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Complicated (?) commute question(s)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by mudmutt, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. mudmutt

    mudmutt Member

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    Sorry for the long rambling post. If you think this is bad, you should talk to me in person...

    I have been diligently reading the forum posts and have scheduled a meeting with a local Tesla owner here in Pittsburgh (JakeP), but wanted to post this question to the broader audience to validate my understandings.

    I live in NE Ohio and work in Pittsburgh PA. From my home to my office is 125 miles if I take the turnpike (70mph) and 90 miles if I take backroads. Regardless of the route I take, the time is essentially 2 hours, so I often choose the turnpike route as it requires "less attention" than the other route.

    Once I'm in Pittsburgh, I stay roughly 38 miles from downtown. So my daily commute is then 80'ish miles. I always go home on Friday afternoons for the weekend and will often go once during the week.

    Week:

    • M 125+40 = 165 total miles
    • T 40+40 = 80
    • W 40+40 = 80
    • T 40+40 = 80
    • F 40+125 = 165

    Low end for a week = 570 miles

    If I make a trip home during the week it can be 740 miles. So needless to say, the conversation about fuel savings is a pretty easy one for me. And 85kWh is an absolute. If there were a larger battery, I would be the prime candidate for it. The real question becomes about range and feasibility of charging. There is a supercharger on my route. It is in Cranberry PA and is right in the middle of my mid week commute (20 miles from downtown and my place).

    Last couple points of note.


    1. My parking garage does not have any charging facilities. Nor do they intend to add any (I've asked).
    2. There does not (currently) appear to be one close to my office that is feasible to use during the day.
    3. My home-away-from-home is a cabin which happens to be in an RV Park. So there is potential for better overnight charging there, however I am reading about how many of the plugs are wired and can work with the park owner to see if something can be addressed if necessary. I have an annual lease/rental so I may have some leverage to get something done there, especially if I pay for it.

    So, finally, on to the questions.


    1. On Mondays and Fridays I have to do a minimum of 165 miles. But it's not all at once. For example Monday morning I would do 125 miles at 6:00 in the morning, arriving in PGH around 8:00. The car would sit in the parking garage for about 10 hours, then would make the 40 mile commute. So I know it's not "just" 165 miles of range needed as its going to lose something while sitting. And for those of you who are aware, the weather in the winter can be quite poor. No it's not Denver, but we have the beginning of mountains and we get cold and snow. So I'm also looking at the 1.33 factor I read elsewhere to account for the "worst" weather. So before any loss incurred while sitting during the day, I'm looking at 220 miles (the 1.33 factor for weather) to make my beginning and end of week trips without stopping. Over time, when the capacity of the battery decreases, I fear I'm going to be cutting it too close during my coldest snowiest days of the year.
    2. I would have to assume I'd want to charge 100% prior to Monday and Friday commutes if doing it straight through was a consideration. However... as I'm not always sure on Tues, Wed, Thurs, if I'm going to be going home the next day or not there are times I would also need the range necessary from a 100% charge. While I've read keeping it 50-80% charged is more ideal, my commute distance may not allow for that yet. So until there is a facility in downtown Pittsburgh where I can charge during the day (which will make much of this entire tirade moot) I would be looking at constantly charging to full capacity. My assumption is that will prematurely degrade the battery and the range. Would I be a candidate for the 8 year unlimited mile replacement if that were the case? Or is that more for manufacturing defects and not overuse by the customer?
    3. To make everything about points #1 and 2 more difficult... the turnpike speed limit is 70. And the last 17 miles into downtown Pittsburgh I'm often doing 80 to stay with traffic (until it comes to a stand still). So I'm not running at the optimum speed to get the maximum range in the best weather either...
    4. With the announcement of the replaced/upgraded batteries for the roadster. Would that be a better (of course all things are relative) vehicle for the commute because of the range alone? I current drive a 911 as my DD (yes, year round) so size of the Roadster would not bother me and I travel with little stuff anyway.
    5. As much as I may *want* to do this now. Am I better off waiting for the next generation of battery and possibly increased range for the Model S, X, or whatever can comfortably give more than 300 miles to a charge?

    Thank you in advance for all your input and opinions.
     
  2. Kaaae

    Kaaae Member

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    Location:
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    While it is not the same frequency, I do 150 miles every day. I usually have 50-80 left in my battery depending on my average speed (80mph really sucks the battery). Also, I never charge to 100% but as I am in Fl, I never have to deal with snow
     
  3. hiroshiy

    hiroshiy Active Member

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    Hi, I'm still waiting for my Model S but I think this is like a puzzle so let me give you my 2 cents. In the weekday you can supercharge to 90% any time you have less than 90 miles when you start. That way you can always have 50% buffer over required miles (one way 40 miles and coming back to SC 20 miles). When you decide to go home drop by at SC and 90% charge, drive 125+20=145 miles to home. You could also manage to use 200V NEMA 14-50 outlets in the RV park daily to charge to 80% that's fine and you can eliminate a lot of time at SC. Same rule for SC (90 mile rule) but this way you'll have always full tank every morning so no visit to SC.

    The problem is in weekends. You just can't assume 250 miles round trip with max charge. If something go wrong you are out. Roadsters can't supercharge so it really is for people with home charging.

    No SC between your home and PA? No CHAdeMO? If so you need to have some kind of charging at home. Other than that your plan looks viable!
     
  4. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    I will, of course, defer to others with actual experience on a longer, more complicated commute, but I have a couple thoughts for you:

    1. I don't see any reason that you need a 100% charge all the time. On Monday, charge up to maybe 85% or roughly 225 miles. This should get you comfortably to Pittsburgh if it's only 125 miles.
    2. On your way into Pittsburgh on Monday, leave a little extra time and hit the Cranberry supercharger before you go to the garage. This way you'll have most of the charge you need for Monday evening through Friday afternoon.
    3. Friday afternoon, charge back up to 175 or 200 miles and drive home.
    4. Even if there is bad weather, just hit the Cranberry supercharger and you're good to go during the work week.
    5. Thus, you shouldn't be degrading your battery.

    Now, I'll let the pros step in.
     
  5. brkaus

    brkaus Member

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    If I'm reading correctly, your longest trip 145 miles, home to supercharger or supercharger to home. This sounds reasonable under any weather circumstances. In good weather it wouldn't even take a full charge, so not huge amt if time at the supercharger.

    It sounds workable without work or home away from home charging, although some time spent at the supercharger.

    Plug share also shows some charging downtown if needed in emergency.
     
  6. mudmutt

    mudmutt Member

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    Your recommendations are already what's in the back of my mind. I've been explaining to my wife that it requires you thinking less like an ICE world when you drive and travel and I'm trying to make the Model S adapt to my current commute model with no interruption. That may be a bit idealistic.

    The Cranberry Supercharger is going to have to be worked in somehow. My plan is to NOT stop there every night after work as the only restaurant is Quaker Steak and Lube (wing place for those who don't know it) and if I suddenly balloon up to 300 lbs I will also cause the battery to drain faster and I cannot have that... :)

    Any reasonable downtown charging option would also alleviate most of my concerns. It's surprising how difficult it is to obtain parking leases in downtown Pittsburgh (waiting lists in most all of the parking decks) and they are pretty poor as far as public parking goes. None of them seem to have any interest in adding charging stations as they are all able to fill capacity as it is.

    Out of downtown there are more options popping up and Carnegie Mellon seems to have some in the area, but that would be beyond a reasonable walking distance and I'd then be at the mercy of the public transportation in town.



     
  7. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    I bet you can make it work now with lots of options. During warm weather, a standard 90% charge will get you 200 real miles no problem. During winter, I'd guess you'd still make it, and you'd quickly get used to monitoring the drive so you know if you need to slow down or hit the supercharger.

    The fact that there is a super charger on the way should take away all the anxiety -- worst case scenario you stop at the SC 15 minutes and top off enough to get to your destination. No need to spend a lot of time at the SC, and it's just a contingency plan for really cold days or days when you had a side trip.

    And lastly, you can expect more and more charging options during the day as EVs become more popular. Having an RV park available makes it easy and I'd guess they'll be happy to work out something with you for regular charging.

    So I think the real question is whether or not making all these charging plans and contingencies is fun for you or not. Me, I kinda like planning trips and exploring my charging options. For some, though, any charge anxiety is a deal-killer.
     
  8. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    You really don't need to stop for long at the Cranberry supercharger. Just give it 20 minutes or so on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and you are good to go. No need to eat too much steak. If you aren't already a fan of Audible, now's the time. It really helps pass the time.
     
  9. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Even 10 minutes at the supercharger will go a long way toward your mileage needs. If the battery is low and you can get the full 120kW, 10 minutes will give you 60 miles of additional range. If you simply stop any time you're about to pass it with <50mi range remaining, and work in 10+ minutes of work, reading, audiobooks, snack, etc, you should be fine.

    To further reduce your wait times at the supercharger:

    - Any sort of overnight arrangement that you can make with the RV park would help, even if it's not a full 50A.

    - For downtown parking, it's also worth checking to see if your garage has any 120V outlets available. If you're there 8 hours, you could get an extra 25-40 miles of range.
     
  10. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    for the last year I did a 200-210 mile daily commute. 100 miles in, 100-110 miles back. I charge at both ends though.

    it's really about your driving habits, including in bad weather. On a normal daily commute, I average 360Wh/mi. If I wanted to try, and I have, I can get that to 280-290Wh/mi. Now, one day early this year in the middle of a freezing winter storm here, I actually did the same commute and averaged 260 even with the heat on. Despite driving on unplowed roads for practically all 100 miles, I got better Wh/mi than I ever had before for such a distance. Why? Because I couldn't drive faster than 40-45mph the entire time.

    Your 165 miles commute can easily be done with a range charge or a 90% charge in any weather condition.

    now, on the flip side, if you're trying to intentionally driving inefficiently, you could drive 100mph in cold rain with strong headwinds and average 560Wh/mi (heh, I won't say why I know that). but on the efficient side, one trip I didn't feel like waiting for my car to charge more. I had 140 miles to go and about 147 miles charged. And I had to go through some mountains. I deceided to leave and drive slower than my usual pace (I did know of a HPWC at a Tesla store at around 70% of the way that I could use of a fall back if I really did get into a bind) I maintained a decent speed the whole time, but I did follow trucks and cars closely (to gain some efficiency from their draft wind), and I still got home with about 20 miles to spare. so I got better than rated there (that as like 280 or so Wh/mi).

    But at a 70mph pace, getting 165 miles is easy, even if you drive a bit fast. You'll have no problem with the 85kW.

    so now getting back your your stay, if you're at an RV park, they either have NEMA 14-50's there, or they have TT-30s there. I have a ton of aftermarket adapters for all kinds of sockets, including the TT-30. I also have 10-30, 14-30, 6-20, 5-20...and a few other sockets too. your overnight charging should be fine for bringing you back up to 90% by every morning. if there are any issues about electrical quality there, you could easily dial down the amps to make sure that you can still charge at a reliable rate. I would also offer to the parking garage manager about paying to have a socket installed with a separate meter. if you are paying for 100% of the cost of the install and the electrical usage (since it will be private metered), i'd be surprised if they say no. alternatively you could suggest Tesla's HPWC program to them (I think its something like buy one get one free), or maybe suggest chargepoint stations to them... or if they want to do it themselves they can always put some ClipperCreek J1772 stations in. Those are not very expensive. You definitely have options. I wouldn't wait if I were you. I'd go ahead and buy your MS and use that as your daily commuter. You will save a ton of $$$ by not having to pay for gas anymore.
     
  11. mudmutt

    mudmutt Member

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    I think I laughed out loud at that...

    Knowing me, I expect to have an assortment of connectors in the car so I'm prepared for any situation (boy scout thing and all...). It would be nice if a "bag" existed that had a spot for all your connectors that rolled/closed up nicely and could be stowed away in the car. Kinda like the thing that hangs in the garage and has all the attachments for the central vac.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I did chat with my "guy" in the parking garage today. I told him I had checked with the garage management company and that they had indicated they didn't have any plans or interest in adding any charging stations. He walked the first floor with me and found 5 different parking spots which would be next to or in front of a 110/120 outlet. Since he parks all the cars on the first floor in the mornings he told me if I bought the car he'd make sure to put it in one of those spots every morning for me. So there's a chance I can do that on Mondays, getting a good 10 hours in the garage and then only need to make it the 40 miles back north on Monday nights. Then work out what I need at the RV site to get a decent charge for the next AM.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm not sure I should admit this yet and publicly...

    But I've been watching the extremely long videos on YouTube by Bjorn Nyland and was amused at how they were cooking and camping in the car when they traveled. And that it is interesting that even the Tesla site mentions what amenities are around each SC so you can know if there is food/restroom/etc. But there's no doubt I could get my phone or laptop out and always catch up on email (sadly).

    The audiobook thing may work out, but that's one more thing for me to have to deal with the timing on. My wife and I "rented" audiobooks (so obviously this was years ago) on a trip to Chicago and made it home before the book was done. We sat in our driveway for almost 50 minutes listening to the end of the book when we got home. We had a Landrover that still had a tape deck, didn't have a tape deck in the house, and certainly couldn't walk away without finding out what happened at the end.
     
  12. RileyCPA

    RileyCPA Member

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    I don't take delivery of my Model S for another 29 days, 12 hours and 10 minutes....but hey I'm not counting so take what I say with a grain of salt but with over 22,000 charging stations in the US, I'm sure you can find one on the way to your destination where you can spend 20 to 30 minutes in the rare instance you find yourself without enough juice to get home. Yes there are superchargers but there are lots of memberships that have fast charge chargers in a heavy metropolitan area like Pittsburgh. I'm not from the east coast, I'm a born and bread Californian but I drive 190 miles round trip to work everyday. Everything I read (I even bought that Nick Howe guy's book....excellent book by the way) but range anxiety is a common concern (I share it with you) but the electric grid is more robust than most people would believe and its only getting better.

    When I look at my PlugShare app there are literally 1000s of places for me to charge. I just did a quick check of Pittsburgh and NE Ohio and you have lots of options as well, even with some evenly placed superchargers in your area (Macedonia, Triadelphia, Cranberry). I have no clue if they're on the route you take but 20 minutes in one of those and you'll have half a charge, plenty to get to your destination where you can plug in. Good luck!!!
     
  13. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    One additional tip: check whether those 120V outlets in the garage are 15-amp (NEMA 5-15) or 20-amp (NEMA 5-20, indicated by the T-shaped slot for one of the prongs). If they're 20A, I suggest buying the NEMA 5-20 adapter from Tesla ($45). It'll get you ~50 miles in 10 hours, rather than 30-40.

    nema-5.jpg

    Also, if all else fails, note that the Carnegie Mellon Electric Garage on Forbes Ave. has ~8 level 2 (J1772) plugs and one Model S HPWC. Bus service from there to downtown is decent, if I remember correctly (61A/B/C/D), and there are lots of restaurants just a short walk away on Craig St. and in Oakland (UPitt area).
     
  14. AbeFromin

    AbeFromin Banned

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    oh my god...

    suicide.gif
     
  15. trigga71

    trigga71 Member

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    #15 trigga71, Aug 20, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
    If the outlets in the parking garage are 5-20 that would be very nice for you. In my Model S 60kWh I charge to about 90-92% and drive one way 144 miles ending with about 30 miles left then I Charge at a public level 2 charger at around 18mph gaining about 140 miles of range back then drive the 144 miles back daily. You'll want to charge at least 20-30 miles over the range you need as the high speeds tend to eat the range.

    UPDATE: Get the twin chargers and full 80 amp HPWC.
     
  16. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    The first thing that struck me was the long route decision. I faced a similar (though much less miles) decision a long time ago about my commute. Highway about 17 miles, back roads through a few towns 12.5 miles, both 20-25 minutes. Still driving a gas car then. A quick calculation indicated that if I got 28mpg on the highway, I'd have to get worse than 21mpg on the back roads to use more fuel. So I gave up the highway to use less fuel in the same amount of time. Also since there are not a lot of stops on my route, I actually got better mpg than on the highway. And the highway is hit or miss (and getting worse), the back way is the same time every day.

    I strongly suggest you reconsider the alternate 90mi route. Whether you buy an MS or not, you'll see energy savings. That's a 70 mile savings each round trip, without costing time.

    If you're at all concerned with range with an MS, it makes no sense to choose the 125 mile commute. You can achieve rated range (on average) only below 70mph. I think it's usually between 60-65.

    I'm not sure if I understand your point #1 correctly. Does "My parking garage" refer to at work, or is that like a condo parking garage at home? If you can't charge at (or near) home, that'd make EV ownership stressful.
    Charging at the RV park will be no problem if they have a 50A site you can use. If the cabin has a 240V feed then installing the outlet should be simple, but I suspect you don't see that as feasible some reason. Still, Cranberry would save you anyway.


    • M 90+40 = 130 total miles
    • T 40+40 = 80
    • W 40+40 = 80
    • T 40+40 = 80
    • F 40+90 = 130

    With this modified chart, you can set it to 80% and leave it.
    Low end for a week 500. Add one trip home during the week 600.
    If you travel work-Cranberry-home, that's 70 miles from the SC to home. If you're low, a 15 minute stop will get you past 70 miles.
    If you travel home-work-Cranberry thats 90+20=110 miles. Piece of cake in any condition.

    Is Cranberry anywhere near your alternate route?
    If you can charge at or near home, you'd definitely be all set.
     
  17. mudmutt

    mudmutt Member

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    This may be actually consider something that we hadn't thought was possible since I took this job:


    M 90+90 = 180 total miles
    T 90+90 = 180
    W 90+90 = 180
    T 90+90 = 180
    F 90+90 = 180


    900 miles a week on a route that would have been a 18/19 MPG route. The 1250 per week route I would have been around 25 MPG. Either way it was $200 a week in gas and $50 in tolls on the long route. Plus that literally meant I would be getting a service every 8-10 weeks which is about the lead-time it takes to get an appointment at the local Porsche dealers.

    Thats not considerably more than what AbeFromin is doing. Interesting to think how many miles can get racked up on a MS with those of us who want to maximize it range on an almost daily basis.

    Plus as you indicated, the turnpike at 70 won't be the most efficient route. Perhaps the back route averaging 50 MPH may yield less draw on the battery, meaning less charges, etc.
     
  18. LakeForest

    LakeForest Member

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    As long as you could secure 240 volt charging at the campsite you would be set. Just charge to 80-90% every night, and you would easily be able to make it home whenever you need to. Also, I live in Chicago and only find a 10-15% drop during the bad weather.
     
  19. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    I don't know of a car that gets better economy at 70 than at 50. Of course that would be at fairly consistent speeds. Is 18/19 @ 50 and 25 @ 70 actual measure or assumption?

    Back to the MS:
    If you're driving at 70, you will get less range than indicated. If you're driving at 50, you'll get more than indicated; hence less "battery cycles." Then factor the fewer miles on top of that.
    It's starting to sound like the MS would be perfect for you. Having the option to spend more time at home sounds like a huge benefit. Still find out about a 50A near the cabin though, keep your options open.
    I'd suggest for you the dual chargers and HPWC at home, in case you need a quick turn-around. Perhaps a late night out after work or unexpected errand...
     
  20. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Lotsa real good stuff here. They all make good sense. If the Cranberry SC location is on your way to/from work, then you could leave a little early and supercharge before arriving on Mondays, and then stop for a few to top off on your Friday journey home. You do not indicate in which direction your RV Park cabin is from downtown. Have you looked at the park's website to see what types of plugs they have for travelers? Most newer parks have the NEMA 14-50 plugs which generally add about 28-30 miles of range per hour. Even the 14-30 ones (like your home dryer) add close to 20.

    Also look at the PlugShare website or app to see if there are charging locations along your nightly journey if the RV Park cannot accommodate. It lists a Jack in Wexford who has a HPWC.

    Once you get the hang of this, it is easy peasy! Go for it!
     

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