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First time to RED battery on road trip... Austin->Houston->Austin in 1 day

Discussion in 'Model S' started by alwaysru, Sep 7, 2015.

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  1. alwaysru

    alwaysru Member

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    #1 alwaysru, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
    Since I got my P85 a month and a half ago I have been wringing my hands about the scariness of driving to visit my mom in N. Houston. It's usually a 2:15 trip, but with my average of 378 Wh/mi and no easily accessible superchargers along the way, it turns into a 3:40 trip by going through Columbus, and then a somewhat scary trip home with 10% remaining battery estimated upon return via the normal route.


    Started off with a full range charge @ 253 miles and promptly remembered we forgot the stroller, so turned around and lost 8 miles of range. Uh oh!
    IMG_6072.JPG


    Our first stop was the Columbus, TX Supercharger. Interestingly, the "small Nav" had it at a gas station on the right side of the road, however, when I turned in there, it changed to "follow the main touchscreen and find the flag", which was about 800 feet behind us and on the other side of the road, behind the Comfort Inn and Suites
    IMG_6073.JPG


    We headed the rest of the way to Houston and enjoyed ourselves at the Childrens Museum before heading up to my mom's house. Along the way we found the N. Houston Supercharger and stopped there for a "fill up" to 200 miles range so we'd have plenty of extra to get home. Saw a cool license plate there - "TESLA" on a P85 from Louisiana - quite jealous.
    IMG_6099.JPG


    Was very excited to see my mom has a 10-30 plug in her laundry room, so purchased a converter this morning from Tesla so I can charge at better than 2.5MPH next time I go there and get rid of range anxiety entirely.
    IMG_6100.JPG


    I'll admit I was a little scared when I entered my home address upon leaving my mom's to see 8% remaining, but decided to go for it anyways as opposed to taking that detour through Columbus and adding an extra hour+ at the end of an already long day for us and the kiddos.
    IMG_6107.JPG


    On the way, while heading along at 5MPH under the limit, we passed a white 85 with another awesome license plate "PLUG ME N" - and I think they definitely needed to plug in as they were a solid 10-15MPH under the speed limit... proof that we really need more charging options along the 290 route to Houston.


    Got home with a whole 14 miles rated range, including a stop at our grocery store (I got scared and turned off everything including the lights )
    IMG_6109.JPG IMG_6111.JPG
    Plugged her in for a full charge to see if the HIGH->LOW charge would help balance the cells better and give me more range... and guess what?
    IMG_6112.JPG

    Added 2 miles from what I saw yesterday! Wonder if a couple more trips like this could get it all the way back to 265 like I assume it was when brand new?
    IMG_6115.PNG


    In the end - I'm stoked because I know I can make it to visit my mom now, and it definitely helped me feel better about a long trip home without worrying about stopping at a Supercharger!
     
  2. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    #2 SW2Fiddler, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
    First time to RED battery on road trip... Austin->Houston->Austin in 1 day

    Thanks for the great trip report!
    (So, I'm not the only white S in TX with a front plate?) (no I'm not PLUG ME N either)
     
  3. alwaysru

    alwaysru Member

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    Thanks! I used the magnet attachment idea from TeslaTap (http://teslatap.com/modifications/magnetic-front-license-plate/) so I can remove it if I ever want to. Couldn't bare to screw it in to the nose cone. And now you know, Houston->Austin is possible via 290, even at high speed, as long as you start near 90% and you have a good place to plug in when you get here :)
     
  4. Barry

    Barry Member

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    I find it interesting that you blank out your own license plate, but freely comment on other plates you saw.
     
  5. BrianC

    BrianC Member

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    I feel if you get custom plates its because you want people to see and comment about it to friends / others.
     
  6. alwaysru

    alwaysru Member

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    Those are random sightings associated with no PII, whereas mine is easy enough to find I'm sure by cross referencing with my screen name etc. But honesty I hadn't really thought about it.
     
  7. Amped_up

    Amped_up Member

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    Nice trip report, agree about the need for more Superchargers in this neck of the woods. I'm glad I titled the car in Florida, don't have to deal with the front license plate and Texas inspection stickers, which take up half of the front windshield.
     
  8. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    I certainly don't want to be responsible for unstoking you. And with the extra range you can now pick up while at your mother's, you'll probably be just fine most of the time. But I did want to warn against over confidence. With only slightly different weather conditions (temperature, wind, rain) you'd easily be in a very different situation. So just keep that in mind, but remain stoked.
     
  9. alwaysru

    alwaysru Member

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    #9 alwaysru, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Great point, thank you. The goal is to not have to be that guy going 45 in a 70 to make it. Though, based on Bjorn's 452 mile run () at least I know it's always possible :)
     
  10. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    A really good question. It's interesting that your 100% range went up from 253 to 255 after one discharge cycle.

    We've always been told to not do a range charge unless taking a long trip, i.e. charge to 90% or less on a normal basis. Over the course of a year, my 90% range has gone down from 239 to 233 miles.

    New information came to light a while back on the forums, based on an Elon tweet, which advised keeping the SOC between 20% and 80% for optimum battery life. Other folks have said it's best to keep the battery SOC at 50%. I've been typically charging to 80%, and seeing a 208 mile rated range.

    I'm curious what you normally charge to? (80%, 90%, ...?), and are you seeing an improvement at that level now as well after the trip?
     
  11. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

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    A full discharge and range charge cycle helped me get my RM to increase too. This is just the algorithm estimating better, but the actual battery health stays the same. Tesla's blog has an official post explaining why this happens.

    Congrats on your road trip to mom's! Yes, may your future SCs in Texas be plentiful.

    - K
     
  12. Vgsllc1

    Vgsllc1 Member

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    so what did you do while waiting at Columbus SC?
     
  13. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    If you discharge to ~80% and range charge at [email protected] (or even lower at [email protected]) it will balance out the pack, giving any straggler cells a chance to fully charge up. I know going back and forth many times without a range charge has my pack out of whack. I usually do a long/slow rebalance after the end of a long trip that uses multiple Superchargers.

    Great trip! Did you stop in and say hello to Blue Bell? ;)
     
  14. benjiejr

    benjiejr Technogeekextraordinaire

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    @alwaysru, nice trip report and congratulations! Always love to hear stories like this. I still get nervous myself on long trips and when I feel the range is uncomfortably low, but get a big sense of satisfaction when the car performs like a champ and lessens my anxiety for the next trip.
     
  15. alwaysru

    alwaysru Member

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    Thanks, good advice. As this was my second "long distance" trip, I think the main thing I have learned is 100% > not 100% when charging. Last trip to Dallas I had to re-route ~50 miles out of my way to charge at an inconvenient supercharger in order to make it to the one I really wanted to go to as I didn't have enough charge. Had I charged to 100% before leaving the supercharger on the way to Dallas, that wouldn't have been needed.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks! Yes, I felt much better about this trip and it's estimated 10% before getting home. The first few weeks I freaked out on my 4 mile commute when the car got below 50%. Quite the change!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Went to the Snappy gas station next to the Mexican restaurant and got some amazing beef jerkey and drinks, etc. Not much to do around there besides eat at that restaurant (or a Subway across the street) or sit in the car and listen to music.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the tip. I'll try that tomorrow - is there any way to lower the voltage with the UWC to 120 besides just plugging into a 120 outlet? I've got a 50A 240V plug in the garage, but no convenient 120V ones. Missed Blue Bell this time as it was pretty late. I've been driving the Austin-Houston trip for 17 years and still have never been there somehow. Will have to make a special trip sometime!
     
  16. robert774

    robert774 Member

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    If you get there in the morning, like I do on my frequent day trips in the other direction, the hotel is friendly and is glad to have you in for free breakfast and Wifi while waiting.
     
  17. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    No, you'll have to plug into a 120V outlet. The lowest you can go is 5A on either 240 or 120.

    As for range anxiety, there shouldn't be a need to drop down to Columbus for that trip, either direction in an 85 unless you're blasting the AC/Heater and going 85MPH while starting on a partial charge. 290 almost spits you out at the Houston Supercharger, now.
     
  18. brkaus

    brkaus Member

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    So on a trip like that with an overnight and a 30 amp plug at destination it would make sense to stop by the SpC for 20-30 min then plug in a destination to 100%?
     
  19. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Overnight at a 30A dryer plug (24A @ 240V) should get you topped off in 12 hours or less. Surely you'd top off before leaving Austin and arrive with 20-30 miles left. If the destination is in north Houston, grab some juice at the Supercharger.
     

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