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A blissful drive to a NorCal beach!

Discussion in 'Model S' started by gg_got_a_tesla, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

    Jan 29, 2010
    Redwood Shores, CA
    It's been just over a month since I got my 60kWh Model S and I hadn't gotten a chance to drive it beyond the Bay Area; until today!

    We decided to make a trip to the beach; it promised to be a beautiful, sunny day with highs predicted to be around 65 degrees down by Capitola, CA near Santa Cruz, about 53 miles from home. We had never been to Capitola before despite several visits to Santa Cruz.

    Did some reconnaissance using Recargo and Chargepoint to locate charging options just in case; there were several options in Santa Cruz proper but, the City of Capitola lured us with this free EV parking/charging location - with a couple of Chargepoint J1772 30A stations - just a few blocks from the beachfront:

    City of Capitola Parking Lot - Capitola, CA - Recargo

    Started with 188 miles on a standard charge and headed down 880 past the Tesla Factory and onto Hwy 17 and the fun, twisty drive that it offers through the Santa Cruz mountains and the beautiful Redwood canopy.

    Boy, was it fantastic to stretch the Model S's legs on Hwy 17 or what?! To be able to pull that off without ever touching the brake pedal right through 20-odd miles was just a dream! The Model S handled the corners marked as 40 mph hairpin curves at 55-60 mph with ease. And, to think that folks like GeekGirlS call this their daily "commute"!!

    Did a slight detour off Hwy 17 to get to the "world famous" Mystery Spot, spent an hour there and headed down to Hwy 1 South to get to Capitola. Managed to convince my son not to deface the Model S with that ugly Mystery Spot bumper sticker :phew:

    Capitola (and apparently, the neighboring Aptos) turned out to be what Santa Cruz used to be, maybe, 12-13 years ago. Charming little town with a nice beachfront, many dining options and a very welcoming beach with a creek running through it for kids to play in without danger.

    Before we got to the beach, we found the parking lot with the charging stations with ease; after maneuvering the Model S a little while still avoiding the curb up front, managed to - just about - get the cable to plug in (wasn't bothered to try to reverse in):

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1361692169.575785.jpg

    There were no other EVs around when we got there. After all the spirited diving through the mountains with AC at 69 degrees, arrived with 120 rated miles left; not bad at all.

    After a quick 15-min walk to the beach, grabbed a bite and settled down for the next couple of hours. Used the Model S app and the Chargepoint app on my iPhone to check on the car to see that it was juicing up at upto 25 miles per hour which was impressive from a 30A station.

    Some beach pics for completeness sakes:

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1361692518.961433.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1361692531.483298.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1361692542.887428.jpg
    (my wife's idea of "sunning" on the beach!)

    After we had our fill, headed back to the parking lot. The Model S app indicated that the car had 172 rated miles but, that the interior temperature - thanks to my black roof and interior?! - was 105 degrees! Set the climate control for 70 degrees with the app; monitored the interior temp as we walked back to the car - the temp rapidly came down to 78 degrees in the 15 min that we took to get back. The cool part was that the HVAC system appeared to be using shore power without reducing the rated driving range itself which stayed at 172 miles right through. Neat!

    So, in 2 hrs, 15 min, got back about 52 rated miles (for free!) and had a nice, relatively cool car to get into:

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1361693068.237673.jpg

    Drove back briefly on Hwy 1 N and then Hwy 17 at a good clip with the AC going at 68 degrees, got up on I-280 N for a bit (going at 75-80 mph), ran a few errands in Redwood City and then, the Palo Alto area and got back home with 90 miles showing on the guage. So, we could have possibly done all this without even charging in Capitola, hmm?!

    Range anxiety?! Pfft!

    Got past the 2,000 (memorable) mile mark as well; what a car!!

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk HD1361693559.455723.jpg
  2. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

    Nov 13, 2009
    I don't want to hear about no stinkin' beach day: we've got a blizzard on our hands here in landlocked Colorado. :wink:

    But I'm happy the car worked well for your family outing.
  3. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

    Mar 3, 2012
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Inspiring story, GG..Thanks for sharing!
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    May 17, 2009
    Las Vegas, NV
    Great story gg. Another good example of a little planning can make a drive in the Model S just like any other car.
  5. rcsting

    rcsting Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    Sacramento , Ca
    Great location to take a drive. Did you stop by Gayles Bakery ? Looks like you had a great day , we're looking forward to reserving our S soon.
  6. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    Santa Cruz, CA
    I never bought a Prius or Leaf, because I was waiting for a new technology car that was worthy of this commute. The S definitely fits the bill, and I love driving it over 17. Accelerating to pass uphill without having to downshift has always been my dream.
  7. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

    Oct 8, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    cool trip, GG. thanks for sharing!

  8. Ben W

    Ben W P85 #61, Roadster #108

    Feb 27, 2009
    Santa Barbara, CA
    And 324 Wh/mi, that's excellent!! The EPA cycle works out to 321Wh/mi I believe.
  9. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    Northern California
    Sounds like a great day, thanks for sharing!
  10. gmontem

    gmontem Model S P01707

    Mar 24, 2011
    Castro Valley, CA
    That's some nice average Wh/mi numbers you have, GG. Mine are around 370 Wh/mi. I'd be very, very happy if Tesla would come out with a battery upgrade where 400 Wh/mi is rated for a 300 mile drive at full charge.
  11. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

    Dec 2, 2009
    Belmont, CA
    Glad you had a good outing, GG. While you might have squeezed by without charging in Capitola having the extra buffer meant no sacrifices on speed and comfort. Fortunately there was no competition for the free charger.

    One thing I learned about Chargepoint stations with a fee is they charge a $2 min but after the first hour it is pro-rated. So in Sacramento I was at a walgreens for 1hr 10 min and was charged $2.33 for 7kWh. Works out to $0.33 per kWh, comparable to prices at home (on E1 rates at tiers 3+).

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