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EXPERIENCE: 2400 miles trip Model 3 SR Plus

billionaiire

Member
Apr 2, 2019
258
269
West of Mississippi
In the first week of April, I bought a Model 3 in white, rear wheel drive with 18 inch wheels, Partial Premium interior, standard range plus (240 miles EPA rated range), and Autopilot.

I want to share some experiences as I am living them in our first ever one way trip to Reno, NV from Pittsburgh, PA (about 2400 miles). I’ll update this post daily (if I make it of course). My wife and I are the chauffeurs, and the two year old Beagle is, well, curled up in the rear seat in his bed. We have planned to do this drive in four days.

We have a spreadsheet with routes, superchargers, estimated arrival %, minimum departure %, etc. created using PlugShare, ABetterRoutePlanner websites.

Day 1: Left PA at 9 am ended our day in Peru, IL at 9 pm. Hit massive rains and an unseasonable mild snow storm in Indiana.

Lessons learned:

1. Having a plan certainly helps but mainly because it tells you where superchargers and destination chargers are not around, or are placed wide apart. But that’s about it. You’ll end up stopping more frequently than you had estimated. This is especially true if you have a Standard Range Plus battery.

2. The in-car navigation system, when suggesting supercharging stops along the route, is overly ambitious. Please do not rely on it. If you are on a road trip and you see a supercharger, recharge. I just don’t feel comfortable when I can barely see the road ahead of me in a storm and the system is comfortable in saying that my arrival charge will be 5%. Just not worth the risk.

3. Everything works against you. The rain, wipers, music, air conditioning, heating, headwinds, and cold weather significantly affect the battery life. To be brutally honest, if you have a car that’s 240 miles rated, it is actually no more than 170 miles with all things considered, to play absolutely safe. If you have a 310 mile car, I think it’ll be about 240 miles. That said, the good part is that Tesla supercharging network has been quite accurate and reliable. At least on our first day we didn’t witness any gasoline vehicles blocking superchargers. But our fingers are crossed.

4. Dog mode is great.

5. Almost always I was never the only Tesla at the supercharging stations. Not a bad thing at all but just an indication that if Tesla proliferation continues, we will soon have a pretty big problem on our hands. I sincerely hope more and more supercharging stations show up off and along the major highways in USA.

6. I’m one of those people who have the true legacy “Enhanced Autopilot” that somehow I managed to get for $3000 basic “AutoPilot” package when I ordered the car in late March 2019. Enhanced AutoPilot does everything that today’s basic AutoPilot does (traffic aware cruise control, automatic steering with lane change execution when you initiate a turn signal while driving in the Autopilot mode) and adds three more things - Navigate on Autopilot which enables speed and traffic based fully automatic lane change (with or without driver’s consent), entering and existing highway ramps (often jerky and with phantom braking), and lateral summon (which will be enhanced later this year).

Anyway, just using the traffic aware cruise control and basic Autopilot on highways reduces driving fatigue significantly. But the hands on wheel and apply light force nagging is very annoying and I really wish if it appeared less frequently. It is absolutely important to check that the driver isn’t asleep or distracted but 60 seconds would be a lot more pleasurable instead of 20-30 seconds it does today. I mean, do not fall asleep behind the wheel! Rest. It’s not that hard.

7. The car design does have wind noise. Get used to it. The car doors also produce a little rattle when pass over a pothole but overall, the car drover very stable in wet and dry conditions being a rear wheel drive on stock tires, albeit they’re brand new.

8. The rear view mirror could be a bit wider; the shape of the car makes it kind of hard to see tailgating vehicles at night if your rear windshield is tinted. Don’t tint your rear windshield.

9. The side mirrors aren’t anything to write home about either. They are a bit too small but they are sufficiently functional, except the lack of bind spot vehicle detector light. While the car is rated all stars for safety, I just think that lack of some basic safety features is simply inexcusable (rear cross traffic alert and side mirror blind spot vehicle alert) for a $40k or $50k car.

I’ll let you guys know how our Day 2 goes.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Jul 12, 2017
5,194
9,362
Springfield, VA
Enjoy the trip!

Comparing SR+ to LR RWD on ARBP with the following settings: 110% speed limit, max 85 MPH, 12% charger arrival, 35% destination arrival, 68F, 0 wind, 500 pounds of stuff, 3 minutes to open charge port.

Wh/mi: 325 vs 327
Charging time: 11h7m vs 7h34m
Charging cost: $156 vs $123
Driving time: 33h8m vs 32h12m
Distance: 2403 miles vs 2384 miles
Total time: 44h15m vs 39h46m
 

ChrisH

Active Member
Jun 4, 2013
2,275
982
Milton, wa
Enjoy the trip!

Comparing SR+ to LR RWD on ARBP with the following settings: 110% speed limit, max 85 MPH, 12% charger arrival, 35% destination arrival, 68F, 0 wind, 500 pounds of stuff, 3 minutes to open charge port.

Wh/mi: 325 vs 327
Charging time: 11h7m vs 7h34m
Charging cost: $156 vs $123
Driving time: 33h8m vs 32h12m
Distance: 2403 miles vs 2384 miles
Total time: 44h15m vs 39h46m

Is the distance different because of using different superchargers or something?
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Jul 12, 2017
5,194
9,362
Springfield, VA
Is the distance different because of using different superchargers or something?

I suspect the SR+ needed to make take a slightly different route or a longer diversion to span a charging gap that the LR had enough range to do without the detour. I didn't look at the routes closely enough to pinpoint the differences. I should map it again and count total charging stops.
 
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Big Earl

bnkwupt
Jul 12, 2017
5,194
9,362
Springfield, VA
I suspect the SR+ needed to make take a slightly different route or a longer diversion to span a charging gap that the LR had enough range to do without the detour. I didn't look at the routes closely enough to pinpoint the differences. I should map it again and count total charging stops.

25 stops for SR+, average 26.25 minutes per stop
21 stops for LR, average 21 minutes per stop
 

JFChenger

Member
Apr 14, 2019
107
111
Windy City
Enjoy the trip!

Comparing SR+ to LR RWD on ARBP with the following settings: 110% speed limit, max 85 MPH, 12% charger arrival, 35% destination arrival, 68F, 0 wind, 500 pounds of stuff, 3 minutes to open charge port.

Wh/mi: 325 vs 327
Charging time: 11h7m vs 7h34m
Charging cost: $156 vs $123
Driving time: 33h8m vs 32h12m
Distance: 2403 miles vs 2384 miles
Total time: 44h15m vs 39h46m
Did you do the exact same trip as the OP? I'm a little lost on your post's context.
 

Big-T

Member
Sep 14, 2015
529
469
Seattle, WA
[QUOTE="billionaiire, post: 3609740, member: 100069"

...The side mirrors aren’t anything to write home about either. They are a bit too small but they are sufficiently functional, except the lack of bind spot vehicle detector light. While the car is rated all stars for safety, I just think that lack of some basic safety features is simply inexcusable (rear cross traffic alert and side mirror blind spot vehicle alert) for a $40k or $50k car.

.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I"m certainly missing a blind spot detection light in the mirror - but what I'm missing MORE is rear-cross traffic alert. The Model 3 does not have good visibility out of the back, and there have been a few times already where a car has gone whizzing by me as I'm slowly backing out of a parking spot and there was zero way I could see it before it was behind me.

The Model 3 has all the sensors and cameras I'd think it would need to offer this feature - is there some way we could collectively petition Elon to activate this type of feature in a future release? I can submit a bug report, but I'm only one data point.
 

Retaw

Member
Apr 9, 2019
64
27
Fremont, CA
Enjoy the trip!

Comparing SR+ to LR RWD on ARBP with the following settings: 110% speed limit, max 85 MPH, 12% charger arrival, 35% destination arrival, 68F, 0 wind, 500 pounds of stuff, 3 minutes to open charge port.

Wh/mi: 325 vs 327
Charging time: 11h7m vs 7h34m
Charging cost: $156 vs $123
Driving time: 33h8m vs 32h12m
Distance: 2403 miles vs 2384 miles
Total time: 44h15m vs 39h46m
Wow that's a really huge difference! Though with eating/shopping and destination chargers (charging to 100% with no time cost) along the way I think the difference won't be that big.
I have an SR+ commuter but never planned to use it as a go anywhere car or do any >500mi road trip. I'm looking at Model Y LR AWD for that, but the sub-300mi range is now bugging me.
 

Retaw

Member
Apr 9, 2019
64
27
Fremont, CA
Enjoy the trip!

Comparing SR+ to LR RWD on ARBP with the following settings: 110% speed limit, max 85 MPH, 12% charger arrival, 35% destination arrival, 68F, 0 wind, 500 pounds of stuff, 3 minutes to open charge port.

Wh/mi: 325 vs 327
Charging time: 11h7m vs 7h34m
Charging cost: $156 vs $123
Driving time: 33h8m vs 32h12m
Distance: 2403 miles vs 2384 miles
Total time: 44h15m vs 39h46m
I put Roadster there and the charging time is 6h43m. So looks like LR RWD is close to be able to optimally using the Supercharger network.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
3,725
Buford, GA
You are correct that all of the route planners are just suggestions, real world intervenes.

But the on board calculator is actually very conservative. You can often out run it.

Don't forget, if stretched, slow down a little. 5 mph can make a big difference.

Oh, snow means cold, cold means 30% reduction, but you are about to come out of that and going 65-70, you'll see the rated range.

You still have range anxiety to get over
Just finishing today's 350 mi trip with 250 w/mi as I type.

Good luck and warm weather
 
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Raphymartinez

Member
Apr 19, 2018
41
60
GA
It is kinda annoying to not have cross traffic alert. My “other” car (that lease is up in December) is a 2017 STI and all I ever do is put it in reverse and slowly go, it is VERY good at alerting me of cars and people coming well before I could ever see them. I miss that.

Also yes, the rear view mirror is so small and the car has that hump on the bank where you can’t see anything that’s close to the back of the car. Have to use camera for that
 
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billionaiire

Member
Apr 2, 2019
258
269
West of Mississippi
I’ll let you guys know how our Day 2 goes.

Day 2: Left Peru IL and stopped in Gothenburg, NE to spend the night. The experience was more or less the same except that I started relying on the in car navigation a bit more. The weather was on our side so no real issues.

Day 3: Left has just begun from Gothenburg, NE and we had our first real range anxiety driving 155 miles from 90% charge to Sidney, NE in super cold weather 33-34F. With heat off and speed around 65 mph, we still made it with 4% battery to spare. Supercharger fully functional. The last fifty miles were definitely stressful as the temperature started dropping. It reinforces my assumption in the original post - all things considered, this specific vehicle is good for about 160 miles tops. A long range vehicle can squeeze out another 70 miles which is definitely recommended if you often do multi day road trips round the year.

Moving on...
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Jul 12, 2017
5,194
9,362
Springfield, VA
Just wait for snow and sub-freezing temperatures. My long range dual motor car sees a real 160 - 180 highway miles in the worst weather conditions (wet or snowy roads, interstate travel speeds, heat on and around 0°F exterior temperature). Add in a head wind and you could be looking at as much as 40 - 50% loss.
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,056
13,744
Maryland
Just wait for snow and sub-freezing temperatures. My long range dual motor car sees a real 160 - 180 highway miles in the worst weather conditions (wet or snowy roads, interstate travel speeds, heat on and around 0°F exterior temperature). Add in a head wind and you could be looking at as much as 40 - 50% loss.

Have you tried playing with the Advanced options in ABRP, @Big Earl ? Have you found them to be accurate?

Our litmus test for an EV and the charging network has always been a trip from DC to Cape Cod, and I was surprised that even when I set ABRP to 30 MPH headwinds, 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and heavy snow, the SR+ can still make it (albeit with an extra 2 hours of supercharging stops). So the frequency of superchargers (at least along the East coast) makes almost any trip feasible if ABRP is to be believed.
 

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