“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” – Tesla, Inc. Mission



“Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric—that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars. Today, Tesla builds not only all-electric vehicles but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage products.

Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.”

I could not agree more.

Our road trip car is a Metallic Blue 2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range (pictured above). The Model is Tesla’s third production car and its first mass-market EV. If you are unfamiliar with the brand, here are some specs about our road trip car:

Range & Performance

The Model 3 LR has an EPA-estimated range of 310 miles on a full charge. However, according to various sources, the standard 18-inch wheel with aerodynamic wheel covers (see photo) could add up to 10% additional range. We will be interested in testing those claims. Model 3 LR’s supercharging rate of 170 miles in 30 minutes is identical to Tesla’s Model S luxury sedan. Top speed is 140 mph and 0-60 mph is achieved in just 5.1 seconds

Note: the Model 3 Standard battery model, which has not as of this writing been made available to place-holders, has an EPA-estimated range of 220 miles. This model charges 130 miles in 30 minutes. Top speed is 130 mph and 0-60 is 5.6 seconds.

Aero Wheel

Tesla 18” Aero Wheels

Interior & Controls

The interior front view is elegant (devoid of annoying buttons and switches) with most controls and driver information on a single 15-inch horizontal touchscreen. There are just two scroll buttons on the steering wheel for adjustments to mirrors, steering wheel position, audio controls and Autopilot/Cruise depending on screen mode. The ventilation system is completely new—one long vent, adjusted by screen controls.

Tesla Front Interior

Tesla Model 3 Front Interior View


Glass Roof

The tinted all-glass roof (an option that comes with the premium upgrade package) is gorgeous. Some people describe it as driving in a greenhouse.

Base price of the Model 3 LR is $44,000. Ours came in at $56,000 with the addition of the essential Premium Package ($5,000), blue metallic paint ($1,000), Enhanced Autopilot ($5,000), and destination and regulatory document fees of $1,000. In the end, we will be able to take the $7,500 federal tax credit, thus making our final pre-trip investment at $48,500, a bargain compared to a new Tesla Model S, which is upwards of $100k.

Complete specs for both versions of the Tesla Model 3 can be found here.

The Rap on our Wrap

Designed by Rocky Mountain Institute’s in-house graphic design team, our custom full-body wrap emphasizes clean emissions instead of greenhouse gas-laden exhaust from an internal combustion automobile. The bright, eye-catching colors capture the spirit of the fun father/son road trip and communicates that road tripping is more fun in a green vehicle. Blue and green are the colors of sustainability. Green is universally associated with nature, ecosystems, and the environment, and blue represents clean air, blue skies and clean waters. Check it out:

Logos on the Wrap

The most prominent logos are for Rocky Mountain Institute, placed on the front and back of the car. The large RMI logo on a blue sea surrounded by leaves fanning out in all directions communicates the very broad impacts of RMI’s work and placement on the hood symbolizes where we are going (forward into the future).

Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability logos also appear on the front and rear of the car. For me, its placement on the trunk lid signifies the knowledge I gained there as a student and the placement on the nose of the car represents the School’s leadership in Sustainability.

The three other logos on the rear bumper (from left to right) are:

  • NextGen America, founded by my cousin Tom Steyer, is organizing a new generation of Americans to accelerate “a clean energy economy based on equality, inclusion, and a shared and sustainable prosperity.”  Reducing atmospheric carbon is now in this next generation’s charge and NextGen America is a leader in this effort.
  • Green Living Magazine – which aims to “educate, empower and inspire readers to make eco-conscious choices for a healthy life and healthy planet. Publisher Dorie Morales has been invaluable in helping to launch our road trip and to get the word out.
  • Myght – a purpose-driven travel consultancy whose mission is aligned to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. I first met founder and CEO Javier Valdez at Arizona State University while we were both students and we have inspired each other over the years. Javier will help write our sustainability report at the end of our journey.

Overall, the wrap is designed to direct people to read our blog at teslaroadtrip.blog, follow and interact with us on social media, show up at our EV events along the route, support Rocky Mountain Institute and learn about ASU’s School of Sustainability. Our social media links for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be found on our blog’s home page and our hashtag is our license plate #CO2E_0

“Blue is the new green.” – Bruno Sarda

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