Teslas to take over OC Boardwalk, Saturday

(April 17, 2015) Teslas will be featured for the first time in Ocean City this weekend.

“It’s a fun event to have Tesla owners get together and share experiences, in addition to engaging with the public about electric vehicles and Tesla experts on the Boardwalk,” said Aaron Schildkraut, coordinator of the event and Tesla owner.

Tesla owners will gather in the inlet parking lot after 3 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. they will line their cars up in preparation for the parade.

There will be a Tesla tent set up in the sand with managers on hand to answer questions about Tesla vehicles, and a new four wheel drive performance vehicle will be on display.

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Owners will drive their cars on the boards from the inlet to 27th Street. The convoy will return to Salisbury after.

“We encourage people to attend the Boardwalk event to chat and learn about Tesla cars, the more the merrier,” Schildkraut said. “We love engaging in the public and there will be 100 owners on hand to answer any questions.”

Tesla owners from as far as California, Chicago, Florida and Ontario will be in attendance this weekend.

“The man from California is taking his time driving across the country for the event and he is almost here,” Schildkraut said earlier this week. “Afterward, he is going to try and break a record set by Tesla.”

Tesla set a driving time record of 76-78 hours to drive from New York to California and Jim Alger is going to attempt the trek in less time.

“There are more options now, then when Tesla did it,” Schildkraut said. “There are different routes you can take to shorten cross-country time.”

Tesla charges half its capacity in 20 to 30 minutes with chargers 90 to 150 miles apart available, Schildkraut said.

These specifics were tested in early 2013 when the New York Times ran an article about one of its reporters who drove a Tesla from the Maryland/Washington D.C. area to New York.

As he was driving through Groton, Conn., the reporter ran out of charge in his Tesla, 15 miles shy of a supercharger.

The picture in the New York Times showed the Tesla getting pulled onto a tow truck without mentioning he did not charge the car to its maximum. The reporter only charged the car for the number of miles he thought it would take.

When this happened, Teslas had come out less than a year prior and a bunch of other Tesla owners were upset about the unfair accusations being made about the electric cars.

Within three days of the New York Times article, six people, led by Schildkraut, repeated the trip with fully charged Teslas and all six made it the distance without running out of charge.

This was the unofficial start to Tesla Road Trip and a year later it became a Tesla owner’s event.

In 2014, it was held in Washington D.C. during February right after a snowstorm. Organizers decided to move the event and pick different locations on the mid-Atlantic each year, Schildkraut said.

“What we created with Tesla Road Trip is a huge get-together to have fun, enjoy our cars and take a scenic drive,” Schildkraut said.

Salisbury is the home base for the event this year because of the Tesla supercharger located in town and it’s an easy drive down Route 50 to Ocean City for Saturday’s activities, he added.

On Friday night, Tesla owners will have a reception in Salisbury at Brew River starting at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s events will kick off at 8 a.m. with a staging event in the parking lot of Purdue Stadium, home of the Shorebirds. Owners will drive as a convoy from the Hampton Inn to the parking lot for a group photo, to socialize and to test drive Tesla’s new four wheel drive performance vehicle.

The procession of vehicles will leave Purdue Stadium at 11 a.m. for a private buffet lunch at Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City from 12-3 p.m.

At 3 p.m., the procession will make its way to the inlet parking lot in Ocean City.

Next year, the Tesla Road Trip will more than likely take place in Richmond, Va. with the parade, a scenic drive and event occurring at the Richmond International Raceway.

Schildkraut said organizers have been taking “baby steps” with the event and learning as they go along. Each year, the event becomes bigger and more complicated, he added.

“It’s a social event to have fun and share experiences,” Schildkraut said. “Finally, there is an electric car out there that can take long treks across the country.”

There is no deadline for Tesla owners to sign up, although organizers need to give Hooper’s a head count for lunch. There is a $35 registration fee to cover insurance costs, and the all-you-can-eat buffet at Hooper’s will cost $37 per person. To register, visit http://teslaroadtrip.org/ or call 410-419-2774 for any questions.

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