The Cannonball Run is a very illegal, underground competition to see who can drive from LA to New York in the fastest time possible. Speed limits are completely ignored and a team of spotters positioned across each state, usually help the driver avoid the police.
There has just been a new EV AWD Record attempt for the Cannonball run recording a time of 46 hours and 33 minutes. This represents a brand new EV record (for an AWD variant) and the car used to break the record was a Tesla Model 3 Performance.
The outright best EV record known to date was the Kyle Conner and Matthew Davis, also set using a Tesla Model 3, but the Long Range, RWD version, with aero covers. They achieved a time of 46hours and 16minutes.
Attempting a Cannonball Run in an electric vehicle obviously presents a very different challenge to using an ICE car. There’s no ability to add some extra batteries in the boot like they add extra fuel tanks. Instead an EV has to stop to recharge, so then the speed at which you can recharge really matters as any time spent stationary to charge, really hurts you.
The fastest known record is an insane 26 hours 38 minutes (20 hours faster than the record), set back in May, which was certainly helped by a reduction in traffic due to Coronavirus lockdowns. These conditions may never be repeated, so expect this record to stand for quite a while.
This does highlight a pretty significant gap between ICE and EVs in their ability to do long-haul road trips.
It will take you more time, there’s no way around that. While people certainly do travel coast to coast in America and Australia, it usually includes a much more casual pace with some overnight stays.
The details of the new EV record are this. The run was conducted on July 1-July 3 2020, from Portofino Inn, Redondo Beach, CA to Red Ball Garage, New York, NY. The run was done using a 2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance with Unplugged Performance Front Lip, Unplugged Performance Rear Spoiler, Custom Aero Covers and wheels inflated from the normal 42 PSI right up to 52 PSI.
The drivers responsible were Ryan Levenson and Ryan Kalb and below is a timelapse of their run. You’ll note their speed is covered, so we’re not sure what the car maxed out at, or the net average speed of the run, but it’s a lot faster than the legal limits.
Corrected to reflect the EV record was for a sub-category of EVs, using all-wheel drive.