Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Please check out the latest TMC Podcast (#13) where we discussed new Model Y launches, Tesla improving service, nationwide EV charging expansion, and viewer comments from previous episodes YouTube or listen to it on all major podcast networks.

First EV Road Trip 700+ Miles Roundtrip - Some Observations

Model3_01.jpeg


For the past 20 years or so I’ve done the drive from the San Francisco Bay Area to Southern Oregon twice a year. Last weekend I did this trip in an EV for the first time, I thought I’d share some observations for those who have concerns about taking their first roadtrip in a Model 3 Long Range. In short, it was great and I can’t wait to take my next roadtrip.

Range Anxiety

The trip is 360 miles each direction and contains several thousand feet of elevation gain, notably on the back end. I used a variety of different tools to research my route, plan Super Charging stops etc. I decided to use the built-in Tesla navigation for the way up, and A Better Route Planner for the way down. Of these two, ABRP is far better at keeping you on the road. It’ll guide you to a few 5-10 minute “top offs” while the car seemed to index for 20+ minute stops. Either way - I say trust the process. The car knows when it needs to be charged, and it’ll direct you to do so.

Speed is Key

I’ve seen a lot of conversations here about “optimum speed” and while I normally would fall into the “whatever gets you to your destination fastest” I have to deviate when it comes to two major variables - cold weather and high altitude. At the back end of the drive the mountains hit 4000 ft elevation and about 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. When going 70 mph I went from averaging about 3+ miles for each % down to 1 mile each %. It was definitely eye opening; if I had to do it over again I’d slow down a bit and eek out extra range.

Super Chargers Could Use Some Amenities

When you take an ICE car your fill ups also give you a chance to throw out drinks/food, take bathroom breaks, and clean the windshield. I was surprised to see that none of the Super Charger stations I stopped at (Red Bluff, Medford, Mount Shasta, Corning) had rubbish bins, restrooms, or squeegees. For the first two, it seems that Tesla offloads those responsibilities to local businesses such as Starbucks. The third one - I was SoL. I asked a few other folks what they did and some of them carry their own squeegee with them. Understandable, but seems like this should be offered by Tesla.

Autopilot and Adaptive Cruise Control Subpar On Routes with Lots of Semis

I have played around with AP and the normal Cruise Control function during my commutes on major highways, but it was completely defeated by the conditions presented on the I-5. Phantom braking would occur about 1 out of every 5 times I’d pass a semi. And if you’ve been on I-5 that pretty much means 1 out of every 5 vehicles. It was enough to cause a bit of motion sickness.

EV Savings Are Real

I used to do the trip in an Audi A3 2.0, which would average 25-ish MPG on 91. In California that runs about $6.40 a gallon. When doing the comparison in Tessie my electric cost is about $61.43 vs. $240.80 in gasoline. That’s a massive delta - much more than I expected.

Featured Image Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

avs007

Active Member
May 14, 2021
1,020
942
PacNW
I don't know which way this will go. One problem is I want them to fancy it up, as I described above. I want to be able to reserve time at a charger. I want a guarantee that if it's ICEd they will find the ICE driver and get them to move.
I heard from a couple youtubers that if you call ahead, they will put a cone in front of the charger to prevent it from getting ICE'ed
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
359
523
Sunnyvale, CA
I heard from a couple youtubers that if you call ahead, they will put a cone in front of the charger to prevent it from getting ICE'ed
I do now recall one hotel I stayed at that I asked to hold it. I got there and one stall was ICEd and the other had a Tesla that was not plugged in, but it had an unmarked stall next to it. When I went in they said the ICE car was a hotel staff car they had put to hold the spot for me. So it does happen.
 

Nosken

Active Member
Jan 15, 2015
1,053
1,050
Lincoln, CA
Super Chargers Could Use Some Amenities

When you take an ICE car your fill ups also give you a chance to throw out drinks/food, take bathroom breaks, and clean the windshield. I was surprised to see that none of the Super Charger stations I stopped at (Red Bluff, Medford, Mount Shasta, Corning) had rubbish bins, restrooms, or squeegees. For the first two, it seems that Tesla offloads those responsibilities to local businesses such as Starbucks. The third one - I was SoL. I asked a few other folks what they did and some of them carry their own squeegee with them. Understandable, but seems like this should be offered by Tesla.
Think about this for a minute. If Tesla adds ammenities like trash cans and restrooms, there is substantial costs involved with the maintenance. That cost would be reflected in higher charging costs. I have done 5 over 4,000 mile road trips and over 200,000 miles in 7 years, and always have window cleaner, paper towels and trash bags.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrGriz

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top