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2700 Mile Road Trip - 2020 Tesla Model S LR

Completed a 2,700 mile road trip through the southeastern US last week with 4 passengers and luggage in my 2020 Tesla Model S Long Range.

Here are a few key observations from the trip.

RANGE

Trip route extended from North Carolina to Texas, with an extended visit to two major cities in Alabama.

Range varied from a low of 280 miles to a high of 320 - 330 miles on this trip. Variability in miles remaining caused me to switch the range indicator on the instrument panel from miles to % charge remaining. I also paid far more attention to Wh / Mile than I normally would if driving the car locally.

My range really dropped significantly on I-10 through Louisiana for some reason. Adjusting my speed to 70 MPH was necessary to maintain 300+ range.

Although I did not encounter wait times at any of the Superchargers on my route, I noted fewer open stalls than I have encountered during previous road trips. I actually skipped a few recommended stops due to congestion in certain spots, such as Baton Rouge, LA.

On older Superchargers which seem to be prevalent on I-10, higher utilization yielded a slower charging rate - extending my time at the Supercharger more than planned.

On the plus side, I managed to hit a charge rate of close to 250 KW for the first time ever during repeat visits to the Supercharger in Montgomery, AL.

AUTOPILOT

Enhanced Autopilot performance was significantly worse than I remember from previous long road trips. The slightest rain shower caused EAP to disengage. I also encountered phantom braking, random disengagement in construction zones, and unpredictable behavior during lane changes into the passing lane. Lane changes were sometimes abrupt on exit lanes. One thing I particularly dislike when using EAP in an exit lane is that EAP does not automatically adjust vehicle speed to conform to the speed limit in the exit lane.

RIDE QUALITY

Prior to my trip I replaced the OEM Goodyear tires with Continental PureContact tires on 19" wheels.

The improvement in ride quality I experienced with Conti tires was far greater than I had expected. The majority of bumps on the highway were audible but otherwise mostly imperceptible.

Tire noise was no better or worse than tire noise produced from tires on other vehicles I've owned. Conti tires may be slightly louder than Goodyear OEM tires on the highway, but if so the difference is minor.

PAINT

I observed no paint or glass damage during the trip. My white Model S has been driven 22k miles over the last 2 years with no major chips or defects appearing in the original OEM finish.

INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM

I encountered no vehicle resets or blank screens during this trip. I haven't had to reset the car in several months.

Streaming, TuneIn, and Spotify playback was flawless with no crashes.

With latest Tesla software installed, I found the interface provided on the center display for identifying alternative superchargers on my route to be more complicated than necessary. I would really prefer to keep all Superchargers visible on the screen at all times instead of only having visibility to Superchargers on the most current segment of my route.

I continue to find the seatbelt warnings on the vehicle navigation screen appearing in the left instrument cluster extremely irritating. I frequently lost visibility to the NAV map in the left instrument cluster because my rear passengers were shifting in their seats during this long trip. I wish there were a way to disable this seatbelt warning "feature."

Another annoyance I encountered was the occasional "window open" false alarm in the Tesla app. Upon examination, I consistently found that the vehicle windows were closed despite the warning messages I received in the Tesla app.

SUMMARY

In spite of some minor annoyances above, I was generally pleased with the performance of the Model S on this 2,700 mile roadtrip. Handling, acceleration, and ride comfort remain top-notch. ADAS features performed well and kept me out of trouble.

I am looking forward to my next opportunity to put the Model S to the test on the nation's highways.
 
Thanks for the observations!

re unexplained loss of range through Louisiana .... factors could be (a) driving into wind (b) driving to higher elevations.
One journey I regularly do of 75 miles each direction, with a difference in elevation of 1500 feet, results in using 50% more energy in the climbing direction (or 33% less in the descending direction).

re 4 passengers: Was the passenger in the middle rear seat comfortable, in general?
 

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Jan 17, 2022
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Utah
What was your average speed to get 320-330 miles of range?

How much battery % were you using to get that far (assuming you weren’t goong from 100 down to 0%)

I’m curious because I have a plaid with the 19 inch wheels and the range is very similar to the long range.
 
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What was your average speed to get 320-330 miles of range?

How much battery % were you using to get that far (assuming you weren’t goong from 100 down to 0%)

I’m curious because I have a plaid with the 19 inch wheels and the range is very similar to the long range.
To put it more accurately, I used 35% going uphill for 122km, as opposed to 24% going downhill for 122km (same route). In general, driving over the speed limits, no regard to optimal efficiency. But the numbers are consistent over several trips. Since I charge up every night, i don't care about efficiency. And, yes, my wheels are 19 inch. (ignore if you were asking the original poster, not me).
 
Lane changes were sometimes abrupt on exit lanes. One thing I particularly dislike when using EAP in an exit lane is that EAP does not automatically adjust vehicle speed to conform to the speed limit in the exit lane.
I wonder if this is an EAP vs FSD thing.

I have FSD on my S (not the Beta version) and NoAP always gradually drops my speed when in the exit lanes.
 
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Thanks for the observations!

re unexplained loss of range through Louisiana .... factors could be (a) driving into wind (b) driving to higher elevations.
One journey I regularly do of 75 miles each direction, with a difference in elevation of 1500 feet, results in using 50% more energy in the climbing direction (or 33% less in the descending direction).

re 4 passengers: Was the passenger in the middle rear seat comfortable, in general?
To clarify, I had 4 total occupants in the vehicle, myself included. There were two children seated in the back seat.

The problem I encountered with the seat belt warning on the left instrument cluster was caused by my youngest child shifting her weight between the right rear seat and the middle seat. The slightest pressure on the middle seat cushion triggers a seat belt warning in the left instrument cluster. The seat belt warning obscures navigation until the warning is cleared.

I-10W through Louisiana into Texas is very close to the Gulf of Mexico. There are basically no hills and few elevation changes other than the occasional bridge.

I do not recall wind resistance being an issue.

My speed varied considerably due to the pace of traffic on I-10W - this is the most likely reason my range dropped.

I tested this theory when I headed north from Montgomery, AL to Huntsville, AL. on I-65N. Instead of dodging in and out of the passing lane, I maintained a constant speed of near 70 MPH. My calculated range on this leg of the trip was very close to the rated 400 miles.
 
Having just bought my 2020, and about to do my first long (500+ mile) drive tomorrow, this is a very informative thread. @JPQuick, do you know what month yours was built? I gather there were tweaks to the LR / LR+ throughout 2019-2020.

I also didn't realize that EAP was still offered in 2020, but I gather from this article that it indeed was.
The vehicle was manufactured in June 2020.

I did not elect to purchase EAP at the time of purchase.

However, in September 2020, Tesla offered EAP as a standalone purchase separately from FSD at a significant discount compared to FSD.

I purchased EAP in September 2020 at the discounted rate that Tesla offered.
 
I wonder if this is an EAP vs FSD thing.

I have FSD on my S (not the Beta version) and NoAP always gradually drops my speed when in the exit lanes.

I suspect you're right about this.

The updates I've received don't provide the snazzy visualizations that are available to FSD owners and subscribers.

There is probably a fork in the code between EAP and FSD.
 

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,472
526
Irvine
I have a 2020 Model S, FSD Beta, 19" OEM Goodyear tires and I am averaging 245 kW and my car has 16,576 miles.....I supercharge at stations that are 250kW.......I have never even come close to that....in fact, even if I plug-in with none next to me I barely get 115kW and my SoC is 20%-30%.....car was made 30 Jan 2020.....I guess I have to take it to Tesla to check charging system.
 
I have a 2020 Model S, FSD Beta, 19" OEM Goodyear tires and I am averaging 245 kW and my car has 16,576 miles.....I supercharge at stations that are 250kW.......I have never even come close to that....in fact, even if I plug-in with none next to me I barely get 115kW and my SoC is 20%-30%.....car was made 30 Jan 2020.....I guess I have to take it to Tesla to check charging system.
There's a lot of variables associated with Supercharging.

Was your battery preconditioned for Supercharging?

115kW isn't far off from what I'd expect at 30% SoC.

See: Tesla Model S Raven Charging Power Tested At IONITY CCS: Video
 
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Nowhere near as many miles or data points as @JPQuick but I drove 540 or so miles yesterday in my new-to-me LR+, from Moultonborough NH back to DC - a drive I'd done several times in my previous 2015 85D. Charged twice, for a total of maybe 45 minutes; the most time-efficient way to do the same trip in the 85D would have meant five stops and nearly 2hrs of charging. So I'm very happy with the upgrade - the reduced travel time is easily worth the $32 and change we spent on supercharging.

My car is an early 2020 here so I know I don't have the upgraded hardware to support the full 250kW. Hit our first v3 charger at Hamden, CT, to coincide with lunch at the reasonably good strip mall poke place. Plugged in at 15%, hit a peak of 171kW at 25% SOC. By the time we'd walked the dog and eaten lunch we were at 82% and still drawing 57kW. 36 minutes, 61.75kWh, 67%, or 255 miles of range. Average of 102.9kW or 426 miles / hour.

Then stopped briefly to charge at the John Fenwick plaza in NJ while getting snacks, and bathroom break for both humans and dog. Ended up charging more than we needed to - I need to adjust from the "it's free but slow, so we can take as much time as we want" attitude that worked for the 85D ...
 

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,472
526
Irvine
Nowhere near as many miles or data points as @JPQuick but I drove 540 or so miles yesterday in my new-to-me LR+, from Moultonborough NH back to DC - a drive I'd done several times in my previous 2015 85D. Charged twice, for a total of maybe 45 minutes; the most time-efficient way to do the same trip in the 85D would have meant five stops and nearly 2hrs of charging. So I'm very happy with the upgrade - the reduced travel time is easily worth the $32 and change we spent on supercharging.

My car is an early 2020 here so I know I don't have the upgraded hardware to support the full 250kW. Hit our first v3 charger at Hamden, CT, to coincide with lunch at the reasonably good strip mall poke place. Plugged in at 15%, hit a peak of 171kW at 25% SOC. By the time we'd walked the dog and eaten lunch we were at 82% and still drawing 57kW. 36 minutes, 61.75kWh, 67%, or 255 miles of range. Average of 102.9kW or 426 miles / hour.

Then stopped briefly to charge at the John Fenwick plaza in NJ while getting snacks, and bathroom break for both humans and dog. Ended up charging more than we needed to - I need to adjust from the "it's free but slow, so we can take as much time as we want" attitude that worked for the 85D ...
what is you first three of your vin number?....I have a 30 Jan 2020 and have never seem over 125kW while charging to a 250kW supercharger........what is the "upgraded hardware " and how can I find out it I have it or not? when was the change?.....My vin is 366xxx....thanks for any help
 
what is you first three of your vin number?....I have a 30 Jan 2020 and have never seem over 125kW while charging to a 250kW supercharger........what is the "upgraded hardware " and how can I find out it I have it or not? when was the change?.....My vin is 366xxx....thanks for any help
125kW is oddly low.

I've seen 150kW+ on my 2019 Raven that caps out at 200kW.
 
what is you first three of your vin number?....I have a 30 Jan 2020 and have never seem over 125kW while charging to a 250kW supercharger........what is the "upgraded hardware " and how can I find out it I have it or not? when was the change?.....My vin is 366xxx....thanks for any help
I can't remember where I read it - possibly a thread on here, possibly somewhere like electrek - but it appears cars with rev G batteries are capable of 225kW peak charging (not 250kW - I misspoke above). Something to do with revised battery chemistry plus better cabling to / from the battery. My VIN is 362xxx. If you've never seen over 125kW I'd get the car checked out; again, only one data point, but my charge rate at a v3 was above 125kW until the car reached 48% SOC.
 

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,472
526
Irvine
I can't remember where I read it - possibly a thread on here, possibly somewhere like electrek - but it appears cars with rev G batteries are capable of 225kW peak charging (not 250kW - I misspoke above). Something to do with revised battery chemistry plus better cabling to / from the battery. My VIN is 362xxx. If you've never seen over 125kW I'd get the car checked out; again, only one data point, but my charge rate at a v3 was above 125kW until the car reached 48% SOC.
thanks......I am gonna ask the service center......I am concerned the 20202 I have is not capable of the V3 250kW charging speed......I charged last night from 13% to 90% and it took 48 minutes......warm battery after 75 mile drive....the problem may have been I only had 97.2% efficiency......if I dont have hardware for V3, I want them to tell me why and if I can upgrade to it and the cost......thanks for your help
 

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,472
526
Irvine
I can't remember where I read it - possibly a thread on here, possibly somewhere like electrek - but it appears cars with rev G batteries are capable of 225kW peak charging (not 250kW - I misspoke above). Something to do with revised battery chemistry plus better cabling to / from the battery. My VIN is 362xxx. If you've never seen over 125kW I'd get the car checked out; again, only one data point, but my charge rate at a v3 was above 125kW until the car reached 48% SOC.
could be.....my battery is an "F"
 
My Raven Model S was new in August 2019 and the max charge rate of 125kW is definitely abnormal. I charted it on an 8,000 mile road trip in summer 2020.
1653173105076.png

Even at a v2 charger you should get in the 140kW range between 20-40% SoC. The v3's should be over 150kW in that same SoC bracket. I only get 3 200kW for a minute or so max. I assume that's because mine was a relatively early Raven.

I ordered my car on Aug. 3, 2019, when free supercharging was first offered. Sometime in 2020 I think free supercharging was withdrawn, but that may have been in conjunction with a price cut.
 

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