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Little help planning my first long-ish trip?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by bcsteeve, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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    I can read and calculate all I want, but nothing competes with experience, so maybe I could ask for some advice?

    I'm going from my home in West Kelowna, BC to my mother's house in Abbotsford, BC... a trip of 312km but that's through very high mountains and at relatively high speeds (120kph limit for much of the journey. Typically 140 though).

    From there I'm crossing the border and heading to the Home Depot in Bellingham, WA to pick some stuff up. Then back to Mom's and home 2 days later.

    Some day I'll install a 240V at Mom's, but until then its standard 110V/15A.

    My plan so far:
    1. Top up to 100% at home.
    2. Stop at Hope, BC Supercharger. Grab lunch and plan to charge for 50-60 minutes (hopefully close to 100%)
    3. Charge at the Best Western near Home Depot if possible... Plugshare says "patron's only" but comments indicate this isn't an issue? This step may be completely unnecessary?
    4. Plug in at Mom's (zzz) for at least as long as it takes to get back to Hope SC
    5. Top up again at Hope and get home.
    There's no superchargers anywhere near my Mom's, unfortunately. I expect to be showing off my car as this is the first time any of my family will have seen it. So I'd like to have a reasonable amount of charge, which is why I'm thinking about charging in Bellingham and topping up more than normally necessary in Hope.

    The Bellingham Best Western charger is a Tesla destination charger rated to 80A... but what will my 2015 P85D (without dual chargers) actually get? I couldn't seem to find that info.
     
  2. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2017.34 2448cfc

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    It looks like you only need 26% charge to get to Abbotsford from Hope. You could just charge longer in Hope and then you wouldn't have to worry about charging in Abbotsford at all.
     
  3. Carl

    Carl Supporting Member

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  4. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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    The "problem" (if you can call it that) with the route planners is that they don't adequately take into consideration charging at the destination. When I put in a round trip route, it just fails. It *expects* (perhaps rightfully so) that you are charging wherever you end up.

    But maybe I'm just using it wrong.
     
  5. geoc

    geoc Member

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    40A is the max current single charger can take for your 2015 at whatever voltage - commonly 200V for commercial, lucky if you get 240.

    200V x 40A = 8kW translating to ~24 miles/hr of charging rate for the P85D.
     
  6. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2017.34 2448cfc

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    #6 MorrisonHiker, Oct 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
    You could enter two one-way trips. One the way to Abbotsford, indicate you want to do a long charge in Hope or that you want a really high arrival charge (such as 50 to 70%). Then calculate a return trip but assume the battery has been used some and you only have like 40 to 50% left.

    There are several public chargers in Abbotsford that you could use to add a little range but really you could do the entire trip with only Superchargers if you plan accordingly. I've done several 1000+ mile trips and never even had the UMC in my car.
     
  7. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Hmm, I like trying to figure out travel/charging puzzles like this. I don't suppose you have a Tesla CHAdeMO adapter, do you?

    As to charging options, yes the charging at the Best Western in Bellingham looks incredibly convenient to your Home Depot trip, and with maybe combining it with a lunch stop or something, you could be there a couple of hours, and it would be a decent bit of charge. If it's higher amp, but you only have the single charger in your car, you will be able to pull 40A from it, and it's probably at 208V, being a commercial property, so about 25-26 miles per hour of charging. Call the Best Western, and ask about using their charger not as an overnight guest. Some hotels with let people use it for some kind of fee like $10 or something, or offer to maybe eat dinner in their hotel restaurant, and they will usually consider that as being a "patron" who can use the charger.

    Other slightly out of the box suggestion: from looking around Plugshare, I saw another Tesla destination charger for free just a little north of the Home Depot. It's on the side of a business called "Bellingham Retina Specialists". It's just about 1 mile from the Home Depot. Depending on how much stuff you're getting, you might not want to carry your stuff that far while leaving your car there, but maybe pick up the Home Depot stuff and then go back there to plug in. There are still plenty of restaurants nearby, so you could still leave your car charging for an hour or two while you eat to get a good charge.

    The other thing that can help you in Abbotsford is that you have family there who can pick you up and drop you off, so you don't need to rely on only 120V super slow charging. There are plenty of places around town there to charge on level 2, so if you can go with your mom to drop off your car and pick it up a few hours later, you can get a good amount of charge that way, maybe even before heading down to Bellingham, so you won't need to figure out charging and waiting there.
     
  8. f-stop

    f-stop Member

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    without dual chargers at a Telsa destination HPWC you should be able to get 40A and about 40km/hr charge.

    there is also evtripping.com to plan the route, it's free but it does require you to register with an email address.
    I like it because it easily allows you to calculate round trips, something which evtripplanner didn't do last time I checked, as you noted

    a quick glance at your route: Hope SC (leaving w/100%) to Abbotsford to Bellingham and back to Hope SC, the calc shows about 66% upon arrival in Bellingham and then (without a charge stop there), ~35% on return to Hope. Of course how fast you drive and other factors will affect things (you can plug in things like cargo weight, battery type, battery degradation etc into the planner). I'm guessing you don't need to charge in Bellingham although of course with your first long trip a wider safety marging is probably welcome.

    sample routing info: Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 11.17.45 AM.jpg


    another option - from Bellingham, drive south the additional 34km (~25min) to the Burlington Supercharger, top up there and you'll have plenty of margin to get back to Hope.
     
  9. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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    Right on. Thanks everyone!

    I think for this first trip I'm going to start @ 100% and charge back to 100% at Hope (lunch) and then I'll scope out that Best Western and if I can grab some there then great, if not I won't fret about it. I'll probably 110V @ Mom's just out of abundance of caution. I'm going to hope for ~ 40% when I leave Abbotsford.

    According to ABRP, I'm going to need to stop twice on the way back home (Hope and Merritt), presumably because of the large net-altitude gain. That kind of sucks, because the Merritt one is a bit out of the way. It says even if I top up to 100% at Hope I still have to stop for 2 minutes in Merritt if I expect to get home with 10% to spare.

    Which has me thinking... what is a safe destination % to use for these calculations? Is 10% plenty or is that nuts given the remoteness and mountain terrain? Should I be topping up further in Merritt?
     
  10. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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    I thought about that, but an extra 50 minutes of driving didn't seem like a great thing, especially considering some of that gained range is purely wasted doing that extra trip, right?
     
  11. CalBlue 85D

    CalBlue 85D Member

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    Merritt is your friend, take advantage of the opportunity to charge. You probably need a rest stop anyway and it is only five minutes out of your way. The only time I ever really came close to zero was traveling from Whistler to Kelowna via the Northern route before they built the Merritt SC and I didn't spend enough time on the J1772 that was available in Merritt. What I learned from that trip was that the base maps on the Tesla navigation do not show the highways in the area as being 120 kph zones. Therefore, you will automatically be using A LOT more power just running with traffic than the nav expects you to. I prefer to keep a 30% buffer running through that area just due to the extra speed and the complete lack of charging options. It really is in the middle of nowhere (but a beautiful trip)!

    The trip planners are great, but here's a simple tip for making sure you have enough power when you leave Hope. When you arrive in Hope, cancel your existing trip from home and start a new trip from the Hope SC to the Home Depot, enable the show round trip option on the nav and that will let you know how much power it will take to return to the Hope SC from Home Depot. Consider how much extra you will need for the extra driving you will be doing with your family and plan accordingly for how much charge you want to have when you leave Hope. Your might as well go to 80% since that is the fastest part of the charge cycle, above that you will be waiting much longer to charge, but the round trip calculation will let you know if the extra charging time is necessary to add your buffer.

    There is a J1772 option at a mall in Abbotsford if I recall correctly and that's always a backup if you need a boost to get back to Hope.

    I've used that Best Western once when I didn't quite have the range to get from Langley to Burlington. The staff at the front desk were fine with me charging without being a guest, but I did ask first. The destination charger was mounted to the massive sign post which holds the hotel sign which is visible from the freeway. It is not located near the J1772 by the office, just look for the big sign. The hotel staff didn't know the location of the charger on the day I was there and I would have missed it if I hadn't searched around.
     
  12. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    I see this often from new Tesla owners on their first big trip. They still have this "fill the car" kind of mindset where they want to fill up a lot and then try to push it to skip over another stop. I can't recommend enough: Don't Do This, especially for your first big trip. Just take the time and stop at each one. There are two main reasons for this.
    (1) It's likely not any faster, because going above about 70 or 80% toward full just takes freaking forever as the charge rate slows down. It will be boring and irritating, and probably won't be any faster in your total trip. That's why we have the term "splash and dash". When you drive more on the bottom two thirds of the battery charge, you can fill to about 60 or 70% and go, and then hit up the next stop, and you're always at the fastest charging part of the battery. Also, the charge stops won't be over an hour. They will be more like 20-30 minutes, so it doesn't feel as inconvenient.
    (2) Trying to push for a white-knuckling it to go a longer distance to skip over a charging stop is just bringing unnecessary stress and anxiety on yourself, and you really don't want to do that for your first big Tesla trip. Take the time, hit up Merritt just to get a coffee across the street or something. 15 minutes can disappear without you even noticing it if you go do something for a little bit like that, and then that extra charge makes it worry-free and comfortable.
    I really don't like 10% in this case. 10% is only for known routes that I've done a time or two already and never in the cold. That remaining percent estimator doesn't seem to take into account what the temperature is, so it's not expecting your heating use in the car. It also seems to expect a moderate highway speed, so if you're going to be going fairly fast, the estimate will be short too. It does take the elevation into account, so that is reasonably well covered, but since that maybe involves going up where it's colder, you have the heating issue again. By default, I always shoot for 20%, but in any worse cases, like actual winter, or rain or high speed, I want 25% or more.

    I do my routing a bit old school, too, where I don't select my final final destination and let it pick the interim stops. I always just pick my next Supercharger as the destination in nav. Different people have different preferences on that, but I just like the simplicity of it.
     
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  13. gjunky

    gjunky Waiting for the Model ☰

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    It would be great if you have an option to charge at your mom's house with anything faster than 120v. I think the 120v/15a is pretty useless. You could be charging for days and I assume you want to show off the car in the meanwhile.
    If there is a dryer outlet available at your mom's, it might be worthwile getting some adapter plugs and perhaps an 14-50 extension cord.

    I don't feel comfortable running with a destination remainder below 20%. You just never know if you run into headwind or something else that might affect your range (and everything affects your range in an EV). Not being negative. Just easier to avoid any stress than watching the range go down faster than expected during your trip.

    Agreed too that charging to 100% while you wait it going to frustrate you as it starts to go very slooow at the end.
     
  14. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    I agree with other posters to avoid charging to 100% unless you absolutely have to. I also recommend planning to never go below 20%. Once you're below that 20%, any unexpected hiccup can leave you in a difficult spot. Plus, dropping to very low power levels is also difficult on the battery, just as charging to 100%. In 27,000 miles of cross-country driving, I've only dropped below 10% on a couple occasions and that was because I was on very long segments into charging deserts.

    One thing you will learn is that the range estimators on the Tesla are amazingly accurate. If it says you have 60 miles remaining, you can be pretty certain that's about how much range you have.

    Finally, if you haven't used the energy trend tool when navigating, I encourage trying it out. It projects how much energy you'll use mile-by-mile along your journey. It then plots your actual usage in comparison to this prediction. It is wonderful to see the effect of your driving and other variables (e.g. wind and speed), on your remaining energy. See photo below in which my actual usage (green) was less than Tesla' prediction (grey) .

    Good luck and have a great drive. Let us know how it goes and what charging steps you decided to take.

    IMG_20170726_195130.jpg
     
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  15. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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    I totally get the "splash and dash" theory... I fully understand that 100% charge isn't good on the battery and that range vs. time follows the law of diminishing returns. And that's why I asked for advice, because I have no actual experience with it.

    I wanted to skip Merritt not for the sake of avoiding a stop, but because it isn't exactly on the way. Put it this way... I have made this trip hundreds of times and I have not once gone into the town of Merritt (sorry Merritt). The highway doesn't go through the town, it goes beside it. The charger requires getting off the highway and driving 10 minutes somewhere I wasn't going to go. End of the world? Certainly not, but I'd rather spend that 10 minutes sitting a little longer at the next one *if possible* when I'm going to be grabbing lunch anyway. I mean, Merritt's only an hour from my home... that's just too early to be stopping IMO. But I realize I have to adjust behavior/expectations.

    Still, I have to admit, I'm going to be disappointed if this is a route that turns into a two-stop trip. I was willing to accept one "unnecessary" (from an ICE POV) stop, but two is going to be a tough sell when it comes time to convincing my family friends that I chose the better way of doing things :)

    It would have been SO much better - I think - had they installed a SC at the Britton Creek rest area. Right on the highway, pretty much mid-way on the trip, food, washrooms... perfect. Oh well.


    Thanks again. I'll heed your advices and stop at each and see how it goes. I used the car more than I expected today and given that I still only have 110/15 charging here it won't be at 100% by the time we leave in the morning, so I'll stop at both chargers on the way down and see how actual vs. estimated works out.

    I'll try to remember to report back on Monday :)
     
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  16. GaryW

    GaryW Member

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    Good luck, Steve.

    I made my first long trip this week. Coincidentally I saw my Mom on my trip.

    I read the ‘rules of model s road tripping’ entry. It’s in the ‘most helpful’ list at the top.

    The author says don’t worry about charging to 100%, if you plan to drive immediately. Leaving it at 100% when not on a trip might be a problem.

    Going below 10% seems to have a larger negative effect.

    I played around with charging amounts and speeds. I found a noticeable increase in range when I dropped my speed by 5 - 10 MPH.

    Temperature and elevation will make a big difference, too.

    I used a 110 plug at first. The 3-4 Miles per hour can add up, both at home and at your Mom’s house.

    Have fun!
     
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  17. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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    Well, things went to crap in a hurry, lol.

    I decided to stop in Merritt for a bit of a charge, but it really seemed unnecessary as it said I'd hit Hope with 35% and that seemed sufficient. At Merritt I was only getting 70kw (that seemed low? When I used the Kelowna SC it was over 100) and we weren't hungry yet so we headed out. Then traffic came to a screeching halt and a traffic guy was directing everyone off the highway. A major accident closed the Coquihalla in both directions! So back to Merritt and filled to 100% waiting for the road to open.

    I gave up on Bellingham. Too late in the day for that trip.

    But I whipped up an adapter for my mom's dryer and now I'm charging good here :). Future problems solved!
     
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  18. theflyer

    theflyer Member

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    Two reasons I can think of for the slow charge rate:
    1) your state of charge was still to high. If your state of charge was above 70,% or so, the battery cannot accept a full-rate charge so the car asks for less power.
    2) there was another Tesla using the paired Supercharger. Each Supercharger is numbered 1A, 2B, 2A, etc. The A and B chargers share power.

    Glad to hear you made it and found away too connect to the 220 circuit.
     
  19. bcsteeve

    bcsteeve Member

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    I believe I was around 50%. No other cars at all.
     
  20. GaryW

    GaryW Member

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    I have used 5 or so SC, so I’m not the voice of experience.

    The two things I notice:

    1) I usually charge at a lower rate (70 KW is not uncommon), and number drops steadily after 50%
    2) I still don’t have time to take a short walk, make a pit stop, and eat at a sit down place without being rushed.
     

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