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First Road Trip learning (SF->LA-SF)

After 6 weeks and about 650 miles of putting around on short trips near San Francisco, we finally go on the open road, first SC stops, first use of AP, and first faux range anxiety (more my wife than me).

Traditionally I force myself to iron butt the drive - I stop for the one needed fillup, and only a second quick bathroom stop if need be. And it shows afterwards. Stopping every two hours or so for 20 is much nicer on the body. Not having to constantly shift between the 6th gear OD and 5th to deal with traffic is also a big plus, though not one that applies to those coming from automatics. The other big difference is when I don't pay attention to speed, I gravitate to around 85 rather than upper 70s on the Subaru. I wish the rear view was as good as the flat window of the Outback - definitely cannot watch my 6 as closely for the CHP. At night, it's basically a blind 6.

On the way south on 101, on my first SC stop, I saw 3 stalls indicated as I approached, a Tesla ahead of me. And after exiting the freeway, another tesla from the northbound direction crossed first, and I found the last spot was marked disabled. It was only 2 mins though before someone left, so no harm. Though it's a bit unclear what the etiquette on queuing is. Later, I got some free L2 power from the Turley winery stop in Paso Robles, then an outlet mall stop in Pismo, and a final top off in Montecito, though I missed that this was a 72KW station so it was slower. Dog mode is really Wine Mode for me- keep the bottles at 70. If I forgot to turn this on while charging, the inside goes to 90 within a few minutes.

I used AP in the more open stretches to keep my top speed under control. (on the way back to SF, different story). I saw it handle the occasional slow driver, but when it got more congested near LA, I went back to control. I don't have faith in it doing a hard stop I've not seen it work, and as always, a significant portion of LA drivers have rely on god as their copilot.

The biggest surprise to me in the trip is that charging in LA itself kind of sucked. I got to Buena Park at 13% where family was, but found the next morning that the SC a mile from their house was not in operation per the Y's computer. And the Cerritos 72KW station went from low wait to medium to high during the morning., as did many of the others around me. I guess there are a lot of folks that don't charge at home? This seems driven by when people wake and the use of offpeak/peak rates 11am-9pm. 29 cents before, 58 after. I was going to the Long Beach Convention center and oddly there is a bit of Tesla SC desert in that square. I instead drove to Brea (250) which was listed as 9 miles, but that is as the crow flies. 15 miles of actual driving. Don't like that. It was packed in that 10:30-11 window to get the cheaper rate.

On the way back, I exposed some of the limitations of the routing predictions as I drove a bit faster, with a lot of hard accelerations as I got annoyed by others, and then hit the big headwinds of the Pacheco Pass coupled with the climb. The 17% prediction for Gilroy dropped to 5 and then 4 and 3%. I made the mistake of asking the wife to read that value for me, and she got fairly anxious, thinking one more surprise and we'd be screwed. I knew we'd regen on the descent and I also choose to go the speed limit, got there at 5%. The next day I saw that there was an option to stop a few miles back at Casa de Fruta and would have done that to make her happier. I'm still fighting the system a bit to do charging stops where I think I want, need to spend more field time using it. I'd also like to plan to arrive at a destination without the expectation I can charge there, so arrive at 40% instead of 10-20.

Cost savings versus the Subaru were not stellar. It was $70 to return, and about $55 there, ignoring the end points where I charge at home. 934 miles total. The 44 cent average is 4x my effective cost from rooftop solar. I probably would have spent about $185 on gas. I average 310wh/mile on the south bound, which is pretty much my norm. It was 340+ on the return with the higher speed.
Glad you enjoyed it--it is a different mindset.
Get to know the remarkable, ABRP the App or the website ABRP
The time spent charging on a long trip is offset for the time you don't spend filling up at a gas station for all the miles you do near your home.
FYI-Casa de Fruita is a wonderful Supercharger stop. Great assortment of foods and snacak, good place to walk around.
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