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Best Route for 400 mile Challenge

Discussion in 'Model S' started by drbradfo, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. drbradfo

    drbradfo Member

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    Westerndh's post got me thinking about the 400 mile challenge again.

    Which route is the best for the challenge. I was thinking someplace with a high starting altitude, long descent, nice long flat run out for the finish.

    I picked Frisco, CO to McCook, NE (Frisco, CO to McCook, NE - Google Maps). One would burn some battery getting up to the Loveland Pass, but you would have space in the battery to regen all the way down to Denver (plus it's a fast run and can tick of miles fast). Then spin around Denver and head out to Nebraska (picking a day with the prevailing winds are blowing east). Trouble is you find yourself in the middle NO WHERE Nebraska if when you finish and worse if you fail...

    Maybe Tahoe down to Sacramento down the central valley in California?
     
  2. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I'd say Denver east on 80 would be the longest straightest downhill road. Better do it soon before it gets too cold to do it with the heat off!!
     
  3. Zextraterrestrial

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    driving <40mph on 80 or 50 sounds sketchy
    (dunno about 80 in Denver)
     
  4. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Not sure if that "descent" logic makes sense... start with a long decent, then end with a long flat stretch. You can't add to SOC that is already topped off at the start.

    Might be better to start with a long flat stretch, then a descent in the middle or ending stretches.
     
  5. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    I was thinking Tahoe to central valley would be most convenient for me. Along highway 88 maybe. Isn't so much that you'll start with a full battery but you'll have the descent to try to stay at near zero net energy used.

    And it helps the boredom of going ridiculously slow. Do 400 miles in 8 hours, imho.

    Overall it is such a hypermiling exercise that 19" tires are recommended for the needed 5% range.
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    #6 Robert.Boston, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
    Here's another map. I'd start just east of Denver, say at the Front Range Airport (where I'm assuming there is some sort of power available), and head east on CO-36, then shift to US-35 to Washington, Kansas. Long, straight, downhill, and downwind. 414 miles in total, but there are frequent farms along the road that (given farm needs) undoubtedly have power.

    In the alternative, consider a loop course in the high desert, e.g. a few laps around the Salton Sea. But I like the downhill, downwind approach better.
     
  7. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    For a 'fair' method of getting 400 miles I think this is probably the best approach.

    But the best way is to follow in the steps of Car and Driver. You could do this on any relatively flat, relatively empty interstate in the country. All you need is a "mammoth Ford Excursion" and a "huge mobile-home mud flap, which he sawed in two and then attached the pieces in a V-shape to form a wind break that mounted to the Excursion's trailer hitch!"

    How We Won the Insight Fuel-Economy Challenge. Without Cheating. Much - Road Test - Car Reviews - Car and Driver
     
  8. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Drafting does offer the surest way. But if you want to attempt 400 miles without it, a close eye on the weather (to pick a tailwind day) and a route with the maximum elevation loss (to maximize potential energy gain) that's also at high altitude (to minimize aero drag) and relatively flat, especially at the beginning (so you don't miss out on any regen opps early, when the battery is full, and minimize the need for regen overall) could do the trick.

    One such route: from Alma, Colorado to Hays, Kansas. Alma (elev. 10,355') is a little town at the north end of South Park, a vast intermontane valley that slopes gently to the south. Follow 9 to 285 south, then 24 east to Colorado Springs, then 94 east through Kit Carson until you pick up 40 east to Hays, Kansas, elevation 1999'. Total route length 402 miles, with an elevation drop of 8356'.

    There are some suboptimal things about this route, namely some climbs and drops getting down from Alma to Colorado Springs and the fact that western Kansas is hillier than you might imagine. To minimize those issues you could also try following the North Platte drainage from, say, Douglas, Wyoming to the east, or maybe better, the Rio Grande drainage from the top of the San Luis Valley, in Colorado, to the south.

    The Aussies who set an early range record with the Roadster, 313 miles in 2009, were both glider pilots who employed techniques like putting two wheels on the painted shoulder stripe to reduce tire friction, not exceeding 35 mph, arriving at the top of any slight rise with minimal speed and trying never to use regen.

    Internode :: About :: News and Media :: Internode M.D. smashes E.V. world distance record
     
  9. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    +1 Done this for/during bicycle races. Makes a difference!
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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  11. GSP

    GSP Member

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    I would consider drafting or downhill runs to be "cheating."

    A city route would work better than highways. You don't want to drive 25 mph on the highway! I would pick a circular route with a low average speed and just do laps. Look for 25-35 mph speed limit roads. Make your 400+ mile run when traffic is light.

    GSP
     
  12. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    At some point, I am planning a trip to my sisters. It is from Dallas area (McKinney) to Houston area (League City). The distance direct is about 310 miles, but if I stay on the country roads and go through smaller towns, I can make the trip at 25-40 mph and easily add the 90 miles needed. Won't do it during the summer, though. Probably this time next year. It will take me about 8 1/2 hours, and my brother in law has a flatbed so if I short myself, I just coast to a stop and call. Have not cleared this through the executive vice president of cadre excursions and simpleton male planning (e.g, my spouse), so this may not occur at all.
     
  13. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    'Cheating' may be the only way to get 400 miles on a single charge. The guy who tried it at 20-25mph on flat CA country roads gave it up after 40 miles as it became apparent it wasn't going to work.

    Westerndh's Model S pick up Elon's 400 mile single charge challenge

    A brand-new Model S like this might end up with a little more range after several weeks of daily driving, as the battery pack levels completely.
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    My guess is it will be easier to do:

    1. After the car breaks in a bit.

    2. After the tires wear a bit.

    3. After the driver has had more practice.
     
  15. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    So I agree that drafting behind a gasoline powered pace car is probably 'cheating'. But what if there were a paceline of Model Ss. Taking turns up front. Maybe you could get a group of Teslas to get the 400 mile prize at once.
     
  16. westerndh

    westerndh Member

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    I can throw in some additional data points that may help anyone interested in this:

    Folsom Harris Ranch - trip | EveryTrail shows the elevation profile for my route.

    1. Just myself (165lbs), no luggage or passengers
    2. 21" wheels, tires were marginally "scrubbed in" with 250 miles on clock before starting
    3. Tire pressure increased to 48 PSI (from the normal 42 PSI)
    4. Cruise control seemed to outperform my foot, despite not feeling that way. Unfortunately I did not even use cruise control below 30mph.
    5. My route plan for 400 miles was elevation gain 1,000 feet / elevation loss 1,000 feet - something incredibly hard to find in a California "pick up from the factory" run. It was also pretty straight - tried to drive line of sight straight and very smoothly.
    6. Elevation ranged mostly between 60' & 100' above sea level
    6. All Aux equipment was off / screen on night 0%
    7. All acceleration very light footed
    8. Windows / Pano kept closed first 120 miles
    9. Regen set to low the whole time (bear in mind, there were no grades to speak of on this route)

    Here's my power consumption from my notes:

    20-25mph = 8.7kw/hr 207 - 217 wh/mile =405 miles projected - (City / rural country roads)
    30mph = 220 wh/mile = 387 miles (rural country)
    35mph = 240 wh/mile = 355 miles (rural country)
    45mph = 277 wh/mile = 306 miles (hwy 33)
    55mph = 302 wh/mile = 281 miles (hwy 33 + 5 freeway)
    65mph = 353 wh/mile = 240 miles (5 freeway)
    75mph = 410 wh/mile = 207 miles (5 freeway)

    Hard to compare this data to JB's blog post Model S Efficiency and Range | Blog | Tesla Motors as not only were 21" wheels a penalty, but I'm sure my driving technique was less than perfect and I did have some stop signs. I had abandoned the original route at 120 miles so I also had more grades than planned on the 5 freeway.

    Hope this helps the next person who tackles this.

    Certainly driving from Denver East sounds a great way to meet the goal, although it doesn't seem in keeping with the challenge ie if optimum flat conditions, constant speed driving with 19" wheels provides a theoretical 450 mile range, can anyone achieve 400 miles in similar circumstances?

    Cheers
     
  17. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I have noticed with my Rav4 EV that the range has increased over the first several weeks with a standard charge. Was 86 ideal miles when delivered, and now 95. Not sure which chemistry they are using in this battery also.
     
  18. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Clue me in: why do 21" wheels provide greater rolling resistance than 19" wheels? It's not obvious to me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks, westerndh, for chiming in with your data. Other people have claimed that 308 Wh/mile is the number to beat in order to achieve better-than-rated range. Does that seem right to you?
     
  19. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Unsprung weight/mass, and tire stickiness/grip.
     
  20. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Sticky performance tires vs. all season tires.

    I suggest switching to a 19" low rolling resistance tire, and doing laps around a 10-30 mi route without elevation changes.

    GSP
     

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