Day 2012. They're some of the first to do so without any sort of gas-powered support vehicles, and it made every fill-up a new and interesting challenge.

The fill-ups weren't the only remarkable thing about their trip, though - the car itself has ben getting some serious buzz. The Model S is a first for Tesla, whose Roadster may be the most recognizable fully-electric car on the market. Where the Roadster was a proof of concept, a fun car to show off and zoom around in, the Model S is, for lack of a better term, a "real" car - one you can put a whole family into and feel safe in, that you can take anywhere and even sleep in if you have to. Essentially, the Model S brings electric cars into the mainstream, making them a viable choice for non-hobbyists and those that aren't just looking for the cutting edge.

We of the green tech world aren't the only ones noticing the change in the EV field - Motor Trend, generally seen as the publication for automotive rankings, has just named the Model S their Car of The Year, a highly coveted spot that no EV has risen to before. That's a huge step forward for Tesla, and perhaps an even bigger step forward for the concept of electric vehicles. Time has also named the Model S one of the best inventions of 2012 - people are taking notice.

This car is breaking barriers, so it's no surprise that two of its most enthusiastic drivers would do the same. See how the Clarks tackled the lack of charging options as they made their way to DC in today's webisode.

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