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Battery died with 10 km Typical Range left?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Carl, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Carl

    Carl Member

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    Dear Tesla Nation - did anyone of you ever experience the following:

    - battery died with 1, 5 or 10 km of Typical Range still being indicated, or:
    - when you have 30 km Typical Range or less (with for example 5 km to go to the next Supercharger), that Typical Range suddenly decreases at a much higher rate without any obvious reason and leaves you stranded at 2 km from the Supercharger?

    I have the (probably silly) habitude of, when road tripping, trying to arrive with the smallest Typical Range possible (preferably 1 km - I can be mad at myself if I arrive with 30 km Typical Range left, because it means I topped up too much at the previous Supercharger).

    This has always worked for me over the last three years (simply by taking a 20% to 30% margin over Typical Range, and "burning" any surplus over the last 100 kilometers). Arriving with exactly 1 km Typical Range is also great at teaching passengers that range anxiety is really a stupid thing, because it is so easy, with a Tesla, to manage consumption.

    But once in a while I hear stories (notably, lately, on the Talking Tesla podcast, which BTW is otherwise great!) of people ending up with a dead battery whereas they had 30 miles Typical Range left and could not manage the last 5 miles... I don't understand that, because this is not what I have ever experienced, but I am obviously somewhat worried. It jeopardises my anti-anxiety "sport" of arriving with 1 km range left!

    So, just to ring-fence the question:
    - this is not about whether you can drive below zero Typical Range;
    - this is not about whether Typical Range is typical for any of us (that is certainly worth a whole other thread :));
    - this is only about whether anyone has ever experienced any of these two situations: battery dead with still some Typical Range left, or: Typical Range, when it is getting low, suddenly decreasing by an order of magnitude without any good reason.
     
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  2. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    There was a post here some time back about someone who needed to get towed to the Supercharger from, essentially, the off-ramp, and how his rated range had not shown there was going to be an issue. Apparently the Supercharger was uphill for the last little ways, and the driver had been speeding quite a bit.

    More to the point, though, why would you want to constantly run your battery down to 1KM? You know that's not good for the battery, right?
     
  3. Carl

    Carl Member

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    Andy - of course I don't constantly run down my battery to 1km - just on road trips (skiing vacations). And I admit it is a silly hobby (although, in my defence, I think it does convince my passengers that range anxiety is an even more silly thing) but I just want to know whether, apart from being silly, it is also dangerous, or not :)
     
  4. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    The driver who had to have his car towed a short distance to a supercharger would tell you it is dangerous.

    And again, while I understand your desire to, in your own words, do something "silly", I just want to say again that it is not just silly. You are almost certainly shortening the life of your battery, and causing it to degrade faster than it otherwise would. The effect may not be all that significant, but if over a few years you lose a few km of range permanently, sooner than you otherwise would have, will it have been worth it?
     
  5. Carl

    Carl Member

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    Actually whenever I do that, and charge 90% or 100% afterwards, my range actually goes up by a few km, so I have no idea whether this shortens battery life or instead rather "stimulates" the battery, somehow. Anyway, my only question is whether anyone has himself or herself experienced the issues mentioned in the OP (and not simply "heard/read of it").
     
  6. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    You need to learn a lot more about your Tesla. A LOT MORE. But in light of the rest of your statement (below) rather than help you any more, and explain the above, I'll let you learn about that for yourself. Or not. My guess is that you won't bother to try.

    Well, then excuse me for attempting to help. You're on your own, as far as I'm concerned.
     
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  7. Candleflame

    Candleflame Member

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    Long periods of deep discharge don't occur as you will charge the car immediatey after, but full discharges wear the battery down faster than partial discharges. And obviously it could leave you stranded. Unfortunatley tesla does not release any details of how much less a battery gets harmed. My assumtion is that they only really start getting data on this now from their cars and aren't keen to share it as other car makers might copy their advice.
     
  8. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

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    What you are describing here is battery pack balancing. Imagine your battery pack is an ice cube tray and it has been filled with warm molasses. The side under the sink spout has cubes that are full, the other side has cubes that are not. The full side keeps getting topped up during the weeks of your daily commute as you charge and discharge, but it never quite tops up on the other side, because the molasas is too slow to get there. But during a road trip, you drain the entire tray, then fill up again. The tray will be somewhat better balanced than it was before. This is reflected in a few more km range. Filling up to 100%, discharging to 1% and then back up to 100%, like on a road trip, really balances the pack out well, and usually shows an increase in range by a few km, and will be close to when you originally took ownership of your car.
     
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  9. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

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    #9 chillaban, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
    Having a range buffer is NOT silly! The couple minutes that you save by arriving with a lower charge will be grossly offset by the times where you have to crawl at 40mph with blinkers on to the next supercharger or wait 2 hours to get towed to one because of a slight miscalculation.


    On my last Vegas trip, it started raining between Buttonwillow and Barstow. I topped off an insane amount — to the point that I had 30% estimated remaining. By the time I got to Barstow (going the speed limit or less than 5 over), I had 9% left in the pack. Had I used a 15% buffer (which is generous by the OP's definition), I would've been sitting in a torrential downpour waiting for a tow truck.

    Bottom line: Sometimes stuff happens like unexpected rain / cold mountain weather. Other times in unfamiliar areas the trip computer can be drastically off (I find that the Buttonwillow to Barstow estimate is always off by a good 5-10%)
     
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  10. Gen3

    Gen3 Member

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    I don't see anywhere in the thread you attempted to help by answering his initial question.
     
  11. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    #11 Andyw2100, Jan 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
    This was the OPs initial question:

    --
    - this is only about whether anyone has ever experienced any of these two situations: battery dead with still some Typical Range left, or: Typical Range, when it is getting low, suddenly decreasing by an order of magnitude without any good reason.
    --

    I answered that question with an example of a report that I had read on TMC. He had not stated he wanted only first-hand reports. And then I warned him about how his practice was probably hurting his battery.

    Instead of thanking me in any way, he chose to say he didn't want reports of second-hand accounts, but rather only first-hand accounts.

    Also note that when I responded, no one else had yet. So I was going out of my way to help the guy, and instead of expressing any appreciation whatsoever he told me to bugger-off. And then you, @Gen3, decide my post is worth disagreeing with.

    This is a good example of "No good deed goes unpunished." I try to help, and instead of getting thanked, or any positive response, I get a disagree. Nice.
     
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  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, it is a risky strategy to try to arrive at a Supercharger with just a few km of range shown on the display. The displayed range is a "best estimate" by the software. It is not a precise measurement and yes it may change in odd ways when the range value approaches the bottom end of the scale.

    Your strategy is akin to trying to arrive at the gas station with just one liter left in the tank. The fuel gauge cannot precisely measure the remaining fuel. You may or may not make it to the gas station.

    I prefer to plan to have at least 10% of my battery remaining when I arrive at my charging location in case something unexpected happens enroute. My wife prefers 20%.
     
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  13. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    The benefits you describe can be achieved just by occasionally charging to 100% (preferably just before departing on a trip) and making sure to let the car complete the charge to 100%.

    The "increase" in range that is shown is just an artifact of what the BMS knows about the pack. The lost range had never really been lost. On the other hand, running a pack down to 1 km rated range will most definitely result in very real pack degradation.
     
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  14. Electricfan

    Electricfan Active Member

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    No, I have not gotten stuck yet or seen any unexpected drop in range near the end of a trip. But I'm sorry, I have to say this - you need to read a lot more about your extremely expensive battery, because from what I've read you are damaging it (slightly, but still) with this game. If you care about making your battery last you should never run it down below 10% and it would be even better to never run it down below 20%. The closer you can stay to the middle of your pack's energy level, the longer your pack will last. Stay away from 100% and 0% as much as you possibly can.
     
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  15. Gen3

    Gen3 Member

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    Maybe his reply about not wanting second hand information got deleted, but it's not in the thread. I felt the need to reply due to the snark in your later reply in what was an otherwise interesting thread. But if a thank you is what you need, then thank you for giving me something to do whilst I await my plane.
     
  16. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    It's in post 5, and then I quoted it in post 6. THAT was the reason I responded with a little bit of snark. I was the only person at the time actually trying to help, and he was basically telling me he didn't want my help.
     
  17. Carl

    Carl Member

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    I was just asking a very simple question which I thought could be of interest to anyone on a road trip (battery dead with still some Typical Range left, or Typical Range, when it is getting low, suddenly decreasing by an order of magnitude without any good reason). I appreciate the advice that testing this is not a good idea (from a practical perspective and for battery life), but that wasn't really my question.

    Perhaps the good news (from the perspective of the original simple question) is that no-one has chimed in to say that this happened to him or her last week or so :)
     
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  18. Matias

    Matias Active Member

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    I share your view that it is risky to try to arrive to a supercharger with only few km of range left.

    But considering about the last few kms range, I have somewhat different view; in the last few kms before shutting the car down, I believe the BMS monitors pack voltage. If it is above shut down, BMS won't shut the car down. So if car shows 1 km remaining range, the pack is not immediately shutting, because BMS would not show 1 km left, if the pack voltage had already reached shut down voltage.

    But on the other hand, if you floor the pedal, voltage sags. So it is best to be easy with the acceleration if car has only few kms left on the display.
     
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  19. Nietschy

    Nietschy Member

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    I woult like to take it also from a user perspective who bought a car with x miles of range.
    It would ne nuts if you are only about to use 60% of it, just because you want the battery to be at 96% after 10 years.
    I bought 253 miles, and I use 253 miles occasionally. Not every day, but if I am on a road trip and do not let the car stay at 1% or 100% over night, I do not care.
    As you could guess now, I used 1% already a few times in 7 months of ownership and did not loose to many miles on degradation.

    Oh yeah, and I would like to read more positive feedback and less bitching around here.
     
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  20. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I have generally found the estimates to be quite accurate but would also be interested in hearing if anyone has had instances where the displayed range suddenly "disappears." I haven't read of it previously so I'm guessing it's rare, if it occurs at all.

    My iPhone 6S, on the other hand, runs out of charge immediately after showing 40-50%. Not good.
     

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