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Inaccurate Range Stressed New Owner

Jazzax

New Member
Aug 11, 2020
1
0
Houston
Had a horrible road trip experience and need some feedback.... I fully charged my Model Y overnight and had a starting range of 310 miles. My road trip destination was 105 miles from my house (highway driving). On the drive there I noticed I was burning through miles much faster than the range estimate. I was driving ~75 mph, had the AC on a fan speed of 3-4, was streaming Disney tunes for my kids, and was using cruise control. When I arrived at my destination I had ~120 miles remaining which is ridiculous (~190 mi consumed, ~105 mi driven).

The road trip was to a drive through animal safari with my kids that was in the middle of nowhere (north of Bryan / College Station). There were no Tesla Superchargers within 60 miles from my location and I was freaking out. I found a destination charger at an Embassy Suites 30 mi away in College Station and drove there to charge (only charged @ 30 miles per hour of charge). After about 90 min of charging I had a range of ~150 miles and decided to drive to nearest Supercharging station which was 47 miles away in Huntsville TX. I drove there slowly (65 mph max) and did not use the AC. I made it to the Supercharger safely and didnt burn through as many miles on this segment. I charged up at the Supercharger to a range of 200 and then drove 75 miles back home to Houston.

This stressful experience ruined our day trip plans. Any idea why I burned through my charge so quickly?? With a range of 310 miles I should have been able to make the round trip with some extra stops without having to charge.... what am I missing??
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,681
8,460
Riverside Co. CA
Had a horrible road trip experience and need some feedback.... I fully charged my Model Y overnight and had a starting range of 310 miles. My road trip destination was 105 miles from my house (highway driving). On the drive there I noticed I was burning through miles much faster than the range estimate. I was driving ~75 mph, had the AC on a fan speed of 3-4, was streaming Disney tunes for my kids, and was using cruise control. When I arrived at my destination I had ~120 miles remaining which is ridiculous (~190 mi consumed, ~105 mi driven).

The road trip was to a drive through animal safari with my kids that was in the middle of nowhere (north of Bryan / College Station). There were no Tesla Superchargers within 60 miles from my location and I was freaking out. I found a destination charger at an Embassy Suites 30 mi away in College Station and drove there to charge (only charged @ 30 miles per hour of charge). After about 90 min of charging I had a range of ~150 miles and decided to drive to nearest Supercharging station which was 47 miles away in Huntsville TX. I drove there slowly (65 mph max) and did not use the AC. I made it to the Supercharger safely and didnt burn through as many miles on this segment. I charged up at the Supercharger to a range of 200 and then drove 75 miles back home to Houston.

This stressful experience ruined our day trip plans. Any idea why I burned through my charge so quickly?? With a range of 310 miles I should have been able to make the round trip with some extra stops without having to charge.... what am I missing??

That you were driving 75MPH, and EPA range is calculated based on driving much slower (using a lot less energy than that speed uses), and elevation, wind etc also play a role.

Your miles will not roll off at a 1:1 clip unless you are driving about 45 miles per hour, which you are not going to do. To cover the next question that usually comes up, there is nothing wrong with your car, or your battery.

I know this is the model Y section, but this exact (and I mean exact) same complaint, discussion etc has been going on since model S times. For example, if you look at the new forum software "similar threads" below, you will see threads with pretty much the same complaint.

There is a 90+ page thread in the model 3 section we have to move all similar complaints to, because new owners dont normally understand that miles dont roll off 1:1:


I am not suggesting you read that thread, I just link it to show you that this is not something new, its known, and in general it means you should never expect to get "310 miles" actually driving out of your "310 mile rated" battery. Driven at 75 MPH it would be more like 200-220 miles.
 

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Nov 3, 2019
208
220
Green Valley AZ
Jazzax, this is why I drive our MY at 70mph on the highway when road-tripping. I know some folks like to move along at 80mph or so and stop at every Supercharger location for a "quickie." I tend to charge up the car a bit more and go for some distance that way.

Rich

I keep track of my stops and charging. See the PDF attached. And, yeah, I fill the car up maybe a bit too often!
 

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E_R_N

Member
Jun 16, 2020
130
85
Vancouver
First, change your battery to display %, not distance. The distance reading is pointless.
Next, punch in your destination into the nav screen.
Now push the right steering wheel button and say “show me the energy screen”. When it comes up select the “trip” tab at the top.
Now you will really know how far you are able to go based on the temperature and terrain and driving speed and you will see any variations in real time.
It won’t give you free extra range but it’s more relaxing as no more surprises.
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,600
1,908
Seattle
Had a horrible road trip experience and need some feedback.... I fully charged my Model Y overnight and had a starting range of 310 miles. My road trip destination was 105 miles from my house (highway driving). On the drive there I noticed I was burning through miles much faster than the range estimate. I was driving ~75 mph, had the AC on a fan speed of 3-4, was streaming Disney tunes for my kids, and was using cruise control. When I arrived at my destination I had ~120 miles remaining which is ridiculous (~190 mi consumed, ~105 mi driven).

The road trip was to a drive through animal safari with my kids that was in the middle of nowhere (north of Bryan / College Station). There were no Tesla Superchargers within 60 miles from my location and I was freaking out. I found a destination charger at an Embassy Suites 30 mi away in College Station and drove there to charge (only charged @ 30 miles per hour of charge). After about 90 min of charging I had a range of ~150 miles and decided to drive to nearest Supercharging station which was 47 miles away in Huntsville TX. I drove there slowly (65 mph max) and did not use the AC. I made it to the Supercharger safely and didnt burn through as many miles on this segment. I charged up at the Supercharger to a range of 200 and then drove 75 miles back home to Houston.

This stressful experience ruined our day trip plans. Any idea why I burned through my charge so quickly?? With a range of 310 miles I should have been able to make the round trip with some extra stops without having to charge.... what am I missing??

The good news about an EV is that its amazingly energy efficient. But that means that changes to the way you drive are magnified compared to an ICE car (which loses so much energy to heat in the engine that other changes are trivial my comparison). And the big change here is speed. Drag on a car increases with the square of the speed, which means there is a really big difference between 55mph and 75mph in terms of energy usage.

This is probably the biggest adjustment you need to make with an EV. But flip it around .. an ICE car stuck in stop-go traffic gets abysmal mileage, as it wastes so much energy idling, while your Tesla could sit in stop-go traffic all day and hardly touch the battery.

I'm sorry your trip was spoiled by this surprise, as others have noted tools like ABRP can really help in planning trips. But you will quickly develop a "feel" for the car and how to plan trips with decent charging intervals/stops. And as the supercharger network continues to expand things will continue to get easier (I've had my Tesla for 2 years now and even in that short time it's noticeable how many new SC's have popped up).
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,393
1,466
Richland, WA
Had a horrible road trip experience and need some feedback.... I fully charged my Model Y overnight and had a starting range of 310 miles. My road trip destination was 105 miles from my house (highway driving). On the drive there I noticed I was burning through miles much faster than the range estimate. I was driving ~75 mph, had the AC on a fan speed of 3-4, was streaming Disney tunes for my kids, and was using cruise control. When I arrived at my destination I had ~120 miles remaining which is ridiculous (~190 mi consumed, ~105 mi driven).

The road trip was to a drive through animal safari with my kids that was in the middle of nowhere (north of Bryan / College Station). There were no Tesla Superchargers within 60 miles from my location and I was freaking out. I found a destination charger at an Embassy Suites 30 mi away in College Station and drove there to charge (only charged @ 30 miles per hour of charge). After about 90 min of charging I had a range of ~150 miles and decided to drive to nearest Supercharging station which was 47 miles away in Huntsville TX. I drove there slowly (65 mph max) and did not use the AC. I made it to the Supercharger safely and didnt burn through as many miles on this segment. I charged up at the Supercharger to a range of 200 and then drove 75 miles back home to Houston.

This stressful experience ruined our day trip plans. Any idea why I burned through my charge so quickly?? With a range of 310 miles I should have been able to make the round trip with some extra stops without having to charge.... what am I missing??

Curious what your navigation system said and estimated your battery life to be. Inaccurate range would really apply to what the CAR thinks you'll have during the trip. Pop in the destination and hit navigate and the car should give you an estimate of how much battery you'll have left when you get to your destination. Usually that is fairly accurate (within 10%, often within a few percent).

Expect highway to be closer to 2.75 to 3 miles/kWh (330 wh/mi - 360 wh/mi). That means your 75kWh battery can do about 208 to 227 miles; maybe call it 200 to 230 to make them round numbers.
 

Puma2020

Member
Jun 16, 2020
354
338
New Hampshire, USA
The others are correct. I was saddened when on my first long trip down the highway the range was just melting away.
On my return trip, I could have headed over to the highway to get home but that would have meant stopping at a supercharger due to range issues.

I took the other way home, off the highway, I was now traveling at 50 mph and the car loved that. Couple of lights and a stop sign or 2 (for regen) and I was now expected to make it home with 15% battery remaining. Made it with 14% but a lot less stress.

I saw a chart (for a model 3, but close enough) that showed what speed does to the range.
Model3_range_speed.png
Advertised range is 310 miles. at 55, you can get closer to 380. At 65, 320 miles. At 75 mph, 270 miles.
It is the square of the speed that really hurts. Even the little things like having aero hubs make a bit of a difference. Plus how much extra weight you are carrying (luggage, coolers, etc...) Everything adds up.
Depending on the trips and SC availability, ABRP will help me to plan out what I will be doing. With plenty of SCs on the route, 75+! If I have to stretch things a bit (or a wife telling me that the speed limit is...), then 70 or 65.
 
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CF2020

Member
Jan 3, 2021
10
5
New York
Lots of variables contribute to range. We have found that even fully charged on a nice day real world range is 290 ish. That said
1. what was the temp outside?
2. were you driving into wind a lot?
3. what was the elevation change (driving up consumers more than down)
4. 75mph is not what the range is rated for, which is 65 i think. At 75 getting 290kw/mi isn't out of normal.

Bottom line there is a lot of variables.
 

CF2020

Member
Jan 3, 2021
10
5
New York
Jazzax, this is why I drive our MY at 70mph on the highway when road-tripping. I know some folks like to move along at 80mph or so and stop at every Supercharger location for a "quickie." I tend to charge up the car a bit more and go for some distance that way.

Rich

I keep track of my stops and charging. See the PDF attached. And, yeah, I fill the car up maybe a bit too often!
Just download the free tezlab app, easier than keeping these stats manually :)
 

CF2020

Member
Jan 3, 2021
10
5
New York
Curious what your navigation system said and estimated your battery life to be. Inaccurate range would really apply to what the CAR thinks you'll have during the trip. Pop in the destination and hit navigate and the car should give you an estimate of how much battery you'll have left when you get to your destination. Usually that is fairly accurate (within 10%, often within a few percent).

Expect highway to be closer to 2.75 to 3 miles/kWh (330 wh/mi - 360 wh/mi). That means your 75kWh battery can do about 208 to 227 miles; maybe call it 200 to 230 to make them round numbers.
this seems a bit high. Yesterday we did a 150 mile trip from the Catskills back down to NY, averaged 251 wh/mi, on the way up a few days ago it was 350 (mostly uphill there, some downhill back). so that averages out to around 300 wh/mi, which is a little higher than what we've averaged on highways which is around 290.
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.12
Mar 8, 2015
9,407
8,554
Colorado
Before a long trip, use ABetterRoutePlanner.com to get a good estimate of where you'll need to recharge and for how long. You can put in multiple waypoints and see exactly how terrain, weather and speed will affect your trip.

While you are on the trip, use Navigation and use the Trip tab on the Energy graph from time to time to see how your SoC is doing compared to the estimated SoC. If you are using more energy than expected due to speed, wind, rain/snow, etc., then slow down and you can get closer to the expected SoC. If you are using less energy than expected, then you can afford to speed up and still arrive at your destination with the expected SoC.

1616508165156.png
 

DaveORD

Member
Mar 12, 2020
629
550
Chicagoland
Range is just an estimate based on ideal conditions. Deviate from that and it will most likely decrease.
  • Temperature (colder)
  • AC/heat usage
  • weight in the car (just a driver versus a car full of people/stuff)
  • head winds
  • going up hills
  • going faster than rated estimate assumes
  • towing a trailer
  • bike rack
  • roof rack storage
  • ...
Not a whole lot different than your cell phone. Turn on bluetooth, the battery drains quicker. Turn on GPS, more drain. Wifi. 5G. How close are you to connected cell phone tower (further away probably takes more power to talk to tower). How much are you talking, texting, data usage? Screen brightness. Playing videos, streaming. Using the phone inside at room temperature vs outside on a cold winter's day up north. Etc.

Check out a better route planner to better prepare for your next outing. It should give you a more accurate estimate for range and help you plan for charging stops.

 

jsight

Member
Apr 5, 2018
439
242
Charleston
Yes, real world range for these cars is closer to 240-250, and that is with the 19" geminis. I have two pieces of advice here:

1) As others have said, get ABetterRoutePlanner. You can use it to determine exactly how much you need to charge for a round trip, so that you don't end up hoping a hotel charger works and is available to the public (many are not). It really helps you to avoid panic mode.

2) Change the display setting to display % instead of "miles". The "miles" figure is not accurate as a representation of miles and is only useful if you convert it to percentage in your head.

Really, these two suggestions go hand in hand. Use ABRP to think in % used and then use the display to be confident that you are matching (or exceeding) your expectations. ABRP can tell you the expected percentage for each segment.
 
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Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
730
424
Fort Worth
I'm wondering about energy% SOC vs. milesSOC. I was under the impression that MILES SOC is, in fact, MORE accurate, because it is continually adjusting and averaging the number based on the moment-to-moment consumption, and is therefore predicting your available energy? (I was going to say "current" consumption, but thought that would sound like electricity!)
 
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iamnid

Member
Dec 4, 2019
461
446
Riverside, CA
I'm wondering about energy% SOC vs. milesSOC. I was under the impression that MILES SOC is, in fact, MORE accurate, because it is continually adjusting and averaging the number based on the moment-to-moment consumption, and is therefore predicting your available energy? (I was going to say "current" consumption, but thought that would sound like electricity!)
The miles that can be displayed next to the battery are not based on your driving history. My understanding is it is a straight representation of miles left if you are meeting the EPA rating (this doesn't change based on how you've been driving). To see projected miles left, based on your driving, you have to go into the energy graph. It will have a grey line for the rated range and then a colored line for what you're actually driving. (see the photo about 2 posts above this one)
 

jsight

Member
Apr 5, 2018
439
242
Charleston
I'm wondering about energy% SOC vs. milesSOC. I was under the impression that MILES SOC is, in fact, MORE accurate, because it is continually adjusting and averaging the number based on the moment-to-moment consumption, and is therefore predicting your available energy? (I was going to say "current" consumption, but thought that would sound like electricity!)
I'll second what ianmid said here. I'll also add that the milesSOC does take into account degradation which does make it potentially slightly more accurate in some cases. I'm not sure that this is ever significant for planning purposes, though, tbh. I mostly use the energy usage screen en-route to verify assumptions.
 
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mark95476

Member
Jun 21, 2020
885
464
Bay Area CA
This is the way. Owners need to think about how batteries work and how to make your Tesla work for you.

How to travel in a Tesla (or getting from point A to point B as fast as possible):
1) Drive as fast as possible.
2) Ride the charge curve up to ~60% or until the charge rate throttles significantly.
You need to arrive with a low state of charge and relatively hot battery so abide by (1). Floor it before you arrive at the SC so your battery is ready.
3) Stop frequently so you can get more of (1) and (2).
Aim for big numbers--avg speed and charge rate.

Jazzax, this is why I drive our MY at 70mph on the highway when road-tripping. I know some folks like to move along at 80mph or so and stop at every Supercharger location for a "quickie." I tend to charge up the car a bit more and go for some distance that way.

Rich

I keep track of my stops and charging. See the PDF attached. And, yeah, I fill the car up maybe a bit too often!
 

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