Tesla battery lasts to set new cross-country record

A lot can be accomplished within 51 hours — it’s a full work week with some change, a full weekend’s worth of Pimm’s drinking and sufficient time for a getaway.

For Jordan Hart and Bradly D’Souza, it was enough time to drive across America from Los Angeles to New York with a Tesla Model S 85D in 51 hours and 47 minutes exactly — setting a new record for the Cannonball Run.  

The first cross-country drive in an electric car took car experts from Edmunds.com 67 hours and 21 minutes in 2013. In 2015, a couple beat the record by nine hours and 34 minutes, which was then beaten by writer Alex Roy last year when he completed the drive in 55 hours — the standing record at the time of Hart’s and D’Souza’s departure.

To beat the record, the two only stopped to eat once during the 2,700-mile road trip, and that was for a mere 15 minutes, according to The Verge. Hart told the publication that the duo ate “healthy low glycemic” snacks for energy the rest of the time.

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Ensuring the car had enough battery to last the trip was probably the most essential part of the duo’s planning, though. The model they drove is slightly less efficient than the vehicles previous record holders used, making this even more impressive. It definitely made it more difficult as well, the duo said, especially during a stretch of the trip when Hart and D’Souza had to sacrifice air conditioning during a stretch in a 115-degree desert to save battery.  

The two did have bouts of good luck that helped them beat the record. They hit a minimal amount of traffic jams, inclement weather and found New York’s streets — which are known to be terribly crowded — virtually empty.

This story also has a heartwarming touch of philanthropy, since Hart and D’Souza used the trip as a way to raise money and awareness for human trafficking victims. 50 donations equalling a few thousand dollars went to the cause as a result of the trip.

But just as there were people before Hart and D’Souza, there are sure to be people who try their hand at the Cannonball Run, and maybe they’ll use an electric car with a bigger battery and bring along some snacks that sound more appealing than “healthy low glycemic” munchies.

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