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First Trip Report: Santa Monica, CA to Big Bear Lake, CA

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Andrew, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

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    We've had our S85 for about a month now, and finally had a chance this past weekend for our first getaway up to Big Bear, elevation 6,800 feet. It's only 130 miles, but since there's a big elevation gain, I had the teensiest bit of range anxiety, and was tracking everything pretty closely. I wanted to post it here, since I bet there are plenty of other folks in Southern California who are going to be taking their Model S's up to Big Bear soon, and hopefully this will be helpful.

    I should probably mention at this point that I've been dying to drive up these twisty-turny mountain roads in our S ("Weeeeeee!!!!"), so I had no expectations of achieving getting the "EPA" estimates...

    We left our house with 259 rated miles (I did a near-max-range charge, just to be safe). We headed through downtown LA, and stopped in West Covina at Ikea (We had a few returns, it's just off the freeway, and hey, they have Blink chargers in their garage!). We had gone 38 miles so far and when we pulled in we had 215 miles left. We had lunch nearby, and then hit the road again after 90 minutes of charging, with 240 rated miles on the display.

    We then continued East on the 10 freeway, and I had the cruise control set around 75mph most of the way. We got off the freeway in Redlands - elevation 1,440' - and had 187 miles of range left.

    The next leg was the big climb, up to Onyx Summit, elevation 8,443'. (We like to take Hwy 38 instead of 330, since it's an easier drive and has less traffic. The only downside is that it's about 15 miles further, and you have to go up over Onyx Summit and then back down to Big Bear. Amusingly, the Tesla GPS really, really wanted us to turn around and go back to Hwy 330 -- I'm pretty sure the directions take elevation/energy usage into account, since it took a loooong time for it to give up and change to sending us up over the summit.)

    From Redlands (1,440') we drove 37.5 miles to Onyx Summit (8,443'), almost exactly 7,000' feet up. We started with 187 rated miles, and crested the summit with 96 miles of range left.

    So we got to the top of the mountain having reduced our range by 91 miles.

    I've read on the forums that we can expect to "lose" about 7 miles of range for every 1,000' gain in elevation. Doing the math, we should have reduced our range by 86.5 miles (37.5 driven miles, plus 49 "miles" for elevation (7 miles * 7K feet)). Considering I was driving in "sport" mode (ahem), the 7 miles/1,000' estimate is impressively accurate.

    We then coasted back down the 12 miles into Big Bear, pulling into our destination having gained a few miles from the regen.

    On the return trip, I had no range anxiety, of course (it's all downhill from here!) - but I wanted to figure out how accurate the estimate of gaining 4 miles per 1,000' of elevation drop actually is.

    We left Big Bear with 227 miles of rated range, and climbed back up to Onyx Summit. At the top, we had 203 miles of range. We then continued down the hill into Redlands, enjoying lots of regen (I don't think I had to touch the brake pedal even once!). Back in Redlands, we had climbed up to 209 miles.

    So that's 37.5 driven miles, plus 28 "miles" for elevation (4 miles * 7K feet). If we're supposed to gain 4 miles for every 1,000' in elevation drop, we actually should have gotten down the hill with about 193.5 miles of range remaining. (203 rated range - 37.5 driven miles + 28 range regenerated = 193.5). In actuality, we were up 6 miles from when we started, so we actually regenerated 43.5 miles (203 rated range - 37.5 driven miles + 43.5 range regenerated = 209).

    I'm guessing we did better on the regen (gaining 6.2 miles / 1,000' of elevation drop) because the bottom half of Hwy 38 is fairly steep and has long straightaways where we were consistently regenerating around 15 to 30 kW and were still moving about 60 MPH.

    Now that I have some real numbers, I also wanted to figure out if we'd be able to do the drive again without the max-range charge, and without the stop to recharge along the way. Our total trip from home to Big Bear was 130 miles, and "used" a total of 189 rated miles... So if we left home with 243 rated miles and didn't stop to recharge along the way, I'd expect us to get to Big Bear with about 54 miles of range left.

    (To clarify: Start with 259, go down to 215 at Ikea, recharge back to 240, then down to 95 at destination. 259-215=44, and 240-95=145. So 44+145=189 total rated miles used, and 243-189 = 54.)

    Of course, if I didn't do 75 MPH on the freeway, and didn't take some of the turns up the mountain like a bat out of hell, we'd have even more range remaining when we arrived. ;)

    (In the pic below, the Trip A distance is from the base of the hill to Onyx Summit. We averaged 679 Wh/mile to get up the hill....)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Wait, not to discount the rest, but you've only had your signature car for a month? Why the big delay?
     
  3. mcornwell

    mcornwell Active Member

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    AO, I'm guessing by S85, he means Model S 85, or Standard (non-Perf)...
     
  4. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    Very nice trip write-up. Where did you charge in Big Bear?
     
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

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    @AnOutsider - Yes, I meant standard 85 (non-performance). Sorry for the confusion! :)

    @MikeC - Thanks. We just charged in our garage at 115v. 3 mi/hour for a day and a half got us back up to nearly full. There aren't any public charging stations up there yet (I emailed Blink and Chargepoint last week to ask them to install some!) There is one person listed in the Plugshare App who has offered up his 40A connector, so that would be an option too. (Very kind of him - he just asks for an email to let him know you've used it!).
     
  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Also, the picture shows what (to me) looks like the gray interior. Which was not available on the U.S. Sigs.
     
  7. mcornwell

    mcornwell Active Member

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    I believe the one you are referring to is actually a TMC member who has a vacation home up there...
     
  8. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    Location:
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    I live in Arrowbear (2 miles east of Running Springs, on the way to Big Bear if you take 330) and have a 32 Amp EVSE in PlugShare, in our driveway. Just send an email or leave a note if you use it and we're not home. We still haven't seen a Tesla S in the flesh, much less gotten a ride in one. So we'd particularly enjoy welcoming a TMC member!
     
  9. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Another awesome road trip write up. The data for elevation changes is very helpful. Thanks!

    Can't wait to test it out here in AZ. PHX to Flagstaff is about 6000 feet in elevation change also. So I was using math to estimate the range needed for such a road trip. I think it's doable in a 60, but might need a maintenance/mealtime charge in the northern edges of the PHX area, esp. in the summer.
     
  10. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    #10 ZBB, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
    There's a Blink charger at the Anthem outlets. Juarasictest shows that a 60 should get from Anthem to Flagstaff with ~11% battery left at 120kph (~75mph). EVTripPlanner shows Anthem-Flagstaff using ~50kWh at 100 degrees at 68mph on I-17. Goes to ~54kWh at 75mph. Getting to Flagstaff should be doable, some sort of intermediate charge will be necessary for a 60.

    For reference, the total elevation change is ~5,000 feet (from Anthem -- which is ~1000'+ higher than downtown PHX) - but includes ~9500 feet up, with ~4500 feet going down (into Camp Verde). Return to Phoenix will be fine -- 35kWh at 75...

    Another option would be a stop at one of the RV parks in Camp Verde instead of Anthem -- there's one within walking distance to Cliff Castle Casino (which has a Johnny Rockets and a bowling alley -- so very easy to take a relaxing break for an hour or so)...
     
  11. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Thanks ZBB! Actually, I am aware of all these options. Believe me I have scoped out every route out of PHX for roadtrips to Flagstaff, Tucson, Las Vegas, San Diego, and LA. Using AllStays RV app, Plugshare, Recargo, Blink/Chargepoint apps.
     
  12. dadaleus

    dadaleus 4GETOIL P85#S70,FdrX,S85D

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    #12 dadaleus, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
    I resemble that remark! You're all welcome to it anytime.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've tested out your charger and we've talked via Plugshare email. You were out to dinner I believe, but rest assured that both a Roadster and S have come calling! Thanks for your generosity.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Andrew, great trip report. Thanks for doing this! Its great for others to have this much detail.

    I drive from San Diego to Big Bear regularly in my S (and previously in my Roadster) on just a standard charge. It's a longer trip than from Santa Monica, so you should be fine.

    Back when the S software showed the predicted range on the dash, I got up over 90,000 projected miles of range on the way down! Was totally awesome. I posted a pic here somewhere.
     
  13. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    Very cool! I didn't realize that you have an S as well and that you're the creator of 'Gallons of Light'. That is a truly wonderful ad! With your talents, perhaps you can come up with another spot featuring the S on some mountain curves. ;-)
     
  14. dadaleus

    dadaleus 4GETOIL P85#S70,FdrX,S85D

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    We're off topic but one quick reply... Thanks re the ad. To be clear, the creativity was all jbloch. I just provided the actors and car. Fellow Tesla owners Lloyd provided the house and James Arnold Tayor provided the voice.

    But yes, mountain roads are the best aren't they?!
     
  15. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

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    Thanks abasile! Next time we head up, I'll see if I can convince my husband to let us go up 330 and swing by your place on the way. Would be more than happy to show you our Model S and go for a ride!

    Thanks, dadaleus! Glad the trip report is helpful for folks. I'm definitely relieved to know that our Model S can do the trip without any difficulty (and we can even take 38 instead of 330...)

    I may take you up on the offer to use your 40A outlet for a couple of hours next time, especially if it's a quick weekend and we don't have time for the 120V recharge. That's very kind of you, and is much appreciated. (Man, I'm loving the Tesla community...!)

    I hadn't seen "Gallons of Light" until now - so cool! Oh, and the projected range I was seeing on the 17" touchscreen downhill was "999" - I guess that's far enough. ;)
     
  16. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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  17. efxjim

    efxjim Member

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    I have a 14-50 on the corner of my "cabin" in Arrowhead. It is located on West shore road. Anyone is welcome to use it. Just pm me for location.
     
  18. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    Although he has a P85, not a 60... My house to Flagstaff is ~130 miles, and Jomo has ~155. But the 5000-6000 foot elevation change gives us some range anxiety -- hence our interest in backup charging locations, and the threadjack in this Big Bear thread (similar mileage and elevation change). Can't wait for a PHX-FLG trip report from a 60 owner!
     
  19. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Trying to avoid the threadjack was the reason I restrained from commenting in my first post. Sorry for the detour...
     
  20. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    May be going up to Big Bear soon, in my P85D (possibly next weekend).

    Plan is to go up to a friend's cabin for the day and drive back at night.

    Not sure about using torque sleep/range mode because I'd want 100% of my AWD to be ready to go if it gets slippery.

    Thinking of charging to 100% (at home) in Orange County, and then topping up at Rancho Cucamonga before the climb. I probably won't be able to charge at the cabin, unless if there is an outdoor 120V outlet (or a garage of sorts). Being in the cold for 6-7 hours may not go down too well, however the drive down should provide some heavy regen. :)
     

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