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2 Questions from new Tesla owner after first long trip…

Took our first long weekend trip this weekend, 435 miles each way, about 900 miles total. Everything was great and the whole range anxiety is overstated and unnecessary.

Anyways two questions came up.
1. Driving back last night, the route had us making two stops, before planning to arrive home with 15% SOC. At the second charge I disconnected 4 min early, as the Navi/trip planner in the car was showing us arriving home at 10% (I figured that would be plenty overhead). So had I charged the full required time (4 extra minutes), I would then theoretically depart this second supercharger with enough battery to arrive home with 15%. BUT, either immediately or within less than a mile (I didn’t even make it back to the interstate exit), when clicking on and expanding the route on the car screen, it said that we would arrive home with 21%, which we did. And this last stop was like 150 mi or so from home. So, where did that extra roughly 10% come from?

2. I’m on the East Coast and drove north through NY State. Just curious, I thought the supercharger pricing was approx. $0.28/kW. Was surprised to see either $0.45 or $0.48 / kW. Have the rates gone up? Are they time based?

Thanks
 
Answers: They're worth what you pay for them.
Took our first long weekend trip this weekend, 435 miles each way, about 900 miles total. Everything was great and the whole range anxiety is overstated and unnecessary.

Anyways two questions came up.
1. Driving back last night, the route had us making two stops, before planning to arrive home with 15% SOC. At the second charge I disconnected 4 min early, as the Navi/trip planner in the car was showing us arriving home at 10% (I figured that would be plenty overhead). So had I charged the full required time (4 extra minutes), I would then theoretically depart this second supercharger with enough battery to arrive home with 15%. BUT, either immediately or within less than a mile (I didn’t even make it back to the interstate exit), when clicking on and expanding the route on the car screen, it said that we would arrive home with 21%, which we did. And this last stop was like 150 mi or so from home. So, where did that extra roughly 10% come from?

2. I’m on the East Coast and drove north through NY State. Just curious, I thought the supercharger pricing was approx. $0.28/kW. Was surprised to see either $0.45 or $0.48 / kW. Have the rates gone up? Are they time based?

Thanks!
  1. The range estimator is a semi-work-in-progress. The energy graph is probably the most accurate measure of how far one is going to go. But the range number on the dash is, roughly, nominally based upon the published W-hr/mile number. My guess: The overall plan had you getting to where you were going with 15% margin based upon the published mileage of the car; but, once you got moving, it got updated by the actual mileage, wind speed, expected altitude climb/loss, etc. Also: Your car is new. A good deal of the mileage estimate is based upon the Battery Management System's idea of how much charge is available; and that changes, especially on long trips, for the better.
  2. Was in MA over the weekend. Everywhere up there it appears to be 34 cents per kW-hr. Down here in NJ high usage spots get 42 cents; low usage spots 39 cents; and individual locations are all over the map. There's some talk that the price changes in some locations based on the time of day. At one time Tesla had the same cost no matter where one was; abandoned that, but would tell one how much east SC was; and have abandoned that. Far as I know the only way to tell is to use the NAV on the car's screen and that, far as I know, only tells one how much a particular SC is charging if that SC is within a hundred miles or so of where one is. It would be nice if a third party web site started tracking all these things like, say, Gas Buddy does for ICEs, but to my knowledge nobody's yet gotten busy and done that.
In California some state agency was chomping their oats a few months ago. Published a report and order that all electric vehicle charging stations would display how much they were charging for energy, with a couple-three years for everybody to get the memo and do the deed. It wasn't Tesla and their somewhat odd response of, "Well, you can see it on the screen on the car", but other gonzos with relatively obtuse (on purpose) calculations making it cheaper to buy gas than electric. The agency in CA seemed to be of the opinion that if a gas station can put the price right up there on the pump with no ifs or maybes, all these new-fangled DC fast chargers can do the same. And none of this, "If it's over 100 kW, it's this much; if it's above 60 kW, it's that much" nonsense, with memos to the various state agencies who were preventing just displaying the cost per kW-hr.
 
Yeah, range anxiety is more about the driver's comfort and trust in the charging network than it is about a lack of chargers.

I've been close to an empty gas tank on a road trip before and had a hard time finding a gas station in rural PA... definitely had range anxiety that time, but luckily found one before stalling.

I've also had the Model 3 say I'd be at -1% by the time I reached my destination... I turned off the A/C and slowed down - made it to the SuperCharger at 1%. That was a bit nerve wracking but ended as a positive experience.

1. I was under the impression that the "guessometer" was based on the car's current average wh/mile plus environmental factors (Tesla is starting to account for wind, air density, and more when doing range calculation). Perhaps one of those environmental factors changed during your drive (stopped raining, wind direction) or you turned off the A/C *or* you were drafting behind another vehicle.

My experience after a few road trips is that the system is good and generally works well, but you do need to be careful about the SoC at your destination - the car doesn't know if you have charging there or not... so it'll happily suggest you arrive in the middle of nowhere with 10%, even if that's not enough to get back home.

I tend to lean towards the more conservative side and will charge to a slightly higher percentage if I have the time.

2. Regarding prices... AFAIK only Canadian SuperChargers (in North America at least) charge based on the amount of time you charge for. I believe US chargers are based on actual consumption, but there are probably exceptions. I also believe that Tesla's website used to say $.28 for most SuperChargers, but that's no longer true and that rates fluctuate based on "who knows?".

I'd guess that charging rates will still be lower than gas for a looooong time... at least until EV adoption hits critical mass and/or EV charging becomes a burden to the grid.

As for electric vs gas overall - I'd love to never pump gas again (still have a family van). Even with the added wait time for charging, I still find it a better experience. I'd rather plug in, eat / use the restroom and play Skyforce Reloaded for 20 minutes vs pumping gas (and smell fumes / spill a drip on your shoe and carry the fumes into the car) and have to move the car into a parking spot AND THEN go eat / use the restroom.

Electric is definitely better and will only improve as the charging networks grow and newer/better/faster battery technology is discovered.
 
Thanks for the replies.
Re Q1, just to clarify, as I was charging at the second stop, I was looking at my step-by-step navigation on the cars screen’s map, where at the bottom it was estimating my SOC at my next/final destination. That number was moving from a negative number (ie I wasn’t going to have enough % charge to reach my destination as I started charging), to ultimately a positive number (which I understood as this is how much SOC I was going to have upon reaching the destination). And since the rest of the trip was all accurate, ie the SOC from departure point to the first and second SC, I was surprised to see that same SOC number at my destination jump up all of a sudden as I departed SC stop 2.

Other bits of info.
I display % not miles at the top of the screen — although probably not significant. Also, the weather stayed the same, with only difference is that we turned off the A/C (which we were running at fan speed 1-2), but we did that at the first SC not the second. It was otherwise dry without any significant wind. 🤷🏻‍♂️

As for Q2 price of charging. Yeah I just browsed the map in the car and I do see now some relatively significant variance in pricing bw the different SCs. As @Tronguy pointed out, here in PA and NJ it sure looks like that the busier SCs located along the major highways seem more expensive than others which are multiple and closer together near cities. I must have been going of old info that I still see everywhere online when I Google that says that “generally SCs are $0.26/0.28/kW”
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,755
2,353
Durham, NC
My experience with the in-car nav and charge time recommendations is that the car is usually pretty pessimistic. That is, it originally estimates a very low arrival SOC (and possibly recommends an earlier charge stop), but that improves during the trip. Of course you said that your experience is that it was nearly dead-on for the previous legs of the trip, and did suddenly jump up on you just after departing the last SC stop (versus slowly improving), but don't lose sight of the fact that the estimate is just that: an estimate--it's not meant to be exact. Add to that that during the charging process, the car's nav system seems to be "lumpy", and by this, I mean that it doesn't seem to update the recommended time remaining (and I suspect arrival SOC) in real time (or at least it didn't--I don't pay much attention to it now because of this), but rather every few minutes or so. So even though it may read 10% arrival SOC, that reading may in fact be delayed. Not only that, but it may take a few minutes after charging completes for the BMS to get an accurate fix on the SOC of the battery while under load, so you may have taken more charge on than the car thought you did when you first unplugged.

My preferred strategy when on a road trip is to use abetterrouteplanner.com as my main dashboard. Not only it is less pessimistic than the car (although I will say the car is still very good), it gives me more information and more real-time updates when charging. For example, at a given charge stop, it will not only tell me that I have 13 minutes left to charge, but also tell me what the target SOC is. For example, it may say that it recommends reaching 78% SOC in order to get to my next stop with 10% remaining. That 78% number is really what I look for. Yes, it's telling me that I have 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes left to charge, which is handy information, but I'm really looking to hit that 78% and that's when I leave (based on how the trip's been going and whether I am ahead or behind of estimates, I may leave a percent or two earlier or later).

At any rate, I wouldn't worry too much about it. With more practice you will learn how pessimistic the car is compared to your driving style and learn to adapt as necessary.
 
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drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
3,313
4,309
Seattle
Took our first long weekend trip this weekend, 435 miles each way, about 900 miles total. Everything was great and the whole range anxiety is overstated and unnecessary.

Anyways two questions came up.
1. Driving back last night, the route had us making two stops, before planning to arrive home with 15% SOC. At the second charge I disconnected 4 min early, as the Navi/trip planner in the car was showing us arriving home at 10% (I figured that would be plenty overhead). So had I charged the full required time (4 extra minutes), I would then theoretically depart this second supercharger with enough battery to arrive home with 15%. BUT, either immediately or within less than a mile (I didn’t even make it back to the interstate exit), when clicking on and expanding the route on the car screen, it said that we would arrive home with 21%, which we did. And this last stop was like 150 mi or so from home. So, where did that extra roughly 10% come from?

2. I’m on the East Coast and drove north through NY State. Just curious, I thought the supercharger pricing was approx. $0.28/kW. Was surprised to see either $0.45 or $0.48 / kW. Have the rates gone up? Are they time based?

Thanks
The range math the car uses is conservative for obvious reasons .. better to arrive with a bit of extra charge than not to arrive at all! But once you get going the energy graph etc will try to be as accurate as it can (and its not bad, considering all the variables it has to account for). You might want to play with A Better Route Planner if you want a second opinion, though this is far more "tinkering". Also, ABRP allows you to set a desired destination arrival SoC, which the car doesnt (without cheating by using a round trip on the Nav system).

Can't comment on NY SC charges, but welcome to crazy energy prices :(
 
My experience with the in-car nav and charge time recommendations is that the car is usually pretty pessimistic. That is, it originally estimates a very low arrival SOC (and possibly recommends an earlier charge stop), but that improves during the trip. Of course you said that your experience is that it was nearly dead-on for the previous legs of the trip, and did suddenly jump up on you just after departing the last SC stop (versus slowly improving), but don't lose sight of the fact that the estimate is just that: an estimate--it's not meant to be exact. Add to that that during the charging process, the car's nav system seems to be "lumpy", and by this, I mean that it doesn't seem to update the recommended time remaining (and I suspect arrival SOC) in real time (or at least it didn't--I don't pay much attention to it now because of this), but rather every few minutes or so. So even though it may read 10% arrival SOC, that reading may in fact be delayed. Not only that, but it may take a few minutes after charging completes for the BMS to get an accurate fix on the SOC of the battery while under load, so you may have taken more charge on than the car thought you did when you first unplugged.

My preferred strategy when on a road trip is to use abetterrouteplanner.com as my main dashboard. Not only it is less pessimistic than the car (although I will say the car is still very good), it gives me more information and more real-time updates when charging. For example, at a given charge stop, it will not only tell me that I have 13 minutes left to charge, but also tell me what the target SOC is. For example, it may say that it recommends reaching 78% SOC in order to get to my next stop with 10% remaining. That 78% number is really what I look for. Yes, it's telling me that I have 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes left to charge, which is handy information, but I'm really looking to hit that 78% and that's when I leave (based on how the trip's been going and whether I am ahead or behind of estimates, I may leave a percent or two earlier or later).

At any rate, I wouldn't worry too much about it. With more practice you will learn how pessimistic the car is compared to your driving style and learn to adapt as necessary.
Yes, thank you, a lot of this makes sense. The first SC we stopped, it was a 150kW charger, was counting down in minutes 20-15-10-5-0. The others, all 250kW SCs, counted down in single minutes, at least when it was down to 10min or less, for sure. And yes, I wish the car's Navi would tell me the goal SOC that I am there charging to, as opposed to just the amount of time to charge.

I did use ABRP for this trip. On the way there, it was more or less on par with what the car was suggesting. This being our first trip, I was playing it safe and going by the car. I assume the car is taking into consideration what my actual recent Wh/mi are looking like. On that note, I was also looking at the Trip (Energy App/screen), and just under Trip in settings to monitor what my Wh/mi was. ABRP for the return trip, I had set to arrive home with just 5% and so it was obviously different from what the car was planning for us, in retrospect, I probably could have gone by ABRP as opposed to the Navi as I definitely did not need to arrive home with 22%; in practice however, we're talking about an extra 5-10min in total, which on a 7.5hr drive is fairly meaningless.

Anyways, like I said, first experience, so just trying to figure out all the ins and outs. Thanks for your responses everyone.

PS: completely unrelated question, anyone have a recommendation for a UMC hook/cable holder to buy for the garage. The official Tesla one won't work for the way my outlet is set up. Thanks
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,546
5,122
Central Valley
My experience since this tool came out seven years or so ago has been that when you keep your destination visible on the touchscreen, the SOC at your destination does not increase at the same rate that the battery actually fills. So, you might be at 45% SOC, dial in your destination to see that you'll arrive with -3%.

Several minutes later, the battery is now at 57%, while the arrival percentage is at 5%. If you cancel out of your navigation and then reenter it, suddenly the arrival percentage is 10%.

I think--emphasis on think--that once you are underway, the system uses your actual usage over the past 30 miles, adjusts for elevation gains and losses and any speed limit changes and does yet another recalculation. I tend to drive at the speed limit, so my wh/mile is slightly lower than most. I have seen many times that even after I depart, within a mile or so, I get another 1-2% added to my destination SOC.
 
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My experience since this tool came out seven years or so ago has been that when you keep your destination visible on the touchscreen, the SOC at your destination does not increase at the same rate that the battery actually fills. So, you might be at 45% SOC, dial in your destination to see that you'll arrive with -3%.

Several minutes later, the battery is now at 57%, while the arrival percentage is at 5%. If you cancel out of your navigation and then reenter it, suddenly the arrival percentage is 10%.

I think--emphasis on think--that once you are underway, the system uses your actual usage over the past 30 miles, adjusts for elevation gains and losses and any speed limit changes and does yet another recalculation. I tend to drive at the speed limit, so my wh/mile is slightly lower than most. I have seen many times that even after I depart, within a mile or so, I get another 1-2% added to my destination SOC.
So I was watching the estimated destination/arrival SOC as we were charging at the last stop, and in fact they were going up one for one, i.e. 1% added to SOC was giving me 1% additional at destination. That's why I'm so stumped by the fact that I disconnected with 11% estimated at destination, and then within a minute I suddenly jumped up 10 or percent to suddenly arriving with 21-22%.
 
I have found the % remaining at destination to be very sensitive during the first part of the leg and get less and less so as I drive. As you near your destination, there is less and less unknown about the leg consumption and also less you can do to change the % remaining at your destination.
So we will typically leave the charger when it shows 10% remaining at the destination and keep watching it. If it goes below about 8%, we'll slow down. If above 11%, we'll speed up. Trying to arrive with 10%.
 
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I saw a screenshot of the chargers that were used on a trip from central Fl to Knoxville, Tn. Most of the stops were in Ga and they all charged by the minute.

3852D66E-CDDE-4C1B-9CF8-16D6FDA14A53.jpeg
 
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Some states only allow utilities to charge by the kWh.
Which is kind of bizarre, to say the least. New Jersey was one, but apparently has allowed charging station providers to switch to using kW-hrs sometime during the last year or three. California bureau of Weights and Measures has mandated that all providers at least display the overall cost by kW-hr with no funky, hard-to-check extra fees, initial connection charges, etc., etc., just like gas stations. Lessee, here's a link. Their argument for doing it this way is air-tight, hopefully other states will switch over, if the DoE (or somebody) doesn't decide to make it a Federal regulation.
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,755
2,353
Durham, NC
Which is kind of bizarre, to say the least.
Some states only allow utilities to charge by the kWh.
Well, I don't believe that it's that those states only allow utilities to charge by the kWh as much as it is an entity charging for electricity by the kWh would be considered a utility and treated as such. In other words, highly regulated, and required to go through a regulatory process to publish and change rates, etc.
 
So basically, in any state whose laws make it difficult for Tesla to resell you electricity, they instead rent you the charger by the minute.
Yep, and they usually do it by tiers. The tiers vary a bit, but the general idea is that charge you "yea" when you're over X kW, less than "yea" when you're at Y kW (which would be less than X kW), and 'way less than "yea" when you're at Z kW, which is less than Y kW. Overall, for a charge, the intent is to charge one the same amount one would drop if one were being charged per kW-hr. Which must drive Tesla's billing department a bit nuts, but probably costs them less then having to implement the regulatory structure. Like I said before, "bizarre".

Ha. Wonder if those kinds of regulations were put in place to prevent landlords from Charging Extra to tenants. But that's a monopoly (i.e., one has to use the wire connection out front of the apartment building) situation; with electric charging, especially with Electrify America and the like showing up, one has a choice, so monopoly rents wouldn't apply.
 

Prairie

Model x on order for January 2022
Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
230
221
Nebraska
Ye yes, I wish the car's Navi would tell me the goal SOC that I am there charging to, as opposed to just the amount of time to charge.
I thought you could set your max charge and that would be it. Like if you are charging at home overnight and set it at max 80%. is this not possible when at supercharger? I know You-tubers say they got delayed eating lunch and charged more than the app said they needed to reach next charger but could that be because they didnt care or didn’t bother to set a max charge? Trying to learn as much as I can before I get my MX. thanks
 

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