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Inaccurate Range Stressed New Owner

mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
1,007
544
Bay Area CA
This is excellent! Unfortunately, it's something a vast major of new owners are going to encounter and it's very frustrating for everyone.

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:

 

Mike_NoGas

Member
May 17, 2019
26
4
Texas
Sorry for this experience, as EPA is BS especially with Texas highway roads when people drive about 80-85MPH. I live in CS and fyi my driving to Houston is way more burning miles than when I'm back because of the elevation. You can use this formally to show you what range you can get when you driving about 75MPH,. Car EPA range *0.7 * 0.85 ( 85 guessing we charge to 90% and we don't go below 5%) so 310 * 0.7*0.85, you range will be around 185-200 if you have model Y AWD. So your trip 210 + safari driving plus wind and maybe launch will not happen in one charge only if you drive maybe 60 and this dangerous.
 

jsight

Member
Apr 5, 2018
511
309
Charleston
Sorry for this experience, as EPA is BS especially with Texas highway roads when people drive about 80-85MPH. I live in CS and fyi my driving to Houston is way more burning miles than when I'm back because of the elevation. You can use this formally to show you what range you can get when you driving about 75MPH,. Car EPA range *0.7 * 0.85 ( 85 guessing we charge to 90% and we don't go below 5%) so 310 * 0.7*0.85, you range will be around 185-200 if you have model Y AWD. So your trip 210 + safari driving plus wind and maybe launch will not happen in one charge only if you drive maybe 60 and this dangerous.
I'd be happy if they just gave us a range at each speed, in 5 MPH increments from 50 - 85.

From what I've heard, it would be really easy to do. Their attempt at making it more "real world" is too one size fits all to be useful.
 
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Dhb1

New Member
Mar 29, 2021
2
0
Scottsdale
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 Tesla mileage display is a joke. I started with 295 miles, drove 190 miles and stopped for lunch with 50 miles left on the display. An hour later, I got in my car and the display showed 22 miles and I was only able to drive 12 miles before the battery ran dead. Tesla was going to charge me $130 for a tow. Then they canceled my service appt to fix the problem, claiming the mileage display worked perfectly. What a joke.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,760
1,733
Houston
One thing for sure with EV's, if you are planning a road trip, you just have to be able to plan in the extra time at charging stations.

You just aren't going to be able to "fill up" at the next exit in 5 mins or less. So you can't plan a tight schedule trip, and you can't let it ruin your trip if you had to spend more time than expected at a charger.

Bigger batteries, faster chargers, more chargers will help eventually, but not anytime soon. It's EV life today.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,433
1,499
Richland, WA
The Tesla mileage display is a joke. I started with 295 miles, drove 190 miles and stopped for lunch with 50 miles left on the display. An hour later, I got in my car and the display showed 22 miles and I was only able to drive 12 miles before the battery ran dead. Tesla was going to charge me $130 for a tow. Then they canceled my service appt to fix the problem, claiming the mileage display worked perfectly. What a joke.

The display does work correctly. It measures the amount of energy in the pack, uses a reference value for how much energy is required to go a mile, and then spits out how many miles are left. The thing is, you used energy while the car was parked; likely sentry mode or possibly Smart Summon if you have the FSD package. Possibly even 3rd party data loggers like Teslafi if you didn't set it up correctly to let the car enter a deep sleep.

This is unlike other EV's which will constantly change the number of miles left by basing it off your recent driving. If you drive down a mountain road at 35 mph you might have 9999 miles left or something, if you drive up the mountain road at 75mph you might have 75 miles left with a full battery. Tesla has decided NOT to use that method. The method Tesla uses is fairly accurate (maybe 80 to 90%) in low speed driving (35 to maybe 50mph), it's less accurate at higher speeds, in very cold weather, and driving through elevation changes.

There's no perfect way to do it other then to learn the car and adjust a little. Most owners will "spot check" the computer by looking at their usage on a trip, it's displayed in wh/mi. Then they set the display to show as energy percent rather than miles. They know that a full battery is roughly 75kWh (75,000 wh) Owners now have the tools to spot check for themselves.

If your recent trip was 300 wh/mi and you started at 90% and now have 40% left, you used half the battery (50%) or 37,500 wh. You know you have 37,500 wh left in the battery before 0% and you know your recent conditions meant 300 wh/mi (this is real world and accounts for if you were heating the cabin, the wind, the speed and route, etc) so you can do some quick math to figure out 37,500 wh mile will give you 125 more miles at 300 wh/mi.

Now to fix your battery usage while parked. Make sure Smart Summon is turned off if you have FSD. Make sure you set the climate overhead protection to off or fan only. Finally if you're really in a pinch make sure you turn off Sentry Mode. With those things off, your car should be able to enter a deep sleep mode within 10 miles of parking and closing the doors. In this deep sleep mode you should see maybe 1kWh (1,000 wh) of battery loss over like 6 to 8 hours, maybe even less.

Gas cars don't lose range while parked, but they do lose range when driving at highway speeds, up hills, in the cold, etc. It's just less noticeable because they have huge gas tanks compared to an EV. A Long Range Tesla like ours carries about the same amount of energy as 2 to 2.5 gallons of gas. Fill a gas car with 2.5 gallons of gas and you'll certainly notice a difference in range if you normally get 30 mpg and instead get 26 mph because you're on the highway going uphill (almost 14% less range then you expect).

I know it's frustrating right out the gate, but get to know the car a little bit first. Try to plan your first few months of road trips to always have 20 to 30% battery buffer left, even if that means having to charge a little extra by making another stop or a bit longer. Once you get some miles under your belt and start to get a feel for the conditions (hills, highways, etc) it'll become like second nature and you can push it deeper without stressing out.
 

Dennisis

Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
469
424
Tucson
As others have noted, lots of variables. When taking trips use the nav and it will direct you where to stop and for how long. When you don't have gas stations everywhere you need to plan more. You'll get used to it.
 

Dennisis

Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
469
424
Tucson
The Tesla mileage display is a joke. I started with 295 miles, drove 190 miles and stopped for lunch with 50 miles left on the display. An hour later, I got in my car and the display showed 22 miles and I was only able to drive 12 miles before the battery ran dead. Tesla was going to charge me $130 for a tow. Then they canceled my service appt to fix the problem, claiming the mileage display worked perfectly. What a joke.
Frustrating obviously but you're not dealing with an ICE anymore and need to plan accordingly. Spend some time reading the boards and you'll find trips are very easy and enjoyable.
 

Whosyourbaba

Member
Oct 24, 2018
68
30
Chicago
Your speed is your biggest drain. Driving at 75 miles will use up a lot more energy than desired. Also wind is another strong factor in reducing mileage. EPA of Tesla’s are ideal condition and mostly Highway with fast speeds you will not reach epa at all.
 

TomServo

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
1,151
696
Belleville IL
Never thought I'd say this about aging, but here goes, with our old bones and weak bladders give out well before the electrons in our MY's battery regardless of driving conditions.

Essentially one of us needs to stop at every SC'er we come upon. If we are lucky we can skip some, but we drive as fast as we want, pop in for a 10 or 15-minute BIO/stretch break and even on V2 SC'ers we can refresh ourselves and add another 75 to 100 miles of range and off we go.

For us, it's a WIN-WIN-WIN situation.
 

designrs

Member
Jun 24, 2020
204
203
Jacksonville, FL
Lots of good advice above. You will get used to EV trip planning. It’s not that difficult, especially since most people drive the same routes repetitively. Knowing where you are going and having familiar charging options makes things easier.

Random road trips are fine too. Tesla has the best Supercharging network. Just learn to plan a little and have multiple charging options... “I can Supercharge here, or there, or I can go straight through. In case I really need a charge, or change plans, there’s always a charge at XX or XX on the way home.

Want range anxiety? Try flying an aircraft. There are no gas stations in the sky! Pilots train for this. There are some similarities to EV trip planning.

Set your display to battery % , heed the advice above and learn. Eventually you‘ll end up sitting in your car with the air conditioner on for extended periods without a care in the world. There is plenty of battery.

Enjoy your MY.

BTW: Often the fastest way to charge on long trips is shorter but more frequent charging... say from 20% to 60%. The battery charges faster on the bottom half. Stopping every 2 to 3 hour matches most bio break needs.
 

Dennisis

Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
469
424
Tucson
"Eventually you‘ll end up sitting in your car with the air conditioner on for extended periods without a care in the world. There is plenty of battery."

Yes! And you can sit in your garage with the door down or in parking spots with comfortable temps without worrying about the fumes/overheating, etc... :)
 

designrs

Member
Jun 24, 2020
204
203
Jacksonville, FL
"Eventually you‘ll end up sitting in your car with the air conditioner on for extended periods without a care in the world. There is plenty of battery."

Yes! And you can sit in your garage with the door down or in parking spots with comfortable temps without worrying about the fumes/overheating, etc... :)

This is one of the unexpected benefits of EV. It’s pretty obvious that this is possible. What I didn’t expect was that it totally changed how I experience an automobile.

In an ICE car, I would never sit in a park with the AC and motor running for any significant length of time.

With EV, I can relax, take phone calls, talk to a friend, watch people, take a break between meetings, or simply relax... all climate controlled, basically unlimited.

I was aware of “Tesla Camping” but I didn’t anticipate the daily lifestyle changes made possible by EV.

Now if teenagers hop in the back of their cars on a hot Summer night... well, let’s just say it’s a new generation. LOL
 

dolfs

Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2021
38
33
Mountain View, CA, USA
I recently did my first road trip, SF Bay Area to Orange County and back in one day. Used ABRP to get an idea. Car nav told me I could go further before charging. Ended up doing that and even though I was driving 70-80 it worked out fine. Yes, actual range was something like 260. Having the ABRP charging options in mind, and monitoring the trip energy screen will tell you whether you need to stop at ABRP places, or can go to the next available SC (depending on your trip there may not be other options).
 

Spuzzz

Member
Apr 20, 2016
34
28
Columbus, OH
Accepting that range for evs is super sensitive to less than optimal conditions is part of many folks experiences. But the range is there and in your control if temps are above 55f. As mentioned you could slow down but what I found surprisingly effective on the freeway is to find a semi going about the speed you like and following it. Use tacc with the closest follow distance allowed. You will be surprised how much more range you can get. It added 45 more miles of range for me on freeway (265 to 300) going 75mph.
 

Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
786
477
Fort Worth
I liked the "range is there" part when temps are above 55f.

Following closely behind a semi to increase efficiency? Uhh...nope. Can't see potential road hazards, risk of getting hit by road debris, risk of catching a blown truck tire carcass, all of which have serious consequences. Not worth the risk.
 

dolfs

Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2021
38
33
Mountain View, CA, USA
I liked the "range is there" part when temps are above 55f.

Following closely behind a semi to increase efficiency? Uhh...nope. Can't see potential road hazards, risk of getting hit by road debris, risk of catching a blown truck tire carcass, all of which have serious consequences. Not worth the risk.
It doesn't have to be a semi. I did this on my road trip this Sunday, mostly by sticking behind another regular car, not even at the closest possible distance, but perhaps 4-5 car lengths at speeds upward of 75. Definitely helped.
 
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Spuzzz

Member
Apr 20, 2016
34
28
Columbus, OH
I liked the "range is there" part when temps are above 55f.

Following closely behind a semi to increase efficiency? Uhh...nope. Can't see potential road hazards, risk of getting hit by road debris, risk of catching a blown truck tire carcass, all of which have serious consequences. Not worth the risk.
Using tacc at setting 1 is further away than I follow when I drive myself. It doesn’t seem too close to me but everyone is different. I believe that setting is over 100 feet at 75 mph but do what you’re comfortable with.
 
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Dennisis

Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
469
424
Tucson
I liked the "range is there" part when temps are above 55f.

Following closely behind a semi to increase efficiency? Uhh...nope. Can't see potential road hazards, risk of getting hit by road debris, risk of catching a blown truck tire carcass, all of which have serious consequences. Not worth the risk.
Yes, I try to stay away from semi's and trucks in general - those large treads tend to fling rocks with abandon, have lost too many windshields... :(
 

Pianewman

Member
Oct 28, 2020
786
477
Fort Worth
Using tacc at setting 1 is further away than I follow when I drive myself. It doesn’t seem too close to me but everyone is different. I believe that setting is over 100 feet at 75 mph but do what you’re comfortable with.
Got it! I had visions of you lassoing the rear of a semi and getting pulled along!!! :eek: :) :) (Yuck...I guess I've been in Texas too long!)
 

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