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How to plan a road trip - how long will it take?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by ChadS, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. jcstp

    jcstp Active Member

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    ooooooooops


    welcome on the forum
     
  2. RicH

    RicH Member

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    SF Bay Area
    Learning from 1800 miles with our MS was informative and fun. Over that distance we averaged 321 w/mi, with lots of 70 mph driving in Nevada and Utah as we drove to Vegas, Zion, and Bryce. The initial climb from Zion towards Bryce used 578 w/mi, but some slight downhill was as little as 250 w/mi.

    The car handled like a dream, making the 12 hours (incl some stops) from Vegas to San Jose very tolerable. There was virtually no vibration through to the steering wheel, and little drift even in high winds in the valley.

    But here is what I think is the most important thing I learned: make sure your Rated Range is 120% of the Nav distance to your next charge point. I did a partial charge at Tejon to 156 mi rated range going to Harris Ranch (for dinner). There were fairly strong winds, and I drove most of the way at 60-70 mph. I arrived 116 miles later with just 12 miles of rated range left. In other words, I burned through 144 miles of RR going 116 miles. I have NO desire to play range anxiety, just to prove I can do it.

    Also, as going to Zion we knew there were no Super chargers and few available chargers of any kind (per Chargepoint or Plugshare), we made sure we'd be able to charge overnight at the B&B where we had reservations AND a "plan B" in case our cord was to short to reach. One RV park that was listed as available on Plugshare said they were not allowing EVs to plug in, and they didn't know how it got listed. So -- call ahead if you think you'll need to charge overnight (there is a big difference between a TMSC at 200+ mi/hr, and 18-20 on a 30 amp plug.

    All in it was SUPER and the MS is the car of the future. Once the SC network is done we will have the best trip experiences available in America. My wife and I are now BIG fans, and we've never raced another car ;)

    Hope this summary helps others.
     
  3. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

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    Silicon Valley
    I too say thanks for this very informative post! I'm heading out on May 18th for a cross country trip. Silicon Valley to Portland, to Yellowstone, to Denver, Kansas City, St Louis, then down to Memphis, Dalas, on over to the Grand Canyon, then through Vegas. Then over to 5 and back to the Silicon Valley... We have 3 weeks to do it all in!

    We mapped it out using Google Maps and Plugshare and Recargo. Google Maps is really crap for this sort of long trip planning. The trip gets split into 3 - 4 pieces. Then, once you've saved it and reopen it the points can get scrambled!!!
    To compensate I saved the route as text and fixed up the order. With that I think it is ready to use. I'll take a real GPS along just in case too.


    The Veritable Bugeater
     
  4. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    Sounds like an awesome trip. Do you have the tech package or not? Just curious...
     
  5. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    What's the plan after Dallas? I'd like to do Route 66, but the charging options are extremely limited -- it's lots of RV parks, it seems...
     
  6. JeffE

    JeffE Member

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    May 25, 2013
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    Seattle, WA
    We got out Model S just over a week ago, and just drove from Seattle to Long Beach, CA. I used this primer to help plan the trip before we left. I carefully chose each charging station before we started the trip.

    What we found:

    - in the Washington -> Portland leg, we drove at traffic speeds. We reached the Tesla sales office in Portland with 30 miles of range left. So we'd "lost" about 50 miles of the rated range, I presume due to road conditions and driving style.
    - after this, we ran from Portland until we reached Redding, CA at 55 MPH. This includes climbing several mountain passes. Yet the rated range matched the experienced range, almost to the mile. Tesla claims their numbers are calibrated to 55 MPH, and this sure made it seem true. Although climbing a pass really consumes the electrons, the downhill run is astoundlying efficient at recooping them -- much more so than on our hybrid car.
    - from Redding onwards, we ran at highway speeds (usually not more than 65 MPH). This is basically flat land (except for the Grapevine, north of Los Angeles). Again, rated and experienced range were close to a match. Since we were in Supercharger Land from Folsom onwards, range concerns were minimized (although Folsom to Harris Ranch is a long run (around 220 miles, as I recollect; we reached Harris Ranch with more than 40 miles of range left).
    - In 30A J1772 installations, we experienced between 15 and 18 miles / hour of recharge
    - At Tesla sales centers with 80A HPCs, we experienced only 34 miles / hour of recharge -- a big surprise (read that "disappointment") for us. The Tesla sales folks were the friendliest, most helpful you could imagine. In Bellevue, they freed up the HPC for us to use early in the morning. Talk about going the extra mile!
    - With 50A 14-50 service, we saw 24 miles / hour of recharge.
    - With Superchargers, it took roughly an hour to recharge to max range. In Harris Ranch, it stopped at 100 miles, for some reason. Unplugging and plugging back in continued the charge to completion.

    The remote monitor app was a lifesaver. In Cottage Grove, OR, I woke up at 4AM, and checked the car using the app. Charging had stopped! So I went across the street, called the West Coast Electric Hwy service number, and they reset the charger for me. Had I not of had the app (or not checked it), we would have lost 4 hours of charging. At Harris Ranch, same story -- I saw the charge had stopped, left my dinner for a moment to restart it. It's the single biggest innovation in user friendliness I've seen in years -- I hope Tesla patented it.

    Our style of travel was to start the day with a full charge, go for 3 hours, then charge enough for another 3 hours of travel. It depended on the charger, how long we had to wait for the charge. In Portland, it was four hours (14-50 at the Tesla store). In Ashland, it was 6 hours (J1772/30A). After that, it was 1 hour (Superchargers). Overnight charging took 10-12 hours (J1772/30A).

    It was a very interesting trip. The car ran flawlessly. Very comfortable, very powerful. It attracted attention everywhere we stopped (except at the Superchargers!).

    My conclusions:
    - 30A charging is waaaay too slow. I don't understand who they aim them at -- all the J1772 chargers we encountered were 30A, although I've heard more powerful ones exist.
    - 50A charging is still too slow. Fine for overnight.
    - HPCs are still too slow for use during the day.
    - Superchargers rock.
    - I wish Tesla would encourage commercial entities to put in HPCs (or better yet, Superchargers!); relying on Tesla to provide us with distance charging stations seems impractical to me.
    - I was jealous of a Leaf that used the ChAdeMO charger next to us in Ashland, OR. 15 minutes, and she was on her way!

    BTW, our total "fuel" bill came to $8. All the other stations were free.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Good summary. Are you sure you were charging at 80A and that you have twin chargers in your car?
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Thanks for sharing you experiences on the trip!
    I think you mean 40A for both these statements.
     
  9. Greg G

    Greg G Member

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    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Just finished my first long distance trip: Arlington, VA to Rehoboth Beach, DE and back (with a side stop in Chevy Chase, MD). Did a range charge before leaving and had 270 rated miles. The terrain was fairly flat, and the weather was good (sunny, clear, 60's). We ended up driving 273 miles at generally slow speeds (not above 55 mph) and had 20 miles of range left over when we arrived home. Average Wh/mi was 260. Great drive -- no range anxiety because the Model S estimates ended up being accurate and just a bit conservative compared to my driving.
     
  10. William13

    William13 Member

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    South Bend
    The chargepoint 30 amp is fine as a parking lot destination charger. It is cheap and gives me options. If I had to use one of 2000 hypothetical superchargers, I would not leave town.
     
  11. JeffE

    JeffE Member

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    Seattle, WA
    The car reported 70A for the HPC.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The car reported 40A; but I believe they always run at 80% of the rated circuit, so 80% of 50A is 40A. I presume that's all you'll get from a 12-50.
     
  12. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Right, and I call that "40A charging". I thought others did as well.

    Similarly the "80A charging" (when it's on the max setting) of the HPWC is from a 100A rated circuit.
     
  13. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    Belmont, CA
    On Sunday, after a bit of running around in Sacramento, I realized that because I could only charge on a 110v outlet overnight I would not have enough to get home. I had 2 hours of free time in the afternoon and I thought I would go to a nearby Walgreens and charge at 30A and pick up 30 miles, which would give me enough.

    As I was heading over to Walgreens, I thought to myself since I'm committed to spending 2 hours, why not drive the 30 miles out to Folsom and spend 1 hour on the Supercharger, then drive 30 miles back down to Elk Grove? Same 2 hours, but I netted 100 miles instead of 30! Sounds crazy to drive 60 miles round trip to use the supercharger but it was totally worth it! It saved me $4 too since the Walgreens chargepoint was not free. Just cost me a bit of tire wear.
     
  14. jerry33

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

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    Just finished a trip from DFW to NE. 14-50 charging rate was between 24 and 28 miles per hour (some RV parks were 3-phase). Distances between charges (miles) 127, 214, 144, 145. No range anxiety (actually less than in an ICE car). There was some charging anxiety. Read several books during the downtime.
     
  15. Printsrich

    Printsrich Member

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    May 22, 2013
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    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Great advice about a road trip. I am getting ready to drive from New Mexico to Maine. I was planning one stop after a couple of hours to recharge, then one more leg to low mileage. Your advice to stop twice during the day for shorter periods sounds good, and will get me further each day. Did you have to make reservations very far in advance to charge at an RV park ? Aren't KOA campgrounds crowded ?? Where do you sleep when you are not with friends ? in an RV park cabin ?? I haven't found more than 2 hotels on my route with chargers. I hope they end up in the right place at the end of the day..

    - - - Updated - - -

    Wow ! How about a Tesla Highway map of the rest of the country ?? Such wide open spaces and so few chargers...
    Anyone have one ?? Listing of hotels with chargers ??
     
  16. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    If you were in the Sacto area and headed back to the Bay Area, did you consider stopping in Davis and using the 70 amp charging station there? With twin charges you'd be able to get about 42 mph at this station. And this charging station is free.
     
  17. VRK

    VRK Member

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    Jun 12, 2013
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    Location:
    California
    Hi everybody, I'm not sure whether to go with 60 or 85. I have a 20 mile round trip daily. But i definitely want to be able to take roadtrips around 500 miles? What kind of range are you getting with the 85 or 60? I need to decide as soon as possible. Thanks.
     
  18. NotMandatory

    NotMandatory Member

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    Location:
    St. Louis, MO (USA)
    Jeff, you may have figured this out already, but I didn't see anyone make this particular point, so I thought I would jump in here.

    If your Model S only has 1 on-board charger, the most you'd ever be able to draw (from an AC circuit, anyway) is 10kW...or roughly 240V*40A (9.6kW). If you were using the Tesla sales center's High Power (Wall) Charger (100A rated, 80A nominal) and were only gaining 34 miles for every hour of charge, then it's almost certainly because your Model S only has a single charger (as opposed to paying extra for the Twin Chargers option). If you really do have twin chargers and weren't charging faster than 34mph with 80A available, then one of your chargers may not be working.
     
  19. DouglasR

    DouglasR Member

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    Actually, if he was getting 34 mph, it is likely he has twin chargers, as a single charger will not charge that fast (around 28 rated miles, and at most 31 ideal miles). More likely the slowness is because the latest software
    now defaults to 60 amps when using an HPWC (the limit can be manually raised to 80, but that has caused HPWC fuses to blow). Then if the circuit is only 208V rather than 240V, the car will charge at around 12 kW. Given that the rate varies a bit, it is quite possible that he would have seen 34 mph during some part of the charge.
     
  20. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Unless he was running an older version of the car software (where the charge "rate" would vary depending on your average whpm) or he has it set to show ideal miles instead of rated.
     

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