Is a Spring Break road trip with a battery
possible? Yes it is. And it’s fun.
Barrons just finished one. We drove a white
Barrons to test leads many electric vehicles. Driving cars is fun, but we are always more concerned about car stocks. That said, electric vehicles are still new and investors need to understand the rapidly changing technology as well as the competitive landscape.
The Model Y road trip covered by far the most distance of our EV adventures. We felt a little range anxiety at the start of the trip. Our first charge stop, selected by Tesla’s navigation system, was about 150 miles away and predicted about 10% charge remaining when we were due to arrive.
Our Model Y didn’t start with a full charge. The car tested has around 300 miles of range on a single charge.
Everything went well. And getting back to a full charge took about 50 minutes. A charge equivalent to about 150 miles, however, happened in about 20 minutes. It was quick.
The Tesla supercharger network, or any fast charger, can put more energy back into the batteries at the start of a charge cycle. The charge cycle slows down as the batteries fill up. We had to wait for a full charge because there were hundreds of miles left on the original route.
The stop, in New Jersey, included a dinner at Chick-Fil-A, at the request of a teenager. The teenager, seated in the back, pointed out that the Model Y’s legroom was adequate and the seat was comfortable.
This filler costs less than $20. For the whole trip, the charging bill was about $60 or $70. A similarly equipped gasoline crossover would have cost around $160 to $200. It’s all a rough calculation. There was plenty of everyday city driving in the mix.
Remember that charging a Tesla in a Tesla Supercharger costs a bit more than charging it at home. Tesla earns some return on the capital spent to set up the charging network.
Tesla drivers can track charging or check charging status on the large tablet in the center of the dashboard. The tablet is pretty much all there is in the cabin. Wipers, air conditioning, side mirrors are all controlled by the tablet. Tesla doesn’t seem to like a lot of knobs and buttons. The interior is pleasant but spartan.
The ride is comfortable, but interior cabin noise is a bit louder than a 2021 Volvo XC90–Barrons other vehicle. Cabin noise might be something Tesla is working on.
Highway cabin noise aside, Tesla nailed the overall driving experience. The Model Y driven could go from zero to 60 miles per hour, from a rolling start, in about 3 seconds. That’s enough to cause butterflies. It was also enough that all members of the extended family wanted to take a ride.
Passengers enjoyed the ride. “It was eppuck,” said a six-year-old would-be Tesla owner.
Passengers were also impressed by the many cameras offering blind-spot views when changing lanes as well as the computer-generated visualization of the road and traffic ubiquitously on the tablet screen. It’s very easy to get an idea of what’s going on around Model Y at all times.
The Tesla we drove wasn’t fully self-driving, but it did have safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, emergency braking, and auto steering, which we used on Highway.
The vehicle’s price combination – this Model Y would cost over $60,000 – the vehicle lineup, charging experience and overall quality were at the forefront of the EV industry, based on Barrons experience. If that’s enough to argue Tesla stock $1 trillion is for Wall Street analysts with bulls and bears to debate.
Tesla is certainly growing, which helps justify the growth valuation. Shares are trading at around 78 times estimated earnings for 2023. First quarter 2022 the deliveries increased by nearly 70% year over year.
Tesla stock is up about 3% year-to-date. the
are down about 5% and 4%, respectively.
Write to Al Root at allen.r[email protected]