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First Electric Trip to Maine

Discussion in 'New England' started by ThosEM, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    We've done summer vacations in Maine for 30 years for family reasons. This was our first year to do it on electricity.

    It's about 900 km / 560 mi via supercharger, about 40 km longer than optimal for lack of a SC in central MA. It could be done easily in three equal legs of 300 km each, but we made it four legs because the first and third legs were shorter at about 250 to 285 km so the middle leg from Hamilton Township to E. Greenwich RI was long at 365 km. A stop in Milford CT reduced the risk of running low enough that I let my daughter drive from Milford to E Greenwich. She drove at or above 112 kph / 70 mph and ran up an average of 220 Wh/km, somewhat above rated consumption.

    We like to travel with a 100 km/60 mi buffer, or about a "quarter tank". After this trip perhaps we will cut that down to 50 km / 30 mi because everything seemed so predictable. We would consult the navigation screen for distance remaining, compare that with the rated range remaining and the projected range remaining on the energy app. If the 100 km buffer started to decline, we adjusted speed or HVAC to arrest that.

    So the longest leg was from E Greenwich RI to Scarborough ME at 286 km. We charged to 400 km rated (95%) and maintained 100 km buffer by slowing down to 100-105 kph when it got cold and we needed heat. Then at the NH border we cut loose a bit but still had 86 km left when we arrived.

    Some impressions:

    I95 through NYC over the GW bridge is a wreck and we hit one really nasty pothole that made us glad to have 19 in wheels.

    The northbound supercharger in Milford CT is pretty limited at two stalls, but it worked great and no one else was there at 11 pm on a Friday.

    The E Greenwich supercharger was pretty sleepy at 2:30 a,m, and nothing around there was open at that hour.

    The Model S is such a wonderful highway cruiser! Whoever said the air suspension is firm without being harsh had it just right. But we really need those superchargers in Auburn MA, Portsmouth NH, and points north of there...
     
  2. Mike_Schlechter

    Mike_Schlechter Model S - P457

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    I just did CT to Augusta. I went via East Greenwich with a stop outside Boston for dinner and a few miles added range. Made it to Auburn where I plugged in at a Nissan, and then to Augusta the next day to see family and back to Auburn where we were staying. Had no issues and lots of buffer. Portland has lots of options for charging relative to the rest of the state, but that isn't saying much.

    I can't wait for those central MA or southern ME sations either.
     
  3. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    You'll find that your buffer requirements will continue to decrease. In the same way a pilot will use power to control altitude on the back of the power curve, you'll find yourself using power to control remaining range. I've become comfortable pulling in with 10 miles or less remaining.
     
  4. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    There's a difference in my mind between "planning reserves" and "operating reserves." When I'm planning a trip, I use a pretty big buffer and/or have identified contingency charging spots -- I just don't know what the weather will be or other factors that could affect range. Once I'm underway, though, and I know the weather and can see the traffic, I'm comfortable skipping past contingency charging (or spending less time charging), even if that means getting to the destination with a single-digit of range remaining.
     
  5. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    Thanks much for the comments and encouragement.

    We also discovered a new charger, albeit a low power one. It's near our destination off the Maine turnpike at exit 42 (answer to life the universe and everything?) at Horizon Solutions, 32 Haigis Parkway, Scarborough, ME 04074. They're an electrical system supply company active in energy conservation and the owner just decided to put one in the parking lot. We were the first to use it and there was a lot of management interest in our visit to it. I've posted it on Plugshare.com.
     
  6. theapple

    theapple Member

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    I drove from Leominster, MA to Camden, ME this spring in a 60. I kept speed down and stopped for a 1-hour charge (and dinner) in Portland each way. Made it with ~20mi remaining. Totally awesome to have that kind of travel. I don't think I could pull it off in cold weather, though. Really needing that Portsmouth/Southern ME supercharger!!
     
  7. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    Travel notes on the return electric trip from Maine to Maryland:


    Again, it's about 900 km via the longer route via supercharger in E Greenwich, RI, which is about 280 km from our starting point in Scarborough ME. Starting out at 90% or 380 km range gave us plenty of reserve (about 35%) with which to deal with the unexpected, but the only anomaly was that we needed a bio break after a couple of hours, so pulled into a gas station for that, in Danvers MA. We needed the AC soon after that, as things were warming up on a beautiful post-hurricane day.


    We had lunch at the Outback Steakhouse in E Greenwich while charging back up to the same level, which took about 45 min. Though possible at 365 miles (with a 10% reserve), we knew that we weren't going to try to make Hamilton Marketplace in NJ in one stretch because we needed to make a drop off in Brooklyn. So we charged some in Darien CT while catching a frosty dessert, which also completed our tour of the superchargers along I95 north of DC. There we had other Model S charging at the same time, a first for this holiday week trip. Also in Darien, one of the spots was ICE'd, which was only fair in that we'd blocked a gas pump in Danvers earlier. Some of the folks filling up with gas were very interested in the Tesla so there was some chatting involved.


    On to Brooklyn to drop our daughter and her SO at her apartment there. Slow driving really drops the consumption, so we made Hamilton Marketplace easily and could have made it to Newark DE, if desired, with 20 km to spare. However, knowing that Hamilton is a very fast charger and that we would easily make it home from there, we decided to opt for that. Another Model S with CA plates rounded the jug handle ahead of us but then turned the wrong way for the supercharger, puzzling us. At the SC, there was a pickup truck circling and pulling into one of the spots. It turned out he was curious about the situation and got out to chat as we connected up and started charging. At that point the CA plates guy circled the SC but continued on somewhere else. Could that have been a test drive checking out the Supersharger scene? We got a light dinner at the Barnes and Noble cafè, and headed home.


    Passing the Newark SC, we decided to take the scenic route down MD 301 through the Delmarva peninsula and across the Bay Bridge to Annapolis. It's a very relaxing route once you get past the traffic lights of Middletown, but takes perhaps 15 min longer with a 55 mph speed limit (88 kph), which means 65, right? On that sleepy ride, we encountered some folks who seemed to be matching their cruise controls with ours to check out the Tesla. Since no one was in a hurry, and there wasn't much traffic anyway, that was not a problem.


    Altogether, we took 12.5 hours each way, compared with a more typical 9.5 to 10 hours in the past on gasoline. We don't usually stop for pickups or drop offs, so that deducts at least a half hour to an hour from the 12.5. Three charging stops could be two with the optimal route through central MA, which would knock off another hour more or less. Then we'd be looking at about 10.5 hours, which is close to normal for us. And we all have to agree that the forced breaks make traveling less about the destination and more about the journey, which has its own value.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Did you charge at the Fore St. Garage in Old Port?
     
  8. theapple

    theapple Member

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    I wasn't aware of it, or I probably would have. I charged at Berlin City Nissan, which very graciously leaves their 4 charge stations open to the public. Very easy to walk across the street and get dinner at the mall or one of the many nearby restaurants. I've also charged at the Marriott, which has a NEMA 14-50 out back, but I was a hotel guest at the time and they keep it disconnected unless there's a customer -- I definitely recommend it if you're staying in the area, though!
     
  9. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Great write-up.

    I was at the Fore St. garage this past weekend, as well as a Nissan dealer in Saco.
    I wasn't coming quite as far :) only about 120 miles. Portsmouth, NH will definitely help.

    Incidentally, my next trip to Maine, Tesla will be having a test drive event at our hotel
    and I'm hoping to piggy back on their charging.
     
  10. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Ooh, ooh, I want to come, too. Details? It'd be great if we could get a half-dozen Model S owners there.
     
  11. tga

    tga Active Member

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  12. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Horrid weekend for me; too bad. Enjoy it, those who will be going.
     

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