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Driving to Mt. Baker WA ski area?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by hvb, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. hvb

    hvb Member

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    Has anyone tried driving to the Mt. Baker Ski Area (in WA)? It seems to be only 1.5 hours and 65 miles from the supercharger in Burlington, but I wonder whether we would be pushing our luck with a roof rack, 3500 ft elevation, and cold weather. Does anyone know if there is charging available on the mountain? Does this seem doable or should we just rent an ICE?
     
  2. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    Have you tried the app "EV Range"? Select Model S, battery type, number of passengers (go for max # b/c there is no roof rack option) and it will account for that specific route, elevation, etc. Make sure you also include the return route if you can't charge on the mountain. I can't vouch for its accuracy since I don't even get my car until next month but it might give you some idea. I'd also add even more loss than it says because of the roof rack.
     
  3. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #3 ChadS, Feb 3, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
    [Next-day edit to correct how I used my penalties, and to use hvb's rack penalty from the next couple of posts]

    My numbers are from THIS thread.

    From Burlington to Mt Baker in winter, you're probably not going to average over 60mph, so we don't need to account for a speed hit to your range. In fact you may be a little under, but to be conservative we will ignore that.

    Temperature will cut you down. Let's say average temp for the trip is 29 degrees. That will take about 15% off your range.

    3500' of elevation gain will cost you at most 35 miles on the way up. Then you'll gain at least 14 miles on the way back down. (Conservative guesses again).

    Roof rack is the big question. I've seen a 15% penalty for a bike on back of a Roadster. [According to hvb below, the penalty for rack + heavy rain at 70+ was 47.5%. Wow, that's a lot. He will go slower, and let's temporarily assume no rain, so let's use 35% for the rack]

    If you charge an 85kWh car to full in Burlington, you should start with at least 250 miles. It's a 120-mile trip, with 15 + 35% penalties which makes it effectively 180 miles. Add 20 miles for net elevation, and you will expect to use 200 rated miles of range for the trip. My numbers are kind of conservative so that should work...however, I didn't account for unexpected headwinds or precipitation, both of which can be big hits. If you get those, you will want to slow down. (Not below 45mph though, unless you also turn off the cabin heat).

    It's still a good idea to have a backup plan, at least the first time you try it. Is there somewhere halfway back you can stop to get a boost if it looks like you are cutting it too close? Plugshare shows 120V outlets at Chair 9 Pizza and Bar (though if it's really cold, that may not be enough to gain range!), a couple of private homes a little off the main highway, and you can always head back to Bellingham before Burlington.
     
  4. hvb

    hvb Member

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    We would have a single set of skis on top. For reference, for our usual 120-mile round trip to Snoqualmie West ski area, we start out with about 215 miles and end up with 65 miles at the end of the day. However, when we had the rack and skis on top, we just made it home with 8 miles to spare; that's a penalty of 57 miles! Granted, we were driving at speeds of 70+ mph on much of I-90, and I'm assuming the speed limit on SR542 to Mt. Baker will be a bit lower. Then again, the elevation at Snoqualmie is only 3000' compared to Mt. Baker's 4200'.

    Now I'm starting to consider range charging at the Burlington supercharger and then topping off again in Bellingham. It would help cut out 25 miles of travel each way if we stop to charge in Bellingham on the way there and back. Instead of driving 75 miles from Burlington to Mt. Baker, it would be just 50 miles from Bellingham to Mt. Baker. Am I being crazy for going to such lengths to avoid driving an ICE?

    This sounds like a great app, but I can't find it for iPhone. Is it only for Androids?
     
  5. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #5 ChadS, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
    First of all, whoops! I was late for dinner when I typed that yesterday and I applied my penalties to the car's range rather than to the trip distance. I am editing my post above to correct that.

    If I run similar numbers for your Snoqualmie trip: add 15% for 70mph. 15% for temperature (though average on that trip is probably over 29 degrees). Up to 30 miles lost on the way up and at least 12 gained on the way back for a net loss of at most 18 miles. It's 120-mile trip; plus 30% is 156 effective miles, plus 18 is 174 rated miles of range expected to be used. If you started with 215, you should get back home with about 41 miles using my conservative numbers (though they don't account for headwinds and precipitation, if you run in to those). You're actually getting back with 65 miles, which sounds pretty reasonable.

    On that same 120-mile trip, the ski rack (plus heavy rain on that day) cost you an additional 57 miles (assuming temperature, speeds, winds, etc were the same). Probably about 10% was due to heavy rain. But yikes, that still leaves a lot - 37.5% penalty for the rack! That's higher than I expected; it would be nice to see some more comparisons and make sure other variables are kept steady.

    Range charging will give you more buffer; though it takes notably longer if you do it in Burlington AND Bellingham. Going through Bellingham and making the round-trip-without-charging 50 miles shorter would be great. So would carrying the skis inside. And no, I don't think you're crazy - who wouldn't want to drive a car that is cheaper, cleaner, and more fun! The first time you try something like this it takes some calculating, but then you'll know what the car will do in the future and things like this will be much easier.
     
  6. hvb

    hvb Member

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    Thanks, ChadS, for your help! I should have mentioned that normally conditions are pretty dry most of the way to Snoqualmie, but on the roof rack day it was raining terribly on the way there and back. Surely that must have affected the rolling resistance, but an almost 50% penalty still seems high. Do you know if snow on the road offers the same rolling resistance as rain? Any tips on carrying skis inside the vehicle? We have our two kids sitting in back, so that complicates things.
     
  7. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #7 ChadS, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
    Thanks, I'm glad to hear that. 47.5% penalty for the roof rack sounded high. Editing my first post again.

    Really heavy rain definitely has a strong effect. Unfortunately I haven't done enough equal comparisons to get good numbers, especially given that there are multiple factors. The primary one is road resistance - try putting the car in Neutral at 60mph on a dry highway, and one with standing water - you are going to slow down FAR faster on the wet roadway. Plus you might have to run heat and AC at the same time to stay comfortable and keep the windscreen clear. My "range numbers" thread puts down a 10% penalty for really heavy rain; that number worked for a couple of trips I took but I wouldn't be surprised if it could be 15%.

    Snow is even trickier, as its resistance varies more due to temperature, moisture content, and packing - and what tire you are using. Plus if conditions are right (this seems rare, but Neroden reported a case), it can pack in the wheel wells and cause direct packed friction with the wheels. It is probably sometimes less of a penalty than rain; but typical case is probably a little more and worst case could be quite a bit more.

    I've put a snowboard inside my car, but never skis, so I'm not sure how well they will fit. With 2 kids in the back I would fold down the left 1/3 of the rear seat, and put the flat rear of the skis up high between the B-pillar and driver's seat - kind of behind your left arm. Then maybe the curved front of the skis could fit slightly in to the trunk well roughly in the middle of the car. If that doesn't work, maybe put the skis on top of the parcel shelf just right of the center of the car, extending up to the center armrest - perhaps bungie cords could keep it attached to the armrest and to the rear center headrest. Hook the cord in front of the bindings so it doesn't go forward in to your 17" screen if you brake suddenly...
     
  8. dasRad

    dasRad Member

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    Kelowna, BC to Nickel Plate Nordic Centre last Sunday.

    Temperatures: -9C (16F) in Kelowna, -14C (7F) at Nickel Plate.
    Elevations: Kelowna, 350m (1150 ft). Nickel Plate, ~1830m (~6000 ft).
    Driver + 1 passenger. No roof rack. S85.

    Kelowna to Nickel Plate: 112km. 36.6 kWh. 327 Wh/km. (69.6 mi, 526 Wh/mi). 64% over budget of 200 Wh/km.
    Nickel Plate to Kelowna: 112.4 km. 17.5 kWh. 155 Wh/km. (69.8 mi, 250 Wh/mi). 23% under budget.
    Round trip: 224.4 km. 54.1 kWh. 241 Wh/km. (139.4 mi, 388 Wh/mi). 20.5% over budget.

    Kelowna to Penticton has some ups and downs and most of it is done at 90 - 110 km/hr (55 - 70 mi/hr). Penticton is at the same elevation as Kelowna and most of the elevation gain is from Penticton to Nickel Plate. And almost all of that is over a 14 km (9 mi) stretch up to Apex Ski Area at a speed of ~60 km/hr (35 mi/hr) or less.
    Penticton to Nickel Plate: 38.5 km. 19.4 kWh. 501 Wh/km. (23.9 mi, 806 Wh/mi). 150% over budget.
    Nickel Plate to Penticton: 39 km. 0.5 kWh. 12 Wh/km. (24.2 mi, 19 Wh/mi). 94 % under budget.

    The steep uphills will kill you, but, as long as you reach the top, you will gain a lot of it back on the return.
     

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