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Elevation gain and range. New driver question

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by mrmackie305, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. mrmackie305

    mrmackie305 Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Looking for some reassurance on an upcoming trip from you guys:

    I don't currently own a Tesla, but have a deposit for a Model 3. I'm taking a trip to Vegas in April and thought it'd be fun to rent a Model S for my trip.

    There is one portion of the trip where I'm unsure of the cars range due to elevation gain. I plan to drive from Vegas to the Kingman, AZ Supercharger and get a full charge. That part is easy. The next leg of the trip will be from the Kingman Supercharger to Grand Canyon Village where I can plug into a Tesla HPWC at my hotel.

    This is a 166 mile trip with over 11,000 feet of elevation gain (3,237 feet net). EV-Trip planner says I'll use 217 rated miles in an 85D. Is this a pretty safe bet that I can make it assuming I drive conservatively?

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. mblakele

    mblakele radial cross member

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    That trip planner is pretty accurate, as long as you give it the right inputs. But one thing it doesn't plan for is wind. Say you're planning on just barely making it at 70 mph. But if you hit a 20 mph headwind, you might have to slow down to 50 mph.

    If you get into trouble, slow down.
     
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  3. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    m*g*h = joules of energy to make the climb

    mass of model S is 2200 Kg;
    Add in your cargo and passengers
    g = 9.8
    h (in meters) = ~ 1000

    So e.g.,
    Say final mass is 2500 Kg
    Then net elevation gain will require 2500*9.8*1000 Joules = 24.5 million Joules
    A kWh is 3.6 million joules, so
    24.5/3.6 = 6.8 kWh for the climb

    I tend to memorize useful rules, so for this case every 100 meters net elevation is about 0.7 kWh
    Oh, and mgh is Mass General Hospital ;-)
     
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  4. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Not adept enough to do that math in my head, or on my phone while I drive, I just do a rough estimate: You lose about ten miles of range for every thousand feet of up elevation. If you are 100 miles from your destination, add ten miles. If you are going up 3000', add 30 miles. If you are doing it at freeway speeds, it will be more.
    In my case, I keep track of the buffer. If I had 50 miles of buffer at the start, and I am halfway there and I have only 20 miles left, I slow down. Generally these days, I try for more buffer if I have any doubts.
    On the return, you don't quite gain that back, but in my experience, people tend to burn up extra. Having extra's not a problem.
     
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  5. mrmackie305

    mrmackie305 Member

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    Thanks for the reassurance and helpful math tricks. Looks like I'll be able to complete that leg of the trip without any issues, barring a crazy head wind or inhospitable temperatures!
     
  6. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    Elevation gain makes a huge difference and Tesla navi does a good job of estimating it. Wind is the x-factor that can really mess things up if unaccounted for. I recommend having Tesla Winds app favorited to the web browser in your car to estimate the effects of wind.

    Tesla Winds and Elevation
     
  7. mrmackie305

    mrmackie305 Member

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    Just wanted to write a quick update:

    The drive from Vegas to Grand Canyon was a success! The rental company gave us a new 2017 90D they had just received. It had less than 100 miles on it and we returned it with almost 900 :)

    The Nav did a really great job with estimating our usage. The part I was most worried about was from the Kingman, AZ supercharger to Grand Canyon since it had so much elevation gain, but the nav nailed the arrival estimate and was only off by 2%. Once I got comfortable with its estimations we were always cruising about 5-7mph over the posted speed (usually 70). The Best Western outside of the park entrance has 2 Tesla HPWC and a ClipperCreek charger. I saw 2 X's and 3 other S's were also staying at this hotel.

    A few quick impressions since this is my first time driving a Model S for more than 10 minutes at a time:

    Pros:
    • Very comfortable and quiet ride. Didn't experience any rattles or above average wind noise
    • I love how stable the cruise control is. The speed never wavers and you don't feel the car revving to keep speed as the elevation changes. This was an unexpected surprise and made the drive feel very smooth and non-taxing.
    • No range aniexty during the trip
    • Supercharging was FAST. We were getting 115 KW charge in Kingman. It was fun to sit in the car and watch the miles rack up.
    • The touchscreen was very responsive. Only issue was loading maps in Grand Canyon with the lack of cell service. Is there a way to download these while on WiFi, similar to Google Maps on the phone?

    Cons:
    • The B pillar is more forward than expected. I'm 6'1" and it was a little difficult to get in and out since instead of just sliding out of the seat sideways, you have to move forward a little bit, which can be a challenge with long legs. I'm sure I'd adjust to this, it was just very noticable to me. Once seated it is a very nice driving position.
    • I've read how lacking the standard sound system is, but it was a lot worse than I expected. The system in my Prius blows it out of the water. I haven't heard the upgraded system.
    • The frunk is very tiny in the D. It could hold my camera packpack and that's pretty much it. Still more than an ICE car :)
    Overall it was a great trip and solidifies my decision to purchase an EV (probably Model 3 or Bolt) even more.
     
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  8. EV-lutioin

    EV-lutioin Active Member

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    I've noticed that the standard sound system in the MX is much better than the MS. I am not sure if the MX has different speakers or if it is just because the spaciousness of the MX provides a better venue for sound transmission.
     
  9. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Not that we've ever discovered. Do note that the car's navigation runs on a hybrid, though - you'll lose the maps in the background but the car still knows the road net and it'll route to destinations just fine without cell service (though it can't use the web interface to look up new places,) and you'll have the map in the driver's cluster still (canned Navigon map.)
     
  10. whttiger25

    whttiger25 Member

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    Rule of thumb has worked well for me, add 10 miles per 1000 feet climbing, you get back 6-7 miles for 1000 feet descending, when it's cold add some to climbing and take some away from descending.
     
  11. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    I agree with your findings and personally find that they are very conservative. I routinely go from 0to 6500 ft. And back twice in a day and don't even bother to consider it in my charging calculations.
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I think you'll be fine.

    But I always have a Plan B. In this case, if I got to Williams, AZ and felt I might be cutting it too close to get to the Grand Canyon, I'd go 34 miles out of my way to the Flagstaff Supercharger. It's a beautiful drive from Flagstaff to the Canyon, you wouldn't need to backtrack to Williams.
     
  13. Xenius

    Xenius Member

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    Thanks for being a poster who follows up! Maybe these other Jokers will realize they've been replying to a resurrected thread :D

    Glad you enjoyed your rental. I still love my 60D, about nine months in.
     

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