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Avoiding Range Anxiety...Too Cautious?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Dan Detweiler, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Dan Detweiler

    Dan Detweiler Member

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    I have been driving a Volt for the last 4 years and having that ICE for a backup has kept me from any range anxiety to speak of. With the Model 3 however I am interested in seeing how pure electric owners handle it.

    I plan on approaching my long drives (more than 1 charge distance) the same way I used to handle my IFR flights back when I flew little airplanes. In an airplane you are required to plan your trip so that you land with no less then 45 minutes of fuel reserves on board (that may have changed now). This is of course in place to keep people from running out of gas which at 10,000 feet can be a rather pucker inducing experience! My thought is to plan trips to arrive with a buffer of say 30 miles of charge left. The big question is how much range you can actually expect from the stated range. On my Volt I see on the average about a 20% reduction in the full charge stated range due to weather, driving style, what have you. In the cold months running the heater that can be as much as 40%.

    If that holds true then I am hoping for a 300 mile battery option so that I can expect about a 240 mile actual range leaving a 30 mile buffer so I could plan for a 210 mile trip between charging stations without feeling that "will I make it?" feeling.

    Am I over thinking this? Have other Model S or X owners seen these types of numbers with actual range vs. stated range? How do current Tesla owners handle the long trips to avoid the stress of not knowing uyou are going to reach your destination?

    Thanks for any feedback you may have.

    Dan
     
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  2. jkk_

    jkk_ Member

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    Sounds pretty much exactly the same what I've been thinking. However, with recent reveal that base battery would be smaller than 60kWh, I'm quite worried if there will even be a 300 mile battery option :(

    Over thinking? Probably not since I'm on the same boat. Or maybe we both are just crazy :D But it would be nice to get information regarding your other two questions.
     
  3. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Good questions!

    I have taken numerous trips out of state, including a 5000 and 2000 mile trip.
    I had range anxiety a total of zero times.

    The easiest situation is if there are superchargers along your route, as there were on our trips.
    These are built at about 130-140 miles apart (closer near mountains). Typically we simply stopped at each one, varying how much we filled up depending on how far the next one was.

    As you mentioned, you want a bigger margin of safety in inclement weather.
    Temperature is more minor if you are simply doing interstate travel as once the car is warmed up it can be as little as a 10-20% hit.
    Headwinds are a bigger issue.
    Basically if you are headed directly into the wind, you basically add the wind speed to your driving speed.

    If you are going off the beaten path, RV parks (call ahead) can provide some nice charging opportunities, or any of the level 2 public car chargers. There is a CHaDeMO adapter if you have those DC chargers in your area.

    For daily driving though, I ignore all of the above;)
    Wake up with a full "tank" every morning, best thing ever.
     
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  4. Dan Detweiler

    Dan Detweiler Member

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    I am still holding out hope for 300 miles of range. If we don't get it then I will just have to adjust the plan!

    Dan
     
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  5. Dan Detweiler

    Dan Detweiler Member

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    Yes, for daily driving I am not worried in the least. Over the last 4 years with my Volt about 80% of my driving was done on all electric and that is with a battery that gives me about 35 miles of range. We do however, take several long trips per year and I will need this car to be able to meet those needs as well.

    Can't wait for my Model 3!

    Dan
     
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  6. ChooseGreen

    ChooseGreen Member

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    Awesome that your feet are already wet with the Volt! Though I have never driven an EV (I'm also a Model 3 reservation holder), I have found two awesome resources on this site that answer some of your questions:

    DougG wrote this awesome post: The Rules of Model S Road Tripping
    And ChadS wrote an awesome series of posts, of which this is one: How to plan a road trip - how long will it take?

    There are links in both threads that lead to more helpful resources as well. Thanks DougG and ChadS for writing those!
     
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  7. TrickyDimitri

    TrickyDimitri Soon...very soon my precious. Model ≡

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    I think we will get that as an option, but based on the price difference between the 70D and 90D I may not be able to afford a bigger battery. My guess is that the $42k price with most common additions Elon spoke of will be the Autopilot software activation and the glass roof. Fingers crossed that I am wrong, and that a bigger battery will be more affordable. :)
     
  8. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    A 200-mile range would suit my day-to-day use fine. For longer trips, a little more planning would be required, but between Plugshare and Google maps, doesn't seem like it would be that big of a deal.
     
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  9. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    The fact is on a road trip, a lot will depend on how far it really is between SC to SC. If the full rated range is 300, then with normal degradation, most of your time owning the car the max range is probably going to be 285. Charging to 80% at a SC takes 40 mins but charging to 100% takes like 90 mins... I would try to avoid charging to above 90% if at all possible due to the time differences. Route should be planned, if at all possible, to be reachable with 80% charge to the next SC. So if you want a 10% buffer, that means to be able to reach the next SC with 70% charge. Of course, in reality, under almost all circumstances, you use more range than rated. And when it's below 40 degrees, you being to use a LOT more power than rated...
     
  10. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    Have to disagree here. Under almost all circumstances, I use less range than rated. Everyone's driving style is different of course but my lifetime average is 290 Wh/mile which is less than the Rated Range of 300. My lowest monthly average ever was 258 (September), highest ever was 347 (January).

    Having owned a MS 60 for over 3 years and driven 75k miles including many long road trips in all sorts of wind and weather including fully loaded with 7 passengers (driver plus 6), rooftop carriers and bikes mounted on a tow hitch, I would like to share my opinions:

    The best thing about the Model S is you know exactly how much range you have remaining. The calculation is very accurate, enough to run the range down to zero (though that is not recommended). I have arrived at charging destinations in the single digits many times before, especially back in the days before there were any superchargers on the east coast (man have things improved!)

    The biggest impact on consumption is speed. If you are worried about reaching your destination, just slow down. Even 5mph less can make a big difference at highway speeds. In fact slow highway traffic will improve your range unless you are really blasting the heat or AC and just barely creeping along. If you don't want to drive in the slow lane on an interstate, take the scenic route. Also driving style can stretch range, the Tesla is a blast to drive but if your goal is stretching your range on a road trip it is best to tone it down a bit.
     
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  11. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    Of course actual range is dependent on a lot of circumstances, but most of those are know before the drive. EV Trip Planner does an excellent job of telling you pretty accurately how far you can go (try plugging in different numbers to get a feel for Tesla range, although obviously the 3 will be somewhat different). I usually leave a 10% buffer from those numbers. The biggest variable is headwind, but if you find yourself using too much power you just slow down. It's really rare for me to be going anywhere that I even need to think about it, though. With a Model S 85 I know that anything less that 200 miles round trip doesn't need a lot of worry (and 160 miles round trip doesn't even need thinking about). The trip planning software in the car should continue to improve as well.
     
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  12. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I've been driving my Roadster for over 5 years now, and almost certainly the Model 3 will exceed that range....

    In the early days there wasn't so much range anxiety but trips needed planning, charging points were a lot scarcer back then; now as those spots are becoming more ubiquitous I find my self doing ever less trip planning, both because I know where the charge stations are and because I know that I WILL find something in a pinch.

    I guess I'm just saying...don't worry about it. Most new owners find themselves checking on charging locations in the early days of ownership, but confidence grows very quickly.
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    And this:
     
  14. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Long trips are really no problem at all. As of today as a EV driver of course you have plan your route according to charging stations. That's the only thing to keep in mind. If you stay within the Supercharger network, you are fine. They are spaced out in a way that you can always make it to the next one. The trip planner in the car really eliminates all worries.

    Range anxiety is something you have before you get an EV. It's fear of the unknown. Once you have it and know how far you can go, everything is fine. I drove 73k miles in less than 2 years with my Model S. Many long road trips. Never ran out of juice. Especially now with the trip planner in the car it's so easy.
     
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  15. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    I think initially you will probably plan your Model 3 trips the way you planned your IFR trips. (Tesla may look at you funny when you file your flight plan though...)

    However, you'll learn this isn't needed. You have a tremendous amount of control over range. Keep in mind the Model S can reach 400 miles when driven in a specific way - the Model 3 should be no different.

    I've arrived countless times at Superchargers and at home with less than 10 miles left. It's not because I "cut it close" all the time (or ever), it's because I regulate my driving to optimize charge time vs. drive time. So as I travel, I keep altering my driving style to match to the remaining range. It gets natural after a while.

    But worse comes to worse, this isn't scary like needing to perform an engine-out landing over a mountain range. You just pull over and call a tow truck. Not the end of the world. You're out the cost of 1 or 2 tanks of gas, and an hour. In a lot of cases it will be quicker to get towed to the Supercharger than stopping at a 110V or even J1772 charger.
     
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  16. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I'm not an owner yet, but hope to be soon. I've been obsessing about this stuff for close to a year now. The energy consumption curves for an EV are different from an ICE and that needs to be kept in mind. Slowing down will always save you energy until you drop below about 25 mph. I wrote this last fall when I was researching the differences in energy curves:
    Differences in Economy Between ICE and EVs

    Another good site I've found is Plug Share:
    PlugShare

    As I scrolled around the maps of areas we were thinking of traveling to, there are charging options all over the place. Most are slow chargers so they are only emergency backup plans, but they are there. Last summer I met with a local Tesla owner who had one of the Model Ss with a VIN <1000. He had his car before the superchargers existed and he said road trips back then took some planning, but he managed. One time he had to plug into a 110V outlet for a couple of hours to get to a faster charger, but it worked.

    Traveling these days you want to route through as many superchargers as possible, but even off the beaten path chargers are there. And one of the cool things about a Tesla is all these internet resources you can look at in the comfort of your home are also available in your car!
     
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  17. Big-T

    Big-T Member

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    #17 Big-T, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
    Just one thing that I recently found on a reddit thread that I wasn't aware of -

    The recommended thing to do is only charge your battery to 80-85% (and that tesla cars have pre-set settings on how much to charge a battery and that's around what they're set to by default. This helps maintain capacity over time.

    I had no idea, maybe some of the S and X owners can step in and confirm this, but that sort of reduces the actual range from 200 to 160 for everyday charging driving. And if you want to leave yourself a buffer than the real range maybe 130-140 Makes me think twice about just sticking with the base battery - especially since I heard upgrading the battery is the #1 thing you could do (historically) to bump you up on the production list.
     
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  18. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    Not really true. Sort of true. They don't have a pre-set settings. They do have a slider where you can set how much you want to charge your battery.

    They do recommend that drivers do not charge up to 100% daily. This is no different than any other EV. The Leaf is similar. It's like any device with lithium-ion batteries. To extend battery life, do not charge to full on a regular basis.
     
  19. chipmunk

    chipmunk Member

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    But consider, 140 miles times 260 (the number of weekdays in a year) is 36k miles per year. If you drove that every day, it's 51k miles per year. Do you really drive that much? If not, you charge to the 80-85% most of the time, and charge more when you might need it. I think you'll find it's more than enough.

    My previous car was also a Volt. I think it's the perfect EV training vehicle. You learn how rarely you actually drive over 100 miles in a day.
     
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  20. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Yes the battery will last longer (long term life) if you don't charge it to 100% all the time. On a daily basis you never need 100% so that works out fine. On trips you rarely charge to 100% either when using Superchargers because they charge faster when the battery is at a lower level and slow down as the battery gets fuller. To optimize time, you only charge just as much as you need to make it to the next Supercharger plus some buffer. This way, when you arrive at a charger, you get the highest charge rate.
    So again, range anxiety completely disappears when you go on trips.
     
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