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It's a long, long, long, LONG road...

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Mayhemm, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    I've got an interesting problem for any road trips I may take in my future Model S. Not sure why this never occurred to me until now. I guess I assumed that I was fine since I was below both RATED and IDEAL range limits.

    Anyway, there are exactly two roads out of the town where I live;
    One way is ~400km until the next charge point. The other way out of town is ~374km until the next charge point.

    Those are my choices, and both push the limits of the Model S's range. Throw some wind/rain into the mix and I may be in serious do-do.

    There are some significant elevation changes along the way too (~4800 feet up, ~4500 feet down). However, since the net change is relatively small, would I be able to get back most of the range I would lose by using regen?

    After reading Doug's guide, it seems like I may just have to travel slower than I have EVER TRAVELED BEFORE in order to make the trip. This will be hard for me (very, very, VERY hard) but I guess I will have to do it if I want to travel anywhere. I typically like to travel 10-20% over the speed limit and now I may need to learn to travel 10-20% UNDER the speed limit!

    I've already accepted that I likely won't be making any trips during the winter. That's alright though, since I don't travel much then anyway.

    I've also sponsored a 100-amp charger with Sun Country Highway on the condition that they install it somewhere along my route; hopefully, making it a more manageable 2-300km between charges, rather than around 400km. Winter trips may be possible then.

    So, what do the road-tripping veterans here think? Will my Model S and I be stranded in my hometown :scared:, unable to go anywhere until Tesla releases a larger battery?
     
  2. AmpedUP

    AmpedUP EV Nut

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    An interesting dilemma. Looking at the present SC map, Canada beyond major cities will be a project for 2016 or beyond. I think though that we will soon be at a "tipping point" for EVs, and DC charging beyond SCs will be there for you by next year, at least enough to get you into SC seamless coverage areas.
     
  3. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    While I hope you are correct, I fear you may be far too optimistic. My home is as "rural" as any found in the less populous states in the American south or midwest.

    If we see DC fast charging here by the end of the decade, I will be impressed. As the saying goes though; "Hope springs eternal"
     
  4. jerry33

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

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    1. Have you looked for RV parks, or just "charging stations". Unfortunately, apps that are for charging stations don't show RV parks, yet RV parks often charge faster than charging stations.

    2. Because you're in a rural area, what I would do is contact a farmer, rancher, or business about 250 km from your location and see if they wouldn't put in a 14-50 or HWPC for you (on your dime of course).
     
  5. walla2

    walla2 Member

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    I have made several trips at 200-255 miles through parts of unEV friendly territory with hills. You have to pace yourself and drive a little slower if you want to pad your safety net. I do agree normally I would drive faster, but it isn't worth the risk and frustration until you've learned the true limits of the car's range in relationship to available chargers.
     
  6. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    One fellow in Los Angeles wanted to go to Phoenix. Long distance, but warmer. But what he did was to buy an HPWC and have it installed at a gas station/truck stop WAY out in the desert about half way between end points. (Chiriaco Summit). He has the gas station attendant keep it locked unless someone offers $10, then it's $5 per hour after that for charging, so no body feels cheated except us who get our power free. It is very helpful.

    I suppose the Sun Country Charger would be similar (80 amp?) and could be used by any other EVs (yeah, right, who's going 200 km at a stretch?). Either way, I would do something like that. I have used lots of RV parks, but mostly just to top up for an hour or so (over lunch break) so I have a cushion, but I found out that driving slower was a lot faster than sitting around in an RV park with nothing to do.

    I can get ideal range by setting my cruise at 100 kmh and making sure the heat is OFF. Cruise is better than your foot, and you aren't tempted to change your mind about your speed as readily. The heat is something you can't see unless you watch your power carefully. You want to keep your consumption down to about 180 wh/km. I turn the temp to "LO", maybe use outside air with fan on the front windshield for condensation. In cold weather, I wear gloves.

    Interestingly, it keeps your brain going to see how far you can go on a charge, how carefully you can drive, how gently you can accelerate. It becomes as fun to drive as it used to be when you were doing 130 dodging cars and trucks, and probably a whole lot safer. I have had several HUGE tickets for stupid fast driving or just going over 160 km/h for a run from Reno to Sacramento, about 200 km. Haven't had a ticket now for over a dozen years, and the cops around here all eye me suspiciously. Which also makes it fun.
     
  7. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    There's an app called "EV Range" which allows you to select your vehicle, battery size, number of people in vehicle, and starting and ending points. It takes into account elevation and route. For instance, I selected the model S85 with 5 people. I put in my address of my home in South Surrey as the starting point, and the address of my recreational property - which is 30 minutes north of Princeton as the ending point. This drive is over two mountain passes on the #3 highway - going through Manning Park if you know BC. This is the #3 route (from Wikipedia):

    There are several significant ascents in this stretch between Hope and Princeton. The first is the steep climb to the Hope Slide, followed later by the remainder of the climb up to Allison Pass at an elevation of 1,342m (4,473 ft). After the summit of Allison Pass, where the Crowsnest crosses from the Fraser Valley Regional District into the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the road descends for 40 km (25 mi) before beginning another long climb up Sunday Summit (1,284m, 4,280 ft). Soon after Sunday Summit is the descent into Princeton, where Highway 5A begins.

    The app then gave me these stats (and it showed my route on the map) using the Model S85 with 5 passengers:

    Distance (km): 287.0
    Time: 03:45
    Energy (kWh): 76.97
    Battery left: 9.4%
    Range (km): 317
    Consumption (Wh/km): 268.2

    Now, I don't get my car until the end of Feb so I don't know how accurate these stats are. However, they did give me hope that I can get to my recreational property on one charge. The 85kWh claims a range of 480km and my trip is only 300km so theoretically it should make it no problem but this app shows that range is more like 350km at most, which is a loss of 130km because of the route over these two mountain passes. I don't plan on doing this route in the winter, which would likely be a loss of even more range.
     
  8. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    I actually had this exact thought myself. This past summer I put out a classified ad in the area I wanted the charger, offering to pay for both the unit and its installation. All I wanted was some person or business to host the charger. No takers, though.:crying: Now that Sun Country Highway has their charger sponsorship program here in Canada, I decided to give that a try. Basically, you pay for a charger and designate the region (province) and they will find a specific location for it and look after installation. Hopefully, they will place my charger sometime this summer. If all else fails, I can just drive slowly for my first year with the car and have sufficient range.

    This is what I will likely end up doing for a least the first year, unless SCH is really on the ball and gets my sponsored charger installed right away. I don't think it's so much a question of me successfully making the journey as it is a question of how slow I need to drive to do so. After all, people have gone as far as 400 miles on a single charge by driving slowly, have they not?

    This is something I had not really considered. There are several campgrounds along my route but, not being a camper, I have never had reason to stop and inquire about the facilities. I'm sure they have some kind of power available. Next time I make the trip, I'll check them out.

    - - - Updated - - -

    If it proves accurate, this would sure be a handy little app! Here are the results for my route (MS85, with a single occupant):

    Distance (km): 390.6
    Time: 04:28
    Energy (kWh): 76.96
    Battery left: 9.5%
    Range (km): 431.4
    Consumption (Wh/km): 197.1
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Definitely scout RV parks. They've been a godsend for making trips sane for me.
     
  10. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Yup, just to remember to ask for a 50-Amp outlet. That is the 14-50 adapter on your UMC. Also, remember that 30-Amp RV service is 30 Amps at 120 Volts and will not help you much.

    RV Parks are the safety net of long distance EV travel. When I am hypermiling a range challenged route, I always scout out the RV Parks ahead of time in case it's getting too close.
     
  11. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    I'm a bit surprised that no one has mentioned the Allstays Camp & RV app that is available for the iPhone and iPad. You can sort for sites that meet your power requirements. Great app for a cheap price!
     
  12. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Thanks for this tip! I would not have thought to check for 240V.

    I'm sure it's fine. Alas, no help to me as I'm on Android.
     
  13. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    i just checked . . . there is an Android app for $9.99 and worth every penny!
     
  14. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Yes.

    Your best bet is to sponsor sun country highway chargers every 160km along the routes out of your town. Then you'll be ok.
     
  15. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    160 km seems a little close. Because you have charging spots at 400 and 375 km each direction, two charger, one mid-point (~200 km) each way, should serve you well. Besides sponsoring Sun Country, you may want to give them a call and see how you can be proactive and help them find donor, host sites for the EVSE's.
     
  16. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Ask for 50A, not 240V. Most campgrounds don't know what 240V is, but they know what 50A is. RV campgrounds are extremely useful. Back in 2010 when I got my Roadster it was the only option for long distance travel in Ontario. However, most (perhaps all?) campgrounds close in the winter.

    You should be able to manage the trip in the summer, but avoid heavy rain as that also sucks power. Just keep a close eye on your power consumption App. Keep the average below the Rated line. Set it to display Average for the Projected range, and you'll know if you're going to come up short.

    In winter it is probably not possible at all except maybe if you drive very slowly and turn off the heat. The cabin heater is a constant draw, regardless of speed, so the optimum speed is higher when heat is running. Below a certain speed the benefits of driving slower are counteracted by the fact that the heater has to be kept on for longer. So if you're really stretching it by driving slowly you'll have to turn off the cabin heat. Use the seat heaters as much as possible, as they take negligible power and are essentially "free".

    Personally, I don't think I would try it in winter. In the summer, go for it!
     
  17. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    So the power usage stats from the Energy App are accurate enough to see how I'm doing? (ie: slow down if average energy usage gets too high?)

    What about the Trip Computer, can I rely on it for energy usage updates? I know the "range remaining" meter can vary wildly from what is actually available.

    Yes, I would not attempt the trip in winter without a Sun Country charger in place en route. Maybe not even then, depending on what my energy use is like during the summer.
     
  18. jerry33

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

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    What I do is remember the number that I charged to, and then watch the trip meter. Range left from the dash plus distance traveled from the Trip meter is either going to be over or under what the number you charged to was. That will give you a good idea of how much you actually have left.

    Example: Charge to 250, amount remaining 150, distance traveled 90 means there is less than 150 left, but not much less. On last summer's trips I gained about 25 miles for every 100 miles I drove. That saves about one hour's charging.

    I seldom look at the Energy App because the distance is just too short to be useful. 50/100/200 (miles) would be a much better selection.
     
  19. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Indeed. Or maybe they can replace the even more useless "Average/Instant" toggle button with a "Local/Roadtrip" toggle button. "Local" mode would maintain the current 5/15/30 scale, while "Roadtrip" would adjust it to the aforementioned 50/100/200 scale.
     
  20. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Yes absolutely the Energy App gives you everything you need - in conjunction with GPS for distance remaining - to ensure you arrive safely. However the Projected Range keeps stupidly defaulting back to Instantaneous every time you start the car. It ONLY provides useful information in Average mode.
     

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