- YouTuber Sandro van Kuijck took his Model X on a trip to Alaska.
- Van Kuijck drove the 520-kilometer stretch without public chargers or mobile services.
- The YouTuber has been living in his Tesla for a year and traveling all over the country.
The YouTuber took his Tesla on a 520-mile stretch of remote highway to Alaska.
Although some EV owners have shared scary stories Sandro van Kuijck, a YouTuber who has been living in his Tesla for the past year on long electric car trips, told Business Insider that he rarely experiences range anxiety.
The YouTuber said he decided to put his Model X to the ultimate test by taking it to one of the most remote areas of the US.
“I wanted to show that you can go anywhere with an electric car,” said van Kuijck.
Despite his experience traveling in an electric vehicle, van Kuijck said his trip was not without its share of hiccups.
During his nine-day round trip from Oregon to Alaska, van Kuijck said he had to be careful about the range of his Model cellular connection and couldn’t find a public charger.
“You should be able to do it with the Model X, but because the altitude changes are significant, you won’t be able to do it even if the car tells you you can,” van Kuijck said. “If you don’t plan ahead, you can get stuck.”
According to the advertised Model X, the range is approximately 548 miles Tesla website. However, any number of factors can cause range loss, including extreme temperatures.
The YouTuber said in the month he was preparing for the trip, he learned that his Tesla’s range would not be able to reduce it due to the cold environment and steep roads. Instead of trying to cover the stretch of highway in one day, van Kuijck said he stopped halfway on the way to Alaska to charge his Model X in the camper overnight.
“I didn’t panic,” van Kuijck said. “I wanted to wait regardless of the loading time.”
The YouTuber said he only needed an extra 10% of battery life to thread the needle and get through the dead zone.
Later, as he drove home along the same stretch of highway, the YouTuber said he drove near the speed limit on the highway – reaching 42 mph in a 65 mph zone – to save battery. Van Kuijck said he also turned off the air conditioning in his car and disconnected the external battery, eventually stopping at a nearby cottage to recharge the battery.
Without the service, van Kuijck said he was unable to use Tesla’s map during the two-day out-and-back segment. Tesla’s system couldn’t designate charging stations along the route without access to GPS and cellular service.
“The car was really confused,” van Kuijck said. “He would tell me I could stop to charge and then halfway through he would tell me I couldn’t make it and had to turn around.”
Van Kuijck added that he would not have been able to make the trip if he had left a month later because the camper site and the cottage where he charged up halfway down the highway are closed after the first snowfall of the season.
Despite some difficulties he encountered along the way, van Kuijck said he was surprised to see other electric vehicle owners in Alaska, including another Tesla owner who he lived in his Model Y.
“It’s very difficult to get there and back, but it’s totally doable if you have a little patience and are open to adventure,” van Kuijck said.