My first Supercharger trip to Florida (Part 1)

I had a couple of days off work before I was released by my physicians to return to normal duties. I decided to take a short trip to Florida. Now a short trip to Florida from south central Illinois via car is just a little bit nuts. I really do not like to fly, not because of flying but because of the nonsense that is the Transport Safety Administration (TSA). I have made this trip to Florida in about 17 hours straight using an ICE(Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle. This time though I was going to use my Tesla Model S. Below you can see the route I took. Unfortunately the Supercharger network has not yet been built out on the I-24 corridor. Thus I had to go a little north and further east than in a normal trip. 2015-09-09 06-41-19


For once I wasn’t going to Iron Man the drive. It is really amazing to me what difference a year makes but I didn’t think I had a Florida in a single hop trip in me. Looking at the Supercharger(SC) route provided by EV Trip Planner I figured it would take around 24 constant hours not including charging stops to get from my house to the SC at thee Turkey Lake Service Plaza on Florida’s Turnpike. The Tesla Route Planner figured it would be about 26 hours with Charging stops included. I hopped on the road about 11:45 on Sunday and went to hit the Effingham, IL SC.

The Route Planner in the current version of the Tesla Firmware is a bit buggy. It wanted to send me to the Saint Charles, MO SC even though I had more than enough juice to get to Effingham. I then did what many Tesla Owners have done and manually edited the route by taking all charging points out of the route. The car’s software is clever enough to figure out what energy reserve you will have at your next stop. So I started breaking the trip in the planner into small chunks so I would only get the SCs that I wanted.

This is a tedious process but it worked quite well. I look forward to the day when we can remove individual SC points rather than all the points on a complete trip.

I got onto the road and put the cruise control at the posted speed limit and was on my way. I got to Effingham in about 2 hours (CONSTRUCTION ARGH!) and plugged into the SC there. One of the real pluses about SC travel is a built in rest stop every 2-3 hours to refill the battery. The gas station there has a great quick shop and really clean restrooms. I wandered around a few minutes, then decided I didn’t need to get anything and headed back to the car. I then got out my laptop and wrote a short article for our Parish Bulletin that I would normally write during the week. When I finished it the car was ready for the next step in the journey, the Indianapolis SC. I wasn’t yet paying attention to the calculated arrival time for my overnight stay… more on that in my next post.