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Just finished my first "road trip" and I am not happy with range

Guags99

Member
Nov 5, 2020
12
23
Chicagoland
This barely counted as a road-trip as I was just going from the SW Chicago suburbs to see my daughter in Urbana. The trip was 143 miles each way and thought I would get down there with about half charge since I started with 322 miles at 100% SOC to start. I averaged about 69MPH and and I had the heat set to 68 degrees with the outside temp at 34 degrees.

Instead of getting there with about 50% charge left, or even 39% as one estimate had it. I got there with about 40 miles of range listed. And the stats from TeslaFi are:

143.74 Miles Driven
274.76 Rated Miles Used
52.3% Efficiency.

This is bothersome to say the least. I do not see how I can really use this for any real trips.

Anyone else see poor efficiency from their MY?
 

cwerdna

Active Member
Jul 11, 2012
3,502
2,371
SF Bay Area, CA
That isn't terribly surprising. You were going a bit too fast and the cold can reduce the range of an EV a lot.

For non-Tesla EVs w/o any specific info on weather/geographic location, I usually tell people their range could be cut by 1/3 to 1/2 in the winter depending on temperature and rain, snow or slush on the road, needing the run the heat, defogger, etc.

I also plotted Chcago to Urbana in Google Earth Pro and it looks like there's a slight net elevation gain on your trip of 134 feet. You might get slightly better efficiency on your return, if all else is equal.

Car battery: 340 miles. I drove 280. Came home with 5 miles left? regarding EPA tests you may find insightful. Note the highest average speed in any of the test cycles (48.4 mph) and how only one test cycle is in the cold (20 F). That cold cycle is at an average speed of 21.2 mph.

Your efficiency and thus range autonomy will improve in dry warmer weather when you need to run neither the heater nor AC besides driving slower...
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,212
5,115
This barely counted as a road-trip as I was just going from the SW Chicago suburbs to see my daughter in Urbana. The trip was 143 miles each way and thought I would get down there with about half charge since I started with 322 miles at 100% SOC to start. I averaged about 69MPH and and I had the heat set to 68 degrees with the outside temp at 34 degrees.
Instead of getting there with about 50% charge left, or even 39% as one estimate had it. I got there with about 40 miles of range listed.
I plug in your temp (which is quite cold), and tweaked speed multiplier to average 69MPH (which is quite high presuming you mean trip average, meaning your highway speed is significantly higher) with a 2h06m trip time and a similar trip (threw in Bolingbrook to Urbana to be able to get 144 miles) in A Better Routeplanner and I get 31% left.

That doesn't factor in heat usage. If it was going full bore it can pull 7 kW, so use 14kWh in 2 hours or about 19%, leaving you with 12%, which your roughly 40 miles matches.
Model Y heat? How effective is the heat pump?

So basically cold temps (which increases air and tire resistance), high speeds (which makes thing worse), and heat usage killed your range.
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,045
4,667
MA, NH
When I first started to read this, I thought, here we go again, another newbie. Even at 69 mph and 34F he shouldn’t be down at near 50% and it sounds like he was preconditioned at 100% before he started. Or I hope so, because I would leave the car overnight at 100%. The worst he should see is 70%. 10% max for speed and 20% for cold temps. It was not that cold, he preheated, and it was one continuous trip which all favor it not being that big of a hit.

So, my thought is, something is very wrong. Alignment, tires way to low, rain or a problem with the car. It should not be that bad in my opinion and he should be concerned.

Curious what the wh/mi mile averaged for the trip.

I agree an average of 69 mph vs stretches of 69 mph is totally different. With an average of 69 door to door that would mean stretches of like 100mph. I doubt it was 69 mph avg door to door. If it was 69 mph door to door, yes that’s extremely fast and it would be costly.
 

Daks

Member
Oct 21, 2020
131
91
Anchorage, AK USA
Not surprised. I estimate at least 50% range loss and in extreme conditions even more. Its why when someone says, we don't need more than 300 miles of EPA range I call BS. 300 miles of range at 70 mph, with a 10 mph headwind, in 0F weather, now we are talking.

Now the Tesla is more efficient - Our Volt managed 48 miles in Miami and 22 miles in the winter in Alaska. Less in sub zero temps. Worst I want to say was 12-14 miles. And remember that the Volt would use it's ICE for heat... Summer in Alaska, which is still "cool" was the rated range of 38. At least I had the Volt first so I know what to expect with our Tesla. A poster in our Alaska Tesla group has a Bolt in addition to his new Tesla and his range in the Bolt goes from sub 100 miles in the winter to over 300 miles in the summer... I was hoping he'd provide more info on his Y, but he has a heat issue and I don't blame him for not wanting to drive without heat in sub zero temps.

Having said that, there are two groups that are doing efficiency studies with willing participants of Tesla owners in Alaska. One is by the University of Alaska - Fairbanks and the other is an EV research Company. At the end of the winter here, there might be more data to share as they both indicate they will share it. Part of it is to determine how far apart charging stations should be placed so someone could drive the road system up here... I.e. I'd love year round to be able to make it from say Homer, AK to Fairbanks, AK. They are using Tesla because of the rich data they provide via an app on your phone.

Guags99 - I know this doesn't help you right now and I am sorry it isn't working out like you thought it would.
 

LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
348
444
Arkansas
I've done 17,250 miles in my Model Y and honestly that's fairly consistent to what I've seen. When you get over 60 MPH the range plummets. I think the displayed range number is based on 55MPH. I've changed mine to percentage because it's rare I drive that speed, and that range number is not useful to me.

Here is an article talking about the effects of speed and temperature on the Model S and X, which will be similar to the Y.

Tesla Range Plotted Relative To Speed & Temperature (Graphs)

If you display the energy graph and show estimated range there it will be far more accurate to your driving habits. The true range of the car at interstate speeds is 180 to 200 miles, I've found.

Roof racks and other exterior equipment also reduce range dramatically.

What do you consider a "real trip"? Can you give specific examples of where you'd drive to and what you expect the trip to be like?
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,045
4,667
MA, NH
Is this a Model Y with a heat pump?

Until OP clarifies his speed, I’ll revoke my opinion. A true average of 69 mph door to door, is really fast. But 34F isn’t that cold. Also what wheels are on this Y.

I do 120 mile trips to my cabin in winter in all sorts of conditions. Charged to 80 or 90% And I’ll arrive with well over 100 miles left on Model 3 or X. I have stretch’s of 65-70 mph, but my total average is probably 55-60 mph for the trip.

My year round average is 320 wh/mi in the Model X (that’s like 6% over EPA). That includes some towing, no preconditioning, no cabin preheating. And was like 280 wh/mi in the Model 3 year round. I get 280 in the summer with the X, with a modest amount of towing. And got 230 in Model 3 (AWD stealth).
 

Guags99

Member
Nov 5, 2020
12
23
Chicagoland
I am glad I sparked some conversation. I posted this quickly last night before bed, so I didn't include all of the details. Here is my trip down. My trip back fared very similarly even though I traveled a bit more slowly home due to conditions.

As for the comment about Gilman. I did that on the way home. First bay I tried didn't work. Second bay worked, but never saw more than 500mph charge rate. I put that charger in as my destination, so the trip from Urbana to Gilman it showed that my batteries were being conditioned for charging since it knew that was a L3 charger.

Wheels are stock with the Gemini covers on them. PSI is 39 all around when I just checked. Car is kept in a heated garage at 62 degrees and I charged to 100% prior to leaving. I ran a couple brief errands in the morning so I didn't start on the trip exactly at 100%.

I was a pretty calm driver on the way down never "flooring it" and while 69 seems high for an average, the speed limit is 70 most of the way and I live less than a mile from the tollway on-ramp. And 34 degrees is above freezing, and in this part of the country I don't think of that as being horribly cold. Winds also are decent on this trip, but like I said the return trip didn't give me much different result.

I am happy to hear more thoughts, but at least I feel a bit better just knowing many see efficiency this poor. But I can tell you my wife will make me take her Mazda CX-5 next time we both go. She has too much anxiety.

upload_2021-2-1_9-8-39.png
 

Sunshine State

Automotive Enthusiast
Jul 13, 2017
1,314
1,033
Florida
I’m really surprised people are saying that 69 is way too fast. We don’t have a Y but currently have several S’s and had X’s and P3’s. I have noticed in the X if you pushed 80 mph your range would not maintain the average economy on the graph display but at 70 mph in the X we could alway match the EPA numbers. The S’s see very little penalty for driving at 80 mph vs 72 mph and we hit EPA numbers at just under 80 mph. We never highway travel much slower than upper 70’s. The P3 did seem like it would gobble power at a much faster pace than the S’s so it seems like the EPA numbers for the 3’s and Y’s may be much more optimistic than the S and X’s. We have the Performance option tire and wheel packages on all our cars and I think the S and X’s take less of a hit for the bigger tires than Tesla says.
 
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LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
348
444
Arkansas
I recommend planning a "road trip" that involves one supercharger visit along the way, and destination charging at the turn around point, just to get a feel for it.

Efficiency at high speed rapidly diminishes, but that shouldn't be a deterrent from highway travels. The car does a pretty good job of giving you planned routes with charging and arrival percentages.
 
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Oct 5, 2020
59
37
ottawa
My teslafi shows low 60's for efficiency in that temp range so yours does seem low. Are you in chill or standard mode? Being in chill makes a big difference in my experience.
 
We live in Pa and recently took a trip from Hershey to Pittsburgh. About 260 miles and it was in the 30's for temp and we averaged 71% of range with the heater also running and set at 68. Average speed was 67 on teslafi. Maybe it was just a fluke this time around.
 

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