Tesla road trips: zero emission family adventures


Matt Harding, customer of Cleevely Electric Vehicles’ Tesla rental service, shares his views on why the Tesla Model S is his first choice for family holidays.

 “The cost of the rental was outweighed by the comfort, performance and ease of driving the car over long distances.”  Matt Harding, Architect – residential, commercial and industrial projects from concept to delivery

Why did you choose to rent the Tesla for these journeys?

I’ve always enjoyed driving holidays and used to do them in my old Saab. I’ve now switched to a fully electric BMW i3, which I absolutely love, but it’s just not big enough for the family and all the luggage that comes with us when we go away.

I’m also interested in getting my own Tesla. I believe they make one of the best EVs available, with the range suitable for the type of journeys I do. I wanted to experience more than just a short test drive, to decide whether it was the right choice for me and my family, before investing in one.

The particular Tesla that we hired from Cleevely EV includes free charging at the Tesla Surpercharger network. In my opinion, each time the cost of rental has been outweighed by the comfort, performance and ease of driving the car over long distances. The trips we’ve taken have ranged from 252 to +1300miles.


Road trip 1: the taster – Norfolk

The first time was for a 5-day family holiday to Norfolk, with the main trip being 150 miles each way, plus additional mileage in between to beaches etc. The house we stayed at had sufficient power to charge the car overnight on the 3-pin plug, but nearby neighbours who drove an i3 also offered their charger which was solar power supplemented.

Road trip 2: crossing the border – Scotland

The second time we rented it was to travel to a wedding in Scotland, which was 355 miles each way.

It was cheaper to rent the Tesla than to fly the four of us there, and the experience, comfort and flexibility just added to the overall experience.

The destination had free charging so we used that, supplemented by Supercharging on the way to and from the destination.

Road trip 3: the biggie – France

The most recent rental was for our main holiday in Les Mays, Augne, France. This  was 653 miles each way, boosted to a total of approximately 2,200 miles by trips out during the two-and-a-half weeks we were there.

Compared with previous journeys to this part of France, the Tesla was unarguably more economical than my old Saab, and we only ever charged at the Tesla Supercharger network.  My old car, which managed 30mpg at best, cost us £210.70 in petrol over the 1306 miles roundtrip between home and holiday, with days out on top that I’ve not accounted for.

Although it’s a long way to drive, because of the Tesla’s features and the French autoroutes that are rarely busy, this trip much more relaxing and enjoyable.   We had a Sanef chip in the car so we didn’t have to stop at tolls either – just slow down a bit…

But I don’t think it’s just on family holidays where the Tesla driving experience would have a positive impact.  Anyone driving a significant distance for business and work-related purposes would really benefit.  It’s less effort to drive and you’d arrive at the destination more refreshed than driving an equivalent petrol or diesel car.

Any advice for drivers concerned with how far they can travel in the Tesla?

I found that range is no issue as the Supercharger network is great. The sat nav when properly used takes account of the charging network and your journey, so your range is theoretically unlimited.

How would you rate your road trip / test drive experience?

Very successful! It’s my plan to get a Model S or Model 3 through my business next April when the rate of benefit-in-kind tax on zero emission vehicles reduces to 0%, depending on offers available at the time and the performance of my business. We will then sell my wife’s Fiat 500, so with the Tesla and BMW i3 we will be all electric by spring 2020.

To book your Tesla road trip, extended test drive or for business use, click here

Disclaimer: While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that information shared is correct, no liability is accepted by Cleevely Electric Vehicles for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Information shared within our interviews are the opinions and experiences of that individual. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.