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Cross Country Road Trip--Need Supercharging Advice

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by reach, May 3, 2014.

  1. reach

    reach Member

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    #1 reach, May 3, 2014
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
    Looking to drive from California to Baltimore and back in my MS 85 with a side trip to Chicago in June. Concerned about some of the choices without running out of charge. Most concerned about the segment between the Las Vegas and Beaver Utah Superchargers. How likely is it that I will be able to make that segment on a full charge without running out? Has anyone made that segment successfully? Also I plan to go from Angola Indiana to Macedonia Ohio which is a long segment. Will this work without running a risk?
    Here is my proposed plan (numbers in parenthesis are mileage between segments):
    Day 1: Home to Barstow (165), Barstow to Las Vegas (161), Las Vegas to Beaver (221) sleep
    Day 2: Beaver to Green River, (187) Green River to Glenwood Springs (185), Glenwood Springs to Lone Tree (172), Lone Tree to Cheyenne (120), sleep overnight.
    Day 3: Cheyenne to Lusk (147), Lusk to Rapid City (151), Rapid City to Murdo (134), Murdo to Mitchell (139) sleep.overnight
    Day 4: Mitchell to Worthington (127), Worthington to Albert Lea (114), Albert Lea to Mauston (187), Mauston to Rockford (137), side trip to Arlington Heights (72) stay overnight in Chicago with relatives
    Day 5: Arlington Heights to Angola (187), Angola to Macedonia (201), Macedonia to Cranberry (95), sleep overnght
    Day 6: Cranberry to Hagerstown (191) to Baltimore (destination). Perhaps lodge at the Doubletree at the Colonnade (73 from Hagerstown) which is listed in Plugshare as having a NEMA 14-50 for guests..

    Under the above plan, I am bypassing some Superchargers such as Richfield, Silverthorne, Maumee and Sommerset. Should I not bypass any of these? Also I may not need to go to both Cranberry and Hagerstown.
    I would appreciate your advice on the above proposal.
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Could you update the first post to include distances between stops?

    By bypass do you mean drive on by or pick a route where you don't go near them? Typically, if you are driving past a Supercharger you never want to pass it up. You can't find faster charging than that so even if you only stop for 20 min to take a break that helps. Especially if you don't have good overnight charging at each stop.
     
  3. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    Between Worthington and Mauston aren't you missing out one too many at least? My plan in July is Worthington to Albert Lea (114 mi), then to La Crosse (125 mi), then Mauston (65 mi) (overnight). Worthington to Mauston direct adds up to 305 miles, and on EV Trip Planner that's 347 Rated Miles and 104 kWh -- a bit above the probable range of your S?

    Your first question I can't answer as I'm starting from Sedona so I'm using the "normal" (first?) cross-country route.
     
  4. reach

    reach Member

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    I added the mileage between segments and added a segment between Worthington and Albert Lea.
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thanks. As a very basic rule of thumb anything over 200 miles is worth evaluating further for the 85kWh pack. Check out the thread ChadS wrote about taking trips as well. His worst case scenario min is 177 miles if I remember it correctly.

    Also, find backup charging spots like RV parks and call them ahead of time and confirm that you can charge there if you need to for an hour or two.

    I haven't looked at a map yet but what do you mean by bypassing Superchargers? I may be taking a trip like that later this year too. There are a number of people here that have taken 1,000+ mile trips and can give better advice.
     
  6. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I am currently doing this! I have some notes that might be helpful on my blog: Tesla Owner | Life in the green fast lane

    I left the Tuesday before last from Northern California... I don't think I could stand doing it in the short time you have allocated. I also find that too many superchargers per day is just too much -- for me at least.

    A ton depends upon the weather. Cold and wind can really slow you down.

    If it isn't a big race, enjoy the scenery more! I'm doing a wanderlust trip but I'm not actually wandering all that much by my standards. I'd say more every day I'm enjoying 2-3 hours on average as a "stop" but the rest of the time driving.
     
  7. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #7 Cottonwood, May 3, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
    Be careful! Beaver is 4,000 feet higher than Las Vegas. That is a net loss of 24 rated miles. I used EV Trip Planner and put in 1.05 times average traffic, an 85 with 19" tires, and 500 lbs cargo. With that, I got a needed 316 rated miles. That is at least 50 more rated miles than you can put into a new 85. I would strongly recommend slowing down on that segment and getting a charge at an RV Park in St. George to top up. In fact, consider finding an overnight RV Park charge in St George with a nearby motel as an overnight rather than Beaver.

    Tesla really needs to finish the Supercharger in St George soon, to make the I-15/I-70 route work well.


    With the net elevation loss from Silverthorne to Cheyenne, there is no need to stop in Lone Tree, and besides, it's well out of your way.

    Enjoy! :biggrin:
     
  8. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I agree on the skipping Lone Tree. I went there and stopped in Denver but don't think it was necessary.
     
  9. DennisLevitt

    DennisLevitt Member

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    Re: Angola -> Macedonia. Why skip Maumee? I think you'll find it much better, on lots of levels, to be able to drive whatever speed you want (speed limit or ???) and stop at available Superchargers. I did LA -> NYC a few weeks ago, and here is my chart of actual mileage, range used, speed traveled, etc.
     
  10. rrva

    rrva Member

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    Dennis -- Excellent chart! Question: When I crossed the northern route with the 120 to 140 mile spacing between SCs, it seemed that driving faster than 65 was counterproductive -- i.e., resulted in longer charging times that outweighed the time saved by driving faster. Was that your conclusion?
     
  11. NoCO

    NoCO Member

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    I noticed that is well when we took or S 60 from L.A. to Virginia in September. Going slower did result in shorter charging times...which did seem to offset the higher speed.
     
  12. DieAbetic

    DieAbetic Member

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    NoCo I have delivery early Nov, and I'm looking to go from LA to VA in my S60 just before christmas. What route did you take, and do you have any suggestions? I'm trying to figure out if I want to take the current supercharger route (up through Colorado and Kansas), or find a way through PlugShare/Blink/RV Parks etc to go a more southern route through New Mexico/Texas/Louisiana/etc.

    Thanks!
     
  13. NoCO

    NoCO Member

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    Right now, there is only one super charger only route for a 60 and it's a little over 6K miles round trip and it's long...about 4-6 days each way. Once they get the route across Kansas, it will be about 700 miles shorter.

    That being said, taking the long way is a very nice trip, there are a lot of great things to see along the way. Utah, Colorado, Mt Rushmore, Devils Tower, Crazy Horse, an interesting car museum in Murdo and many more interesting things to see along the way.

    It will be colder in December so you have to watch your range and speed. I noticed when the temp went from 80 to the 50's (too used to So-Cal weather) I showed up at super chargers with less than I thought I would have, a few legs I was limping at 55 mph to try to keep a reserve, probably could have gone a bit faster, but I never felt comfortable showing up at a super charger with less then twenty miles...

    I remember the movie "...and justice for all" the helicopter scene flashed in my mind...I thought if the judge was driving my Tesla it would be "how close to zero can I get to the next super charger", I never wanted to find out.

    I couldn't take too much time from work, so its super charger routes only for me...now I am waiting for the route 10 to fill out...would love to visit Las Cruces, El Paso, New Orleans....
     
  14. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Somewhere there's a thread with an analysis of the optimum cruising speed when using Superchargers. IIRC, it worked out to something like 108mph for an S85, using some simple assumptions about how far off the route you had to drive to get to the SpC. Fundamentally, it's pretty simple: the faster your charge rate, the faster you can afford to cruise in between charging sessions. The math for the ideal case (no wind, flat road and if you could plug into a supercharger located just along the side of the road along your desired route) works out such that you should consume energy at the same rate as you'll get it back at your next charging stop. So if you expect to average 80kW at the next Supercharger (don't forget the charging ramp!), you should drive at the speed that consumes 80kW along the way.

    There are a whole host of factors that mitigate against driving that fast, and very little penalty in terms of your achieved average cross-country speed for slowing down somewhat from the optimal cruising speed. Bottom line: if you don't have range issues, drive as fast as you want between Superchargers. Please note that any traffic violations you receive are your problem, not mine. :biggrin:

    Finally: don't spend longer at a Supercharger than you need to get to the next SpC with a modest buffer (that's a judgement call and varies widely from driver to driver). Doing a full Range charge at a Supercharger really does slow you down, and it costs you time at the next SpC as well, because by arriving at a higher state of charge you'll reach the charging ramp sooner and achieve a lower average charge rate.
     
  15. DieAbetic

    DieAbetic Member

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    Yeah that's my concern about traveling the northern route in the middle of winter. I was hoping Tesla would finish up the 2014 supercharger map by December so I could go south... but that doesn't seem to be happening unless there are permits and construction in places we don't know about. Crossing my fingers for some more destination charging hotels that might bridge the gaps as well.
     
  16. ljwobker

    ljwobker Geek.

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    I'm roughly halfway through my #TeslaElectricStartupSuperTrip - we're doing Raleigh NC to Palo Alto CA. Right now I'm in the car on I-90W between Mitchell and Murdo, SD. I can tell you that today I've learned that sustained 25+ mph winds can REALLY impact your ability to get somewhere. Also, the comment about using the "correct" part of the battery is very important. If you need to put 150 miles of (rated) range into your battery, that's going to be a LOT faster if you're charging from 10->160 than if you're charging from 80-230. I'm instrumenting my trip pretty heavily, so one thing I hope to generate is a very good chart/tool for charge times... but I don't have it yet. Also, if you're willing to draft even a little bit, it can make a very significant difference in your efficiency. Right now my wife is driving, following a grain hauler semi that's cruising at a constant 74mph on a flat, straight part of I-90. Even with a 15-20mph direct headwind, the draft of the truck means our efficiency for the last 30 miles is a whoppingly low 310Wh/mi. Earlier today with no draft and that headwind we were over 450 - so in this specific example doing 74 with a draft is 50% less power than doing 77mph with no draft.
     
  17. MyJoule

    MyJoule Member

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    I haven't personally validated this, but here's a link to a spreadsheet that will show you how long it takes to charge from one charge level to another Tesla Model S - Supercharger Table

    Hope that helps
     
  18. smartypnz

    smartypnz Member

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    When traveling, we rarely SC to a 'full' charge. We just charge enough to get to the next SC (with a buffer added). Use Evtripplanner to estimate required charge.

    1. Never bypass a SC. (Bypassing means longer charge time at the next SC, which is always longer than two quick stops)
    2. Full charge only when absolutely necessary as it can take up to 1 and 1/2 hours.
    3. Arrive with low miles as it will charge at a quicker rate.
     
  19. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    I am thinking that it might be a good strategy to intentionally run the battery down to a relatively low capacity just before you arrive at a SC. You could do this by speeding up during the last part of the drive to the SC so that you would use more energy. This would also speed up your trip since you would be driving faster to the SC and also charging faster when you get to the SC.
    Of course, speed limits and police enforcement are a factor here but it would be fun to roar through the last part of a leg at 100 mph!
     
  20. smartypnz

    smartypnz Member

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    Then come skidding in a wide swatch sliding backwards to the SC.

    Ya gotta love it!!



    'Don't try this at home'
     

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