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Help me Obi Wan Kenobi you're my only hope

eetza

Member
Jul 6, 2018
12
18
Laval, QC
I've been a lurker for that last 2 years following the Supercharger threads for Alexandria, Fargo, Grand Forks & Pembina. With the false hope of "End of 2017"/"End of 2018" and now "End of 2050" stations to be completed.

You see, I've been putting off a trip. A trip to travel from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to south of Winnipeg. An epic 1700-mile journey that will see me drive through Toronto, Detroit, Chicago Minneapolis. To only run out of battery 200 miles out of Clearwater, MN 200 miles short of my final destination.

Other than luck for you all I would also need some guidance.

For reference, Tesla Model X 75D (February 2017 build), 2 adults + 4 kids + luggage, 236 rated miles (NEW), now maybe just under 210 miles rated. Will need to drive light footed with a tail wind.
  • How is the CHAdeMO at Noodles and Company in Moorehead, MN?
    • Can we pay with credit card?
    • Canadian credit card?
    • Must I use the ZefEnergy Subscription plan?
    • How much do they charge per minute? Per kWh?
  • In Grand Forks, my best option looks like the J-1772 @ Best Western Harvest Inn and Suites (3350 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201)
    • Does any know if this is a busy location?
    • Reliable charging speed?
  • Any one live near I-29 (1-2 miles off) between Grand Forks, ND & Pembina ND that has a home charger available as backup?
    • If so, please contact me in private if you are able and interested in helping me out.

Thank you & safe travels,
 

IT Geek

Member
Nov 16, 2016
902
1,506
Michigan
Do you know about Plugshare?

I have a friend with a Model S that drove all the way across North Dakota in May this year with the help of some generous Tesla owners in the state. There's an entire community of Tesla owners there that are doing things right.

But don't take my word for it... Let's ask @Darren S to share his personal experience...
 

eetza

Member
Jul 6, 2018
12
18
Laval, QC
Yep, I'm all over plugshare, great site, but for the I-29 north it is of no help. Still nothing between Grand Forks & Pembina.

My last hope is campgrounds with NEMA 14-50 hookups.

Plugshare.png
 
Jul 28, 2019
490
469
Brandon, Manitoba
I have used the Grand Forks Best Western and it has never been busy. Single cord. Mind you, I stayed the night although I think if you ask they would let you use it. Lots of places within walking distance. Now, if you find a charger in Fargo, you will be all set.
 
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Darren S

Supporting Member
Dec 9, 2015
2,181
1,411
Southwestern PA
I've been a lurker for that last 2 years following the Supercharger threads for Alexandria, Fargo, Grand Forks & Pembina. With the false hope of "End of 2017"/"End of 2018" and now "End of 2050" stations to be completed.

You see, I've been putting off a trip. A trip to travel from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to south of Winnipeg. An epic 1700-mile journey that will see me drive through Toronto, Detroit, Chicago Minneapolis. To only run out of battery 200 miles out of Clearwater, MN 200 miles short of my final destination.

Other than luck for you all I would also need some guidance.

For reference, Tesla Model X 75D (February 2017 build), 2 adults + 4 kids + luggage, 236 rated miles (NEW), now maybe just under 210 miles rated. Will need to drive light footed with a tail wind.
  • How is the CHAdeMO at Noodles and Company in Moorehead, MN?
    • Can we pay with credit card?
    • Canadian credit card?
    • Must I use the ZefEnergy Subscription plan?
    • How much do they charge per minute? Per kWh?
  • In Grand Forks, my best option looks like the J-1772 @ Best Western Harvest Inn and Suites (3350 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201)
    • Does any know if this is a busy location?
    • Reliable charging speed?
  • Any one live near I-29 (1-2 miles off) between Grand Forks, ND & Pembina ND that has a home charger available as backup?
    • If so, please contact me in private if you are able and interested in helping me out.

Thank you & safe travels,

Do you know about Plugshare?

I have a friend with a Model S that drove all the way across North Dakota in May this year with the help of some generous Tesla owners in the state. There's an entire community of Tesla owners there that are doing things right.

But don't take my word for it... Let's ask @Darren S to share his personal experience...

Thanks, @IT Geek, for the mention and @eetza, I believe you can easily make that trip (well, not easily, but definitely possible) with the help of either some owners and their home charging or if they know of businesses in those areas that might not be listed on PlugShare as they are private-use only.

Here was my route after the annual Tesla gathering in Custer, SD and I drove up the Montana side of the MT/SD and MT/ND border so I could enter North Dakota at the far western border (instead of 50 miles into the state if I used an RV Park on the way to Dickinson to charge up). I met some fabulous people from North Dakota at the Custer event that helped me achieve my goal of driving across North Dakota.

They generously let me charge at their house for the first stop in Dickinson then another house and also a public charging spot in Bismarck and then the public charger at the Buffalo Museum in Jamestown and finally Hotel Element in Fargo. Seamless and just some patience waiting for enough charge to get to the next stop. After that, it was still a bit of 'gentle driving' to get past Fergus Falls and Alexandria to Clearwater. I had some backups along the way but it was definitely possible. I have an pre-refresh 2016 S 90D with 253 miles max but I never let it get below ~20% range (or ~50 miles remaining) so I bet you'd be able to make it with yours.

From what I know, the CHAdeMO at the Noodles & Company in Moorhead is FREEEEEE. I have seen a few mentions of that in the PlugShare check-ins and can have someone who was there a few weeks back confirm if necessary.

Feel free to PM me and I can take a more detailed look at your route and see if I can show you the path and maybe post the results and findings here for others to reference. I'll see if I can wrangle up some folks in the MN / ND area who is more familiar with the areas and if they can lend some advice.

Grand Forks' Best Western looks like the ideal place as you can spend the night and get a full charge for the 150 mi / 240 km trip to Winnipeg and easily to your destination south of it. If you don't need a full charge then maybe plan to stop there for a few hours and see if they'll let you charge and if not then visit the Minnkota Power Co-Op (only available during Business hours) or even the Nissan dealership and spend some time but the Hotel will hopefully be available. Each of the places after Clearwater are ~100 mi / 160 km apart so you should have no problem stopping at each one for a little bit rather than trying to drive very slow and make it all the way from Clearwater to Moorhead.

upload_2019-8-6_10-29-49.png
 

eetza

Member
Jul 6, 2018
12
18
Laval, QC
@Darren S Thank you for sharing your trip. I've done 2 long distance trips already, Montreal-Orlando-Miami (summer 2017) & Montreal-Outer Banks, NC-Montreal (summer 2018). The difference being those trips, other than taking charging time into account, don't require any type of planning. Simply charge to 90% before you leave and drive. Let the car do the rest.

Now for North Dakota, that is not the case. Below here is my last day, leaving Wisconsin Dells WI. I will definitely be pushing things and charging pas 90% to make sure I make it. The things is, after 3 days on the road I don't want to sleep another night on the road when I'm 160 miles from my final destination

Google Maps (660 miles, link is 30 miles short of destination for privacy)

Day 3 (660 miles)

I also have a other options, like trying to charge in Dayton ND, they have 2, what looks to be free, camping grounds in town.

Worst case scenario, is I drive into the Red River and float all the way to Winnipeg. /s
 

Darren S

Supporting Member
Dec 9, 2015
2,181
1,411
Southwestern PA
@Darren S Thank you for sharing your trip. I've done 2 long distance trips already, Montreal-Orlando-Miami (summer 2017) & Montreal-Outer Banks, NC-Montreal (summer 2018). The difference being those trips, other than taking charging time into account, don't require any type of planning. Simply charge to 90% before you leave and drive. Let the car do the rest.

Now for North Dakota, that is not the case. Below here is my last day, leaving Wisconsin Dells WI. I will definitely be pushing things and charging pas 90% to make sure I make it. The things is, after 3 days on the road I don't want to sleep another night on the road when I'm 160 miles from my final destination

Google Maps (660 miles, link is 30 miles short of destination for privacy)

Day 3 (660 miles)

I also have a other options, like trying to charge in Dayton ND, they have 2, what looks to be free, camping grounds in town.

Worst case scenario, is I drive into the Red River and float all the way to Winnipeg. /s

Great to hear you've taken some road trips and those are some good backups right down to floating in the river but hopefully it doesn't come down to that.

I used A Better Route Planner (A Better Routeplanner) and chose your vehicle and made a test route of 205 miles and adjusted the Wh/mi until the vehicle could do a 100% to 2% drive of 205 miles on the Interstate (which equates to ~210 miles of max range of yours) and that worked out to be 315 Wh/mi @ 65 mph which is the number I used for your planned trip. If you have a headwind or rain or consumption is higher than that at 65 mph then longer charging times and/or slower driving speeds will be needed.

Adding those locations you provided, I took a guess at the time you'd want to stop at each location and the X factor is the CHAdeMO at Noodles & Co and how long you want to wait there -- anything from 3 hrs to about 6 hrs but the 4-5 hr range looks like it might be what you need and anything longer is a bonus. It also depends how low you are willing to arrive at your destination. I picked a spot ~30 miles north of Dominion City just to make sure you could go a little farther up the road. Let's just hope the CHAdeMO is not occupied for several hours when you arrive in Moorhead.

The link to this route is below and I provided a few screenshots as well for an estimate of the route. It looks like it could take as long as 20 hrs with 10 hrs of that for charging for the 660 mile trip. If you can drive at the speed limit or even 5 mph under once you leave the Clearwater supercharger then that will help tremendously.

The route estimate was assuming your max speed was 75 mph and going 5 mph over the speed limit (or 107%). Some of the other numbers are default entries from the site. That results in a trip average of 350 Wh/mi so if you can reset a Trip meter when you leave Wisconsin Dells and keep an eye on that and keep it below 350 Wh/mi then it will be good.


upload_2019-8-7_7-47-56.png

upload_2019-8-7_7-50-43.png


An alternate route would be from the Clearwater, MN supercharger to the Baxter, MN supercharger then to a CHAdeMO at the Beltrami Electric Co-Op in Bemidji, MN. From there you would head to the hotel in Grand Forks, ND. It is 30 miles farther driving but just about the same amount of time on the road (just over 20 hrs) but a much-longer charging stop in Grand Forks. It would be more scenery than Interstate all the way and maybe there are some fun roadside attractions to visit such as Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

upload_2019-8-7_8-17-47.png


I realize it seems difficult to spend the night just 160 miles from your destination but a 20-hr day is a long day on the road and it looks like you'd arrive in Grand Forks around 10 pm (using either route above) and would need at least 1 hr of charge if not 3 hrs of charge plus the additional 3 hrs of driving. If you don't mind arriving between 2-4 AM then fine but wouldn't it be better to get as much charge as possible in Grand Forks AND get a decent amount of sleep and leave early (7 am?) and arrive around 10 AM instead? If you arrive at 4 AM then you'd most likely sleep past 10 AM anyway, right?

Either way, it looks like there are at least two viable routes with several L2 and a CHAdeMO option along each route as well as RV Parks as backups if nothing else is available so you should have no problem other than keeping an eye on the energy consumption and elevation.
 
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eetza

Member
Jul 6, 2018
12
18
Laval, QC
@Darren S

Wow, you have put a lot of work into this. Thanks.

I'm both reassured and worried, 20 hours, when you see that ouch it hurts.

Nothing is set in stone, I don’t & won’t force the distance and end up driving while tired, sure auto pilot helps but it is no substitute for vigilance.

Out first leg, leaving Montreal, has us drive 186 miles (300km) to our first Supercharger, there are closer ones but I’m using the first leg as a distance test with the X loaded with all our gear to see how it responds. My goal is to get there as fast as possible with the kWh I have in my X (leaving at 100%’ish). That will set the Wh/mi vs mph parameters for the remainder of the trip. So, within the first 3 hours of my trip I will know how the last 10-20 hours will go.

I will update this thread as my journey unfolds.

Also, I will be using the app Windy on iPhone to forecast the wind.

Wish me luck,
 

MD-2000

Member
May 1, 2019
571
379
Winnipeg
I noted last month some postings that Chademo chargers installedbetween Duluth or due north of Minneapolis, to Kenora and Winnipeg - it was reported they were all closed due to equipment failure and a recall on the chargers. Check whether they are repaired before you plan to use them.
 
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eetza

Member
Jul 6, 2018
12
18
Laval, QC
Day one is done. 740 miles, all is good, X performing flawlessly and weather was perfect.

Will confirm tomorrow but it looks like I will finally take the Duluth route and hit the CHAdeMO in Fort Francis ON. Save 30 miles and the speed limits are lower. Not sure it’s a good idea to be doing 60 mph on I-29.
 
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eetza

Member
Jul 6, 2018
12
18
Laval, QC
After reading all your comments and suggestions I went back and looked at all of it over again.

My final decision was to go through Duluth MN and Fort Francis ON. Now this leads to two more border crossings but 30 miles less than any other option. The one caveat is that the Tom Hortons CHAdeMO is locked at 20kW. This isn’t that big of an issue since I charged to 90% in Virginia MN (ChargePoint) and got to Fort Frances with 44% charge remaining. So I’m here for 1h30-2h00 before driving home (187 miles to go). I have been averaging less than 300kWh/mi most of the day. Left at 4:00am and should be home before 9:00pm (17 hours)

A long day but a very successful day everything went as planned.

Thank you all
 

Darren S

Supporting Member
Dec 9, 2015
2,181
1,411
Southwestern PA
After reading all your comments and suggestions I went back and looked at all of it over again.

My final decision was to go through Duluth MN and Fort Francis ON. Now this leads to two more border crossings but 30 miles less than any other option. The one caveat is that the Tom Hortons CHAdeMO is locked at 20kW. This isn’t that big of an issue since I charged to 90% in Virginia MN (ChargePoint) and got to Fort Frances with 44% charge remaining. So I’m here for 1h30-2h00 before driving home (187 miles to go). I have been averaging less than 300kWh/mi most of the day. Left at 4:00am and should be home before 9:00pm (17 hours)

A long day but a very successful day everything went as planned.

Thank you all

That's a great Wh/mi avg for that trip. Congrats on the successful trip (hopefully) and having the courage to give it a try.
 
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eetza

Member
Jul 6, 2018
12
18
Laval, QC
Thank you all for the tips and encouragement. It was a long trip; I will spare you all the details but outline a few points/highlights/lowlights of the trip.

  • Distance: 3940miles (6341km)
  • Average: 350 Wh/mi (217 Wh/km)
  • Longest segment: 219.6mi (353.4km) @ 291Wh/mi (181 Wh/km), this in a 238 mi rated 75D Model X with over 65k miles
  • Lowest SOC: 1%
  • Longest wait for a charger to free up (our only wait): 50 minutes
  • Slowest highway speed: 15mi/h under the speed limit (24km/h), used secondary roads like US-75 instead of I-29
  • Longest detour: added 12 miles, US-75 between Halstad MN & Perley MN, http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d2/projects/2019/hwy75-hendrum-halstad/images/detour.jpg
  • Worst call: trying to take a wet gravel/dirt road to cut the detour short, it had rained before lost 8% of range in like 1.5 mi.
  • Best call: Leaving on Tuesday August 20th, we had a strong wind from the north helping extend our range
 

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