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A close call with running out of battery power driving home

Here is a cautionary tale. Bottom line: Don't be dumb like us. Use the Supercharger network!

27DF5937-45AF-4EA4-96F5-93AD85C0BD9F.jpeg


My wife decided to take a spontaneous trip, with our usual charge of 80% (indicated 268 mi range. The town was 110 miles away, so no big deal, right? Well, after interstate speeds and low temperatures, the return trip range was too low. Two options: (a) drive 45 minutes in the other direction to the Supercharger, then 2 hours home, or (b) get some juice from a hotel destination charger, have dinner, and drive 1.5 hours home.

She chose (b) - mistake 1. Charging took 3 hours and got her to 150 miles range. 40 miles buffer, no sweat. She plugged in the navigation, and it said go to the supercharger. Nah, we got enough to get home - mistake 2. Tesla said to keep it below 65 to make it home.

Long story short, the Tesla range kept going down faster than linear. I assume it was because of the cold (29° F). I was watching the range on my app from home, and it looked terrifying - it looked like she was not going to make it. She tried stopping at an Electrify America station just off the interstate, but it was CCS and CHAdeMO only. She kept it to 65 mph, then 60, then down to 55 as the range got closer to zero. Several miles from home, range finally indicated zero. I had driven our ICE car out of town several miles to follow her in case the car shut down.

She made it home, with the range on zero miles for several miles. Apparently there is some kind of reserve, but I don't want to ever ever find out how much that reserve is!

36E235EC-F42C-4D69-B63B-93CEC584CA82.jpeg


Lesson: Use the Supercharger network, even if it's out of the way. It might save time and keep you from losing years of your life to range anxiety.
 
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I just wish the percent remaining on arrival wasn't buried at the bottom of the navigation turn by turn list. Would like to see current and final at a glance. And in a way that doesn't modify the map orientation.
I absolutely agree with all comments about the design and use of the Tesla screen. It needs designing from the ground up. My son-in-law is an inspired graphic designer with years of experience designing the dissemination of information for use on computer screens. I will fly him to California at my own expense! I’m sure he’d do it for free! 😂👍
 
No, the bottom line is that Tesla should use CCS like it does in Europe.

Had she been able charge at the Electrify America station, she wouldn't have been in that stituation.
Meh, just give me a ccs adaptor. I‘d rather keep My tesla connector, over those clunky ccs monstrosities. It will be rare for me to find an EA station more convenient than a supercharger anyway.
 
Meh, just give me a ccs adaptor. I‘d rather keep My tesla connector, over those clunky ccs monstrosities. It will be rare for me to find an EA station more convenient than a supercharger anyway.
Yes, one main reason to buy the Tesla is for the Supercharger network. We considered the adapter, but the $500+ price tag was offputting for the extremely rare occasions where we can't get to a Supercharger. In the original case, the supercharger would have been easily accessed 45 min away, and it would have saved a lot of time and stress to just go there as the nav system said to.
 
Here is a cautionary tale. Bottom line: Don't be dumb like us. Use the Supercharger network!

View attachment 766756

My wife decided to take a spontaneous trip, with our usual charge of 80% (indicated 268 mi range. The town was 110 miles away, so no big deal, right? Well, after interstate speeds and low temperatures, the return trip range was too low. Two options: (a) drive 45 minutes in the other direction to the Supercharger, then 2 hours home, or (b) get some juice from a hotel destination charger, have dinner, and drive 1.5 hours home.

She chose (b) - mistake 1. Charging took 3 hours and got her to 150 miles range. 40 miles buffer, no sweat. She plugged in the navigation, and it said go to the supercharger. Nah, we got enough to get home - mistake 2. Tesla said to keep it below 65 to make it home.

Long story short, the Tesla range kept going down faster than linear. I assume it was because of the cold (29° F). I was watching the range on my app from home, and it looked terrifying - it looked like she was not going to make it. She tried stopping at an Electrify America station just off the interstate, but it was CCS and CHAdeMO only. She kept it to 65 mph, then 60, then down to 55 as the range got closer to zero. Several miles from home, range finally indicated zero. I had driven our ICE car out of town several miles to follow her in case the car shut down.

She made it home, with the range on zero miles for several miles. Apparently there is some kind of reserve, but I don't want to ever ever find out how much that reserve is!

View attachment 766757

Lesson: Use the Supercharger network, even if it's out of the way. It might save time and keep you from losing years of your life to range anxiety.
I had a similar experience with my new Y. I was busy and distracted with a stressful work phone call. Looked up to see 7 miles when I was 17 miles from home. The Supercharger was .... 7 miles away. My question is "Why isn't there an alarm or alert to let me know it's getting low?". My iPhone does a good job with notifying me when it needs charging so I can take some action. Would appreciate feedback on this idea.
 
I think it does if you use navigation. I know people know exactly where they live but using navigation can be useful for that reason (you can turn volume off so it isn’t annoying). Navigating home is as simple as click-holding the navigation button and dragging it straight down. Also another benefit is traffic awareness - it will suggest another route if it sees a traffic tie up along your route. (This might require premium connectivity - unsure)
 
Yes, one main reason to buy the Tesla is for the Supercharger network. We considered the adapter, but the $500+ price tag was offputting for the extremely rare occasions where we can't get to a Supercharger. In the original case, the supercharger would have been easily accessed 45 min away, and it would have saved a lot of time and stress to just go there as the nav system said to.
Yes, one main reason to buy the Tesla is for the Supercharger network. We considered the adapter, but the $500+ price tag was offputting for the extremely rare occasions where we can't get to a Supercharger. In the original case, the supercharger would have been easily accessed 45 min away, and it would have saved a lot of time and stress to just go there as the nav system said to.
Actually, the J1772 adapter for the Y is $50. SAE J1772 Charging Adapter
 
I've found that the trip consumption graph to be much more helpful than the estimated percentage on arrival for long trips.

Not only does it clearly show you the estimated arrival battery, it also shows you the estimated charge throughout the entire length of the trip, taking into account things like elevation changes. It also shows you how you're doing in comparison to the original guess, so if you're below the estimate, you know to slow down or to find means of charging.

It doesn't take into account wind, however, which can make an absolutely huge difference.
 
I've found that the trip consumption graph to be much more helpful than the estimated percentage on arrival for long trips.

Not only does it clearly show you the estimated arrival battery, it also shows you the estimated charge throughout the entire length of the trip, taking into account things like elevation changes. It also shows you how you're doing in comparison to the original guess, so if you're below the estimate, you know to slow down or to find means of charging.

It doesn't take into account wind, however, which can make an absolutely huge difference.
I noticed it take account of wind on a road trip through Wyoming in a constant headwind. The nav even added additional charging stops. 375 Wh/m for 500 miles.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,807
11,499
Boise, ID
I noticed it take account of wind on a road trip through Wyoming in a constant headwind. The nav even added additional charging stops. 375 Wh/m for 500 miles.
It's indirect, but is not really what it's doing. The car has no idea or information about wind itself. It is just reading in realtime the actual energy consumption of the car and making adjustments to that as needed. That could be from heating or wind or rain or snow or towing or someone clinging to the back of the car begging you not to leave.
 

jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
6,782
7,688
Maryland
Here is a cautionary tale. Bottom line: Don't be dumb like us. Use the Supercharger network!

View attachment 766756

My wife decided to take a spontaneous trip, with our usual charge of 80% (indicated 268 mi range. The town was 110 miles away, so no big deal, right? Well, after interstate speeds and low temperatures, the return trip range was too low. Two options: (a) drive 45 minutes in the other direction to the Supercharger, then 2 hours home, or (b) get some juice from a hotel destination charger, have dinner, and drive 1.5 hours home.

She chose (b) - mistake 1. Charging took 3 hours and got her to 150 miles range. 40 miles buffer, no sweat. She plugged in the navigation, and it said go to the supercharger. Nah, we got enough to get home - mistake 2. Tesla said to keep it below 65 to make it home.

Long story short, the Tesla range kept going down faster than linear. I assume it was because of the cold (29° F). I was watching the range on my app from home, and it looked terrifying - it looked like she was not going to make it. She tried stopping at an Electrify America station just off the interstate, but it was CCS and CHAdeMO only. She kept it to 65 mph, then 60, then down to 55 as the range got closer to zero. Several miles from home, range finally indicated zero. I had driven our ICE car out of town several miles to follow her in case the car shut down.

She made it home, with the range on zero miles for several miles. Apparently there is some kind of reserve, but I don't want to ever ever find out how much that reserve is!

View attachment 766757

Lesson: Use the Supercharger network, even if it's out of the way. It might save time and keep you from losing years of your life to range anxiety.
What about the Tesla to CCS adapter? Isn’t that included with each Tesla? (I’m not an owner yet, waiting on delivery).
 

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