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5,009 Miles from Florida to SoCal via Lake Superior

I drove 3,260 miles to Florida from SoCal May 28 - June 9, details here: Supercharge Stats from CA to FL Drive, + Compare Other EV's

And here: Just finished a 3,044 mile road trip in my '16 MS 90D

My wife Liz and I left Florida Aug. 28, planning to visit friends in Chicago and Colorado. One of the Chicago friends had relocated to a lake house in Wisconsin for the pandemic, so we decided to keep going to Lake Superior since we were that close.

Aug. 28: Belleaire Bluffs, FL to Stone Mt., GA 506 miles. We spent 107 minutes at charge stops, though 60 of that was in Macon for dinner. Macon's supercharger is easy walking distance from a historic district with very good restaurants, not the typical mall/chain restaurant setup. Calculated distance/time speed while driving was 66mph, even though TACC on the Interstates was usually set around 80mph. Consumption was 322 Wh/mi.

Aug. 29: Stone Mt., GA to Louisville, KY 455 miles, 66 minutes at charge stops. We climbed Stone Mt. early in the morning. It was very busy being Saturday and with thick cloud and breeze to be more comfortable than usual for summer. While at the Manchester, TN charger we saw that the Nashville v3 was out of service so we stayed an extra 10 minutes to get us to Bowling Green. We still stopped in Nashville for Prince's hot chicken. Calculated distance/time speed while driving was 66mph and consumption was 323 Wh/mi.

Aug. 30: Louisville, KY to Burr Ridge, IL, 334 miles, 32 minutes at charge stops. We drove a bit around the historic residential area of Louisville before heading north. This was the first day under 90F that I had experienced since leaving Colorado on June 4. Calculated distance/time speed while driving was 64mph and consumption was 306 Wh/mi.

Sep. 2: Burr Ridge, IL to Bayfield, WI, 478 miles, 65 minutes at charge stops. We charged to 81% at Wausau because there are no superchargers farther north in Wisconsin or U.P. Michigan. We reached Bayfield about 6PM and after we did a bit of lake sightseeing before sunset were were down to 4%SoC. We had arranged to stay at the Bayfield Inn, which has a Tesla overnight 8kW charger. We were pleased that we got a 27mph charge rate and left the next morning fully charged. Calculated distance/time speed while driving was 65mph and consumption was 321 Wh/mi.

Sep. 3-4 : Round trip Bayfield, WI to Grand Marais and Poplar Lake, MN, 492 miles. Duluth is the only supercharger now this far north in the upper Midwest and it is on the 3rd floor of a Holiday Inn in an industrial area. We had to put 45 miles on overnight in Grand Marais on 110V in order to drive up to Poplar Lake near the Boundary Waters. High winds had cancelled our kayak and cruise plans for Sep. 3 so we had to return to Bayfield for them Sep. 4. This required a one hour charge to 94% in Duluth plus a 43 mile boost at the Bayfield Inn's 220V over dinner in order to get to Eau Claire after kayaking the next day. Consumption was 273 Wh/mi.

Sep. 2-5 gave us a taste for what it was like for the true early Tesla adopters 5-7 years ago.

Sep. 5: Bayfield, WI to Fox Lake, WI, 349 miles, 36 minutes in charge stops. Some of the I-90 superchargers in Wisconsin are on that original cross country route and limited to 120kW. Nonetheless I got a solid 7.5 miles/minute charge rate in both Eau Claire and Mauston. On Sep. 2 Madison was slow because we were paired nearly the whole time. Calculated distance/time speed while driving was 71mph and consumption was 290 Wh/mi.

Sep. 7: Fox Lake, WI to Lincoln, NE, 554 miles, 67 minutes in charge stops. We detoured about 40 minutes to inspect the August derecho damage in Cedar Rapids, IA. Calculated distance/time speed while driving was 74mph and consumption was 304 Wh/mi. Weather was ideal this day, ranging from 55-75F, so not only was efficiency good but the superchargers were fast, not crashing after 10-15 minutes as they often do when it's 90+F.

Sep. 8: Lincoln, NE to Boulder, CO, 505 miles, 59 minutes in charge stops. Calculated distance/time speed while driving was 75mph and consumption was 372 Wh/mi. Notice the contrast to the prior day in Wh/mi. Some of that is the 4,000 foot elevation gain, but temps averaged 45F and it rained hard in the eastern half of Nebraska (392 Wh/mi) and was windy in the western half (415 Wh/mi). It was snowing as we arrived in Boulder.

Sep. 10: Boulder, CO to Eagle CO, 158 miles, 36 minute charge stop in Idaho Springs. This was a short drive, much of it in the mountains with shopping and sightseeing stops, so consumption was 262 Wh/mi.

Sep. 11: Eagle, CO to Green River, UT, 369 miles, 70 minute charge stop over dinner in Moab. While there was a net elevation loss of about 2,500 feet, consumption was a surprisingly efficient 265 Wh/mi. The cold weather on Sep. 8-9 had lowered tire pressure so we added air Sep. 10 at the Superior, CO service center. We arrived at Arches NP at 1:30PM with 100 rated miles left. Arches was full and gated shut so we drove up to Dead Horse Point, then back to Arches where we were allowed in at 3:30. The elevation gain in Arches started to cut it close, so we only went as far as the hike to Delicate Arch, then slogged into Moab in very heavy traffic, reaching that supercharger with just 5 rated miles.

Sep. 12: Green River, UT to Richfield, UT via Capitol Reef NP, 277 miles. Consumption was 295 Wh/mi with no net elevation gain though there was climbing nearly 4,000 feet over a pass. Capitol Reef is the most isolated of Utah National Parks, so a good choice for Saturday in nice weather barely getting over 80F. But it's marginal in any Tesla without the largest battery size.

Sep. 13: Richfield, UT to Las Vegas, NV via Red Canyon and Cedar Breaks, 348 miles, one 20 minute charge stop in St. George. But that stop was ugly as the charger was full and we had to wait 25 minutes to get one. We then got lucky because our paired car left after 10 minutes so got a good charge rate after that. I looked at the map and noticed that Beaver, UT looked full too. So Vegas to SLC on weekends is now straining capacity. I had a similar wait in St. George Saturday March 14 on the way home from my Snowbird ski week. Consumption was 277 Wh/mi

Sep. 14: Las Vegas, NV to Glendale, CA, 264 miles, 15 minute charge stop in Yermo. Consumption was 300 Wh/mi.

Consumption for the entire 5009 miles was 306 Wh/mi. It was 310 Wh/mi for the 3,260 miles drive to Florida in May/June. Lifetime consumption for the 26,000 miles on my Aug. 2019 Raven is 307 Wh/mi while it was 342 Wh/mi on the S90D I drove from April 2016 to June 2019.

I have updated the supercharging charts I created after I arrived in Florida:

This includes both cross country drives plus some trips within Florida to space launches, Disney World and the Florida Keys. In 90+F weather it is not uncommon for the charge rate even under 50% SoC to fall below 100Kw after 10 minutes or so. Moving to another stall will generally put it back up.

As before the most useful info is how many rated miles are added per minute at a supercharger.

Under favorable conditions at a 150kW charger my Raven will charge at 8+ miles/minute from 50-150 miles and at 7 miles/minute to 225 miles. On an Interstate trip it's rarely necessary to charge past 225 rated miles. But we pushed the envelope with some of the places we went.

In three places, we stayed overnight within walking distance of a supercharger, Lincoln, NE, Green River and Richfield, UT. I also did this at Auburn, AL on the way to Florida. In these cases I set to 90% when I leave the car, then set to 100% when I wake up the next day and so have a full charge by the time I've packed and had breakfast.

There is still not that much v3 data. I recorded v3's every minute vs. every 5 minutes at v2's. Four of the v3 sessions were at Clearwater and two were at Bollingbrook, IL. One of the Bollingbook charges never exceeded 150kW. The other one peaked at 177kW and put on 220 rated miles in half an hour. I did not include Idaho Springs, which peaked at 132kW and overall performed like a below average v2. Louisville was the star performing v3, peaking at 197kW, remaining over 150Kw for 8 minutes and adding 102 rated miles in its best 10 minutes and 208 miles in the 25 minutes I was there. Clearwater averaged 96 miles in best 10 minutes and 26 miles in half an hour

Maximum rated miles added for a v2 are 89 in best 10 minutes and 206 in half an hour. Averages for v2 from a low SoC are around 75 in best 10 minutes and 185 in half an hour.
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thanks for summarizing your trip. Did you get a chance to measure your degradation if any of your battery capacity just before and after the trip ?

When the car was new in August 2019, 100% was 363 rated miles. 100% had degraded gradually to 353 miles by late May 2020. In July 2020, a software update raised my 100% to 365 rated miles. My last 100% was 363 rated miles in Richfield UT Sept. 13.

The software update recalibrated "rated miles" from 272 Wh/mi down to 260 Wh/mi.
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this was a great write-up....My wife and I are going to Miami from Irvine, California in November.....going thru New Orleans, Pensacola, Panama City over to Tallahassee and down I-75 to Miami.....I have a 2020 Model S LR+....100kW battery and at 100% am at 98% averaging 251kWh over 4600 miles....really excited about trip...
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great writeup. Also, Ive read where instead of moving to another charger, wrapping a damp rag around the handle as it charges achieves the same benefit. The heatup of the handle (allegedly) causes the charge rate to slow. The damp rag keeps the handle temp down. (allegedly)
great writeup. Also, Ive read where instead of moving to another charger, wrapping a damp rag around the handle as it charges achieves the same benefit. The heatup of the handle (allegedly) causes the charge rate to slow. The damp rag keeps the handle temp down. (allegedly)
There is little question in my mind that a hot handle is highly correlated with slow charging. If the handle is hot when I first go to plug in, I'll choose another stall immediately. And usually when there's a crash in kW speed after 10 minutes the handle is hot. The damp rag should work in desert heat like a swamp cooler. I'm not sure how effective it would be in eastern high humidity though.