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Charging/Range Fear

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by ctcjb, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. ctcjb

    ctcjb New Member

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    Mar 30, 2015
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    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    I ordered my 85D last weekend. My wife is 100% on board, but the only question that she ever asks me about the car revolves around charging on trips. Her question is simple: "How often do people plan a trip and to use a particular charging station (public) on the route, but when they get there it is already taken? Do you just have to wait??" Since I have never owned an EV, I don't have a good answer for her. Any thoughts or experiences I can share with her??
     
  2. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

    Joined:
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    2,401
    Well, there's a lot of possible answers. How about this one:

    Both my wife and I have been driving all-electric cars for over 6 years. I've taken over 30,000 miles of electric road trips. I have charged hundreds of times. I have had to wait once. Had a nice chat with the other owner while waiting.

    Obviously waiting is possible. Some situations have greater chances of it than others; and there are some strategies you can employ to reduce your chances. But I don't think it's a major worry.
     
  3. JenniferQ

    JenniferQ Member

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I am actually looking forward to enjoying the journey more and worrying about the destination less. And, along with that, meeting other owners and sharing stories of electric driving across America.
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    To the OP: there is always the strong possibility of having to wait at PUBLIC chargers. It is unlikely you will have to wait at a Tesla Supercharger, but it is possible at some of the busier locations.
     
  5. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    Location:
    Victoria BC Canada
    If your long trip exclusively uses "public" Level 2 (208/240V and anywhere from 30A to 100A depending on the L2 station) or RV parks, you'll be waiting a lot but not necessarily for the other car to leave. On trips even the fastest L2 stations will take 4-5 hours of charging after 3-4 hours of driving.

    Superchargers change that game completely - after 3-4 hours of driving, you're looking at a nice body break of 15-20 or 30 minutes, while the supercharger gives you enough juice to make it easily to the next supercharger. A far more relaxing way to travel -- that "forced" extra 10-20 minutes recharges your body too. We've been on one massive cross-US trip, and several trips from Vancouver BC (well... Victoria actually) to Portland and Reno, and we've never had to wait for a supercharger stall to be free. We took the last available spot 3 or 4 times on our cross-US trip.

    Around town, the Model S has plenty of range for day-to-day driving. I "fill up" (to 80 or 90%) about once a week, overnight while sleeping.
     
  6. brec

    brec Member

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    From Portland southbound where did you leave I5? Did you take it to Sacramento and then get on I80, to stay with superchargers, or did you take a more direct route?
     
  7. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    The first time we drove a year ago, I chickened out and stayed on I5 to Corning, supercharged there then cut over to 99 to Yuba City, then 65 to Roseville for another supercharging stop. Then I80 to Truckee for a fill and on to Reno.

    That seemed too much of a detour to me, so I threw caution to the wind and decided to hypermile a few months ago. For that we charged up in Shasta, then took 44, 36, and 395 directly to Reno. No problem whatsoever, kept to the speed limit although a few stretches I went 5-10 under watching the energy usage. I think I had 15 or 20 rated miles left upon arriving. Same way back, but I can't even remember that part so it must have been uneventful! :)
     
  8. StaceyS

    StaceyS Member

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    Location:
    Bend, OR United States
    We got our CPO P85 the week before 4th of July this summer and the very first thing we did was drive it on a 1,200 mile trip. We went out to the Oregon/NoCal coast where there is not as much charging infrastructure as along the Interstate corridors, but still lots of travelers for the 4th of July weekend. I was concerned that the limited charging stations were going to be in use during the holiday weekend, and that our travel plans could be disrupted.

    We never waited for a single charging station, and in the whole 1,200 miles, we saw 1 Leaf and 1 other Tesla.
     
  9. brec

    brec Member

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    From Shasta, *89*, 44, 36, 395?

    How do you watch energy usage? Do you use the app's projected number? Based on 5, 15, or 30 miles of history?

    The route to Reno is uphill and the return is downhill, so that's probably why the return was uneventful.
     
  10. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    Sorry, yes, 89 etc.

    Before the trip app appeared, I would periodically check the Rated Miles, the Nav's remaining distance, and the projected range (30mi) and see how far apart they were, then adjust speed if necessary. I used the trip app's estimated battery percentage at destination for this trip, but I still liked checking rated range against the Nav here and there, old habits I guess. We'll see what new bits they've put into v7 on the next trip.

    Aha!
     
  11. DavidM

    DavidM P2624, Delivered

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
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    Location:
    Florida
    Last month my wife and I completed a 7,200 mile road trip in our Model S where we charged at 56 supercharger stations (including about 6 in California). We never had to wait to be able to charge. In most cases, we were the only car at the SC station. We also took advantage of about 12 Tesla High Powered Wall Chargers (HPWCs), mostly at hotels, although one was at a restaurant. Since we have dual chargers in our car, we can pick up about 55 miles of range in an hour at HPWCs. We averaged about 400 miles per travel day with our longest day being about 515 miles. We decided not to drive after dark due to the potential for road hazards in the highway. Our average supercharger stop was about 35 minutes. The shortest stop was about 15 minutes, and the longest stop was about 60 minutes (range charging, while we had a nice sit down meal).

    We had the following rule of thumb on energy usage:
    - At 65 mph, multiply range needed to next SC by 1.1 and add 30 miles for a buffer
    - At 70 mph, multiply range needed to next SC by 1.15 and add 30 miles for a buffer
    - At 75 mph, multiply range needed to next SC by 1.2 and add 30 miles for a buffer
    - Where 80 mph is posted, limit speed to 77 mph and follow rule for 75 mph.

    The only exceptions to our rule would be a significant increase in elevation en-route to the SC station (+3,000 ft elev), or unusually strong headwinds.
     

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