I hate pumping gas. I hate the smell, the inconvenience, the cost—I hate it so much I stopped doing it. I drive an all-electric car, and let me tell you, it’s an amazing difference. My car can travel 200 miles on a single charge. I recharge silently each night in my garage while I sleep, and now, I can tour the state using nothing but electrons generated from solar panels on my rooftop.
Arizona has some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the US. A recent addition to that landscape is a series of Tesla Superchargers, that allow a Tesla electric car to recharge about 16 times faster than from conventional recharging stations. Even more unique, Tesla chose to install these stations—not in metropolitan areas, but in between major metropolitan areas—to facilitate road trips and even cross-country travel, all on electricity.
When the first Tesla Supercharger opened in Quartzsite, AZ, my son and I planned a trip from our home in Phoenix (two hours away)—for no other reason than to go there, enjoy the scenery, recharge for free, turn around and come right back home. One might think it wasn’t very productive, but it afforded us the chance to glide effortlessly along smooth highways in near silence, watching the vistas as they merged into a classic Arizona sunset.
We enjoyed burgers and fries for dinner while the car was recharging, then reversed course towards home. I still smile as I pass gas stations with no reason to stop.
That experience is being repeated by hundreds of other road-trippers taking advantage of the ever-expanding network of Superchargers stations going into Arizona, each strategically placed to connect the state’s most popular destinations.
The Flagstaff Supercharger is the gateway to the north, which is an easy reach to the Grand Canyon, winter skiing, the lava tubes, meteor crater and dozens of other sites and activities. It also lies midway between the Holbrook and Kingman Superchargers, thus connecting a primary east-west corridor across the state. (Kingman also puts you in easy range of Las Vegas, which makes a great destination of its own.)
Additional Superchargers in Buckeye and Yuma pave the way to Arizona’s southwestern routes and destinations, and more stations are being built.
What I didn’t expect, was that road trips would suddenly become a fun, very low-cost family activity. The state has so much to offer that our son has never seen, and now the sheer convenience has us looking for routes and destinations just for the fun of it.
I realize not everyone drives an electric car (yet), but I do encourage anyone who hasn’t considered a road trip within Arizona to do so. It’s a fantastic alternative to crowded airports, TSA security screening, and the leg-cramped confines of a 737. I’m reminded there are places here and things to do I’ve never gotten around to yet, and that is much more exciting than yet another carbon-copy weekend of chores around the house.
Drive Arizona. Even if you don’t drive electric or recharge for free, the journey, destinations and photos make great memories.
Anthony Jenkins has lived in Arizona for 38 years, drives a Tesla Model S, and has traveled over 20,000 miles in the first year of driving electric. He’s very much looking forward to year two.