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Did not make it to Mountains :( Please advise

mxnym

Active Member
Mar 9, 2018
1,180
558
Bloomington, IN
I urge you to try the trip again after discussing it with the Tesla salespeople and absorbing the advice provided in this thread. With a little planning it is an easy trip for a Tesla. I want you to have a good experience and not get discouraged.
I don't recommend this. Experience and these forums are your friend, but based on my experience speaking to at least four different representatives prior to purchase, many of the Tesla representatives don't know any more than they've been instructed to read. I rented a P90D on Turo to try out a road trip before I bought my 100D, and I stopped by a mall with a Tesla showroom and chargers toward the beginning of the trip. I was concerned I wouldn't make it to the first supercharger in the only route available, and the guy at the showroom was confident I would. I charged anyway, and if I hadn't, I wouldn't have made it. On the way back, without that stop, after charging to 100% at the only supercharger on the only route (they have since added one to the route) the dash was showing 11 miles remaining when I got to the supercharger I had previously left from, and that stop was more than 11 miles out of the way.
 

jasonb

Member
Jan 25, 2017
62
46
east bay
Hello everybody,

Halfway through my trip (at 56 actual miles left) Tesla showed me that I will arrive with 4% left and range went down to 76 miles, at this point, I freaked out and turned back.

Very confused and sad :(

I have 20k miles on my X now and I find your situation very weird. Im in cali so not really low temps - maybe 22 degrees lowest. but i have done climbs such as tahoe and yosemite high country. i have never seen the computer change its mind like that. its always within a percent or two and i generally drive very fast.

i wonder if the nav has some kind of driver profile to calculate distance and it was set to something rediculously wrong when you got the loaner.
 

chillaban

Active Member
May 5, 2016
3,723
6,597
Bay Area
I'm not disputing that it does... I don't have data one way or the other. I'm asking if anybody has a source for stating it does factor elevation in... or has any empirical evidence suggesting such.

I can't think of any routes around here where I could test this.

I drive through mountains all the time and you can see in the trip energy prediction graph, it's not a linear decline to the destination. The energy percentage drops sharply when you'd be climbing uphill, and regains when you'd be regenerating.

It definitely takes elevation into account though it may not be as accurate as you want. If anything, I find mine to be overly pessimistic in a Model S when it comes to the toll of elevation change.
 
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MikeBur

ManualPilot
Dec 8, 2014
1,378
745
Seattle, WA
I'm not disputing that it does... I don't have data one way or the other. I'm asking if anybody has a source for stating it does factor elevation in... or has any empirical evidence suggesting such.

I can't think of any routes around here where I could test this.
It is shown in the range view of the energy page when you have active navigation

Try this to help visualize. The uphill below actually show up, then down (ie a significant hill up, then crest, then down)
F7B6F6FB-A8ED-4289-A8F7-B0C486FFCFAD.jpeg
 

jasonb

Member
Jan 25, 2017
62
46
east bay
It is shown in the range view of the energy page when you have active navigation

Try this to help visualize. The uphill below actually show up, then down (ie a significant hill up, then crest, then down)
View attachment 287153

this is absolutely true. the climb to tahoe in 20 degree weather will get up to 760wh/mi for me. this is more than twice the regular draw and the estimate is very accurate.

i also only use percentage on battery monitor. the RM display doesnt match what i do so its laughably wrong.
 
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svp6

Member
Sep 6, 2014
731
791
MN
It is shown in the range view of the energy page when you have active navigation

Try this to help visualize. The uphill below actually show up, then down (ie a significant hill up, then crest, then down)
View attachment 287153

Beautiful example of adjusted calibration - note how the curves (original prediction and actual) diverge within the first 5 miles, then remain nearly parallel. Once you had your initial hit to the predicted % battery level at destination, there is very little additional change.
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,612
Canyon Lake,CA
Had the same issue when I was towing. My display showed my range before I hooked up the trailer, and if I had used that to calculate my range it, of course, would have been way off.

After hooking on my trailer, the vehicle sensed the additional weight and turned on the towning features. As I drove it recalculated my range and gave me more up to date information.

This came as no surprise to me, and in anticipation of the reduction in range due to extra weight and wind resistance I charged more fully, and did not rely on the car's original display.

Most Tesla owners will charge more fully than absolutely necessary to arrive at their first stop with a good reserve. Just good practice in any vehicle.

This will also happen if the operator drives much faster than the speed limits or encounters difficult weather conditions. Good to be prudent.

As others have stated, if the OP was unfamiliar with the vehicle or destination, it would have been prudent to charge the car more fully.
 

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,650
8,914
Austin, TX
At 75 mph in 33 degree weather you won’t get much more than half of the rated range. Be glad it wasn’t raining or snowing. Always start a trip with a full charge, and have a contingency plan for charging. You never know what might happen. Elevation, speed, and weather kills range in an ICE also, but no one pays attention to that because gas stations are almost everywhere. Cold is harder on batteries than an ICE. Driving an EV, even a long range EV like a Tesla, takes more thought.
 

HugoBoss

Member
Aug 4, 2017
373
213
Kleinburgh
I say give it another shot, but charge it full on long trips. I had similar experience first time driving long distance in very cold winter storm. I charged to full though before leaving;) I had enough range for trip but was very surprised with the range. It was just above half of what car stated. Don't let this experience turn you away from a Tesla or any EV really. They are great cars, especially the cost of NOT paying for gas. You just have to get used to the differences.
 

scaesare

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2013
8,587
15,195
NoVA
The energy prediction graph is ALWAYS on my screen when I road trip. It's an awesome resource. I adjust my speed based on that, to make sure I arrive with a charge level I'm comfortable with.

Sadly, it's not available on the Model 3 yet.
It is... in the cases where I was riding dangerously close the edge, I've also used it... but it's not something I've had to do often. I hadn't considered that the variations in energy consumption represented there corresponded to elevation changes.

Appreciate the insight.
 
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hacer

Active Member
Apr 13, 2016
1,202
5,689
Clarksville, MD
I'm not disputing that it does... I don't have data one way or the other. I'm asking if anybody has a source for stating it does factor elevation in... or has any empirical evidence suggesting such.

I can't think of any routes around here where I could test this.
Come on. How about driving to Hagerstown, or Shenandoah? Plenty of elevation changes there.
 
As an owner for 4 months so far and an East coast winter here is the short story. It's a learning curve. I saw my range cut dramatically during the coldest part of winter. By around one third! Was not expecting it but a cold soak as they call it really kills range. Tons on threads on this and how to mitigate it when on the shore line before you drive. And now I know what to expect and I am more the wiser now. But you need to live through it and learn. I imagine it is not unlike a Captain learning his ship. Some things require real world experience.
 

Sc0rPs

Member
Mar 12, 2018
38
16
Vancouver
Cold weather dramatically reduces range. In my case usually by 40% when 40 F or lower and more when in the teens or less. In winter my X is a town vehicle. Period.

Had you owned a lower range EV in the winter you would have never reduce your Tesla to a 'in town only' vehicle. I have a Kia Soul EV that I still took on longer trips, just planned ahead and frequented charging stations more often. Make use of those adapters!
 

lymex2018

Member
Feb 4, 2018
132
149
China
I confirm that the estimation of energy needed takes elevation into account. I set two destination of different elevation but the same distance, and the car gives smaller value of SOC left for the higher one.

However, the calculation for "the distance the car may drive" may be as simple as
distance = energy / "consumption rate"
where "consumption rate" is the current consumption in Wh/mi. At the start, the consumption may be small, but will be increase when you are driving on the mountain road thus resulting the OP's situation.

For example, consumption of flat road is 400Wh/mi and 800Wh/mi for mountain road, and you will drive 20mi flat plus 20mi mountain, the energy needed is 8kWh for flat road plus 16kWh for mountain, and you have 24kWh energy left on your car.
At start, the estimated range will be 24kWh/0.4=60mi, giving the false impression that there will be 20mi left when arriving at the destination. However when you've driven 30mi (10mi on mountain), the current consumption will be 800Wh/mi, then the estimate range left will be 8kWh/0.8=10mi, then there will be nothing left on arrival.
 
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