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Cold Weather, long drive, good planning, good experience

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by polyphase, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. polyphase

    polyphase Member

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    Sep 11, 2013
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    Location:
    New Jersey
    I made my first trip in the P85+ where I needed to charge at the destination before returning home. I traveled from Morristown, NJ to Albany, NY, a distance of about 150 miles. Temps were 19 deg going up and 40 degrees returning. Net elevation change was about zero but lots of hills on the way. Ran at 60mph all the way. Car was sort of warm in the garage before I started and regen was limited to start but that lasted only about 10 minutes. So here is how it went.

    I started with a full charge of 260mi rated. Used 180 of that (for a 150mi trip). Averaged 320 wh/mi for most of the way. I arrived with 80mi left. The good story here is that I used a couple available trip calculators, AndyM's trip calculator, and Ben Hannel's EV Trip Planner. As it turned out, both these tools were spot on! I was within 2 miles of the predicted rated range when I arrived. These are real confidence builders. I knew I would make it but I needed to charge at the destination. Could I find and get enough juice to get home in the five hours I had scheduled for meetings? AndyM's tool told me "yes."

    Plugshare told me there was a free Chargepoint station at the Holiday Inn Express 0.3 miles from my meetings. Using info from Plugshare.com I reserved (they asked for my name) the spot a couple days before. Sadly, when I arrived a Volt was in the spot. The very friendly staff told me that a "reservation" just meant they put a cone in the slot to prevent it from being ICEed and that the Volt is there "every day."

    Again using Plugshare, I found a Chargepoint station a mile away at SUNY. There, the Chargepoint app wouldn't turn on the charger because it insisted I was more than a mile away from the charger though the app showed my correct location. A call to tech support fixed me up quickly. With all that folderol I was a bit late for my first meeting.

    In 5:47 I went from 78mi to 204 mi of rated range and got back home with 30 miles of rated range left. I was more liberal with my speed coming home.

    So, all in all, a good experience with the additional work and minor hassles being an early adopter brings. Lessons are: use and trust the trip calculators and have a plan B for charging.

    PS: I usually like to drive fast but to make the numbers work I drove a constant 60 going up. It was surprisingly quite relaxing to be slower than most traffic because I didn't have to do any maneuvering. Everyone else had to go around me (and yes, I stayed in the right lane).
     
  2. russman

    russman Member

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    Nov 12, 2013
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    Location:
    California
    Good info. A little bummed to hear stories of drivers having to drive 60 to make trips work. Looking forward to when speed wont be an issue. I like to drive "fast" 70-90mph, just hoping I don't have to slow down just to enjoy having the Tesla.
     
  3. simonog

    simonog Member

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    Location:
    United Kingdom
    +1

    I can see why Tesla is prioritising Germany (with many areas with no speed restrictions) for the first onslaught of European super chargers.
     
  4. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Notice he said he had 80 miles of range left...so he could've been fine at 75mph.
     
  5. polyphase

    polyphase Member

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    Location:
    New Jersey
    Right. The binding constraint was getting enough charge for the return trip in the time I would be spending in meetings. I could have driven my normal 75-80 if I had been willing to hang out for an extra hour of charging before starting on the return journey.
     
  6. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Active Member

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    I too used to be bummed out reading these stories prior to taking delivery. How on earth would I ever stand driving slow when necessary? Well, interestingly, the car just takes care of that constant need for speed. I can't explain it, but I no longer feel like I'm standing still at 70. Nor do I feel that overwhelming need to get ahead of the pack. It's all about efficiency now, but once in a while...I might have to have a little fun.
     
  7. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Great story and I learned a new word: "folderol ", I would have spent the extra hour charging :) but it was a great first roadtrip in the winter nonetheless.
     
  8. AndreyATC

    AndreyATC Member

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    What would you guys do when you have 150-mile trip to complete in P85 in around 45-50F weather and flat elevation
    Range charge it or keep it at 90%?
    90% is 230 rated on my car, so it would give me 80 miles to spair in perfect case scenario
    On the other hand I'm not sure what's worse, run the battery down from 90% to 15-20 or from 100 to 25-30
     
  9. jerry33

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

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    Charging to 100% and then driving off is not a problem. It's letting the battery sit at 100% that's the problem (or zero). When driving, the higher the charge, the less heat the battery produces. There's just no reason to hesitate doing a range charge when on a trip.
     
  10. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    What Jerry said! Crank her up and let her rip.
     
  11. Username

    Username Member

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    Toronto
    Yes, at the expense of Canadians whom I fear will not be getting Superchargers at all!
    Really disappointed Tesla! I believe Canadians are irrelevant to the company.
     
  12. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    I have a theory about this which I've mentioned before. ICE cars "want" to go at a certain speed for each gear, because of the engine. You can feel that you're not going at the car's ideal speed for 5th gear and you want to speed up to make the car purr...

    ...whereas the Tesla just goes the exact speed you tell it to, and is happy. It doesn't complain. It doesn't pull. It doesn't growl. It doesn't shriek. It just happily cruises at any speed whatsoever.

    I think this makes drivers less impatient.
     
  13. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    LOL, except when you're #2 at a red light and there's an ICE in front of you...
     
  14. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Active Member

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    I think you are right!
     

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