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Drafting at Highway speed..It works

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Mnlevin, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Mnlevin

    Mnlevin Member

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    I have a 60 and have never really had any range anxiety. But I have thought about my driving habits and the distance between St Augustine Superchargers and was worried about it. I have many days driving around S Florida racking up about 120-140 miles, and notice that my actual range typically is about 85-90% of what I started with. My 60 will Range charge to 201 miles, so should be good for a 176 mile trip between SCs this summer driving from Fla to Mass. But I was PLEASANTLY SURPRISED today. Started with 201 miles, and drove to a client 85 miles away in Stuart FL. That is about 20 miles SE from the PSL charger, BUT I really didn't want to go there to get back home south. That would be 40 miles of extra driving. So I could either keep my speed to around 60-65 mph and be sure I could get back and forth on 1 charge. OR, follow a tip of another 60 owner. He says just get 1 1/2 -2 car lengths behind a high truck and it reduces drag significantly increasing mileage. IT WORKED. I averaged about 70-72 mph at 270 wpm. After the 168 mile round trip, I had 51 miles left on the battery. Properly drafting I could probably get about 220 miles of real range. :smile:
     
  2. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    @Mnlevin

    You managed to increase the range this way but are you sure that you were at a safety distance from the truck? I very much doubt about this.
    Remember: Safety comes first!
     
  3. MikeL

    MikeL some guy

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    Raffy, OTR truck drivers around here, professional long distance guys, just need to know you're back there. If you want to draft them, peek out on the driver's side until you know they have seen you, then hang back. If the driver of the truck is not ok w you being there, he will let you know. It is my experience that a little friendly communication goes a long way, even (especially!) at night. Every situation is different, of course, and you have to be safe, but I think most of those guys would think it pretty cool to be giving an assist to their Electric-sled road brothers.
     
  4. GreenT

    GreenT Member

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    Very bad advice ... dangerous driving and if you rear end him, good luck with insurance claim.
     
  5. ferdboyce

    ferdboyce "GASKIKR"

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    I agree, this is not good advice, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. (please disregard the fact that I do it myself, and with more than a little success . . .)
     
  6. Earthdog

    Earthdog Member

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    It makes a huge difference. I have used this method many times on long trips.

    Is it safe no but come on guys we are all adults and don't need another adult wag a finger at someone because you don't agree.

    Drive On!!!!
     
  7. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    I've gotten improved economy driving a Ford Fusion as far as three seconds back. You don't have to crowd the truck.
     
  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    If you want to close draft I don't give a crap whether you die or get injured because you can't avoid debris, a jack-knife or tire blow out.

    I do give a crap that when you have an accident you'll put other people in danger or inconvenience them. The most important person on the road is everybody else but you.

    Don't close draft. You can still get draft benefits at a much safer distance.
     
  9. Tedkidd

    Tedkidd Member

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    I imagine radar cruise control automatically solves this?
     
  10. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    I have drafted many times to great success. The danger is not so much in rear ending, but the fact that you cannot see debris on road and take evasive actions. The trucks have very high clearance and they don't care about debris but you will run right over them.
     
  11. GreenT

    GreenT Member

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    Adults don't encourage this sort of driving.
     
  12. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Guys, let's discuss the merits and perils whilst avoiding belittling each other.
     
  13. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    #13 DFibRL8R, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
    I think the term "drafting" is not a good one since it conjures up visions of Nascar drivers literally on top of one another. I do believe there is a safe distance to follow a larger vehicle which can still improve range. On a busy highway, you're going to be behind somebody, why not improve your range by following behind a larger vehicle at a safe distance? Clearly 1.5 to 2 car lengths is pushing it at high speeds. I prefer the "2 second rule". Stone chips, tire debris and limited view of stray tow hitches/potholes in the road are the main hazards but I'm fairly confident I can stop my model S with Brembo's in much less distance than the guy driving the 18-wheeler can. The Model S tests 60 to 0 in 108 ft. Unles you're not paying attention or you are ridiculously close, you are not going to rear-end a semi.
    Two-second rule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Stopping-Distance-of-a-Semi-Truck-per-DOT.jpg
     
  14. EnergyMax

    EnergyMax Member

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    Ha. I used to draft city buses going ~30 mph on my road bike. It was pretty fun, and was quite efficient. I imagine the energy savings drafting a big rig at 70mph are enormous. Well done.
     
  15. Mnlevin

    Mnlevin Member

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    In review, this is not something that I have ever done before and in the beginning I felt a little uneasy. But after awhile I noticed that I was paying a lot more attention to my driving, and focusing on staying close enough for benefit but far enough a way just in case. On the other hand, I didn't think much about the road debris, it is something that could be a concern. In the end, I have never needed it before or wouldn't do it on a regular basis, but man it really improved the efficiency. I can see myself doing it between St Augustine and Savannah for sure, the rest of the time it really is not important. As I said at the beginning, I have never even come close to worrying about range and some days I do 140 miles with at least 15-40 miles left depending on the driving that day.
     
  16. reddy

    reddy Member

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    I've drafted both with my Leaf and my Tesla.

    I found that the Leaf seemed to get a lot more assist than the Tesla does.

    I would draft with the Leaf, until I got the 2nd rock on my windshield.

    Given that I would hate a rock on my Tesla windshield, I quit drafting.
     
  17. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Elaborate on the underlined, please. Thanks.
     
  18. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Slams on the brakes and turns you into a pancake?
     
  19. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    That's not communication.
     
  20. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    Nice documentation. This is what most people bashing drafting don't understand. Of course, if you are not paying attention than things are different. You will rear end someone no matter how far behind you are following...

     

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