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Drafting Effect on Range

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Chas F, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Chas F

    Chas F Model S 60kWh #P6396

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    I'm curious to hear if any Model S owners have noted how much of an effect drafting behind other vehicles on the highway has on range.
     
  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I tried this in the Roadster and saw a 10% improvement until the cop pulled me over and gave me a $20 citation with $140 court fee. So bottom line it is not worth the risk.
     
  3. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    It works wonders. You don't need to get too close to an 18 wheeler or other big rig, and it can substantially increase your projected range. When I was hurting for range I drafted on the highway and got my projected range pretty far over my rated range, which isn't easy to do, and was using less than 300 Wh/mi, which is also really hard to do without drafting.
     
  4. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Just don't get close enough to get a ticket. Yes the closer you are the more improvement, but it's more important to stay safe.
     
  5. Talkredius

    Talkredius Member

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    other methods :
    inflate the tires to max psi printed on the tires and use low roll resistance tires should give you 5..10 % more range
    disadvantage : ride is harder, less grip, TC kicks in earlier.
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Except in bad weather when it's likely to have more grip.

    Higher pressure


    • Reduces rolling resistance
    • Reduces stopping distance in most cases
    • Reduces damage caused by potholes
    • Reduces hydroplaning
    • Reduces uneven wear
    • Improves handling
    • Lowers tire temperature

    Lower pressure


    • Reduces tread damage on gravel roads and washboard surfaces
    • Reduces vehicle damage from vibration on gravel roads and washboard surfaces
    • Improves flotation off-road
    • Improves traction in many off-road conditions

    Note that there are case-by-case exceptions based on individual vehicle characteristics and there's a difference between higher/lower and stupidly higher/lower.
     
  7. Chas F

    Chas F Model S 60kWh #P6396

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    Glad to hear that I have options for increasing range on the highway as I have a couple of destinations in my travel radius that may give cause for a little range anxiety. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  8. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    I just drove up to LAX from San Diego. On cruise control at 65, I was using about the same energy/mi as when I found a Hummer H3 doing 78 in the car pool lane and sat behind him. I was about the same distance behind him as everyone on the freeway; I wasn't particularly close.
     
  9. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    I have also done this in my Roadster to good effect. I have found, as others above have said, that you do not have to get dangerously, race-car driver close to have an appreciable effect. Being back a safe and legal distance is still useful. I look for semis that are skirted under the trailer for aero. You want less air coming at you from under the trailer.

    It can be a good technique to stretch range when you REALLY need it, on a long run, when you are in a seriously strong headwind, or when you want to go much faster than 65 mph.

    It is great to realize that all of this stuff will become obsolete when the Supercharger era is fully upon us.
     
  10. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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  11. Brian H

    Brian H Banned

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    Back in the '60s I did some hwy travelling on a Suzuki 80 motorbike, and found I could draft behind a semi at a fair distance (find the turbulence sweet spot, and the air almost pushes you) and got 70 mph @ about 200 mpg -- until the motor began to overheat because of inadequate airflow. Then had to pop out of the "pocket" for a while!
     
  12. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    So perhaps the hopefully upcoming adaptive cruise control should have a distance setting so you could get close to the vehicle in front, say .5 sec, and it would keep you there? If the lead vehicle was something like a semi or even an SUV, the Tesla could easily out brake it if the computer was watching the distance. It's a bit tougher for a human driver because of inattention and/or reaction times.
     

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