Another Cross-Country Cannonball Run Record Has Fallen

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Mind you, it's not anywhere remotely close to the 25-hour, 39-minute record set last year.

It would be selling things short to say there's been a flurry of Cannonball Run activity over the past year or so. The record for the fastest trek across the US, from New York to Los Angeles, has changed hands so many times over the past 14 months that it's difficult to keep track, the global pandemic and numerous statewide shelter-in-place orders creating a perfect storm of reduced-traffic conditions that, as it turns out, are particularly conducive to speeding from coast to coast in record time.

But this past New Year's Eve saw a group of three set out to claim a different sort of Cannonball Run accolade: the EV record. Because recharging an EV battery takes substantially more time than stopping by a gas station for a splash of fuel, and adding fuel capacity isn't quite as easy as simply dropping a fuel cell in the trunk, it's nowhere even close to the gas car Cannonball record. It's impressive nonetheless.

2020-2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Forward Vision Porsche
2020-2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Driving Back View Porsche

Around the turn of the year, InsideEVs contributor Kyle Conner, along with co-drivers Drew Peterson and Tijmen Schreur, drove briskly from Manhattan's Red Ball Garage to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach in an impressive 44 hours and 25 minutes. Their weapon of choice: a Porsche Taycan 4S - part of Porsche's US press fleet, which was on loan from the manufacturer.

The time was enough to beat the previous EV Cannonball record - also held by Conner, with co-driver Matthew Davis - by 51 minutes. At 45 hours and 16 minutes, that record was set back in August of 2019 in a Tesla Model 3 Long Range.

No doubt the EV Cannonball record will continue to drop steadily as the US adds more fast-charging infrastructure and electric vehicles make strides in being able to recharge more quickly, but that's not to diminish the accomplishment.

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2020-2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Front View Porsche
2020-2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Rear View Porsche
2020-2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Dashboard Porsche

Setting a new record took some doing, as the team had to strategize as to how to maximize their use of charging infrastructure, aiming to plug in at about 3% remaining capacity and recharge to roughly 60%, before driving back down to around 3% again. That's the window in which they reckoned the battery would recharge fastest.

To make matters worse, the team was making their attempt in the winter, when EVs tend to lose a significant percentage of their total range, and a strange glitch in the Taycan's navigation system rendered it incapable of preconditioning the battery properly while it was en route to a charging station - something that Conner et al. got around by simply driving the car hard to warm the battery whenever they were about to recharge.

In all likelihood, the new EV Cannonball record will fall promptly after Tesla launches its new Model S Plaid, but for now, the guys should go ahead and savor the moment. They've earned it.

2020-2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Front View Driving Porsche
Rear View Driving Porsche
2020-2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Frontal Aspect Porsche
Source Credits: InsideEVs

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