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350 mile single day round trip challenge

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by bob_p, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    For business, several times each month, I may make a 350 mile round trip between Houston and Austin, in one day - drive one way, have a meeting (at different locations) for a couple hours and then drive back. Including driving and meeting times, the trip typically takes about 9 to 10 hours, driving at Texas highway speeds (generally 70 to 75MPH).

    Assuming the practical range for the 85 at highway speeds is around 200 miles - then I'm about 150 miles short. If there was a supercharger on the way, I could stop and get that amount of charge in 30-45 minutes (might need to stop both directions) - which isn't too bad - and still makes the trip doable in a single day.

    But without a supercharger, then I'm stuck with public charging stations. According to the Tesla rep yesterday, I should only count on getting (at best) 31 miles per hour charging - which means an additional 5 hours of charging time added - which probably means overnight charging.

    Until there's a supercharger, then it looks like the Model S really isn't practical for taking trips of this length in a single day - and I'd have to abandon the Model S for the drives for a 2nd car, rental or flying - at least until there's a supercharger available.

    While the Model S has a considerably longer range than other EVs - without the superchargers, it seems like it will only be useful for day trips that are 200 to 250 miles.

    Since I'm new to the EV game - is there anything I'm missing that would make a 350 mile round trip practical, in a single day, without a supercharging station?
     
  2. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    CHADeMo adapter ....

    <ducks>
     
  3. arg

    arg Member

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    If you have twin chargers fitted, and can find a 70/80A charging location, then you can charge at 60 miles/hour. So if there were suitable charging points at each of your meeting locations it would be no problem.

    70/80A charging means either the Tesla HPWC or a high-power J1772 - the latter currently rare in the wild, but maybe an easier thing to persuade people to install as it's usable by other EVs not just Model S.

    Also worth noting that on a schedule where you are sitting around waiting for charge, it generally saves time to drive slower rather than drive fast and then wait longer to recharge. Your trip is theoretically possible without charging at all at 45mph - obviously not practical, but somewhere in between like driving at 60 might cut your charging time in half.

    [Note: above not based on personal experience - recycled advice from other posters on these forums]
     
  4. TXjak

    TXjak Owner/Investor/Advocate

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    Another possibility is that Austin Energy may deploy some j1772 DC fast charge stations. Assuming Tesla could make another J1772 adapter for connection with the car's supercharger circuitry and your car has it., then you might be able to top-up over lunch. ;-)

    FYI, Austin Energy has a monopoly on charging stations in Austin. See public charging in Austin.
     
  5. jcstp

    jcstp Active Member

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    easyest is charge while you talk ;-)
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Drive slower? :)
     
  7. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    #7 richkae, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
    If you were going the same place, multiple times each month. I would say it is a no-brainer. Buy an HPC from Tesla and donate it to the place, and try to get them to pay to have it installed - but if they won't - pay for it yourself. Then you are charging while you are meeting and wasting no time.

    Even if you are not going the same place every time, it may be the best move to give them HPCs to install - especially if you can get them to pay for installation.
    I value my time at $100 per hour minimum. If I was going to do a 350 mile round trip with a 2 hour stop at the same place 6 times - and that trip would require a 2 hour charging stop someplace else - then my time alone warrants the purchase of a $1200 HPC. Thats not including any calculation of what it would cost me in gasoline to do those trips ( which by the way at 20mpg $4 per gallon would be $420 )

    If you aren't committed to driving the EV, and would instead choose a gas car for these trips because of the convenience - then do the more complex calculation of gas cost versus the HPC cost. For my example above - you need to do 18 trips to exceed the $1200 price tag of the HPC. But don't forget that filling up with gasoline for the 350 mile trip will probably waste 10-15 minutes of your time at the gas station each time. 10 minutes times 18 trips is 3 hours. 3 hours is worth $300.
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    How many hours are you at your meeting location? I agree that getting a Tesla HPWC installed would be the way to go since it is a trip you do often.

    I figure you'll spend about $40 (30 mpg car was my guess with gas at $3.50) each 350 mile trip. With 3 trips a month, you'd pay for the HPWC hardware in a year in gas savings.
     
  9. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    +1. You might be able to find some other forum members here who could benefit from this HPC location and chip in to pay for it.
     
  10. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    Unfortunately, the meetings are moved around. It's more likely that Tesla will get around to installing a supercharger before there are enough high-performance charging stations in Austin to make this work.

    While I would strongly prefer to use the Model S for these trips - it looks like I'll need to plan to use another vehicle or flying, at least until Tesla can get a supercharger installed (which may not be soon).

    As I get ready to push the "FINALIZE" button, this will be another factor for me to consider...

    Thanks for the advice...
     
  11. drees

    drees Active Member

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    This is probably the best option if you want to drive your Model S. If you figure that you can only charge at 31 mi/hour on a public J1772 station, assuming you are driving 75 mph and need to charge 5 hours that's 4.7 9 hours 40 minutes of driving plus charging or an average speed of 36 mph. Pretty slow.

    But if you slow down to 60 mph so you can drive 275 miles/charge instead of 200, you then only need 2 hours of charging which improves you average speed immensely.

    So if you have limited time available to charge on J1772, it's in your best interest to drive as slow as you are comfortable on the highway. Even 65 mph instead of 75 mph will probably cut charging time from 5 hours to 3 hours.
     
  12. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    It may not solve this problem, but I have been carrying around 240 volt 50 amp outlets in the trunk of my Roadster for the last 3 years. ( Nema 14-50 )

    Whenever I stop someplace I may want to visit again, and they ask me about charging - I give them one. They cost $8 at Home Depot. If you splurge and get a full weather protected RV-park style box ( a little larger - about an 8-10 inch cube ), they are around $25 - $30.
    Even if they dont install the $8 outlet you gave them ( and instead install a better RV-park style box they buy themselves ), it is very useful for them to have the thing in their hands so they know what it is.
    I have given away a handful of outlets. I think 4 total have been installed. I paid for the installation at one location myself because I really wanted it.

    I also facilitated the installation of a Tesla HPC at another location, and while that is preferable, giving away a 14-50 outlet is way cheaper and easier.

    I think the best way to get the charging infrastructure you want is to do it yourself.
     
  13. PeterW

    PeterW Member

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    We have a weekend trip that is 530km (330 mile) one way. We do this a couple of times a year. Very little charging structure and lots of hills. Start near sea level, highest point 1075m (3500 feet), finish at see level. Little in way of highways, lots of small towns to drive through, average speed for trip is 90-95kph (55-60mph). Still working on finding level 2 (240v 32a) charger so we can stop for an hour plus and have a meal. We think we can make that work. Even on our highways speed limit is 100kph (62.5)
     
  14. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Good call. It plays a practical role - here's what it is, and it's easy - for people to get the tactile and practical reaction. Also, by just giving it away it triggers another part of the psyche. I tried elaborating but couldn't come up with a good way of doing so.
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    This is an amazingly proactive technique Rich. I'm very impressed at how far you have taken the idea of building what you (and the rest of us) need. I ask at every place I stay (even if I fly) for a place to plug in but your action is award winning in my book.

    Can you give a success ratio and more details of what kind of places you have given plugs to and had success with?
     
  16. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    While it's certainly possible to drive slower - that would start extending the drive beyond the point where a single day of driving becomes practical. Plus, I doubt I'd end up being able to safely drive at 45-60MPH on the Interstate before getting rear-ended by an 18 wheeler going 80+... Though it might be interesting to try the drive one time on the side roads at lower speeds - and see if I make it on a single charge...

    I checked the charging stations in Austin - and couldn't find anything that would do better than 31 miles per hour - which would work if I could find a station close to a meeting - and I was there for at least 3 or 4 hours. I also looked at doing an overnight stay and charging at a hotel - but it looks like that support isn't there yet either.

    So, at least for now, I'll plan not to use the Model S beyond it's "single tank" range - at least until the infrastructure improves. Hopefully Tesla won't wait until the end of 2015 to get Superchargers into Texas. Or there might be higher amp charging stations and/or hotels with charging stations come online sooner - which would also solve the problem.

    Longer term - the Superchargers should solve this problem.

    Part of the price of being an "early adopter"...
     
  17. Rodolfo Paiz

    Rodolfo Paiz P85 "Plug and Play"

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    Do check with hotels that might be your targets, because they might either have chargers or might be more willing to install a charger if they think that'll get them more customers. I know Marriott and Hyatt are already installing chargers, so surely others are too. And individual Marriotts, Hyatts, or whatever will find it interesting to have customers specifically ask about something like this.
     
  18. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Yep; I hope that Tesla is prioritizing the 3 Superchargers in Texas -- the ones at the midpoints of the Texas Triangle (HOU/DFW/AUS). They seem like "high value targets" given the high number of Model S finding their way to Texas.
     
  19. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I had the best success with local racetracks. There is a small track ( about 1 mile and 22 turns, perfect for a Tesla ) that is primarily for gokarts, but they have car lapping days. I gave them 3 outlets and they installed them for free. I think I've used them at least 4 different days since, it was well worth it.
    The big racetrack is nearby, I gave them an outlet and paid for an electrician to install it - but I've only used it twice since.
    ( So those outlets are only at 2 locations )
    I gave a few to people who seemed interested at some car show and shine meets. One was a high school shop teacher, it wasn't likely to lead to infrastructure I could use, but I was happy to give him anything that might keep him thinking about electrification. Another I remember operated a B&B, I misplaced his details, but for $8 I didn't care whether I ever stayed there in the future or not. I have no idea what happened to those.
    I did a very poor job of remembering the details of people I thought were unlikely to follow through, but I gave them outlets anyway.
    One notable failure was a hotel we did a family trip to ( Great Wolf Lodge ). I was not effective in finding the right person, and it wasn't a compelling message at the time because we drove there in the Prius - it was before we got the Model S.

    I actually haven't tried that hard, especially in the last year because the Roadster is not an effective roadtrip car for my family. I plan to put a half dozen outlets into the trunk of the Model S and be much more aggressive about handing them out when we do a road trip. Especially at that Great Wolf Lodge, the next time we go I am not going to rest until I have talked to someone who can do something about it. They might actually be more likely to install a real EVSE, but we will see.
     
  20. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

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    Bob, did you look into the Wyndham Garden Hotel at 3401 South IH 35, Austin, TX 78741? They have a single Chargepoint J1772.
     

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