TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Can normal people travel in a Model S?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Buddyroe, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Buddyroe

    Buddyroe Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Bloomingdale, GA
    I was trying to convince my neighbor to buy a Model S. I explained to him that the range for the 85D is around 285 miles per charge. He was impressed. So we went to Tesla's web page to let him look at some of the options. We came across the section that lets you chose your speed, temperature, etc and it tells you how many miles to expect on a charge.

    The first thing that was odd was that it wouldn't let you chose a speed over 70 mph (some states have speed limits over 70 mph). Let's be realistic here. I don't know about the rest of the country, but up and down the east coast, NOBODY drives less than 70 mph on the Interstate. Most people drive between 72 and 77 mph. Quite a few drive 80 mph. My neighbor told me he normally sets the cruise at 77. Nonetheless, we chose 70 mph. Living in Georgia, we chose 90 degrees with the A/C on. The absolute best range in those conditions was 249 miles in the 85D. But, if you are a normal person and drive 75 mph, it would seem you would only get 228 miles per charge (the drop from 65 to 70 was 21 miles so I used the same.

    And Tesla recommends that you not charge over 90% right? If so, that puts you at approx 205 miles of range. Of course, you can't drive it til empty so you have to stop with at least 10 miles of range left (or really more since you HAVE to stop where the supercharger is located). So, it would seem, in typical situations, the absolute most number of miles on a charge would be 195 miles, or 2 hours and 36 minutes of Interstate driving (with the a/c on which you WILL have on in Georgia 80% of the time!).

    That is about the MOST you will be able to drive on a charge since taking it down to 10 miles of range will not be possible very often. But, for argument sake, we'll say 195 miles, 2 hours and 36 minutes of interstate driving. Then, 40 to 80 minutes of charging so you can drive another 2 hours and 36 minutes.

    Is that realistic? It really seems like people jump through a lot of hoops to drive their Tesla on trips. I couldn't in good faith advise that my neighbor buy one since they drive to South Florida so many times a year. They would spend so much time charging along the way that it was just ridiculous.
     
  2. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Your range numbers are a little low, and your supercharger times are a little high.
    Other than that, yes, you're right. But what I tell people is this, if you're the kind of person who runs in to the gas station, grabs a sandwich, and eats it while driving, the MS will slow you down. If however you are the type of person who stops and has a sit down meal (even at a fast food place) then the car will be ready before you are every time.
    I drive about 3 hours, charge for about 30 minutes. I drive 100-120km/hr (62-75mph) on most of our highways,
    Typical trip: leave home 9am with 100% charge (they say not to charge to full EVERY day, but there's no harm for road trips, especially if you leave immediately after the charge finishes)
    Arrive at a supercharger at noon and have lunch, by the time I'm finished lunch I have enough range to continue
    drive 2 more hours, stop for a bathroom break at the next supercharger and grab some road snacks at the convenience store, car is ready to continue.
    drive 2-3 more hours, stop for supper at about 5:30 or 6pm at a supercharger, car is ready to continue before I am
    drive until I fall asleep...

    A trip I've done many times is Calgary-Vancouver (over 600 miles, through the mountains), I've pushed through in 10 hours in an ICE, it's miserable, I stopped only long enough to fuel and use the bathroom, ate while driving, and arrived exhausted. I do it in 12-13 in the Tesla, stop for nice meals, arrive relaxed and enjoy the whole time.

    To get a much better idea of how far you can drive, use evtripplanner.com it has great energy use estimates that take any speed and actual terrain and temperatures in to account, it's pretty accurate. As for charging times, you said 40-80 minutes, it's more like 30-60
     
  3. Buddyroe

    Buddyroe Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Bloomingdale, GA
    Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed and informative reply. One question. What happens to charge time if you a sharing a "cabinet" with someone (ie, charging on a charger where the other half of the pair is in use also)?
     
  4. green1

    green1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    That depends. The first person on the cabinet gets full power, the second one gets whatever is left, as the charge tapers down for the first person it tapers up for the second.
    That said, where I've travelled, I've never yet come across this issue. I've once had someone else pull in to the paired stall to the charger I was already using, but when I pointed that out he moved to a different stall, either way though it wouldn't have affected my charge, only his.
     
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    10,366
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    On my many long distance Model S trips over the past two years, I estimate that it takes me about 5-7% more time than in an ICE. I don't care. And I have always preferred to stop and stretch my legs every hour or two. I hate to sit for hours straight in a car.
     
  6. Polly Wog

    Polly Wog Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    Kihei, Hawaii
    #6 Polly Wog, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
    The answer depends on several variables, such as who started charging first and what the SOC is, but it wouldn't normally add much more than about 15 minutes (more likely, even less).
     
  7. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    4,825
    Location:
    North Bay, CA
    I feel the same way. I've done a good number of trips in just under 2 years. There have been a handful of occasions where I was ready to go before the car was charged, but I wouldn't trade that time saved for an ICE vehicle. In fact, I'd never have been on the road trip if it weren't for my MS. So I definitely think "normal people" will do just fine.
     
  8. Dwdnjck

    Dwdnjck Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    225
    Location:
    Rancho Santa Fe
    All it takes is a little patience on road trips. It actually makes them a lot more pleasant. The reward is the convenience of having a "gas station" at home. This more than makes up for extra time to make road trips.
     
  9. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,885
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Here's the way I explain charging: 95% of my charging is done at home at night. This charging takes no time at all , just the plug in procedure which is seconds while exiting my car. On the few times per month that I exceed the range of a single charge on a trip, I will have to wait some. The net result, however, is that I spend much less time charging than I would have pumping gas had I been driving an ICE. Most people get it then.
     
  10. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,266
    Long distance is easy if you're on the major arteries with superchargers. I travel ~650 miles from Portland, OR to San Franscisco CA in about 11 hours. That's total time, driving plus charging. In my prior gas cars, I did it in around 10 hours or so.

    However, I'm not a road warrior that pees in a gas station bathroom and grabs a to-go hotdog from the KwikiMart. Someone like that will make better time in a gas car. I'll break every 2-3 hours for the bathroom and a coffee/soda stop. Usually twice for a meal at something equivalent of a Shari's. Most all superchargers are next to restaurants so I basically stopped, did my usual coffee/soda/lunch break, and the car was ready to go when I got back.

    The super chargers are very effective and pretty time efficient and cover most routes you'd typically take.

    For routes that aren't covered well, it definitely takes planning and a willingness to spend the better part of a day being a tourist somewhere.
     
  11. vitaliy

    vitaliy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    Messages:
    269
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    On interstates, 98% will be done by autopilot, so you will be more relaxed. Oh, and upgrade to 90 gives you extra 15 miles.
     
  12. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,502
    Location:
    Maine
    OK, that needs correcting. For regular use, yes, they suggested 90%, but it's not a big deal to do it occasionally, and it's not a big deal if before a long trip you range charge and then leave quickly after it finishes. So, for longer trips you can have the full range to start with.

    During a longer drive you'd have Supercharger stops. If you were iron-butting it, you'd be trying to minimize the total trip time, but if you're taking it in a relaxed way, you'd have breaks and dining. Any longer dining stop would give you more charge than typical refueling stops. Also, a lower SoC gives you faster Supercharging. And then there's the 2nd-stall issue.

    So, optimization takes extra effort, but three basic general principles normally apply:
    - driving faster speeds up your trip
    - if you'd be stopped anyway, it's not extra time
    - if in doubt, use evtripplanner.com. :p
     
  13. swengl

    swengl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2014
    Messages:
    236
    Location:
    Lynchburg, VA
    I'll throw one more tidbit out there: Using autopilot and drafting big rig trucks will also greatly improve your energy consumption. If you are willing to go a little bit slower than 70, the savings can be quite dramatic. I set the TACC for one car length (which sounds short, but at interstate speeds it is still a safe distance, especially behind a big rig, which won't be stopping on a dime anyway), find a truck that full length mud flaps (to avoid rock chuckers) and is going just below the 70 mph speed limit and turn on autopilot. I've seen my consumption go from over 350 Wh/m to under 280 Wh/m over a decent distance (+30 miles). This can really stretch how far you can go and living in a state where they are still building out the SuperCharger network (on my side of the state, anyway), it has proven a valuable trick to conserving energy and finishing a trip vs making a detour for an emergency stop at a destination charger and waiting for the car to charge enough to finish the trip.
     
  14. Buddyroe

    Buddyroe Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    253
    Location:
    Bloomingdale, GA
    At first, I wanted to say, "that mathematically is not possible", but then I realized that if you're travel times in an ICE were already slower because of longer, frequent stops, then traveling in a Model S would not have a great effect on the overall drive time."

    It seems that the Model S is more appropriate for the travelers who like to stop a little more often and also relax a little while they are stopped.

    Just from a pure numbers standpoint, and thinking about the minimum drive time each method would take, it seems that driving in the Model S would be about 30-40% longer than in an ICE car (again, making the minimum stops in each). We just did a trip from Georgia to West Virginia in our ICEV. This was a minimum stop kind of trip. We had gone for a funeral and needed to get back as quickly as possible. It took us 11 hours and 45 exactly to make the trip (and for sure, we made minimum stops). I am going to go on the web site others have provided and see how long that trip is estimated to take in a Model S.
     
  15. CHGolferJim

    CHGolferJim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    842
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    I have a "15% more" rule of thumb in mind based on readings here for an interstate route without any supercharger gaps.
     
  16. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,901
    Location:
    florida.
    FWIW: I've found that when doing long distance trips, you get the best balance of range and speed at around 72 mph. if you are willing to sacrifice some range you can go a bit faster, I would not go over 80, the hit to the range is too high.
    I don't believe that you have it right, they may say that you shouldn't range charge and let the car sit at that level of charge, however if you are taking a long trip range charging along the way shouldn't be any problem, I charge my car to 90% almost every night and after almost two years of ownership I've seen minimal loss of range.
     
  17. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    409
    Location:
    Old Europe
    Did you tell your neighbour that yes, his trip may take a little longer, but that it was basically FOR FREE in a Tesla? Not a negligible factor if he does such a long drive so often.
     
  18. GSP

    GSP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,997
    Bjørn made a video comparing his actual travel time across Norway with his old BMW to his Model S using Superchargers. It was about 800 miles in one day if I remember correctly. Check out the video section here at TMC or Bjørn's YouTube channel.

    Also, don't forget you only need to stop at the Supercharger long enough to get enough range to reach the next one (or your destination) plus some extra miles as a reserve. This means a 15-20 min stop can be all you need, just enough for a short driving break. Two of these breaks and two meal breaks, plus starting the day at 100%, is enough for a very long day's drive. It will be time to recharge your own batteries in a hotel bed somewhere.

    GSP
     
  19. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,784
    Location:
    Connecticut
    And I think it's somewhere in between!! I've done about 6 long distance trips (>1000 miles each way), and found my "charging factor" to be about 25%. So that means Model S road trips (for me) take 25% longer than what an ICE would have done. But it's worth it! Much more civilized to stop and charge every couple of hours, charging while eating, etc. It takes the "rush rush rush" mentality of road trips away (i.e... drive, stop, gas, pee, go! -- repeat). And a quick plug for my web app LogMySc.com where people can track the specifics of road trips and charging stops, like this trip I did from Vero Beach, FL to Greenwich, CT:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=100574&d=1447121856.png



    You can see at the bottom "Drive:Charge Ratio" is 3:1. So in this trip, for every 3 hours of driving, I had to stop for 1 hour of charging. My overall average 25% charge factor is lower because this doesn't include normal ICE stopping time as a comparison.
     
  20. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,901
    Location:
    florida.
    I've done that with similar results, you can even make "friends" with the trucker by throwing "blocks" for him, when he needs to change lanes you take the lane and allow him to get in front of you, I've done that for over a hundred miles and the truckers are more tolerant of you on their tail if they know that you are on his team.
     

Share This Page