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Cross country trip (3,361 miles) - Some observations

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Zeromus-X, Apr 1, 2017.

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  1. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2016
    Messages:
    139
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    (Warning: Long post with lots of details in case anyone finds this of interest!)

    I drive quite a bit locally (I've had it since July and I'm approaching 20,000 miles), but this is my first time doing a full cross country, can't-always-rely-on-familiar-places type trip. For reference it's a Model S 70 RWD. I decided to make notes along the way about anything of interest regarding superchargers or the path I was taking -- and it is a bit of a silly path as a result of a cancelled appointment in Indianapolis when I got to Springfield. Going almost coast to coast, here's the path I ended up taking, along with charge times/rates per Teslab:

    [​IMG]
    • Start: Sacramento, CA
    • Gustine Supercharger - 165.08 mi, 43m
    • Buttonwillow Supercharger - 129.28 mi, 57m
    • Tejon Ranch Supercharger - 68.48 mi, 16m
    • Burbank Supercharger - 116.0 mi, 38m
    • Indio Supercharger - 80.71 mi, 18m
    • Quartzsite Supercharger - 78.62 mi, 17m
    • Buckeye Supercharger - 92.94 mi, 22m
    • Destination: Phoenix, AZ (no destination charging)
    • Cordes Lakes Supercharger - 179.6 mi, 44m
    • Flagstaff Supercharger - 20.62 mi, 4m
    • Destination: Winslow, AZ (destination charging at La Posada)
    • Gallup Supercharger - 97.49 mi, 23m
    • Albuquerque Supercharger - 158.29 mi, 42m
    • Santa Rosa Supercharger - 141.51 mi, 43m
    • Tucumcari Supercharger - 21.31 mi, 6m
    • Amarillo Supercharger - 118.45 mi, 44m
    • Destination: Amarillo, TX (no destination charging)
    • Shamrock Supercharger - 122.3 mi, 29m
    • Weatherford Supercharger - 150.6 mi, 41m
    • Oklahoma City Supercharger - 37.39 mi, 11m
    • Catoosa Supercharger - 134.53 mi, 40m
    • Joplin Supercharger - 87.71 mi, 22m
    • Destination: Springfield, MO (failed destination charging at Best Western Plus)
    • Springfield Supercharger - 85.25 mi, 29m
    • Rolla Supercharger - 142.9 mi, 47m
    • Miner Supercharger - 126.48 mi, 29m
    • Kuttawa Supercharger - 83.16 mi, 20m
    • Nashville-Brentwood Supercharger - 139.42 mi, 43m
    • Destination: Nashville, TN (no destination charging)
    • Knoxville Supercharger - 182.75 mi, 60m
    • Asheville Supercharger - 93.99 mi, 30m
    • Destination: Burlington, NC (destination charging at Country Inn and Suites)
    • South Hill Supercharger - 82.81 mi, 24m
    • End: Norfolk, VA
    EV Trip Planner gives me the following information about this trip:
    • Distance 3,361.0 miles
    • Driving Time 51:31
    • Charging Time 16:06 (Teslab reports that I actually charged 14:02, but that doesn't count destinations)
    • Total Trip Time 67:37
    • Total Energy Used 979.9 kWh / 3,266 RM
    Destination charging made the trip so much better. Staying at hotels that didn't have chargers (or chargers that were ICEd... thanks Best Western Plus) meant I had to wake up, hit the road for a short amount of time, and then stop to charge again. It seemed like a giant waste of time even when it was only ~30 minutes. In the future I will pay extra to stay at a hotel with destination charging whenever possible.

    Also, some of the stops on the list are closer together than necessary; I was trying to stay behind a huge line of storms moving through Texas and Oklahoma, so when I caught the storm, I held back.

    Here are the notes that I took regarding either the trip or the superchargers themselves that I think might be of interest:
    1. The Flagstaff, Shamrock, and Amarillo Superchargers are in boring places - either at hotels with otherwise nothing to do, or in the middle of nowhere. Shamrock was the worst.
    2. Sketchiest Supercharger was Joplin, the only place I was questioned by the cops what I was doing there. It's at a Doubletree which is under construction. There are no lights in the area. It's close to some shopping (5-10 minute walk) but didn't give me the best vibe - and I park my car in Oakland during the week!
    3. The Ruby Tuesday at Miner (which is the only thing around) was not the friendliest about using it as a restroom stop without purchasing food, though they did permit it. I try not to do this often but if I'm not hungry, I'm not hungry!
    4. There's a BBQ restaurant (Bandanas) at Rolla which is fantastic and inexpensive. Unfortunately they also serve very fast, so if you need a long charge, eat slow!
    5. Similarly, the Weatherford Supercharger has an excellent restaurant next to it (Lucille's Roadhouse) with a ton of different menu options.
    6. Going from Rolla to Miner, and also the Nashville - Knoxville - Asheville segment of the trip was range-anxiety-inducing in a 70. I dropped below the speed limit several times on both of those to play it safe.
    7. High winds can destroy range. I posted about it elsewhere, but I lost almost 30% versus what the car was estimating at one point. Check that weather.
    8. Best Supercharger location award goes to Catoosa, which is located at the Hard Rock Casino. Plenty of parking so no chance of being ICEd, valet pickup to/from the casino from your car, tons of restrooms, free beverages, food options, entertainment, etc. Granted it was also my most expensive Supercharger location.
    9. Nicest Supercharger award goes to Springfield. I reviewed that one in the Springfield supercharger thread.
    10. Call ahead to your Destination hotels to make sure the charger is actually available. Many of them will offer to block off the spot with a cone, or in one case an employee moved her car to that spot until I arrived.
    11. I only encountered one Supercharger not functioning and that was the last one, South Hill. Neither 3A nor 3B gave any power and they didn't have the phone number on them like I've seen at other Superchargers, so I reported it to Tesla Roadside Assistance.
    12. Aside from Albuquerque, outside of California I never saw more than one other Tesla charging while I was there (typically there were none).
    I'm planning on taking a completely different path back, still plotting that one out. If you found any of this interesting let me know and I'll do the same for that route too.
     
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  2. Archduke

    Archduke Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks so much for that thoughtful recap! I'm looking forward to reading about your return trip.

    Maybe I'm daft, but I'm confused about one thing: the miles that you list after each stop don't seem to correspond to the mileage you drover from Location A to Location B. For example, you start in Sacramento and stop first at the Gustine Supercharger. You list 165 miles after Gustine with a 43 minute stop at that Supercharger. But Google Maps tells me it's 65 miles from Sacramento to Gustine. Next, you go from Gustine to Buttonwillow and indicate 129 miles driven, but Google Maps tells me that is a 208 mile journey between the two. What am I missing here?

    Did you keep any log of how fast you drove? Were you making a concerted effort to keep the energy used as close to 300 Wh/Mile?

    I'm going to be driving from Los Angeles to Montana later this year and am a *little* bit anxious (not much...just a tiny bit because I'm new to Tesla, but not to EVs) about range. I'll be watching this thread.

    Again, thank you!
     
  3. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    The time and miles after each stop are the amount of time I spent at the charger and the amount of miles I charged, pulled from the Teslab app. Not the distance between them. I didn't start the trip at 100%, which is why the first stop is only about 60 miles away yet I charged 165 miles. (I have only 115v/20A charging at my house so it's rare for me to leave at 100%.)

    I was hoping to use Teslab to analyze all the trip segments but it looks like it only goes back a certain distance. I'm going to update the first post to include average speed where possible in just a minute. I wasn't making an effort to stay at 300, but I just checked and my lifetime average for the car over 19,587 miles is exactly 300 Wh/mile according to the stats page.
     
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  4. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Looks like I can't edit the first post anymore, so here's what I can pull from my Teslab stats:
    • Rolla to Miner: 286.7 Wh/mi, 56.29 mph
    • Miner to Kuttawa: 260.3 Wh/mi, 55.1 mph
    • Kuttawa to Brentwood: 330.7 Wh/mi, 69.72 mph
    • Brentwood to Nashville: 273.2 Wh/mi, 43.36 mph
    • Nashville to Knoxville: 288.7 Wh/mi, 48.9 mph
    • Knoxville to Asheville: 286.1 Wh/mi, 62.44 mph
    • Asheville to Salisbury: 261.9 Wh/mi, 62.33 mph
    • Salisbury to Burlington: 250.8 Wh/mi, 61.38 mph
    • Burlington to South Hill: 315.0 Wh/mi, 63.0 mph
    • South Hill to Norfolk: 272.4 Wh/mi, 54.08 mph
    If I can figure out a way to get the earlier stats I will, I know there were a few legs where I was averaging 400+ Wh/mi. These last ones are all on flat ground on a nice sunny 75 degree day, so they're all pretty low.
     
  5. bmah

    bmah New Moderator, Model S / Model X Forums

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    I hope to do a coast-to-coast trip someday. Meanwhile I live vicariously through threads like this. :)

    Bruce.
     
  6. Archduke

    Archduke Member

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    Wow! You are under 300 Wh/Mile for most of those! I'm amazed because driving around LA I'm rarely under 400 Wh/Mile, and I don't even think of myself as having a particularly lead foot. I guess I'mg wrong.

    Thanks for clearing up the mystery that you were posting miles charged, not miles traveled. Duh!! (Like I said...sometimes I'm daft.)
     
  7. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

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    Location:
    Houston
    @Zeromus-X In Springfield, I notice DoubleTree by Hilton is right next door to Best Western. When I visited there last summer, I saw they have a whopping 4 chargers on the North wall (probably a 5 minute walk from where you stayed). I wonder if they would have been OK with you borrowing some of their electrons... either for free/goodwill; or for a modest tip of, say, $5.00? I mean, the hotel owners must be a little bummed-out to have their chargers either a) ICEd; or b) EV-abandoned every night... amiright? So maybe DoubleTree does the neighborly thing and helps you out?
     
  8. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

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    Unfortunately that may have been a different one. I was staying at the Best Western Plus Springfield Airport. I see there are a few others in the area in that brand but everything else was showing as sold out (and there was a pretty bad storm going on, so I had no real desire to hunt for places in person). Really the problem is that they need signs or some other identifiers for those spots. I sent pictures to their customer service email address as well. Not sure if that goes to local management or corporate but haven't heard anything back yet.
     
  9. ScottChes

    ScottChes Member

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    Location:
    Kitty Hawk, NC
    If you come down through the Outer Banks of NC on your way back, let me know. We have some great restaurants down here and good charging back out to 95. I just finished 2 shorter road trips and will be posting about them soon.
     
  10. ElectricTundra

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    #10 ElectricTundra, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    @Zeromus-X, great trip summary. I hope your return trip goes well.

    If you can, add your reviews to Chargerville so that others who don't find this thread can benefit from your experience. Tesla also look at the rankings and read the reviews so might help with future location selection.

    Yes, wind can have a dramatic effect. We were driving from FL to MN last Wed, Thu, & Fri and likely dodging the same storm you were. Left our hotel south of Nashville and were at the Nashville SC about 5:30a on Thu to beat it northward. We had headwinds much of the day until we started heading west out of Indianapolis towards Champaign. No range anxiety (P85D) but we weren't able to skip any chargers like we were going south.
     
  11. Zeromus-X

    Zeromus-X Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I appreciate the info! I lived out this way for quite some time and spent many weekends in the Outer Banks. I'm sure it's a lot different now. Right now I'm probably heading north to go back instead of south, but we'll see what happens!

    ElectricTundra, will do once I'm back at a computer instead of my phone. Thanks for the link!
     

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