'Minnesota millennials' road trip with a Tesla
May 6, 2018 Clairissa Baker
[images / Dave Schwarz, [hidden email]
Whitney Ditlevson and Amanda Groethe smile next to the Tesla electric car
they will be driving during a 1,200-mile journey to Salt Lake City, Utah
Whitney Ditlevson and Amanda Groethe will be driving a Tesla S electric car
during a 1,200-mile journey to Salt Lake City, Utah
Take a look inside, the vehicle's dash is amazingly simple. A computer
pretty much takes control. Find out what's right and wha't missing. (Feb.
27, 2018) Provided by cars.com
Planning a road trip that spans more than 1,200 miles could be daunting for
anyone, but that is exactly what Amanda Groethe and Whitney Ditlevson have
done — in an electric car.
Neither Groethe or Ditlevson have ever driven an electric vehicle, but they
will embark on a cross-country road trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, in a 2014
Their trip is part of the Stearns Electric Association's participation in a
nationwide program called Touchstone Energy Cooperative's Drive to CONNECT
The program is putting members of energy cooperatives from various parts of
the country on the road to collect driving logs and data as they drive
electric vehicles to the CONNECT conference in Utah.
Stearns Electric Association learned less than two weeks days ago that they
were selected to participate, said Groethe, the director of communications
and marketing for the association. Ditlevson is a communications and
They have been working to prepare for the trip ever since.
"It's been a whirlwind for a week," said Ditlevson.
Some of their goals are to show people what charging an electric vehicle
looks like, how much it costs and how electric cars compare to traditional
"Our first and foremost goal is just to raise awareness about electric
vehicles," said Groethe. "We will be connecting with a number of electric
co-ops as we drive through."
In planning their trip, Ditlevson and Groethe found resources through the
Department of Energy, private companies and internet searches, they said.
One of their planned stops is in Lusk, Wyoming. There, Ditlevson and Groethe
will meet with members of the chamber of commerce, a radio station and hotel
managers of the charging station they will stop at.
The duo has some 'range anxiety,' however. The Tesla can make about 250
miles on one charge, said Groethe, but the longest stretch on the trip falls
in Wyoming at approximately 220 miles.
They are both nervous and excited about that, according to Groethe. The car
will factor in speed and activities such as using the air conditioner and
playing music to determine when the drivers need to stop to charge.
"Trust the car," said Ditlevson. "That's the most important part. It factors
All of their approximately five planned charging stops are at Tesla
superchargers, according to Groethe. They found those stations by looking at
sites such as Tesla's interactive map and PlugShare.
The pair planned the trip around how they would need to charge the car,
Groethe said, and then compared it to a traditional road-trip route map.
While areas such as the Dakotas and Wyoming have charging fewer stations,
she said, their route is close to the traditional route and follows all the
A map of the U.S. shows the proliferation of electric vehicles in a u-shape,
said Groethe, with concentrations happening mostly on the coasts. The goal
of this trip is to educate the association's consumers about electric
Electric cars are growing in popularity, said Groethe, and will become more
common in rural places, too. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of
when," Groethe said.
Ditlevson and Groethe will pick up the Tesla on Saturday, but they will not
have someone to teach them how to navigate the car and its devices before
"We're on our own," said Ditlevson. The person who scheduled the rental car
told them the car has a "cinema-sized display" and is "super user-friendly,"
The pair will take turns at the wheel starting early Sunday morning at
Clearwater Travel Plaza.
They will spend about 14 hours each day, including charging time, on the
road, and plan to arrive in Salt Lake City on Monday night.
Ditlevson and Groethe even have a themed playlist set for the entire trip —
assembled by their husbands.
While Ditlevson and Groethe do not know what songs will be on the playlist,
they know the themes include cars, millennial "must-haves," road trips and a
home-themed playlist for their last day.
Even though it has been a busy 10 days of planning, the duo feels
comfortable about the trip, said Ditlevson. "I feel like we are very
Those interested in their journey can follow Groethe and Ditlevson on
Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat @roadtriprecharged.
Their blog can be found at roadtriprecharged.com.
An 83-year old just drove across the country in his Tesla Model 3 and loved
May 04, 2018 He was now free of all responsibility and decided to embark on
a journey that was always a dream of his — he would drive across the country
in his very first all-electric vehicle, from Fremont, CA to Vero Beach, FL,
where Wesley was born and raised. He set up a month-long visit with close
friends and family that he hadn’t seen in year …
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