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800 Mile Homecoming

Discussion in 'Model S' started by electronRider, Jun 20, 2014.

  1. electronRider

    electronRider Member

    Mar 26, 2014
    Northern Hemisphere
    #1 electronRider, Jun 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
    Hi All,

    We've recently joined the EV/Tesla family and wanted to share the story of finding & returning with our Dream Car!

    As with many, we've been following Tesla since the Roadster was still sketched on a napkin and we started by going to the Design Studio to assemble various combinations of options, then saving them as PDFs for future comparisons. This exercise provided both a sense of what a "stripped down" S60 would include & cost as well as the top of the line straight from the sandman, P85+.

    This also provided the impetus to seek a used (or preowned for those Mad Men out there) Model S. ViperDoc was critically helpful by recounting he & his wife's experiences of Tesla ownership in similar climate and state of road (dis)repair. We also appreciate all the invaluable info the few folks we contacted with vehicles for sale provided about their ownership experience and reasons for moving to their next vehicle.

    We found our Model S in Columbus, Ohio at Byers Auto. The sales team we worked with (thank you Justin & Scott!) were personable, straightforward, and provided a great overall experience.

    Thanks to some accumulated air miles, we were able to fly to Columbus three days after reaching a tentative sales agreement via phone & email for little dinero.

    Scott was particularly accommodating by offering both of the requested conditions during the road test (broken/bumpy pavement & tight technical twisties). He also had us do a highway jaunt where when warned of an emergency lane change maneuver, he didn't miss a beat in saying he appreciated the heads up and was as impressed as we were by the big Tesla's poise.

    Even at a dealership with Porshes (saw the Boxster Roadster in person at last!), Jaguar F-type R's, a R10, and countless other lustworthy whips, the test drive and overall condition of our soon-to-be Model S was more than enough to seal the deal.

    After about an hour of paperwork, we awaited the final financial confirmation before being released into the wild!

    The one and only Supercharger available enroute was a scant 134 miles away, which even after the 20+ mile test drive, meant being entirely unconcerned about available Kwh's. Upon arriving at the Macedonia Supercharger with 76 rated miles remaining, we plugged in and headed to the Chipotle we noted on the way over. About 40 mins including a brief walk, an inexpensive yet filling taco dinner, and return stroll, we were nearing capacity. Both to witness the Supercharger tapering off and because it would be faster than any other charging opportunity thereafter, we stayed another half hour to top up.

    supercharging.jpg SC-full-tilt.jpg SC-initial-taper.jpg SC-tapered-down.jpg
    Supercharging! The three charging screens show the SC initial charging rate then the subsequent tapering down.

    Heading NE, we drove a less spirited 201 miles to Buffalo where a few hotels offered charging with their rooms. We stopped at the TownePlace Suites and connected up to the Chargepoint before heading to bed. In the AM, we still showed over 5 hrs until fully charged at the seemingly anemic rate of 18 mi/hr (208V @ 30A). Perhaps our first recharge being at a SC was both blessing & curse.

    Overnight Hotel Recharge.jpg
    ChargePoint overnight recharge rate.

    All the same, we had a leisurely breakfast, got cleaned up, and packed. The staff was accommodating and the facilities manager came out in the morning to look at the car and discuss the impetus for installing the chargers. Our next stop should be doable or we'd just be thumb twiddling for another couple hours.

    We drove 140 miles before realizing our next target was just out of range. We had reviewed some other options in route on PlugShare and reached out to Jim near Syracuse. He was at work and is a Leaf driver. His collegiate son Matthew was home as was his Fit EV!
    Impromptu EV Meet-up

    We'd been considering the Fit EV for sometime, however hadn't been able to get one in our state. Matthew was nice enough to take us to lunch while we charged and even let us drive the Fit! Only "fitting" to do the same and let him drive the Model S. Both are amazing cars. He took us to a nearby twisty road for some hooning. Used about half the range we'd regained but definitely worth it. Matthew and his family are vocal EV advocates and active in their local EV Owners Group.

    After first calling a nearby state park campsite to ensure we could plugin, we showed up and the mains were off to their 14-50 hookups. Crap no juice. The staff was all very friendly but the site wouldn't open until the next month, so nada electrons and it was time to move on.

    PlugShare was vital here as we found a fellow Model Esser sharing his 14-50. Hypermiling through the hills got us there showing 7 miles of rated range. Whew!

    NEMA 14-50 Recharge

    Nate & his family were wonderfully hospitable. Insisting we bring our dinner (leftovers from lunch) in to heat up and join them at the table. Lots of discussion about EVs, charging rates, the soon to be Albany SC, and so forth. Very appreciative of the warmth received! This along with Jim & Matthew often leaving their J1772 accessible outside their garage, committed us to providing unsupervised shared charging at our home.

    We left around nightfall and headed East to connect with Michael and his HPWC. A wonderful gent, while we were plugged in, he showed us some local attractions and discussed his motivations for getting his Model S. We took some snapshots, however it was too dark by then for them to be worth posting. Michael has since driven the SC electrons all the way down to Miami and back!

    Man Drives Tesla From NY To Miami Without Spending A Cent : Huffington Post

    We then headed to the Albany Best Western for a siesta and opportunity charge before continuing the rest of the way to the house. Our thanks to Ron for donating the SunCountry charger. This is the first time the dual chargers came in use.
    Best Western SunCountry recharge rate

    Bedding down in the back for a few hours gave us plenty of range for our last leg. Amazing to be able to turn on the heat without needing to run the an ICE. Putting all the luggage in the drivers seat kept the systems powered up while we slumbered.

    Rather than tangle with rush hour, we had picked up some breakfast to enjoy along with a few Zzz's during one more opportunity charge. Wanted to see what the local offerings were like. This Nissan dealership has a CHAdeMO as well. Another dealership in the area offers more voltage (240V listed at the Ford dealership should equate to ~24 mi/hr recharge rate).

    Nissan dealership J1772

    GTR photo op, took the front vanity plate off enroute to reduce flat plate area

    Back at the ranch, trip totals were:
    819 miles @ 322 Wh/mi,
    tire pressures were 35-37psi

    Some initial impressions:
    a) WOW!
    b) was near comical in how many people would roll-up next to the Model S between Columbus and Cleveland sit in our blindspot and snap pics; received many thumbs up
    c) see a)
    d) mastery of the turn signal stock took ~5 mins with the car
    e) flat footing the accelerator to provide safe distance from b) could easily become addictive; roll-on acceleration is motorcycle-esque, see a)
    f) in this vein, everything else short of our motorbikes now feels slow and obsolete
    g) slacker, nav to charging, selectable widgets on the left & right of the speedo, cruise control flexibility, control shortcuts are all well implemented and made the trip very comfortable as did the adjustable lumbar support
    h) see c)
    i) handling is sublime, blending compliance with otherworldly grip particularly with the low C of G
    j) plenty of room for car camping, particularly with frunk storage
    k) with a little pre-planning and a host of wonderful people, road trips outside the SC coverage areas are very doable

    Thanks for reading, please enjoy your Warp-driven, Magic Carpet Ride of the future!
  2. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

    Aug 11, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Congrats on your new ride! I am 7 months an owner and not a day goes by that I don't have a big smile on my face. Best car experience I've ever had.
  3. electronRider

    electronRider Member

    Mar 26, 2014
    Northern Hemisphere
    Thank you ACDriveMotor, we're just over two months of ownership in and know precisely what you mean; feel the same joy of driving as in our teens!

    Looks like your Model S is well appointed. Enjoy!

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