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Extreme Range Saving Tips

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by colinb, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. colinb

    colinb Member

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    We're in Minden, Ontario at a winter driving course. The cold this morning chewed a lot of range off the battery on the way up and they only have a 110V/15A circuit here where we can charge and are only seeing 2 km/hr of charge at the moment. The town was supposed to have a 240V/40A circuit installed but that never materialized. We have to get back to Orillia, ON where there is a SCH 70A charger. The drive is 90km and the car has 138km of rated range left. We are worried about the trip with the -12C temps - in the next two hours I was hoping to get some tips on how to make the drive while minimizing wasted range. My thoughts are:

    - Turn off climate control and use only the seat heater
    - Drive 80km/hr
    - Turn down or off the radio

    Anything else we can/should be doing before starting out?
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    What savings does turning off the radio give you?
     
  3. colinb

    colinb Member

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    I'm not sure - my thought was less 3G draw and the power for the speakers. I'm looking for ideas to try.
     
  4. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Set the car to drive in Range mode.

    Turn off unnecessary lights/electronics.

    Draft another vehicle.
     
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Inflate your tires: higher pressures lower rolling resistance.

    Use hypermiling techniques to avoid unnecessary braking:
    - anticipate: pay attention, look and think ahead
    - buffering: leave plenty of space in front of you so that you don't have to brake because of maneuvers ahead
    - time traffic lights to avoid stopping
    - at yields, use smart braking to adjust speed ahead of time to merge into a gap
    - if you get stuck in stop-and-go traffic, try to maintain a steady roll at average speed, or use very slow acceleration and then glide to a stop.

    Note in the case where you're using a lot of heat, hypermiling techniques that increase travel time may cause the total energy used to increase.
     
  6. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    #6 Raffy.Roma, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
    I read that the heater consumes a lot. If I were you I would turn off the heater not the radio that on the contrary doesn't consume so much.

    Then next time that you think you could have a problem of range like this maybe you could get with you a generator like this:

    CLARKE GENERATOR 2.8 Kva 230v PETROL 6.5HP: Amazon.co.uk: DIY Tools

    It could help if you need only a few miles more of range.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Don't worry about the radio - that's beyond insignificant. You can use any electrical device in the car with no impact, except the cabin heat! What will make a difference:

    1. Drive slower! This is the single most important thing you can do. If you have to, drive under the speed limit. You can always pull over if you get a train behind you.
    2. Minimize cabin heat. Turn on the "Range Mode" in the settings - this limits heater power. If things are looking dicey then turn off heat altogether. Use the seat heater at all times - it has no measurable effect on range whatsoever.
    3. Draft a large truck. A big brick driving through the air in front of you does make a difference. Closer means more gain, but you don't have to get anywhere near an unsafe distance to have a noticeable effect. Pick a slow truck!
    4. Raise your tire pressures to reduce rolling resistance.
    5. Set your destination in the GPS, and watch the distance remaining. Turn on the energy app, set it to average mode. Now make sure your projected range is greater than your distance to go. If it isn't, slow down!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    That is a common misconception. There's no point saving a dozen watts turning things off when it takes at least 20 thousand watts to keep the car moving at highway speeds. You'll save a few car lengths worth of range doing that.

    Feel free to use the seat heater liberally. It doesn't matter. Feel free to use the radio, lights, etc. they don't matter. The only electrical systems that matter are the drive train (slow down!) and the cabin heat (brrr! Use the seat heaters!).
     
  8. colinb

    colinb Member

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    Thanks for the tips folks! We started out with a projected range of around 84km for a trip that was about 90km. We made it back to the Best Western in Orillia, ON which has a 70A Sun Country Highway charger (thanks SCH!) with about 20km of rated range left. What worked for us:

    * Speed - Drove at 65km/hr using avg 18-20 kW on hilly terrain, any slower would reduce our ability to maintain momentum, any faster would use 40 kW or more in the -17C temperatures. It was tough to maintain a light touch / levelled throttling technique at anything less than 65 as well.
    * Climate controls - Set to feet and windows, AC on, fan speed 2, 19.5C, seat heaters at 2 - we couldn't turn off AC without it fogging / icing up windows, opening a rear window to circulate dryer air didn't help much
    * Tire pressure - we had ensured 45 psi before we left Minden, is there a better psi for the 19" Pirelli winter tires?
    * GPS - we had to manually find a more optimal route as the nav plotted a longer route (by at least 30-40km), not sure what the algorithm is but it would be nice to be able to have options like what you get from using Google Maps on the web
    * Display - dimmed the night mode to 5%

    There was very little traffic to drift behind and most passed us as we were doing 65 in an 80. We kept the radio off as it was an intense drive and I wanted to focus on what was coming at me as well as my energy usage while my wife was my second set of eyes on the energy chart.

    What surprised us most about this trip is how little benefit we saw from the 110V outlet. It was registering around 12A and we gained maybe 1km of range after 2-3 hours. I figure most of that went to keeping the battery warm. I was secretly hoping for more since the charging page quotes 5 miles per hour of charge.
     
  9. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    Luckily in Italy, as far as I know, 110V outlets don't exist anymore.
     
  10. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Did you use cruise control? I find that helpful, except its persistence going uphill in dire situations like this one...
     
  11. colinb

    colinb Member

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    We avoid cruise for a few reasons: snowy, curvy and hilly roads would have made for spikes in throttle at all the wrong times. We felt the need to carefully maintain handling because of the road conditions while conserving every last drop of energy in case we needed to find a safe place to stop being out in the rural areas.
     
  12. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Well that's true in California :wink: Glad you made it! I am sure without the 110V outlet, you would have been stuck with a cold soaked pack that uses 20-30 miles of range to thaw up.
     
  13. S85D

    S85D Member

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    #13 S85D, Aug 27, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
    In freezing temperatures it is recommend that you do the following:

    - Time your charging duration to complete the charge close to the time that you will leave. This will warm up the battery during charging so you do not have to use battery power to warm up the battery. This will give you additional range.
    - Turn Range mode off while charging (Leaving Range Mode on, reduces the power to the battery heater. You will have to use battery power to warm up the battery after disconnecting from the charger)
    - Doing the above two items will also reduce or eliminate the reduced range due to starting your trip with a cold battery.

    It is also recommend if you are going to do a 100% SOC (State of Charge) for a trip that you time to completion of the charge around the time that you plan to leave. Doing 100% charges and letting the car sit especially in very warm temperatures has a negative affect on the battery. Doing it a few time is ok but doing it all of the time will degrade your battery.
     
  14. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    Thread Resurrection intended?
     

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