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

Rogue Synapse

Member
Feb 9, 2019
474
591
Asheville, NC
@Guags99 - I hear where you're coming from in having disappointing mileage in road trips. I would just advise to keep driving your car and getting a feel for how dramatically the range can vary based on speed, weight, and by far most importantly, temperature. I have also had road trips where I used up most of my battery going just about half of my rated range. However (and perhaps less commonly), I have also had road trips where I easily exceeded my rated range and went farther than I was ever supposed to go on one charge (mostly in late spring and early fall, with relatively conservative driving and tire pressures of 44+).

It can be very frustrating when you've carefully planned your trip (in a way that you don't have to do in an ICE car) and the anxiety of the plan not quite working creeps in. After a few years of driving my car, I've just sort of learned to adjust to being a little more flexible on trips. It's complicated in part by my specific model having its range and charging speed deliberately reduced by Tesla because of its earlier (more primitive) battery. But the car is so fun to drive and Autopilot is such a mental labor-saver on road trips that I still find it worth it to take the Tesla instead of my wife's ICE whenever possible.
 

Tres_Azul

Member
Oct 10, 2019
69
56
Arizona
OP, I agree that highway range reductions in a Tesla are simply not acceptable to many folks coming from an ICE car, and there needs to be an "EPA Highway Range" rating added to all BEVs to assist buyers with choosing the right vehicle.
(C'mon... Zero motorcycles give you highway range @70mph... Tesla can too, even if its not Gov't mandated.)

I too see these highway range reductions, but in in dry warm weather, with negligible headwind, and 42.5-43psi in tires. Apparently I drive too fast (usually aim for 70+mph avg., door-to-door), and am frequently going drastically up in elevation (↨3000-4000ft is common here in AZ), so typically see >340 wh/mi. consumption on highway trips.

That is why I changed what I do... I now (again?) drive an ICE vehicle for nearly all highway travel.

Sure, if I'm just goofing off, with nowhere to be, and I can afford to burn an entire day going barely 90-150 miles away, I'll take the tesla. But... For any real road trip over 2+ hrs one way, never again. Seriously, even going only 140mi. away to Flagstaff is such a pain in the ass. Pre-pandemic, I would randomly bounce up to FLG to meet friends/fam for lunch, or even breakfast on the east side, but not doing that with the model 3. Ruins all the spontaneous fun of the trip when you have 2+ mandated charging stops to guarantee SOC never falls below 25%. In an ICE vehicle I can be up in FLG for breakfast, and back in PHX for lunch, without ever caring if car was fueled already. Any comfortable/4+ seater ICE vehicle I've owned easily goes up and back on one tank, with 25% to spare. (<10-15 min to check & top off tires, top fluids, & fill w/ fuel before leaving the valley.) Literally not even plausible to do in my 3.

The extra planning, stress, wasted time charging, and huge swaths of the country-side that are effectively unreachable, are all simply too high of a cost for me. Until BEVs can do 300-400+ miles @ 85mph and be ready to do it again in 5-15min, I will keep a reliable ICE vehicle around for any actual road trips.
 
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essaunders

Member
Jun 6, 2012
138
44
Nashua NH area
If anyone wants to borrow my 2012 LEAF and take a drive on the highway in the winter.... they can then come back and report what real winter range anxiety feels like...

For me, my Model Y is nice relief. The car it replaced (gen 2 prius) suffered from the cold and high speed driving along with a cold-sensitive fuel bladder, so even the transition from gas to ev wasn't steep.

That said - for EVs to become mainstream we need a solution to the OPs observations. we probably won't 'fix' the driving too fast problem, but bigger batteries, faster and more frequent charging would mitigate the issues significantly.
 
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Fred42

Member
Dec 24, 2018
987
2,698
Pennsylvania
If anyone wants to borrow my 2012 LEAF and take a drive on the highway in the winter.... they can then come back and report what real winter range anxiety feels like...

For me, my Model Y is nice relief. The car it replaced (gen 2 prius) suffered from the cold and high speed driving along with a cold-sensitive fuel bladder, so even the transition from gas to ev wasn't steep.

That said - for EVs to become mainstream we need a solution to the OPs observations. we probably won't 'fix' the driving too fast problem, but bigger batteries, faster and more frequent charging would mitigate the issues significantly.
My 2013 Ford Focus Electric with 76 mile EPA range was good for 45 miles on a cold winter day.

I wish Elon had been able to stick to the plan he spoke about a few months ago to sell a LR RWD Y and forget the SR Y. Inexperienced owner dissatisfaction when they discover the low range they'll get in cold weather or wind and the compromised range in the rain will be a black eye for EV's. It would have been better if this dissatisfaction was focused on owners of Mach-E's, ID.4's, etc. Presumably Elon had good reason to change the plans.
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,225
5,123
OP, I agree that highway range reductions in a Tesla are simply not acceptable to many folks coming from an ICE car, and there needs to be an "EPA Highway Range" rating added to all BEVs to assist buyers with choosing the right vehicle.
(C'mon... Zero motorcycles give you highway range @70mph... Tesla can too, even if its not Gov't mandated.)
You can calculate it yourself from the MPGe given you know the EPA range is combined and the EPA provides all three numbers (city/highway/combined MPGe). In fact, I bring that up a lot in articles that try to compare EPA range to 70mph range and try to push people to compare to EPA highway (which still is optimistic vs 70mph) instead of combined.

I wish Tesla revisits the range and efficiency posts they did in the past. It's based on ideal modeling (does not take into account HVAC usage and other road conditions), but it still gives a far better idea of how range drops with speed in general.
Model S Efficiency and Range
 
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stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,225
5,123
My 2013 Ford Focus Electric with 76 mile EPA range was good for 45 miles on a cold winter day.

I wish Elon had been able to stick to the plan he spoke about a few months ago to sell a LR RWD Y and forget the SR Y. Inexperienced owner dissatisfaction when they discover the low range they'll get in cold weather or wind and the compromised range in the rain will be a black eye for EV's. It would have been better if this dissatisfaction was focused on owners of Mach-E's, ID.4's, etc. Presumably Elon had good reason to change the plans.
A lot of people don't need the range and the smaller battery saves a lot of money. If I knew at end of last year it was coming out I would have bought it instead of my SR+ Model 3, even though I know it would be less efficient. Quite frankly if you need to travel in longer trips you probably shouldn't be looking at the SR model in the first place.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,271
7,324
Boise, ID
A lot of people don't need the range and the smaller battery saves a lot of money. If I knew last year it was coming out I would have bought it instead of my SR+ Model 3, even though I know it would be less efficient. Quite frankly if you need to travel in longer trips you probably shouldn't be looking at the SR model in the first page.
Agree and then disagree. The shorter range ones can be a good price and really good value, but if and only if you are the type of person who has the patience for that tradeoff. I don't think the shorter range is unusable for long trips, but it will require more and longer Supercharger stops. Some people absolutely will not tolerate that and are already borderline frustrated with even the long range ones. But if you like the value of several extra thousand dollars kept in your pocket, in exchange for taking some extra time walking around, or lingering in a coffee shop browsing stuff on your phone for the longer charging stops, then that can be fine. But yeah, that can certainly be bad if people aren't going into it expecting that trade of money for patience.
 

Two-rocks

Member
Jan 18, 2021
144
174
gone
Counter point: my 3 SR+ (2021 heat pump) has much more range than we need.

coming from a 2019 eGolf - 2x+ winter range, and supercharges at 3-5 times the speed.

If there was an option for a long range, rear drive we would have considered it. Speed and sport are for my motorcycles.
 
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Justicepool

Member
Jan 1, 2016
279
279
Andrews, Texas
I'm back in the market for a Tesla and currently looking at a Model Y. My last Tesla was a 2020 Model X performance. It was very efficient under the right conditions. But weather, wind, and elevation are the biggest factors for EV's. It seems like you were traveling 78 mph (I know you said 74, but the average seems to indicate something different), into a 13mph headwind in cold temperatures.

The energy graph is your best friend in a Tesla. I would recommend using it and nothing else. Adjust one's driving habits as necessary. Here is a screenshot from a trip in my Model X last January at similar speeds as you traveled.

Road tripping an EV does involve a trade off. I have over 60k miles of road tripping in my two previous Tesla's. There are some benefits as well. I am less fatigued and the drive is less stressful, but in certain conditions, it does take a little more time than an ICE vehicle. In good weather and no headwind the EV is a much better option.

Where you live you have far more superchargers than where I live. I would drive it like I stole it and just stop and charge more frequently.

4539AF12-1F32-406F-9B85-505B2D5DB685.png
 
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RobDeBank

Member
Jul 7, 2020
52
7
Lancaster PA
This was a useful discussion I just found. I was totally taken by surprise on my last trip to work. The return mileage is 170 miles. I started with 225 showing available, so I thought I have plenty, I preheated the car, started to work, sentry mode was on. Preheated the car to come home. sowed 110 miles. So I thought that's enough. When I placed the navigation to home, it said I have a stop at a supercharger, put a little in then go home! I was shocked, how much I had lost in mileage! I live in PA, this was a shock. However, I feel I have been educated on this thread, thank you.. Better planning next time
 

ratsbew

Active Member
Mar 3, 2012
1,282
949
O'Fallon, IL
Road trips are a breeze (even in the winter) if you take theses simple steps:
  1. Depart with 100% charge and the car pre-heated
  2. Use abetterrouteplanner to drive the car down to 10% SOC at a convenient supercharger
  3. Supercharge until the battery shows that you'll arrive to the next Supercharger with 20% (winter buffer).
  4. Repeat by "hopping" superchargers
  5. Most importantly, get out of your car and do something while your car charges. 20 minutes flies by if you actually walk around or grab some food/drink.
This method (tried and true) works very well and I've found that (summer) trips under 500 miles take barely longer than an ICE car if you take two 10-15 minute snack breaks and one longer 20-30 minute lunch break (while Supercharging).

I'll personally never go back to ICE road trips where you drive for HOURS without a break. Superchargers provide a great mental and physical break every 90 minutes or so.
 

mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
1,274
672
Bay Area CA
Estimated range takes a huge hit going up, but regen gives you a boost going back down. I'm going up and down mountains nearly every time I drive and it's almost like I'm hyper-miling.

Mt Hamilton (>4000 ft) is the highest mountain in the Silicon Valley area. I got ~5% SoC in regen going down. Here are my stats from a drive there, going up, back down, and driving back home: ~87 miles @ 231 Wh/mi

model_y_range_mt_ham.jpg


Project range: 738 miles (completely unreal)

Range is king. The more range the better.
Range anxiety is real.

i find that elevation effects range more than speed. Any kind of incline greatly reduces range.
 

pt19713

Member
Feb 5, 2020
927
1,130
Delaware
Electrek: Tesla range estimates called into question in independent tests.
Tesla range estimates called into question in independent tests - Electrek

Take a look at the model 3 performance on the chart.
Take those Edmunds numbers with a grain of salt. I've watched some of their videos and their calculations seem off. The Mach-E they list as 33.1 kWh per 100 miles. This equates to 268 miles. For the Mach-E to get 304, the pack would have to be 100 kWh but it only has 88.8 kWh usable.
 

Tres_Azul

Member
Oct 10, 2019
69
56
Arizona
Take those Edmunds numbers with a grain of salt. I've watched some of their videos and their calculations seem off. The Mach-E they list as 33.1 kWh per 100 miles. This equates to 268 miles. For the Mach-E to get 304, the pack would have to be 100 kWh but it only has 88.8 kWh usable.

That may very well be what it takes though... to meet/beat EPA in real world >70mph driving.

EDIT- Seems like that would hurt profits long term though... have to find better way to meet EPA highway IRL.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
10,225
5,123
Take those Edmunds numbers with a grain of salt. I've watched some of their videos and their calculations seem off. The Mach-E they list as 33.1 kWh per 100 miles. This equates to 268 miles. For the Mach-E to get 304, the pack would have to be 100 kWh but it only has 88.8 kWh usable.
They include charging loss in their consumption numbers:
"After a vehicle completes its road loop and the battery is nearly empty, it's charged back to full capacity. The kilowatt-hours used from plug-in to a full charge are tracked and then we calculate the consumption based on the miles traveled (less the remaining range). This process takes into account charging losses in the Edmunds tested consumption number."

Their test is a 60/40 split between city and highway. The performance models probably suffer from this more as the heavier weight and rolling resistance would be worse due to the tire combos. They have AC set to 72 degrees, so the temps will affect AC usage also.
 

Daks

Member
Oct 21, 2020
131
91
Anchorage, AK USA
Probably not applicable to a SC, but if you ever find yourself needing that charge on a non-SC. Get out, lock up and walk around so that all available power will go into the battery. If I sit in the car and watch it charge in cold weather, a lot of power is being used to keep the car running. This is a 32A Level 2. Literally it drops to 0 mi/hr when I get in during a charge session. If I turn off the car and walk away, I get 20-22 miles an hour.
 
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