Tesla Panama road trip, swapping battery and that certain lifestyle

Texas to Panama Model S road trip
Texas to Panama Model S road trip
Texas to Panama Model S  charge anywhere
Texas to Panama Model S charge anywhere

Tesla Motors is not slowing down one minute this week. See how an international Model S run, an upcoming battery swapping station and that je ne sais quoi Tesla Lifestyle means for the industry.

When GM ex-CEO Ackerman said the company should be worried about the little Californian start up called Tesla Motors last year, many felt it was already too little, too late. In ten years the start up managed to build a brand and its technology, leaving its customer to talk about its lifestyle. A fellow electric vehicle EV builder told us in a Mid-West mall, a Model S had to be hoisted a floor up in what used to be a shoe store. When potential clients signed up, they were given a list of local Model S owners who would give test rides and answer any question they might have. Now that’s brilliant marketing, the easy way!

The electric international road trip.

By now you’ve heard of the many coast to coast trips with a Model S. What started as a West Coast South North trip over a year ago opened the way for West to East coast trip, and even East coast North and South. Now, Randy Denmon and Dean Lewis have conquered an unsponsored drive from Texas to Panama!

With only a spare tire and a bag of electrical adapters, the two drove the Tesla Model S 85 from McAllen Texas across the Mexican border to Panama. 18 days later, they made their way into the Panama City, Panama. They set the world driving record with a factory EV, without support or a driving team.

According to the Model S owner, Denmon: “One of the purposes of the trip was to prove the durability and viability of EV cars, especially in areas where the infrastructure is not in place for rapid charging… having support for this would have undermined the effort, and made it much easier.”

To prove just how resilient and tough the Model S is, they had to wire it directly to a 240 volt power outlet. At times, they had a three day stretch with only a 120V charge and only 2 days with a 240V, 25-30 amp recharge. Thankfully, most days they were able to find 240V with either 13 amp or 18 amp. That is a lot of faith to put in a car at that price.

The trip totaled 2846 miles and 18 days, averaging around 7-8 hours of driving per day. Denmon was quoted saying: “I learned a lot on this trip. I actually would have gone further this time, but the road ends in Panama.”

Swapping battery station coming soon.

Since the company announced the Model S is capable of swapping its battery last year at the official event we covered for you, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, announced that the very first station will be available in a few months in California.

Elon Musk how Tesla will swap batteries

In the meantime, the Tesla Lifestyle site.

And for those of you who are anxiously awaiting your Model S, there is a place where you can spend all the time you need to keep your expectations going, the Teslarati site. Teslarati hails itself as the Tesla lifestyle corner of the Internet where you will be able to read reviews, news, videos, rumors and other goodies for your Tesla life.

OK Tesla Motors, can we now please get back to other electric vehicle (EV) related news? Joking apart, the Tesla Motors business plan is so disruptive it leaves little to no options for mainstream carmakers to completely overhaul its strategy away from car manufacturing to technology and lifestyle enablers. Good luck gentlemen, it will be a tough transition.

Nicolas Zart
Born and raised around classic cars, it wasn't until Nicolas drove an AC Proulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Eager to spread the news about those amazing full torque electric vehicles, he started writing about this amazing technology and its social impacts in 2007. Today, Nicolas covers renewable energy, test drives cars, does podcasts and films. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he made in those industries. His articles are also published on Teslrati, CleanTechnica, the Beverly Hills Car Club and Medium. "There are more solutions than obstacles." Nicolas Zart