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Comments on an EVtripPlanner trip?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Jrogville, Feb 5, 2017.

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  1. Jrogville

    Jrogville Member

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    I just used the evtripplanner site to plan an 800 mile trip down the east coast. I'd like to get your input about some of my conclusions. I don't have the car yet, so just trying to get an idea of what the trip might be like.

    I used an S85 RWD and left most of the condition at default except I bumped up the Payload to 250 lbs. It concluded that it would be 12:12 hours of driving time plus 3:03 hours of charge time for a total of 15:15 hours. 269.6 kWh and 337Wh/mile. It figured a net elevation change of negative 295 miles (Florida tends to be lower than other places).

    Does that sound reasonable? I noticed that it planned a stop at every supercharger location along the route (a total of 7 stops) for an average of 25 minutes per stop. I first wondered why so many, since that would be average of 100 miles per segment. But then it occurred to me that no matter how many times you stop, the amount of energy you need to travel the distance is going to be the same, so if you stopped less often, you would need to charge for longer.

    This gave me an enlightenment that given my inexperience with EV's may be all wet, this will be my first. I will place myself in your care to correct me where needed. It occurs to me that as long as you have a battery large enough to carry you the distance between the supercharger locations where you plan to travel, I don't see the great benefit to getting the largest battery possible. You could skip a charger, but then you would need to spend more time charging when you do stop. The S85, which is what I'm considering, has an EPA of an optimistic 265 miles, but what does that matter if I only need to go 150 mile at most in between SC's? I know that the larger battery will charge more miles in the same amount of time up that 80%, but it doesn't seem like that would make that much of a difference. I also know that there are some places in the county where you need to be able to travel longer that 150 miles to get to a supercharger, but that's not the case in my part of the southeast and east coast.

    All this time I've been thinking in terms of what's the longest distance I can go without stopping to charge, but I think that's wrong headed thinking. You're going to be spending the same about of time charging, so why not break it up to as many times as possible? It will be healthier for you and actually speed up the charging if you're always charging in the fast part of the charge curve as opposed to the slower upper end of the battery capacity.

    This may be totally elementary to the experienced, or maybe I'm missing some crucial element. What do you think?
     
  2. cwave1

    cwave1 Member

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    The charging is faster the lower the current charge as it needs to taper significantly towards the top third of the battery.

    I did a trip from the Toronto, Canada to Florida and back and what this meant for me was that I drove as fast as I was comfortable with (rather than conserving range) because the charge speed was always faster than I could drive so conserving actually wasted time. I also charged more frequently but to a lower percentage in order to maximize the charge speed.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. Jashev

    Jashev Supporting Member

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    Whenever possible, I'm all about range. I like the flexibility and not having to worry about an unexpected circumstance (traffic jam, construction, etc.). Overall I think this is a very personal decision based on where you go. I know there are some folks on here that love to get down to 10 miles before their destinations. I would be in a panic. I also don't want to have to worry about whether I can keep the cabin a comfortable temperature or not, or driving at 75 instead of 65, etc. I personally think you should get as much battery capacity as your pocket can handle.
     
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  4. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    For the fastest travel time, you want to minimize your stops. Everytime you stop you have to spend time getting from your travel route to the supercharger. Sometimes that can be only a minute or two, but sometimes it can be 5-10 minutes or even more if traffic is bad. In addition the lower your battery is, the faster you will charge.

    However this also limits your flexibility. If you are pushing it on range to try and arrive with as low a SoC as possible, you could get in trouble if you hit a detour, or need to make an extra pit-stop, or encounter a strong headwind.

    I generally skip superchargers if I'll still have 10-20 miles left as a buffer to get to the next one, but if I'd only arrive with 0-10miles left I'll stop an extra time (assuming there are enough superchargers to even give you that flexibility).
     
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  5. ig_epower

    ig_epower Member

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    Interesting topic - there are many factors to consider what the appropriate battery should be for your needs. It is true that in a mature area, there are plenty of SC options to choose from and even the smallest batteries will get you to your destination. However, one must also consider the daily driving patterns - not just the situations related to longer trips. I only take SC trips 3 or 4x/year. The rest of the time, the car has to take me to work and back, run errands for the kids plus handle any other unforeseen trips around town. As it is, in the Toronto area, there are not enough SC's around for quick top-ups so I am glad I have enough battery capacity to handle all my needs (85 KWH) AND not have to charge my car during peak electrical billing periods. Let's not forget if you have cold weather conditions (like where I live), the power efficiency drops dramatically and I don't want to have to start to jettison cabin heat/comfort for the sake of range.

    What separates Tesla from all the other lower-capacity EV's is this huge battery and power reserve so that you can pretty much use your car the same as an ICE without having to make it to your next charging location all the time. While it may be a novel thing to make it work, I would find it quickly tiresome to ensure a destination charge on a Leaf or BMW i3.

    I think the OP's choice for an S85 is excellent and should handle most if not all your driving needs with room to spare today and years in the future after minimal battery degradation - but then, I don't really know the particular situation of this soon-to-be-owner is.

    One last point is that with my home charger (where 99% of the charging activity takes place), the charge rate at 44 km/hour means that in under 10 hours, I can charge a completely dead battery and have a full battery overnight. Most of the time, I venture from 15% - 65% SOC.

    If I had a 100 KWH battery, there would be a compelling need to upgrade my HPWC to match the capacity but the reality is I don't drive that much to use it. Plus, as my kids get older, they will start to drive themselves - hopefully with their own EV's though my eldest son just bought an ICE yesterday :-(.
     
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  6. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    I've done the I95 trip from FLA to NJ many times. this is easily done in an 85.
    I think the wisest thing that you could do is to follow the trip planner's advice for short quick charging sessions. however I would consider building 1 long meal stop into the plan, charge to the max and then skip the next charger. I usually, when going SB, would charge to 100 at newark, skipping the chargers until hitting glen allen va. this is doable as long as the weather isn't challenging and you observe the speed limits. I try to avoid woodbridge because of the congestion there.
    driving the bottom of your battery between the "closely" spaced out chargers along I95 works better because the battery charges quicker with a low SOC. plan your stops well and enjoy the trip.
     
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  7. Jrogville

    Jrogville Member

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    I appreciate your comments and I should say that even though I perhaps didn't make it clear, my internal argument was whether I actually needed any more capacity than the S85. In fact, I live about 25 miles away from town and had already decided that the 85kWh battery was probably the sweet spot for me. With 2014 and 2015 CPO's, the difference between a 60, 75 and 85 are not that significant. I've also given consideration between RWD and AWD, but there the cost difference is more significant within the features I want, which make that decision more difficult here in Florida.
     
  8. ig_epower

    ig_epower Member

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    So you are looking at a D vs non-D models? These are nice first-world problems to have. Florida - being mostly flat and rarely seeing snow, you have a legitimate reason to re-allocate your $ away from the D models if you want to.... Do make sure you have AP1/2 because those long boring drives along Alligator Alley would make having AP very much worthwhile.
     
  9. ElectricTundra

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    My preference is generally to have fewer stops. However, I've found that any extra stops (so long as I'm not running late for something important) aren't a problem and actually quite welcomed. I don't get nearly as tired or road weary on Tesla trips which I think is a combination of more short breaks to walk around a bit and get blood flowing combined with having AP1 to do the more monotonous bits of driving. Overall I'm much more awake and refreshed feeling.

    I do try to make meal stops (lunch & dinner) the longer top up stops and I'll also plan for longer stops at places with good coffee cafés like Heine Bros in Louisville (Heine Brothers' Coffee | Chargerville) where I can enjoy a good cappuccino, apple fritter, and work on my laptop while charging. If a charger farther down the road has better food/café options and I can comfortably make it then I'll skip a charger.

    Chargerville is slowly filling with reviews to help with what's nearby each charger: Chargerville
     
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  10. Jrogville

    Jrogville Member

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    Yes I am looking at a car with AP1. And although I considered a D, I didn't think the price difference for what was available was just, so I will be staying with the RWD.
     
  11. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

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    @ElectricTundra , I have to say, Chargerville has a nice direction it is going. I would use it to do exactly as you say, pick and choose which stops to skip. My secondary use case, is to hand it over to my wife, to solicit dining votes from the back-seat about where she (she is a consensus builder) wants to go to eat. Your app gives some clues where the moats and alligators might be, and where the motorized sidewalks might help (at least using the satellite views). Some scrappy young entrepreneurs are going to figure out a way to tell McDs; Subway, and the like to send one of their employees out to the waiting Tesla's around the corner -- just to make the experience even better. Locally, here in Texas, Sonic is known to do something sorta like that.
     
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  12. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I used the planner for a trip to California for TMC Connect more than two years ago. It's a fantastic tool, all the better for planning where to stop for lodging, determining how may miles a day you can cover, and how far off route you need to go to access superchargers. It's a guide but don't take it literally -- I skipped a few super chargers along the way when I had enough range to do so. For example, in South Dakota we went off route for a drive through the Badlands with full knowledge that we'd have enough range to reach a supercharger when we came out of the park.
     
  13. Jrogville

    Jrogville Member

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    Thanks, ElectricTundra. I was just thinking of asking if there was a web site that got into what was available at the different superchargers, and when I got to the end of your post, there it was. Both you and kort677 mentioned planning for a longer charge time at the meal breaks, which is a great tip. Shorter segments and quicker charges in between longer segments with longer charging at meal times. This all sounds kind of daunting, but I guess it will become second nature with some planning and experience.

    I guess I should say here that it looks like it will be a trial by fire. I'll be picking up the car up in Paramus, NJ and driving it down to Florida. Thanks to all the great input I've gotten here and in other threads, I have officially pulled the trigger. I've placed a reservation for a 2015 MC Red Model S 85 RWD with about 14,500 miles, Grey leather seats, AP 1 and Smart Air Suspension. It's a fairly basic car, options wise, but it has the colors and features I wanted and I think at a pretty decent price, $67,000. Also, before I pick it up, I'm having them upgrade the cellular radio to LTE and installing the Integrated Center Console.

    If you're wondering why on earth I would be driving all the way up there to pick it up, it's because of the crazy transportation costs Tesla is wanting to charge. I've been looking at a lot of CPO's and checking the transportation costs. Did you know that Tesla charges the same ($5,000) whether you ship from Hawaii to the west coast or to the east coast? Yet shipping a car from California to Florida costs $2,000. Which by the way is the same as shipping from New York to Florida, which is half the distance as California.

    Anyway, the car was in New York and they would have wanted $2,000 to bring it down to Florida. The one-way flight will cost about $150 and maybe a $100 motel stay. $1,750 is not a bad pay for a couple of days of my time. Besides, I get to drive my new car (to me) for a 1,000 mile road trip right off the bat. Hopefully I'll survive it. Can't wait.
     
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  14. ElectricTundra

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    You'll enjoy the drive down.

    Thanks for the comments on Chargerville. Still kind of basic and a few bugs to work out but we'll get there.
     
  15. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Battery charges at approx linear rate for first 50% - 60% and then tapers off. That bottom 50% - 60% will charge in about 30 minutes. Assuming you manage to arrive with 10% or less then you can only add 50% before taper starts, so about 30 minutes charging. When the taper starts it is modest, so charging for 40 - 50 minutes is probably better than making another stop, all other things being equal, but if you don't have range and need, worst case, 100% charge to reach the next Supercharger that could easily be 90 minutes total stop.

    EV Trip Planner says that an S60D 19" wheels will have 18h26m driving time and 9h27m charging time (New York to Florida), using the same stops the S90D 19" would only need 6:42 charging time.

    Removing the stops and calculating a fresh route for S90D 19" gives 16h40m for driving and 6h57m charging. Presumably a more direct route as greater battery capacity means more range and less need to detour for chargers.

    The P100D 19" (EVTP doesn't have an S100D option) takes same route, 16h40m driving time but charging is reduced to 5h07m, 3x longest stops are 41m, 42m and 43m.

    Direct driving time, without including recharging locations / detours, was 15h25m
     
  16. _jal_

    _jal_ Member

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    I like evtripplanner because it does a very good job IMHO at determining Wh/mi but I think abetterroutplanner.com is a little easier to use. It also lets you click on a charger and select it as a meal break stop. So, I usually start at evtripplanner to get estimated energy usage based on payload, wind, and temperature and then go to abetterrouteplanner to actually plan the trip.

    I have 60; just a plain 60. The other Tesla drivers don't even look at me when I wave at them. 90% of my driving is around town and virtually never takes 30% of my battery a day. The few long trips I have taken have been total nonevents. My wife and kids complained at the idea of stopping, but after the first trip to they really didn't care. You stop for bathroom breaks or lunch or whatever and the car charges super fast. We did a big charge the last trip and I had to run out of the Steak 'n Shake to move the car because it finished charging before lunch was even done. Even with my puny battery the stops are no big deal.

    The only caveat is WATCH THE COLD WEATHER. When it is below 20 F, all the charts go out the window. I did a trip the first weekend I had the car when it was -4 F. It was all highway and just rolling along. I averaged 400 Wh/mi. That's about 33% higher than normal. To a lesser extent pay attention to wind. It can help but also hurt.
     
  17. chillaban

    chillaban Active Member

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    I've done SF <-> Las Vegas in a 70D around 4 times in 6 months with my Tesla, and compared to the gas trip, it's only about an hour (10% longer).

    IMO one key element for efficiency (if it matters) is always time every stop with supercharging. The Trip Planner is pretty good about turning your trip into alternating 10-20 minute and 30-40 minute stops when there's plenty of chargers on the route. An extra charge while finishing up a nice meal might not be super efficient, but will help you shave some time off the next stop. And everyone usually wants a pit stop within an hour or two of eating, making it a good time for a short top-off charge and a coffee break.

    In the end, there's maybe only 20-30 minutes total where I feel like I'm genuinely waiting on my car to charge, rather than just doing something else like having a meal or buying a coffee while my car happens to be charging.
     
  18. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    You'll enjoy the trip. Just stop and plug in, check how many range-miles you'd like to have before you leave, then go explore, snack, talk to people; take your time and relax. Nearly every time when you get back to the car it'll be ready before you are. After just a few stops, you'll realize how easy it is.

    On your first trip you should consider a 30% range buffer or more, at least until you get comfortable. Remember that cabin heat uses quite a bit of energy. The seat heater uses a negligible amount so crank that as much as you want.
     
  19. John Stuckey

    John Stuckey Member

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    We did a couple of short test trips before our first cross-country. It was worth it plus we had fun.
     
  20. ig_epower

    ig_epower Member

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    I can honestly say I look forward to the adventure and challenge to do road trips whereas in the past, I dreaded them when I used ICE vehicles. The concept of making these long trips on electricity alone is pretty cool (at least to me) and something my ICE brothers can't even imagine is possible.

    As for these planning tools, the one element that is often overlooked is what to do when you get to your destination. Not all locations have destination charging facilities and certainly the 120VAC solution is pretty weak at best. I often use EVTripplanner to get to my destination and also the closest SC on the way back. It takes a bit of planning that one normally wouldn't need to consider with gas cars because the abundance of gas stations are so great. There was a time when even gas stations were fewer and further apart or closed at night/Sundays making access more limited than it is today. However at this pace, I can clearly see that the EV revolution has started and that the trend will make it easier and not harder to find charging locations.

    I've done my little trips (using 1 or 2 SC stops) from Toronto - Barrie but now I am planning the bigger trips to Collingwood, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Atlantic City and Muskoka. I can't wait!
     

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