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Driving a 85/90D from bay area to kirkwood (1h from tahoe) in a snowstorm, and back

Discussion in 'North America' started by marcmerlin, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. marcmerlin

    marcmerlin Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
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    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    I've seen some posts about driving to lake Tahoe, but that's easy :)
    The real hard one is Kirkwood, in the middle of nowhere on SR88 without any source of power if you're running short of course, and no cell phone reception for 45mn in either direction to call for help if you run your batteries down.

    So, I've done it and documented the numbers so that others can go with more confidence while knowing that if you cannot secure access to a 120V plug while there (at least to keep the batteries warm), it is challenging to do this trip, but possible.

    http://marc.merlins.org/perso/cars/post_2016-01-06_Driving-from-the-South-Bay-Area-to-Kirkwood-in-a-Tesla-Model-S-90D.html

    Cliff Notes:
    - if you don't have an 85/90D, it's safer to go through Folsom supercharger, despite the detour. Or, try sleeping at lockeford Inn and charge there.
    - Manteca to Kirkwood to Manteca with an 85/90D is dicy if you can't plug in at kirkwood. On a nice day without snow and warmer temps, t should be doable though, and if you run short, charge at Sutter or beg at Lockeford Inn (charger is supposed to only be for customers).
    - Plugging in 8H during a snow day at kirkwood should be enough to keep the batteries warm and allow Manteca-Kirkwood-Manteca.
    - But getting a plug at kirkwood you're allowed to use in a parking spot you're allowed to use, is problematic if you're not staying the night with an assigned parking spot. If you must plug in, you will manage, but you'll be parked illegally in an underground parking spot that is assigned to someone else potentially, and you risk being towed.
    - Obviously driving in a snowstorm will increase rolling resistance and decrease battery life due to temperatures, be mindful of that
    - Heated windshield wipers did not help keep the windshield clear of snow (disappointing). At times I had to waste battery to blast full heat air on the windshield
    - Distance estimator was very wrong both when I left the Manteca charger and when I left Kirkwood. Both times it over estimated my range significantly, and then adjusted to a better value within just 5 minutes of driving.
    - Distance estimator does not seem to take temperaure changes due to altitude and gave me a lot less range on the drive back than I really got, because I'm sure it assumed the temperature would be -4C the entire drive.
    - I'm very disappointed that my 90D shows only 76kWh usable from my battery pack from that drive
    - Regen did a much better job slowing the car down downhill in snow than brakes which engaged ABS almost right away. Plan to never drive fast enough in snow that you'll ever need brakes.
    - 4WD with stock M+S tires, while having not very good traction in the snow, were sufficient for the drive without chains if you drive carefully (basically you cannot brake much downhill and finish all braking before you turn (most important advise, follow that and you'll be ok)).

    Lots more details in the blog post. Hope this helps.
     
  2. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    How did you arrive at 76? Should be 83kWh to 0 miles.
     
  3. marcmerlin

    marcmerlin Member

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    I computed that my battery pack if ran 100% would have given 76Kwh (read the blog post for details, but basically I computed battery percentage used and Kwh used in both directions and extrapolated that to 75-76Kwh). I agree that I'd expect more from a 90D. I've been told that driving in sub freezing temperatures actually decreases the capacity of the battery (in addition to increasing battery use), so maybe that was enough to take my pack down from 83 to 76Kwh?
    Still, I kind of wish I had gotten better range out of that battery.
     
  4. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Keep in mind that the car doesn't seem to count usage for non-mileage. I'm not sure which counters this affects. But pre-conditioning and usage (heater) after being parked don't appear to be counted in the trip meter. Maybe I'm not waiting long enough but I see no movement in the measurements here.
     
  5. marcmerlin

    marcmerlin Member

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    Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't stop on the way up except for the supercharger. I did stop 30mn on the way back, so that could have stolen a Kwh or so.
     
  6. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    Make sure to let Kirkwood know they need to add at least minimal EV charging support (even just 120V overnight is enough).

    With the Model X there will be more and more people heading up in EVs. and if they can't charger at Kirkwood, they'll just continue on to South Lake Tahoe.
     
  7. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Find a person of authority at Kirkwood and introduce them to the Tesla Destination Charging program. I bet Tesla would be supportive. They will often provide a J1772 as well as some HPWC's, with installation support.

    Destination Charging Contact Page
     
  8. marcmerlin

    marcmerlin Member

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    I did contact Vail (who owns Kirkwood) about it, no reply though :(
     
  9. NickInLab

    NickInLab Member

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    many places in the western US
    Wk057 has been writing about his exploration of Model S systems over in the "Let the hacking begin..." thread in the Model S forum. For what it's worth, 77 kWh matches nicely with the capacity he calculated by discharging a sample of cells.
     

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