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London - Manchester trip this weekend

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Amanmahal, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. Amanmahal

    Amanmahal Member

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    Hello all,

    So after the waiting, my 90D is finally being collected this Friday afternoon! Super excited, particularly as it might have the v7 software, great timing!

    I'm actually going to a function in Manchester on Saturday evening so planning on driving up Saturday afternoon from Uxbridge / West London, returning Sunday. However, as I don't yet have the car, and as this trip will basically be my first full day of driving the car, I'd appreciate any useful tips for the journey, particularly with regards to charging (but any other tips also gratefully accepted).

    So my ICE route up would be straight up the M40 then M42 Eastbound to M6 toll round Brum then M6 North the rest of the way. However, at 195 miles / 3.5 hours, I'm assuming I'll have to stop for charge somewhere. My options seem to be:

    1) Go all the way at lower speed and then charge in the car park upon arrival in Manchester. That said, with a pregnant wife, I'm likely to have to stop once along the way regardless of charge.
    2) Stop at the supercharger on the M42 - however this would then involve either a) going West around the M42 to M6 and not using the toll road so probably loads more traffic, or b) go West from M40 along M42 to supercharger, then double back on myself after the charge back past the M40 junction and round East to the M6.
    3) Stop at a non-supercharger on the way - I've ordered a Chadmeo charger to come with the car so maybe this would work.

    Normally I'd just see how this plays out on the day, but as it's literally the first day driving the car I thought I'd get advice on this occassion.

    Other notes:
    The hotel in Manchester is near the NCP Manchester Central car park which has charging spots and can be activated using the ChargeCar app (which I've signed up for).
    I've paid for an ecotricity card yesterday, hoping it turns up before the weekend.

    Many thanks for any thoughts on this, thanks all!

    Regards,
    Aman
     
  2. chetalien

    chetalien Member

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    Could always top up at Oxford services- I love the place. always stop whether I have to or not. Enjoy the break with a coffee and should see you through until Mcr.
    Lots of ecotricity points- can always charge anywhere with chademo.
     
  3. Amanmahal

    Amanmahal Member

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    Cheers for the tip - the Oxford one is only around 40 mins from my house so probably a bit too soon for a break - I think I might top up there on the way back down on Sunday. Sounds like Chadmeo will probabl be the best option for the trip...
     
  4. arg

    arg Member

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    You should make 195 miles comfortably if you do a range charge at home - you'd have to be really thrashing it down the motorway to exceed that in a '90 (and that seems unlikely given your concerns about traffic...).

    If you were heading for somewhere that you know well in terms of charging options, then that would be a reasonable plan. However, your knowledge of the destination is just based on maps, then you need to be prepared for disappointment. I'd want to arrive with plenty to get back to Warrington supercharger as your 'plan B' if the options at your destination turn out to be no good.

    But of course, plug in for what you can get every time your passenger needs a stop.

    I'd go there and see what the nav thinks about the traffic state of the two routes onwards rather than plan in advance to do one or the other.

    Yes. What you really want is the Keele supercharger, but it looks like it won't quite be open in time.

    I think I would stop briefly on the way up at Ecotricity point(s) as convenient - preferably picking one relatively early into the journey so that if it's broken/occupied you can go on to the next - ensuring that you arrive with enough margin to give you option if the overnight charge doesn't work out. Note that in this direction, the Oxford supercharger is hardly worth stopping at because your battery will still be too full and it will charge rather slowly.

    On the way home, if your overnight charging worked OK you are laughing - can probably make it straight home, and if not you've got Oxford ideally positioned for a top-up (if you arrive there close on empty, it will take less than 10 minutes to put 40 miles' worth to get you home).

    If your overnight charging didn't work, you then need to put in ~150 miles of charge to get home (assuming you arrived with say 50 miles in hand), or 100 miles to get to Oxford supercharger, or 60 miles to get to Hopwood Park supercharger. Your choice of:

    - Two 20-min Ecotricity stops plus Oxford Supercharger (or one 60 minute stop - Ecotricity points slow down after the first 30 mins even if the car could take it)
    - Diversion to Warrington supercharger, charge there to say 80% (say 35 mins) and probably stop Oxford also.
    - One 30 minute Ecotricity stop, then divert to Hopwood Park and charge enough to get home (~25 mins)

    Lots of choices, none particularly better than the other, and lots of variables.

    Key advice for any trip where you are pushing the bounds of range:

    - It's safe to arrive home or at a Supercharger with close to zero miles, anywhere else need to have some range in hand
    - If you don't think you can make it, take avoiding action early (slow down or divert) rather than wait: better to drive for a while at 60 than do your last few miles at 20 in a state of panic
    - On a tight trip, put the destination in the nav and have the 'trip' tab of the energy graph open. If there's any red, on the graph, you need to slow down. If there's yellow on the graph, your next destination had better be a supercharger or home - otherwise add a stop.
     
  5. scarlet

    scarlet Member

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    You should be Ok assuming you start with 220+ miles when you start your journey north
    If you get your chademo and ecotricity card you will have plenty of choices on the route
    I would call at the Warrington supercharger which is about 25 miles from Manchester city centre
    Also bear in mind that if the ecotricity chademo ( approx 100 miles per hour) is not working you can just plug the 43kwh (approx 60 miles per hour) as an alternative
    You may encounter football/rugby traffic depending on what time you travel
    Have a good trip
     
  6. Belly Buster

    Belly Buster Member

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    If you go to Hopwood you can carry on to the M5 and go north (and save the toll charge) - check the traffic though.

    Also you're not going far out of the way to go to Hopwood (M42) and double back up the M42 to the M6 Toll.
     
  7. Amanmahal

    Amanmahal Member

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    Brilliant thanks for all the suggestions guys, really appreciated. I think the key factor will be if my ecotricity card turns up then. If it does, I'll likely stop somewhere for lunch and use the Chadmeo. If not, I'll factor in hopwood supercharger on the northbound leg and Oxford services on way home. If overnight charging an issue in Manchester, then will add a stop at Warrington SC first thing on the southbound leg....

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually, one other related question. I was told that it's recommended to keep the battery between 20% and 80% charge and only infrequently charge the battery to 100% for long trips, in order to sustain the life of the battery. Do you have any idea how restrictive I should be in terms of charging up to 100%? E.g. For this Manchester trip should I begin my journey with just 80% charge?
     
  8. Belly Buster

    Belly Buster Member

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    Based on advice I have read (I'm not an owner), you should be fine to charge to 100% for a road trip, just don't do it all the time.
     
  9. arg

    arg Member

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    No. The thing you really don't want to do is charge to 100% then leave the car like that for a long period, especially if it is hot. Charging to 100% overnight ready for a trip and driving off the next morning has little effect.
     
  10. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    new car due shortly, havent really considered charging that much!
    This trip by the OP got me thinking

    Do you sign up to a contract with ecotricity, or pay per use, what are the charges or best value method to use non Tesla SC charging?
     
  11. chetalien

    chetalien Member

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    On another note to the OP- pop some pictures in of your car
     
  12. dh12345

    dh12345 Member

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    I charged in that same car park about 3 weeks ago, I came across a bloke who couldn't get the charger to work with the CYC app but it was fine when I tried with my CYC card. It's not a coverage issue, there's plenty of phone signal there.

    I think there may be a limit on how long you can charge for or how much you can take... I was trying to charge to 80% from about 30% but it eventually stopped charging around the 73% and then I couldn't get it to start again from the Tesla phone app.

    The bays can be busy, I couldn't get on at 10am in the morning but they were empty later and you shouldn't have a problem leaving the car overnight in the charging bay even if the car doesn't need a full night to charge. It may be worth downloading Chargebump, it's an app which allows other users to contact you if they need to charge and you are occupying a bay.

    Otherwise, as others have said Chademo and Ecotricity cards are really all you will need
     
  13. arg

    arg Member

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    I maintain a listing of UK charging networks that I try to keep up to date with prices etc (though it's constantly changing!):

    UK Charging Networks | Teslapedia


    Another point of advice for the OP, or anyone using the CHAdeMO adapter for the first time - the DBT chargepoints (as used by Ecotricity and most others) are extremely badly designed from an ease-of-use point of view. There's two main gotchas:

    - The CHAdeMO plugs. These need to be securely locked to the Tesla adapter before it will work. There's more than one kind of plug out there, but the most common kind have both a button on top and a lever underneath. You push the plug into the Tesla adatpter, it makes a satisfying 'click' and the button pops up, but IT IS NOT LOCKED yet. You additionally need to pull the lever towards the handle and latch it there with the little rubber cup provided.

    - The screen/buttons. It asks you questions where you have to press buttons around the edge of the screen; in particular for yes/no questions there's a tick and a cross icon at the bottom of the screen, where there aren't any buttons. A line drawn on the plastic shows you that these icons are in fact related to the bottom buttons in the row on each side, but that's hard to see in the dark or if the paint has faded, and if you press the button closest to the icon it doesn't work.

    Here's a photo of the connector not locked:

    chademo_not_latched_sml.jpg

    And the same again properly locked:
    chademo_latched_sml.jpg

    It's not just the Tesla adapter - I've had to help out Leaf drivers on occasion with the same issue
     
  14. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    brilliant - thankyou so much for this.
     
  15. Amanmahal

    Amanmahal Member

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    This is really awesome arg, thanks so much for this. I was slightly stressing at the back of my mind about looking like a total idiot when I get to a charging point (!), so this has really helped (plus I watched the Bobby Llew video on the ecotricity website which is quite good). The ecotriciy card has now arrived so think I'm going to go with CHAdEMO for the journey. There's a charger on the M6 Toll around Cannock (about 120 miles into the journey) then another on the M6 northbound (about 150 miles in) so I'll try each of these in turn with the plan to charge at the first working site. The ecotricity website says these are both Fast DC charger locations which I assume means CHAdEMO will work there.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ha, sure - will try to take pics when I collect it tomorrow though probably can't post them before next week.

    Went for a 90D with pano roof, air suspension, 19" wheels (I wanted the car as quiet as possible), premium interior, cold weather pack and autopilot. In terms of colours, I've gone for red exterior (to get my wife on board with the purchase!), with tan next gen seats, obeche gloss wood trim and black alcantara roof. I also signed up for the sound pack upgrade in a momentary loss of control during the ordering process, so will be interesting to see what that's like!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also super useful information again arg, really appreciate this all. I'll happily buy you a drink when you're free as a thank you for this.

    It does feel like battery care / protection is the biggest ownership consideration to protect the long term residual value of the car (well, besides not writing the thing off!), so obviously important to get this right from the beginning. It had never been explained that way to me before, so it will be interesting for me to push some open questions about battery protection to the delivery specialist to see what they have to say too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's useful information, thanks dh12345.

    I'll look to put in a decent charge on the M6 northbound to ensure I've got sufficient mileage to get to the Warrington supercharger if I have car park problems, which is on the way back down.

    In an attempt to plan ahead, I did check with the hotel and discover that the two nearest car parks (both c.5 min walk from hotel) were the "Great Northern Car Park" on Watson Street and the "Central Lower Car Park" on Trafford Street, either side of the Central Convention Centre. I then googled these and ordered a GMEV card thinking that's the one needed, but I've subsequently spotted from arg's post on charging that they might not accept my application as I'm not actually living in manchester and this is just a subsidised way to get a CYC card. If it arrives, great I'll use the Watson Street car park which only accepts cards. If not, it says that the Trafford Street one accepts the app for charging rather than just card so fingers crossed I can get this to work.

    - - - Updated - - -

    One final (?!) question on the trip that is non-charging related...

    I've noted that mbouyges is extremely critical of the in-built sat nav but there's not too much comment in it otherwise in the forums, and nothing particularly positive. How reliable is the sat nav? I've spotted a tip previously that says to turn off the route option that puts in superchargers as this can give really funky route guidance, and just use this as a standard "plain vanilla" point to point sat nav? Also, did v7 improve the sat nav? Seems like low-hanging fruit to be addressed in an upgrade...
     
  16. arg

    arg Member

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    The route-via-superchargers feature is both ill-conceived in what it tries to do and buggy in how it's implemented, so best left turned off (although labeled 'beta', it is turned on by default).

    The nav in general, in my opinion, is quite good. It has a few missing features that you might have expected (no ability to set a route with waypoints, or any preferences on routing choice), but aside from that it works quite well.

    Some people have criticised the traffic-aware route choice, saying things like "Waze did it better for the journey I just took", but that's a swings-and-roundabouts thing where the two databases of congestion data are different but not clearly better (Tesla is using Inrix for the route choice, though it shows you Google on the big display) - I've definitely had journeys where the nav got it right and Google got it wrong. A fair criticism is that the Tesla nav tends to be a bit 'twitchy' - it will sometimes take an avoiding route to avoid trouble on the 'obvious' route when the delay is only minor and the detour isn't worth it.

    However, the Tesla nav has one huge advantage over ordinary satnavs due to the extra display space available: you've got the turn-by-turn directions next to the speedo, but at the same time and without any pressing of buttons you've got the big map showing the overall route and the Google traffic status. So when it is showing you a turn off the motorway you weren't expecting, you have the chance to see what it has in mind and whether you think the diversion is worth it - and if not, you just don't make the turn and it recalculates.

    I haven't done any significant navigating since V7, but I haven't noticed any improvement.


    The other grumbles concerning navigation really relate to internet connectivity - where Tesla's europe-wide deal with Telefonica has left them on the O2 network in the UK with rather poor coverage in rural areas. This leaves you with no big map (but turn-by-turn carries on working even with no internet connection) and obviously no traffic updates when going through a coverage black-spot. Also, due to the way the navigation handles entering a destination (using a Google search), you can't enter a new destination when there is flaky coverage. When there's no coverage at all, there's a back-up method of entering a street address like a conventional satnav, but the problem is that in many areas O2 claims to have a strong signal but doesn't actually provide any data throughput, and in that situation the car still tries to use Google rather than the back-up entry system. Work-around is to pick a destination from your 'favourites' or 'history' (or the built-in list of superchargers), all of which work without an internet connection - if you haven't got your actual destination in favourites/history, pick something from there that's in vaguely the right direction and re-enter when you have internet coverage again.
     
  17. Amanmahal

    Amanmahal Member

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    Thought I'd just udpate on outcome of my first weekend with the car and the roadtrip -

    Collection of the car (last friday pm)
    - Generally all great. My delivery specialist and everyone involved in the sales process has been really good (and in fairness, I seem to have lucked into a relatively short delivery timeline). The guy that actually showed me through the car though was nice but lacking in knowledge (he'd clearly never spent a long time driving one round); he didn't know how to turn off the "sat nav via superchargers" option and in fact claimed you couldn't! I obviously put him right based on what I've read here! Also asked him about battery care and he had no detailed information or tips to offer besides not charging it to 100% often.

    Trip charging
    - I started fully charged, did a relatively fast speed up the M40 then and used a CHAdEMO charger on the M6 toll to charge up (Arg, your picture of the CHAdEMO was super-helpful). The services (Norton Canes) were a pretty poor affair, but good location. A family member actually owns a hotel in Cannock right off the M6 toll and it looks like he might be approved for 2x superchargers here though, which would be ideal for this trip. (He also says he's provisionally had an application accepted for another hotel in Colchester and might be able to put in 2x SCs there too to help out the East England drivers).

    - I had planned to charge overnight at the hotel but it transpired I had got the wrong hotel and the one we were staying at was miles away from a charge point! Fortunately I had plenty of charge so waited till the next morning to pick up 40 mins of charge at Warrington SC on way home. This gave me around 200 miles of charge. In reality this was good enough to get me down to the Oxford SC with 8% power left and I got another 30 mins charge here that left me in great shape down to London and to get on with a couple of local journeys Sunday evening.

    Overall charging time impact - ICE would be 3:30 plus 30 min break (4hrs). On way up, my travel matched this. On way back, due to the Warrington stop early I ended up being around 5 hours for the same journey.

    Autopilot
    - This was pretty awesome. After a few minutes of being terrified, you get used to being comfortable with it quite quickly. 80% of the journey was using autopilot and I only had 2 scares:

    1) In the fast lane on the M6 I approached stationary traffic and the car was struggling to stop down in time (AP was partly pressing down the break in addition to regen). It sent out an audible beep and told me to take control, at which point I pushed the break down all the way and the car stopped just in time, narrowly missing hitting the stationary car in front.

    2) In the fast line going round a long sweeping turn on the M40, i increased the AP speed and I think this threw the AP. It started swinging to the outside of the lane and started to cross the lane into a car in the middle lane; again it beeped (as it crossed the lane divider) and I took control and moved the car back to the correct position. I actually could/should have taken control sooner but I was giving AP as long as possible to correct the issue, which it didn't on this occassion.

    Both were a little scary to be honest, but the beeps provided enough time to recover the situation (and I was paying attention) so nothing too troubling. Also, I use up a lot of concetration driving on long journeys; this is the first time ever that I've felt in reasonable shape on a long journey. By AP making ongoing driving less taxing, it probably helped my alertness when it was actually needed (and I had much more energy when I arrived home).

    One final point - the car is awesome! It's so smooooth to drive. I'd forgotten what it was like since the test drive was 6 months ago and quite short, but it's the smoothest thing in the world to drive, I can't get enough of it!
     
  18. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    great write up

    Hoping mine turns up soon!
    Can't wait
     
  19. Sirguydo

    Sirguydo Member

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    Really good write up thanks
     
  20. Henryv

    Henryv Member

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    Excellent!!
    Thanks for taking the trouble!
     

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