Electric Car Maker Goes on a Road Trip

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If you want to buy an electric car, but you're worried about running out of juice in the middle of nowhere, you're not alone.

That's why Tesla is planning a road trip to change perceptions.

Tesla's top Los Angeles executive says he has 3.7 reasons to be confident about his product. That's how many seconds it takes to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour. But speed isn't the issue for many consumers. Reliability is.

So, on Thursday, 16 Tesla employees will set off on a drive from Los Angeles to Detroit.

They expect snow, rain, wind, desert sun and lots of questions.

"We’re not out to prove how quick we can do it. We’re just out to prove the versatility, reliability and enjoyment of driving this car," said Jeremy Snyder, the Southwestern General Manager for Tesla.

The distance between the showroom in L.A. and Detroit is about 3,100 miles -- it's not a direct route. The trip will take 19 days, not exactly record speed and time.

But Snyder says, that's not the point.

"That trip estimate includes all these other things we’re doing, including taking time off for the holidays," said Snyder.

There will also be photo opportunities, school campus visits and interviews with newspapers and television stations along the way. In short, it's sort of a coming out party for Tesla and its vision.

Snyder wants everyone who is considering paying more than $110,000 for a Tesla to understand that the time it takes to charge up the vehicle is not what's going to slow things down.

Auto critics call that concern, "Range Anxiety." It's the fear that once you've reached the roadster's maximum range of about 240 miles on one charge, you have to sit through several hours of recharging before you can begin again.

"When you’re going on a long distance trip, it does require prior planning at this stage in development," said Snyder. "That said, range anxiety is not an issue for the daily driver."

Snyder says it's just like your cell phone. He says most Americans average less than 29 miles a day in their cars. So if you plug it in before you go to bed, he says, you're ready to go the next morning. He hopes the day will come when everyone thinks that way. After all, it hasn't been that long since the idea of charging up your telephone overnight was also hard to imagine.

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