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Does NAV know mountains?

Discussion in 'Model 3: User Interface' started by daniel, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Another question related to my upcoming trip: Does the navigation take into account the effect of mountains on range when deciding if you can make it to the next supercharger? And will it tell you if you try to program a trip that you won't have enough range for?

    I will be taking a route I've never taken before. Instead of driving the stinker direct from Spokane, WA to Revelstoke, BC, I'll be driving from Spokane to Kelowna, BC, to hit the supercharger, and then on to Revi. The direct route is 305 miles (I'd have happily paid an extra $20K to have a 350-mile range) and 305 miles is cutting it too close. Any unforeseen problems would leave me stranded. Spokane to Kelowna is 243 miles, which should leave me with 65-ish miles of buffer, except that I don't know what the terrain is like. And you don't recover in downhill regen all the energy you lost on the uphill.

    None of the other legs of my trip will be a problem. Revelstoke to Golden has a very high mountain pass, but it's only 92 miles, with superchargers at both ends. Only Spokane to Kelowna and back are the worrisome legs. There's no charging opportunities other than an RV park along the way, where I could beg them to let me plug in to 240 v. 40 a.

    Yes, I am a worrier. I don't like travel, I don't like long drives. I do this trip because it takes me to my favorite places to do my favorite activity. (Hiking in BC.) And I HATE gasoline, so I'm really looking forward to not using any on this trip.
     
  2. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    Yes the navigation takes elevation change into account. What does the car nav system tell you when you enter the Kelowna destination? You’re correct that downhill doesn’t completely make up for uphill, but Kekowna has a lower elevation than Spokane so you should be fine. Any problem, just slow down.

    In Model S someone calculated that every 1000 ft. of elevation increase costs 6 miles of rated range. Model 3 shouldn’t be worse than that.
     
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  3. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Member

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    Looking at PlugShare, there seems to be a whole bunch of destinations chargers on the direct route. The Village of Salmo as one that may be on your route. Being in the middle of a possible route, that looks to be a good place to stop for a few minutes, add some buffer to make it to your destination.

    In my Model 3. crossing a 5,000 ft agl mtn didn't really impact the net distance. Yea, on top, life looked miserable, but life got better on the way down (800+wh/mi on the way up -200plus on the way down)
     
    • Informative x 1
  4. animorph

    animorph Member

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    Try EVTripPlanner, ABetterRoutePlanner (both on the web), or the EVTO phone app for trip planning. All take elevation and average speeds into account, as does the in-car nav, as well as a few other things. Depending on your speed you most likely will not get the same number of miles as the rated miles displayed on the screen, which it sounds like you may be counting on. But on the good side your best option when the nav says you're not going to make it is just to slow down a bit until the nav says you will make it. It was pretty schizophrenic in the mountains in Arizona last year, saying I would reach my destination with -6% remaining at one point, so sometimes the real-time info is a little off. That's when you depend on the route planners a little more. We arrived with 20% remaining, as expected.
     
  5. SSedan

    SSedan Member

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    Slowing down is a way to save energy and if using Nav the car will warn you to slow down if cutting it close.
    With my MS I can see gains with mild drafting. I am not saying tailgate, but if you settle in behind another vehicle you will do better than if you are in the lead.
     
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  6. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Thanks for all the info.

    Yes, Kelowna is almost 1,000 feet lower than Spokane. But I also have to make it back at the end of my trip. :eek: With 60 miles in reserve I probably shouldn't worry. But I'm skittish by nature. And I've never taken an electric road trip before. In eleven years of driving electric, I never had to charge away from home because neither the Xebra nor the Roadster were suitable for road trips. The Xebra only had 40 miles of range, and the Roadster was too small for all my hiking gear. It fills about half the cargo space of the Prius. The Model 3 is the first EV I've had that's suitable for this trip. And all those destination chargers along the direct route are Level 2. I'd have to take an extra day to make the trip.

    There's a CHAdeMo charger in Castlegar but apparently the $450 Tesla adapter does not work with Model 3. And I think the charger has only two plugs, so there could be long wait times if you get unlucky.
     
  7. SSedan

    SSedan Member

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    Level 2 isn't bad if you just need a boost, a slow meal or grocery store stop and you have another 20miles to take the edge off your range anxiety. Maybe you will get lucky and spot a charging option near your hiking spot and it could charge for hours while you hike.

    Being worried will stop you from getting in too big a bind and you will get more comfortable quickly. 60miles reserve is a lot and like I said slow down and you can go farther.
     
  8. abasile

    abasile Conscientious investor

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    We do a great deal of mountain driving in our Model S and we've found that Tesla's navigation system does a very good job of incorporating elevation changes into its estimates. I'd fully expect this to be true in the Model 3 as well.

    On rural drives like the OP's, it's generally easy to slow down when necessary to conserve charge. In practice, we only rarely find ourselves having to reduce our speed, modestly at that, and we've driven some long, lonely routes with limited charging options. But it's always comforting to know that we can easily extend our range when needed. (FWIW, our Model S currently gets 256 rated miles on a full charge.)

    When anticipating long travel legs that require most of the car's range, I try to identify RV parks and L2 charging stations as failsafes. So far, in almost two years and 50k miles of Model S driving, we've avoided the need to make unexpected charging stops. Identifying failsafes has been more for our comfort than practical need. That said, we haven't done any long trips in extremely cold weather.
     
  9. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    All my hiking will be at wilderness hiking lodges. There's no charging at the transfer points. But actually, the only place I'm concerned is the drive between Spokane and Kelowna. (Both ways.)

    Thanks for that info. That's very encouraging. I expect the speed limits to be 55 mph pretty much the whole way, and with TACC and AP I hope to be able to relax and let go of the urge to get there faster.
     
  10. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    It would be if I was taking the direct route. But with just L2 charging, and availability of that problematic, I'll be taking the indirect route through Kelowna to hit the supercharger there.

    That's good news. Thanks!
     
  11. X Fan

    X Fan Supporting Member

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    Teslafi is a great tool for cataloging trips/keeping track of your driving habits. I've used the product since the beginning and have mapped my travels up/down East Coast and have a DB of energy use between locations (lo, high, average).

    A great tool if you travel a lot or even just around town.
     
  12. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Member

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    if you aren't comfortable with a 60 mile reserve, what number are you comfortable with? If it is 100, that's where you stop at a destination or J-1772 charger and add 40 miles. Not filling up, just adding.
     
  13. SSedan

    SSedan Member

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    You use TACC to settle in behind a larger vehicle and I think you will be quite happy with your increased buffer. Again not saying tailgate you don't need to be hazardously close to see gains.

    Even just another car helps but a pickup, minivan SUV semi is even better.

    I have had my car 10 months and am plotting a trip to Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. Nearest Supercharger to my destination is more than 200miles, there is a single J1772 20 miles from my destination, next closest along my route is a good hundred miles. Will have to wire up an outlet atmy destination(family)or maybe use a dryer outlet and extension cord. Point being you are going to go from extreme range anxiety now to embracing the challenges of getting off the beaten path quickly.
     
  14. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    As noted, this will be my first electric road trip after driving EVs for over a decade. My daily driver has been an EV all that time, but neither of those cars was suitable for road trips. The problem is that while I really think I'll be fine, I don't know for sure what my actual range will be in the conditions.

    Comments above and elsewhere here on TMC have reassured me that the car will do very well, even in mountains. I am just naturally cautious, and I like full information. Fortunately, the really big mountain crossing is only a 92-mile drive so will be no problem.

    But to answer your question, I guess I'd be really comfortable with a 100-mile reserve.

    I'd also really feel better if the car had a spare tire. My first two cars had actual spare tires. The next had the little doughnut spare and one time I got a flat in the middle of nowhere and had to drive about 50 miles at 30 mph. The next one had a real spare tire again, and the one after that just came with a can of fix-a-flat. The Model 3 does not even have that, but I'll pick up a couple of cans before this trip.
     

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