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How not to travel in your Model S - and still survive

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Struja, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. Struja

    Struja Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    So, I took a road trip (yesterday - into today) and since I am still relatively new with the car, I wanted to share this "cautionary tale" with new owners. This is how NOT to behave in your Model (S, X or 3).

    So, it starts Friday night where I inadvertently forgot to charge at home (I have a HPWC). It's not the first time I've forgotten to charge overnight, but my failure to charge started a chain of events which almost turned into a call for a tow (as a result of my own stupidity).

    I woke up on Saturday morning and I got an unexpected call from a friend to meet a friend in Burlington (which is about 120km round trip for me). While I was out, I FORGOT that I had a guy coming to the house to seal my driveway. The Tesla was supposed to stay in the garage and we were going to use my wife's RX for the weekend. Well, since I was almost in Burlington, we scrapped that plan and let him seal the driveway and we would just use the Tesla until we could use the driveway again (24 hours later). This is all happening at about 10am on Saturday morning while he's sealing and I am on the QEW to Burlington.

    After meeting with my friend, I get home, I run some errands with my son and upon our return, my wife decides she'd like to pickup some Chinese food, so we leave the house again and get that at 2pm. On the drive home from Chinese, she says... "lets go to Sarnia" (because there was an event in Sarnia she wanted to attend which was starting promptly at 7:00pm. My response was... I have to make sure we have enough juice to get us to Woodstock.

    By the time we got back home, I had 188km left on my S90D and Woodstock is about 123km from my house, so I figured it was a go (but I still really hadn't thought through my plan too well).

    We booked a hotel in Sarnia (Best Western) and PlugShare showed it as having 5 Wall chargers but the explanation by the one user was sort of dubious.

    Off we went on our way to Sarnia (just after 3pm) and we got to Woodstock with 50km left. Close, but still comfortable. At Woodstock, the car was ready to resume after about 20 minutes but I kept charging for as long as I could, yet still make it to my event at 7pm. We charged until Waze said we would get to the hotel at 6:30pm (which would give us enough time to drop our bags and get to our event). That got me to 366km, with the hotel in Sarnia 151km away from Woodstock. So, I figured (even in the worst case scenario I was good because 151 x 2 = 302km, no problem, I had a 64km cushion). I failed to contemplate the drive to and from the event in Sarnia.

    Get to the hotel and we are in such a rush to make our event, I don't ask about charging, but PlugShare shows that Sarnia doesn't have a lot of good charging options, other than our hotel. Of course... just over the Bluewater Bridge is a bunch of Telsa Superchargers (we literally could see them from our hotel they were so close - but we failed to bring our passports - so another link in the chain of events of bad planning).

    We rush out, go to our event and of course there are no chargers at the event. Not even a wall outlet.

    Event ends at 11pm. Back to the hotel and now I'm looking for the wall outlets. Find them, plug in... nothing. They don't work. Go into the hotel and ask about them and I'm told, they don't work and they aren't for Electric Cars even if they did (not exactly an EV friendly hotel).

    Kids are cranky, wife is cranky and I'm a bit frustrated because I have 180km of range left for the morning drive.

    I figure, with 151km to go to Woodstock, I can make it (because I've seen the youtube video of the guy that gets 20km after 0, so I figure I have enough of a cushion).

    12 degrees overnight in Sarnia and Struja is outside (she is normally garage parked at home in a well insulated garage). Get in the car and for some reason I've lost 2km overnight. Not sure why but I'm sure someone can explain. So, I'm at 178 with 151km to drive. A 27km cushion.

    I start... I figure I should go easy so I set up the AP on 107km/hr. I can't get Nav to work because it keeps sending me to Port Huron. Finally after driving for 80km, Nav says I can go to Woodstock but I need to slowdown to below 80km/hr and I will arrive with 2% left.

    I stay at 107 km/hr (I have NO good explanation for why). I notice now that I have 71km to Woodstock but I only have 85km left on the battery. So, I am thinking... WTF happend to my cushion!!!! (Fully realizing I have no one to blame but myself).

    My wife says..."why don't we just find a L2 charger and get enough juice to get there comfortably"... but I insist, we are going Woodstock or bust! (I insist this partly because I have friends driving behind us in their high end ICE car and my pride wouldn't allow me to stop at a crappy L2 charger) - yes... I can hear all of you screaming "so you'd rather end up pulled over on the shoulder of the 401????" (Notice the title of this thread... it isn't a "how to" thread).

    Very long story short... I arrived at Woodstock with 9km left in range. The car performed well, in spite of the dumb driver. We made it, in spite of the dumb driver. We charged for about 30 minutes and arrived back to Toronto with about 40%. I must say, I pretty much did everything wrong and I still managed to make it out without pulling to the shoulder.

    I do NOT recommend this for anyone. In hindsight, I probably should have gone for the closest L2 chargers nearby (I think there was only 1 viable option because I don't have a Chademo adapter)...either that, or we should have just brought our passports. I think my car hates me right now but she's plugged in now and hopefully happy!
     
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  2. Neo_fd3s

    Neo_fd3s Member

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    This is why I will want to get the biggest battery I can afford when my Model 3 is ordered. I'm pretty diligent about keeping things charged, but there will always be that spontaneous moment where you wish you remembered to charge or have a bigger battery to get you places.

    Good to hear the car came through in the end. Reaffirmed my decision to get the long range version of the 3. :)
     
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  3. Struja

    Struja Member

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    Aside from my stupidity, I think that is a valid point. My 90% is 425km, so even when I forget to charge, I usually have enough to do everything I need to do.

    I do have thoughts of moving up to a 100D, for that reason alone.
     
  4. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    There should probably be an option to receive an alert if you forget to plug in at home like is offered in the LEAF+Volt.

    In the navigation system, there is an option to eliminate all charging stops which would have prevented the reroute to the Supercharger in the States. Going by memory you may have to click on trip or something like that under the driving directions for it to appear.

    The car does lose 5km-10km per day when not plugged in due to computer systems being on.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope they did a good job on the driveway.
     
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  5. JSergeant

    JSergeant Member

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    It's a good story and I'm glad it worked out in the end. Several comments from someone who has been driving a Model S for 4 1/2 years:

    - make it a habit to always plug in your Model S as soon as you pull into the garage, so you will always have a full (or 90%) battery and you'll never forget to plug in, or be caught out if you suddenly have to make a trip. There's absolutely no reason not to do this.

    - if the NAV selects a Supercharger (like Port Huron) which you don't want to go to, you can click the 'Remove Charging Stops' label so that you can still use the navigation.

    - The Tesla algorithm for estimating whether you have enough charge to make your destination is sometimes quite conservative and will often route you to unnecessary chargers. You should pay attention when it tells you that you need to slow down. Slowing down is the best way to increase your range. You are generally better off slowing down than spending time at a Level 2 charger.

    - consider getting a ChaDeMo adapter - I note (and you noted) that the Tim Hortons in Sarnia has a ChaDeMo charger. If you plan to do much traveling around Canada this will probably be worthwhile until Tesla builds out the Supercharger network some more.

    - once you get into your winter weather you will have to be more careful with your trip planning than you were in this case.

    - get used to using the Nav system in conjunction with the remaining range to adjust your speed and maintain a safe buffer. When I'm on trips I usually start off with a 50 or 60 mile buffer and mentally keep track of that relative to the distance remaining. If the buffer is dropping too fast I know I have to slow down.

    - you mentioned losing 2km overnight. That's actually quite good. It's the so called vampire drain. It will get a lot worse in winter, which is why you ideally want to be plugged in overnight.

    It's all a learning experience. It will soon become second nature.
     
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  6. Struja

    Struja Member

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    @JSergeant - thank you for the informative response. This was a great learning experience and I was way too careless.

    Chademo - this was my first experience where the value in having the adapter was crystal clear!

    Port Huron - if we had brought our passports, this one was a no-brainer. I was actually thinking about this one and my responses to the border agent...

    Where are you going?

    About 3km into the USA to use your supercharger over there (pointing).

    On the way back to Canada...

    How long have you been in the USA?

    About 25 minutes charging my car. (And being fully prepared to go in for secondary inspection). Lol
     
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  7. Birdman325

    Birdman325 Member

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    Very good story and some important pieces of information. Not to hijack this thread, but I test drove a MX 2 weeks ago. The sales guy kept calling me, (very good follow up) so I asked him if I could "borrow" a car for an extended test drive. "No problem" he said. I need to drive my daughter up to Western on Monday (tomorrow) - would it be ok, if I take it. "No problem" he said. "Take it anywhere you like, just don't go over the border". I show up today at 6 and he "loans" me a MX P100D with 22" wheels. The car shows with 385 km of battery range. I took my kids and my wife around for a short drive in the city (Toronto) I didn't put that many miles on the car, but when I pull into my driveway it is showing about 325 km! That is a pretty big drop. All I have in my garage is a regular 110v outlet which is charging at about 2 km/hr.

    I was planning on driving straight to London to drop my daughter, and then stop at Woodstock on the way home for a charge, but now the GPS is telling me I will get to London with only about 22% - I don't know how to check if that will leave me enough to turn around and get to Woodstock but given the info in this thread, I suspect it may be extremely tight and not with the anxiety. May be more cautious to stop at Woodstock on the way up for a little top up and then possibly again on the way back. Not getting too much out of my 110V before tomorrow.
     
  8. Struja

    Struja Member

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    I believe the Woodstock exit and Wellington in London is 46km apart. So, assuming that you drive around in London, i say charge at Woodstock first, no doubt about it.
     
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  9. Birdman325

    Birdman325 Member

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    Thx. My other option is to head over to the superchargers at Lawerence and get a full top up before I head out, but that may not make a lot of sense if I can just as easily stop at Woodstock on the way up. Difference might be, If we leave a little later in the morning, I can head out early, charge full (or close to it) then come back home and pack up the car and then drive up and only stop at Woodstock on the way home. ( I am only about 15 minutes from the Lawrence Tesla location.) Otherwise, I would have to stop on the way up (with my wife and daughter in the car - getting anxious to "just get there").
     
  10. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Member

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    This all sounds like a normal day on a road trip for me, except for all the fretting :)
     
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  11. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Wow - my Model S P85D is only 362 km at 90% charge. I wonder why there is such a difference as a 90 only has 6% more capacity than a 85. Does the P make that much difference? And the amount didn't change when I got the Lud upgrade.
     
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  12. Phillip L

    Phillip L Member

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    Twice our car was down to 1 km rolling into a charger. Once because my son forgot to drop by the charger while in NS on the way out to pick someone up and had to crawl into the charger at 10 km hr. The other time was beautiful. Stopped in the charger at the Dorchester PetroCanada to get up to 46 km charge, just enough to get to the Woodstock Supercharger at 90 km/hr. Only other time was down to 12 km. It is amazing how much charge you can save coasting down steep, long hills and getting enough momentum to get most of the way up the next one. Was about 11:00 pm with almost no traffic. After those episodes I do try to leave a bigger buffer.:D
     
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  13. Birdman325

    Birdman325 Member

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    Back from my very first road trip with my extended test drive MX P100D (with 22" wheels). Decided to play it safe and stopped in Woodstock on the way up to Western (London, Ontario) and charged for about 10 or 12 minutes. Compared to the 5 km/hr charge I was getting in my garage on a 110v wall plug, I was getting 498 km/hr! Those superchargers are amazing. There were 2 other cars there on the way up.

    Stopped again at Woodstock on my way home and charged for about 20 minutes. This time there were 2 other black MX at the same time.

    Even though I had a fair bit of range anxiety (mainly because I don't yet have a good sense for estimate, vs. actual etc) but made it back home with 27% left. Overall based on my trip ODO I did 410 km, used 110.8 kwh and 270 wh/km. Now I need to read up and see if that was any good or not!

    Used EAP for a good chunk of the trip. Happy to provide a full report but I suspect every on this forum has much more experience with it than I do.
    Thx
     

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  14. Struja

    Struja Member

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    Sounds like we should do road trips together!!!:D:D:D
     
  15. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    I was waiting for the part where you told us that you pulled off the highway and let 25 lbs of pressure out of your tires because you didn't yet have enough going against you.

    Great story. I laughed so hard, I peed on myself.
     
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  16. Struja

    Struja Member

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    I have no clue. I was reading the "what's your 90%" thread and some Americans are getting 430km (when converted) for their S90D. I thought mine wasn't very good. Who knows.
     
  17. Struja

    Struja Member

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    This might be weird but I LOVE pulling into Suoerchargers and seeing other Tesla's. I feel like I am in some kind of super special club!!! LOL
     
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  18. Struja

    Struja Member

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    It really was one self created calamity after another. I promise...no more foolish road trips! My wife dislikes me more than usual this weekend.
     
  19. Whisky

    Whisky Member

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    Oh man, I feel for you! There’s a learning curve, despite great tips on the forums here, it’s still a bit of an adventure the first few road trips! I’ve got no charger at home (that’ll change when I move in two months). My biggest challenge is I always leave the house with too little charge, end up doing an extra stop at super chargers on the way there, and I end up at the Lawrence SC to get something above 20%. Half the time I’m driving the car between 50 and 150km range. I did find a great charging spot near home that has a great coffee place, so I end up paying the $4 for parking and $4 for coffee a couple of times a month. After months of hunting, I also found a standard plug in the condo garage. I’ll plug it in there when desperate (though it’s in the pay parking part of the garage, so might have to be clever on the timing).

    Good times!
     
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  20. AB4EJ

    AB4EJ Member

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    What a fun story (as in, "ah feel yer pain.")... this is why we have a stressful discussion about it every time someone forgets to plug in the car. Plugging in being especially critical if a road trip is planned for the next day.

    Some day, DC fast chargers (Tesla SC or otherwise) will be as plentiful as gas stations... but until then, plug in that sucker!
     
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