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Having a hard time planning a trip

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Yitt, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Yitt

    Yitt Member

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    Hi all - apologies in advance because I'm sure this has been beaten to death, but I promise I've done my due diligence in trying to answer my question by referencing Google and old threads. I realize this means my due diligence may not be as "diligent" as it could be, and I am comfortable with that. I just want you to know I tried.

    I'm having a hard time finding a source for trip planning that is sensible and easy to use.

    I've been to evtripplanner. It appears to be a hobbyist's side project. It has some major limitations (cheerfully disclosed in the FAQ) and the UI is confusing. It seems to account for a lot of fine detail (elevation change, payload) yet misses major things like the existence of the 70D. This does not inspire confidence.

    I've tried the nav system in the car. This seems to be biased in favor of stopping at every supercharger, no matter what. Even the one near my house. I'll be leaving the house with a good charge, thanks, and I can't believe it's REALLY necessary or desirable to stop for 15 minutes if I could easily just make it to the next supercharger.

    I've done my own reckoning with Google maps and I have confidence in it - no more than 110 miles between superchargers - but I assume there has to be an elegant solution out there somewhere. Something that sets out a logical, realistic path and can account for charging times along the way.

    Is there such a thing?
     
  2. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Evtripplanner.com is very reliable as a starting point. Just use the configuration for a 60 and you'll be very safe.

    We used it to start our trip from Southern California to Maine in the beginning of summer (TMC Thread) (start of trip).
     
  3. Yitt

    Yitt Member

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    Good tip on using the 60 setting. I agree it appears to be useful. I just wish it could factor in charging time like the Tesla nav system does. A combination of the two might be ideal. Thanks for your response!
     
  4. JenniferQ

    JenniferQ Member

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    I always plan on stopping every couple of hours and plan it around eating, restroom break, stretching legs, etc. You will find most superchargers are located so that you can do that, and maybe even a little shopping, window or otherwise. I use evtripplanner as well, even though it doesn't have the P90D on there, but use the P85D and it is very accurate. Just be aware of the miles from point to point and which route you wish to take and give yourself about 25% margin of error if it's cold or mountains are in the way! That kid at evtrip has done a fantastic job, imo, at predicting range to within about 5% of actual range your car will get.
     
  5. Jool

    Jool Member

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    EVTripPlanner works pretty well, in my experience. Just make sure to charge over 20-25% of the rated miles recommended to help account for cold weather, elevation changes, and traffic.

    Also, try to plan your meals during your charging stops to minimize downtime. Helps make the charging go by quicker!
     
  6. brkaus

    brkaus Member

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    I have a test drive car at the moment. I put in a trip from west Austin to North Dallas just for fun. The silly thing took me south to San Marcos (40 miles in the wrong direction), through Waco, up to Denton (past destination 25 miles) and back south.

    I think the best known method here is use evtripplanner for the big picture. Then use the built in system for super charger to super charger routing during the trip.
     
  7. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Look on the map, eyeball which SpC's you need to stop at, turn off trip planner in the car, and set the destination as the next SpC. The car will show you (Energy-> Trips) how much % you'll have when you get there, keep a comfortable buffer (for everyone it's different, I prefer 7%-10%).

    Now if you mean in advance, at home, you want to plan a trip, then it's EVtripplanner. No better alternatives yes. Either use a 60 or a P85D with 21" wheels (one will be an underestimate, one will be an overestimate)
     
  8. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    +1 to this approach. Don't over think it too much as you've already indicated you are going to be using an SpC route.
     
  9. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    OP, I also spent considerable time trying to research this before ordering and after taking delivery of my MS. As you found, there is no perfect tool to do what you want, but IMHO like others, EVTripPlanner is the best there is today. Since the guy that wrote the tool is in College, it is not seeing a lot of maintenance/enhancements, and as you found it requires trial and error to understand what's going on, or at least how you want to make use of the variables you have control over and how that impacts the tool results... Similar to what others have suggested, here's how I'd suggest you get started with the EVTripPlanner:
    • I use EVTripPlanner to determine the route and target charging locations along the way. You have to manually add in your break/charging estimate time using other tools no different than any other road trip estimator I've used -- even that won't account if you run into traffic, backup at a charging location, have a flat, etc... ;)
    • As Jennifer and Jool mentioned, I also use an "85D with 19" as my vehicle type. My 90D has another perhaps 16 mile buffer than an 85D if I start at 100% charge, so not a huge variation, and I like being very conservative with my range planning. I suggest you pick the model closest to what you own.
    • The planner will assume you are maintaining speed limit 100% of the time (look at the Steps or Detail tabs). If you are going to go faster, adjust the "speed multiplier" up... e.g. 1.0 = Speed Limit, 1.15 = 15% over Speed Limit. If you are going to be like some old person and go under the speed limit, make the number smaller like .9 = 90% of speed limit. Rerun the tool for your route and you'll see the speeds in those two tabs have adjusted. I personally use 1.1 (and 1.15 on very long open interstate trips) most of the time as I've found those numbers do a good job of BOTH taking into consideration my keeping up with traffic that tends to move faster than it should sometimes ;), AND the little over here provides some additional buffer to the range estimate to accommodate what may not have been other places... In the trips I've both kept actual before/after detail and ran the trip planner estimates, I too have been very close this way. You and others likely have different multipliers that work for how you typically drive.
    • Put in what cabin temp you are going to have... I use 70F, but put whatever works for you...
    • Put in the external temp you estimate. It's a bit of a crap shoot if you're on a long trip and this changes dramatically from very cold to warm in the same route -- as there is only one number for the whole route. You could split the route into multiple trips and plan them independently I suppose, but for me that's too much trouble, so I put in a little lower average number than what is likely to occur so I have more buffer. It is worth as a learning tool though to rerun your route and only change this number -- it will give you the best view as to how really cold temps impact your range -- at least better than what any words of wisdom provided me.
    • Payload. Don't forget, it's everything -- driver, passenger(s) and cargo.
    • EVTripPlanner won't take into account headwinds, rain, snow, sleet, and that sort of weather stuff, or if you choose to drive with your windows or pano open, or have something strapped to a carrier on your top -- all that can have dramatic negative impact on your range -- but then again, I don't know of any other tool that does any of that either. If it's nice on your planned route, you're set; If the weather is iffy, my suggestion is either up the "speed multiplier" a little more OR you're going to have to manually or mentally accommodate that buffer some other way... You must apply your own judgement on this one.
    • ...and if you have not, be sure you create a Login with EVTripPlanner. It will remember your settings and past routes making future use a lot easier.

    Good luck.

    Personally, I just wish Tesla would buy EVTripPlanner, take it over, update with current models, and integrate with their onboard tools and iOS/Droid Apps. IMHO, the combination would be awesome and huge step forward IF Tesla would focus just a little more on some of the basics all present and future owners could utilize -- beyond AutoPilot that seems to get all the press and attention these days. ;)
     
  10. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    That's wrong. The model assumes you're going with the flow of traffic, not the speed limit, when you have a speed multiplier of 1.0.

    Look at the details tab, I just checked, on the east coast the max speed limit is 65. I have several segments of 70mph, 73mph and 74mph.
     
  11. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    The EV trip planner is awesome but as with any battle plan it's thrown out the window after you leave the driveway.

    1. Have a plan of which SC's you can stop at.
    2. EV trip planner can tell you which legs you can make and which are too close for comfort.
    3. If you think you can skip a stop select the next SC and click on the trip view and see how much battery will be left when you arrive there. If it's ~10% slow down and press on.
    4. Always charge more than you need at the SC. If it says charge for 20 minutes charge for 30-40

    - - - Updated - - -

    For someone new I recommend 20% and work your way down from there as you get more comfortable.
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I use EVtripPlanner to see if it's possible to make it. When on the road I use the Nav system. In decent weather charge till the Trip Graph is green. In bad weather, charge to at least 50% more than needed, with no stops further than 175 miles (assumes S85).
     
  13. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    Thanks for the clarification -- there is always someone out here to keep others in check on the detail. I've not noticed this situation, but honestly, it makes me now question the validity of the projection more if it's based on a "right now" view. This means if I'm running the tool during rush hours, when there is construction, or another back-up, the projection can be wildly off compared to when I actually leave. It's all projections and estimates, but given a choice in an offline tool like EVTripPlanner, I'd rather have speed limit as the baseline. It's easier for me to then do an average/best-case projection any time at my desk, without having to rerun the tool just before I leave on a longer journey. This may not be a problem for some, but for me, interstates around here and in metropolitan areas I frequent get clogged twice most days, and are even worse several weeks a year a few miles south of me when the fair/track are open or in summer on Saturday and Sunday morning as inland tourists want to hit the beach, as the normal 70mph becomes 10-30mph for miles at several sections of the highway. ...but to each their own, and that is apparently the choice the developer of this free tool made. I'm just thankful EVTripPlanner was available (and sent in my small thank-you donation). I honestly doubt I would have purchased my MS without having been able to play with EVTripPlanner and get a feel for range and charge locations on routes I've traveled many times before in my ICE and Hybrids, along with a few new ones I'd like to do one day in my MS...
     
  14. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    If you get clogged, in slower than normal traffic (not stop-and-go), your range will increase substantially. Last weekend, I was stuck in 45mph traffic for about an hour, my wh/mi went from ~310 to ~240 (this was in pouring rain). I've never seen a number less than 260wh/mi for any 30mile segment.

    Non bumper-to-bumper traffic = good news for range. Bumper-to-bumper traffic due to rush hour or construction = bad for range. I'm not sure if 10-30mph continuous will do to your range.
     
  15. cpa

    cpa Member

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    All the above is good advice. If I can add an item or two:

    I do a couple of things a little differently. I look at the current Supercharger map (either on Supercharge.info or on Tesla's website.) I also have a paper road map that gives me a broad view of the highways between my departure and destination(s). I then try as best as possible to match up the Supercharger placement with a sensible route. Once I have a rough idea, I then use EVTripplanner to plot the legs of my journey. I also prepare a spreadsheet on Excel to record the estimated data to reinforce not only my charging stops but also the estimated range necessary to reach the next plug with a buffer that is comfortable based upon my driving style and any adverse weather conditions. (What can I say, I am an accountant!) This way, all my work is done in advance, and I don't have to scramble around during my drive or while I am charging. I can spend my charging time leisurely, doing what I wish to do to while away the time. I like road maps and planning, so it is not a tedious exercise for me, but I can see where others might view this as needless. :eek:

    Another suggestion to maximize time driving and not charging: If your trip entails overnight stays at hotels, you might wish to either stay at a hotel that has a Supercharger onsite (many do, at least here in the West) or at a hotel that advertises Tesla's destination charging plan. These hotels and motels have Tesla HPWC at their property, so you could charge upon arrival to the charge that you need for the next day--be sure to notify the desk that you selected their property because of the charging facility. And unplug once you have reached your target in case someone else wanders by later that evening! :smile:

    I also check PlugShare for those places that might not have a plug, but have one located within walking distance.

    Perhaps most important of all is to have a Plan B. (Not to scare you, or anything!) But there have been rare occasions where a Supercharger was offline. Harris Ranch, Mojave, Mitchell SD and Shamrock TX all had at least 24 hours of outage. Moreover, Ft. Tejon had interminable waits at selected times the Saturday and Sunday after Christmas. The fact is, charging is not so ubiquitous that we can just assume that we can plan to pull into a Supercharger, plug in, take care of our business, unplug and drive off.

    Have fun!

    Once you get the hang of it, you will be glad you bought a Tesla and roadtrips will be a blast.
     
  16. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I'm in the middle of a 2,000 mile trip and I've been doing well using the car's built in system with some intelligence applied on top. I use the car for first-pass guidance, then I look at options. If it look like I can skip a supercharger, I'll have it route me direct to the more distant one and see what the estimated arrival charge is. If its sufficiently high, like 15% or better, I'll go ahead and skip the intermediate stop unless it coincides nicely with a bathroom break or something. I've found this to be pretty easy to do on the road with autopilot handling the lane keeping and such, so I can make the choices as I go. I haven't found it to be useful to make a precise supercharger list ahead of time, since the duration of bathroom and meal breaks are hard to predict and I might end up skipping a stop after charging longer than I anticipated.

    This has all been on the heavily supercharged I-95 corridor, so your mileage may vary.
     
  17. JenniferQ

    JenniferQ Member

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    I had a stretch in good weather, but going about 10mph for about 30-45 min and was shocked to see my wh/mi below 100 for that segment!
     
  18. Beryl

    Beryl Member

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    I'm particularly impressed with the items added by cpa because I've been doing something similar even before my Tesla was delivered! My travels take me into SC scarce areas. The Tesla website and several EV apps help populate my personal trip spreadsheets. (I don't use paper maps though.)

    Given the NC location in the OP's profile, I also suggest obtaining a CHAdeMO adapter for travels west -- not so much when traveling north and south. EV apps like Plugshare include CHAdeMO also.
     
  19. dweeks

    dweeks Member

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    EVTripplanner takes temperature and elevation change into account.
     
  20. Yitt

    Yitt Member

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    Thanks everyone! Lots of great tips here and I really appreciate it. I'm pretty dorky on this stuff and I don't mind running the calculations myself. I mostly just wondered if there was an elegant solution out there. I guess not!

    I think we're going to be fine. My wife's a little nervous, but I'm convinced it's going to be great. As the driver, I'm a little selfish in wanting to use AP, hence my preference for the Tesla over our ICE minivan.
     

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