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HELP! Road trip question...We leave tomorrow, and I'm slightly panicked.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by TheAustin, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. TheAustin

    TheAustin Model S: P2009 P85

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    So, I've had my Model S P85 for almost a year, and I've bragged about how it can roadtrip just like an ICE, with a bit of planning. But now I'm starting to panic.

    Why? Because we leave for a week-long roadtrip tomorrow morming, and one leg of our journey in particular is keeping me up at nights (literally!): From the Virginia Supercharger in Glenn Allen, Virginia to the Greenbriar Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. A quick Google Map of that leg only shows a distance of 193 miles...No problem, right? However, when I check on EVTripPlanner.com, it calculates that I will use 268 miles of Rated Range to go that 193 miles (mostly due to elevation changes in the mountains there). I've checked, and there are precious few charging options along the way (the most prominent being 110 volt outlets at truck rest-stops!). Hence, the panic!

    What are your thoughts? Have any of you done that trip? Should I pull the plug on taking my Model S (no pun intended)? Or should I just drive slowly and cross my fingers? All thoughts & advice appreciated :)

    (Incinentally, on the EVTripPlanner site, I noted my P85 with 21" wheels, estimated exterior temperature of 35 degrees/internal temperature set to 68 degrees, and also included 350 pounds of payload - Wife, two children, and several suitcases).
     
  2. 772

    772 Member

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    Check plugshare, there are a few charging options close to your route. There's a 24/7 J1772 in Waynesboro, VA, 22980 and a NEMA 14-50 at the KOA in Natural Bridge, Virginia 24578. Might be a good idea to charge for a couple hours at one of these spots on your way.
     
  3. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    In addition, it probably won't be 35degrees outside the whole time so if you start with a toasty warm cabin at the supercharger and a full range charge your chances will improve. I think you're wise to pickup some charge along the way. The plugshare app shows a J1772 plug on the University of Virginia campus and I can think of worse places to grab breakfast and walk around for an hour.
     
  4. Seattle

    Seattle Member

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    Plus drive at a reasonable speed. 60 mph after the supercharger, set the option for the range driving too. Try electric seat heater instead of air heat if you can.
     
  5. muleferg

    muleferg Member

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    Also. Staunton Nissan Call (888) 376-7943. The Nissan dealer in Wilkesboro will let a Tesla charge.
     
  6. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    And I can't think of too many instances where people haven't been able to get 200 miles out of fully charged 85 kWh pack.
     
  7. balefire

    balefire Member

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    this happened to my wife in 15 deg weather on a 200 mile trip, requiring an unplanned Nissan stop despite all the normal advice.

    since then we've adopted the "freezing in the slow lane" and titrating your heater and speed after the first 1/4 to 1/2 of the trip as I stated here in a separate thread. no problems since then.
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/25567-how-i-reduce-my-cold-weather-long-distance-range-anxiety?p=535245#post535245
     
  8. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Plan for an intermediate charging stop to make this trip from Glen Allen. A slight headwind or significantly colder than expected temps will create all sorts of problems.

    If your originating point is Long Island, consider driving Newark, DE to Strasburg, VA, and overnight at the Ramada Inn. PlugShare reports a J1772 there. It's then 170 miles to the Greenbrier.
     
  9. TheAustin

    TheAustin Model S: P2009 P85

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    We have an overnight stop in Philadelphia on Sunday night, and will be leaving very early (7am-ish) on Monday morning...I was even worried about making it to the Glen Allen, Virginia Supercharger from Philadelphia, so I was planning to pitstop at the Newark, Delaware Supercharger (even though it's only 40 miles away)...It's 234 miles from Philadelphia to Glen Allen which is cutting it close...And the shortest route involves driving very near Baltimore and then D.C., so I thought I would hedge my bets and make that interim charge.

    Anyway, on to the second leg of that drive, Glen Allen to the Greenbriar, which is what I'm really worried about...

    @SCW-Greg, looking at the data from EVTripPlanner (which was created by a Model S owner, and appears to have extensive info on Model S power consumption), it's not the 193 miles that's the problem, it's the fact that the drive has numerous climbs and descents...Sure, I'll get a bit of mileage back on the downhills, but the uphills are going to eat battery...And, since the hills are towards the end of the trip, it's going to be hard to accurately calculate my rate of usage, and even gauge if I am going to run out of battery before we arrive.

    @Lyon, I was hoping not, but as of now, the Weather Channel is calling for a high of 39 in Philadelphia, and a high 32 in White Sulphur Springs, WV...And since we're going to be traveling early in the morning, I'm sure we'll be driving in temperatures well below those highs.

    @Seattle, I certainly will be employing all of those tactics!

    @772 @muleferg I was looking at PlugShare, but I was worried that some of the spots closer to my destination would require driving more miles out of the way, just to get to a slow J-1772. Maybe I'll have to look for a Nema 14-50 earlier on the route.

    @JohnQ, We're starting in Long Island, but have an overnight in NYC tonight and another in Philadelphia tomorrow night, neither of which can be changed...So I don't have the luxury of adding another overnight, I've got to do all this "on the road" for a Monday arrival at the Greenbriar (which, fantastically, has SIX J-1772 chargers right out front!)

    Thanks for the feedback...Feel free to keep the ideas coming!
     
  10. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    Be absolutely sure to heat the cabin while charging/supercharging. If you heat to a high temp (say 80) and keep it there for at least 20 minutes while charging, you'd be surprised at how long you can comfortably drive without even turning on the heat. My wife, two boys and I drove from home to centrailia,wa (about 90 minutes) in sub freezing weather and didn't turn the heat on the entire leg.

    Good luck!
     
  11. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    As someone above mentioned, your best bet may be either a J1772 for 2 hours in Charlottesville or there's also a KOA south of Staunton but you should check availability. Good luck with the drive and keep everyone posted.
     
  12. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Swap the 21" tires for 19".
     
  13. balefire

    balefire Member

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    Just as you have hills at the end of your trip, I have Chicago or Indy traffic at the end of my trips. That's why I shoot for a buffer of about 15-25 miles to account for unexpected traffic.


    For hills, I have on occasion when cutting it close used hypermiling techniques like coasting down hill instead of using regenerative braking to maximize efficiency. I would practice this before hand though to make sure you have it down smoothly and efficiently.
     
  14. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    I wouldn't worry, you have plenty of pushing power. Make sure your youngest can steer and you, your wife and the other child can push. :biggrin:

    Have a safe trip!
     
  15. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Absolutely! It takes 50 percent more power to go 80 than it does 65. I personally cruise at 60. I say cruise, because the car can do a better job than your foot, and the less accel / decel the better. I find Low Regen is less abrupt and gives smoother usage curves.

    I you watch your estimated mileage, and it starts to get close to what you actually need, SLOW DOWN.
    Tail gating a truck does not do anything compared to slowing down, other than making you slow down, and causing danger.

    The heat is a problem because you can't see it sucking. You might notice your watt hours per mile going up, but you have to try to keep them down around 285. I try to drive when the sun is shining so you get IR heat in the car. I turn the temps to "LO" (No heat), fan on "1", to the front wind shield only, to keep fog off. The outside air may be cold, but it's dry. Wear a jacket, wear gloves.

    After you've done it once, you know what you need to do and what you don't need to do. Maybe a top up charge would be in order, too. My wife nearly always wants more top up than I think I need, and she's always been right. So, bring a good book, too.
     
  16. AndyM

    AndyM Member

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    That trip is a good challenge case for any vehicle, EV or ICE, with limited fueling stops along the way. :)

    Your temperature should be close to that as we have in Oregon. I've gotten 220 miles rated, on flat roads, in that temperature.

    If it's raining, you'll lose a few miles due to increased rolling resistance.

    You are going to go uphill on this trip, so you'll lose 7 miles for every 1000 feet of elevation you climb. You will very likely experience you panic there as you see your rated range drain away on those uphill segments, and then hold steady on the downhills. Once in a while you will see your rated range tick up on a very long downhill.

    You're heading west, into the wind, which will also have a decrease you can see.

    I agree with everyone above: Look on plugshare for J1772 and 14-50 charging locations along your path between Staunton and your destination in WV. Covington, VA has one that will be a good safety stop to plan on. Another word of advice: print a paper copy of the charging stations and locations you have in mind. Mountains are known for lesser 3G data availability.
     
  17. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Active Member

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    My RV park app shows an RV park with 50 amp hookups in Clifton Forge, which is 30 from White Sulphur so could be a security blanket. I would call first to make sure they are open and would allow you to charge if necessary. It's listed as the Buckhorn Country Store, so presumably snacks and facilities would be available.

    If you needed charging sooner, I also see an RV park in Lexington that looks to be very close to the highway.

    I'm using the RVPARKY app...
     
  18. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Most importantly, come back and tell us how it's going! I give you tons of credit for taking on this trip!
     
  19. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    While it isn't fun, driving 50 mph and you will make it easy. That is far more time efficient than slow charging.

    Does someone have a Tesla chart for range per mph? There is a good one on the Leaf site.

    But it probably goes something like this
    65 mph - 265
    55 mph - 300
    45 mph - 335

    In 35 degrees
    65 mph - 220
    55 mph - 250
    45 mph - 280

    Hills without elevation change don't appreciably affect range as long as you don't brake. Then if you limit regen, there really isn't any loss of range. You do need to slow on the ascents so that your downhill speed is not 70 mph. But as long as your downhill speed without regen is below 65, you should be fine.

    Pump the tires up. While it isn't a huge issue, you should jack the tire pressure to sidewall rating. One of the big cold weather hits is under pressured tires. Usually you can overcome some of the performance tire excess rolling resistance by increasing the tire pressure. It reduces the contact patch which will hurt the handling but that only helps reduce rolling resistance.

    I personally wouldn't stress but I wouldn't drive fast. Take blankets. Also see if there is a low speed alternative route in case you get in trouble - ideally a 45 mph speed limit road.
     
  20. TheAustin

    TheAustin Model S: P2009 P85

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    Thanks everyone! I'm making notes, and I'll let you know how it goes :)
     

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