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How slow would I have to drive...

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Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
Kihei, HI
How slow would I have to drive to get 350 miles range on my LR Model 3 on the highway?

From another thread ("200 Mile Roadster Pack"):

Oh, you know someone is going to spend a week setting a new 2,000km single charge drive record [in the new Roadster].

Tesla Model S 100D Sets Production EV Range Record Of 1,078 km/670 Miles On Single Charge

If I could get 350 miles (including going over the mountains) I could make my summer drive from Spokane to Revelstoke in it. But if I have to drive slower than a safe speed for the traffic on the secondary highways, then I would not attempt it. And if I have to drive so slow that the trip takes too long, it would defeat the purpose.

Google Maps puts the distance at 305 miles, but there can be detours or other unforeseen circumstances, and I'd need at least 50 miles of buffer range (I'd feel better with 100). There are some Level 2 chargers on the way, but they could be taken, and stopping for two hours to get a comfortable reserve charge would change this seven-hour drive into a nine-hour drive. And if the L2 chargers are occupied, the trip could extend many more hours. I have no idea the effect of the mountains. I have always made this trip in the Prius, but I hate burning gasoline. If the Model 3 had 400 miles of range, there would be no question. There are destination chargers (maybe even superchargers, I'm not sure) in Revelstoke. But no superchargers along the way.

According to CarBuzz, the EPA gave Model 3 454.62 miles on the highway, but they apply a 0.7 factor to account for road and driving conditions, to get 318 highway. My trip would be mostly steady driving with some mountains and 55 mph speed limit. These are mostly two-lane roads where driving slower than the speed limit is a nuisance to other cars. Most drive faster, but I consider driving at the limit to be acceptable. Because, after all, it's the law.
With Model S it was calculated you lose about 7 miles range per 1000 feet elevation, and you don’t get it all back when going down. I don’t know about the Model 3. From what you describe I would not make that drive without charging.
Off the top of my head guess with flat roads and no wind, less than 55mph.

Good guess, If he is talking ravelstoke in canada this route EV Trip Planner says 54 mph at the fastest leg average, most of the trip slower than that.

I'm not sure range is an issue if the roads have such slow average speeds. At 72F it uses about 175-180 rated miles to do that trip (depending on which end you start at).
EVTripPlanner says 174 RM, just specifying generic Spokane to Revelstoke, and 179 RM in the opposite direction. I left everything at defaults, so additional weight, winds, temperature, etc. would make it worse. But it sounds pretty doable. 300 miles in 7 hours, so about 43 MPH average speed. But that's supposedly the normal speeds, I didn't tell it to go slow.
I looked at an elevation map. Your net change is only ~ 300 feet but you go up and down 11k feet each way.
So the real question is whether you can (and are willing) to drive in a manner that conserves potential energy on the declines

Perhaps a test run halfway there and back ?

Check this out: You have DCFC options en-route, including in Castelgar
Kootenay EV Family

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Revelstoke is actually slightly lower elevation than Spokane but not by much, mainly you're going up the valley so this is hardly even "mountain" driving in that sense if you go direct across the ferry at Galena Bay. If you're avoiding that, if you've got some patience one you cross the 49th. There are a number of [free] 32A (or 40A if you've got an old portable charger) options from Sun Country Highway and some towns across the area. Some paid charging, too.

CAA Electric Vehicle Charging Station Locator

If you're going up the Okanagan and you're slow rolling, no problem at all. Just remember that at the north end of the trip to jump over to Revelstoke you'll have a serious climb, so leave a sizable padding to make it to the top.
... (depending on which end you start at)...

I have to make it there and then back, so I have to go both ways. :)

I'm pretty sure none of those chargers is above Level 2, so I'd get 20 to 30 miles of range for each hour of charging. Kelowna is way out of my way. A test-drive half way would be an idea if the route was the same on both halves.

I have four months to ponder this.

Thanks for the route-planning link. I'm going to check that out. Bottom line: The Prius takes 7 hours to make the trip (depending on how long I have to wait for the ferry). If the Model 3 would take me over 8 hours I don't think I'd do it. Seven hours is already a hard and very tiring trip for this broken-down old man. Traveling alone is the kicker. Twice I've made the trip with a friend, and we shared the driving, and it was a piece of cake.

OTOH, if I move to Maui, this could be the last or next-to-last time I make this drive. In that case I'd fly to Vancouver or Kelowna and drive a rental car to the lodges.
Okay, Google Maps says Spokane to Revelstoke by way of Kelowna is just shy of 8 hours. Add half an hour at the supercharger, and without a friend to share the driving and help pass the time I probably won't do it. Plus I usually make two rest stops. This becomes a 9-hour trip. If they'd only put 50% more batteries in the car! :(

Hey, in the 2020 Roadster I could have done it easily! 600 miles range and plenty of storage space (so they say). If I'm still living in Spokane and still hiking by then and win the lottery. That last is unlikely since I don't buy lottery tickets.
The general rule at least for myself is if you're exceeding the stated range of the vehicle then you can't make it.

Like I have a 70D which has a stated range of 240 miles at 100% charge. Which generally means I can travel 90 miles to my destination, and 90 miles back.

Now I could in theory drive slower to extend that, but I'd be eating into my safety net.

Now with the Model 3 LR I imagine from what I've heard that you don't have to be as careful since the stated range is actually a little less than it's true range.

But, I would still advise against attempting to exceed the stated range in real world conditions. As a theoretical question it's great question, and as one time stunt then sure. I just wouldn't count on it.
Okay, Google Maps says Spokane to Revelstoke by way of Kelowna is just shy of 8 hours
Look at the photo in my post.
7h 20 minutes of driving via Kelowna
Add a couple of 5-10 minute stops to stretch, 20 minutes in Kelowna to charge and get a bite to eat -- all told under 8 hrs

And no worries about getting stuck behind a LEAF ;-)
Not that you would at the DCFC: they are too expensive for casual use at $18 CAD/hour
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Set AP distance to 1 and follow a semi. It will probably get your 350 miles...if you survive the trip. :p

Great idea. Will you make the trip in your semi on the dates I need to travel?

They are DCFC.

But look at the route via Kelowna

You say 7:20. Google Maps says nearly 8 hours. Who to believe? I've found Google Maps to be pretty good.

But that fast charger in Castlegar would actually be perfect. If it works as promised and is available when I get there. I found a picture which appears to show one charger with two cords. That's almost exactly half way. Apparently it was just installed last month, which is why I was unaware of it before. I'm going to try to find out more about it. If it's J1772 then I think my Model 3 came with the adapter.

But the Accelerate Kootenays web site says "Only all-electric vehicles (BEVs) with a CHAdeMO or SAE Combo socket are compatible with the 400-volt fast-charge stations." That adapter is $450 for the S/X. The Tesla store does not mention the 3. So I don't know if that adapter will work, or if they have one for the 3.
Yes, a ChaDemo adapter is needed for the Castlegar DCFC

I used Google Maps.
Look at the screenshot for the route used. Here is the map link. They mention 6h 50" without traffic.
Since you wisely take a few breaks during the drive anyway, I don't think using the EV will add much if any time at all to the trip since the route via the Supercharger appears to allow faster average driving speeds than via Castlegar and I think you skip a ferry crossing.

Personally, I try to avoid sitting in a car for much over 4 hours in a day so I would find a nice place to spend the night and charge and then get a nice early start in the AM.

There are an abundance of Tesla Destination chargers in the area, particularly along the Kelowna route.

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