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Long trip - optimate charging and a 250kw question

Dskdsk

Member
May 18, 2021
8
17
Jersey
Hi

I'm planning a trip from NJ to Maine to NH and back to NJ.

I'm trying to crack the code on the optimal way to drive / charge. From what I've seen the rate of charge is way higher at lower battery levels - so where there are an adequate number of superchargers on route, it looks like it makes sense to get the car down around 5-10%, charge up to 60% max, quicker charges but more frequent stops.

Also, is there an easy way to determine where the 250kw chargers are? Can't seem to figure out how to filter for that on Tesla or ABRP.

Can't wait for a long ride with Autopilot helping out :)

Thanks for the help!!

Dave
 
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Frank99

April 2018 Model 3 LR RWD, EAP, FSD
Apr 7, 2016
351
473
Arizona
Great insight on charging strategy. If you’re using the in-car nav, it’ll tell you when you‘ve charged enough to get to the next SC. It’ll use 10% IIRC as the estimated charge for the next SC, so if you follow it’s guidance, you’ll use the strategy you suggested. I normally charge for about 5 minutes longer than it suggests so I can drive fast.
 
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Perscitus

Member
Jan 29, 2019
898
617
New York
You don't need to overthink any of this.
Plenty of superchargers around across New England, with the exception of far North-eastern VT, NH, ME. But even there just point and drive.

No need to fixate on V3s either, V2s will do just fine too and you will not see 200-250kW for long while charging anyway.

I'd recommend staying north of 15%, maybe even 20% and charging up to 60-75%, then moving on.

Once you reach your base area, charge up to 90% and use the range to explore, topping off as you see fit.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,889
13,633
San Diego
No need to fixate on V3s either, V2s will do just fine too and you will not see 200-250kW for long while charging anyway.
V3s are way better. They're more reliable and consistent in their charging speed, because they are newer, they seem to start charging faster, they deal with temperature better, there's essentially no sharing with other users, etc. I've had ample opportunity to compare them at this point.

Should always hit V3s if you can, and they are definitely worth fixating on if you're interested in fast travel. Obviously you don't go out of your way for them.

For the OP, yes, the right idea is to drive down to about 10% (you can really blast at the end to try to make it there at 5% if you want) and then charge up just enough to make it to the next stop according to the car; I'd recommend 5-10% margin vs. what the car says, just to be sure you can drive there as fast as you want, because it does tend to tell you to leave a bit too early (wait until the car says you're going to arrive at ~15% is probably best). You can adjust this margin once you're very comfortable and familiar with how things work (and account for weather conditions, or any conditions that could affect results!). If you're confused about why your usage varies, then you should maintain the margin. It just takes a couple extra minutes and reduces stress until you're familiar with how it works. Use the navigation in the car. It is quite good, but use it just for charger to charger, not for the entire trip (it is quite bad at that, since it does not minimize trip length; it seems to minimize the number of stops instead!). Remember that you can click the supercharger icon in the lower right to bring up all the superchargers, and then click it again, and you will not lose your current route. (This is an interface issue that is fairly confusing, especially when driving, but once you know it, it is no big deal.)

Basically, when using the navigation, you have to tell it which Supercharger to stop at, if you want to have optimal travel time.
Also, is there an easy way to determine where the 250kw chargers are? Can't seem to figure out how to filter for that on Tesla or ABRP.

Regarding 250kW SuC in ABRP. I don't know of a way to filter to 250kW (maybe there is?), but in most places in the US you must charge at some 150kW chargers on a journey (California is starting to become an exception in some places). However, ABRP does provide the information on which is which (have to click on the station), and you can choose to avoid them when trip planning in ABRP if it makes sense. However, it doesn't make sense to avoid a 150kW station if you have to charge to 95% to make it between two 250kW stations, due to the extremely long charge time at the 250kW station to get to that level. You just have to do what logically makes sense. ABRP is pretty good at it but can be slightly pessimistic.

I looked at the route to Portland, ME, just briefly. There are enough 250kW chargers there now that it may well make sense to try to hit them exclusively, for certain segments of your trip, but I didn't look in detail because I don't know the exact itinerary. ABRP did NOT exclusively hit them when I plugged in the trip, and it is trying to minimize trip time. But I don't think it necessarily adequately accounts for the penalty for visiting a 150kW Supercharger when utilization is high. As I said, just have to take a look and see what is reasonable. I assume you have a 2021 LR AWD. That should give you some additional flexibility to have the 250kW Superchargers make sense.

If you're traveling at a time when utilization is high, familiarize yourself with the in-car interface and how to change up your plans if utilization is too high at some Superchargers (or if there is limited service!!!). No one wants to wait in line to charge. However, in that sort of scenario, there are huge benefits to 250kW, of course, due to lack of sharing.

V3 FTW! 150kW are ok as long as it's not busy and you can rapidly switch between stalls - switch (extremely quickly of course) if you aren't seeing over 140kW within the first 30 seconds or so (assuming you're below 50% SoC of course). Also make sure it stays there (within the limits of the taper). Sometimes they'll start fast and then suddenly crap out - the V2 are pretty annoying overall!

BTW: Be sure to always navigate to Superchargers to ensure the battery warms properly.

At night, or if it's dim enough during the day, keep an eye on the lights on the Tesla logo on the pedestals. If they're off, the charger doesn't work. Happens all the time.
 
Last edited:

Gauss Guzzler

Safety Score = 7
Dec 27, 2020
553
706
Thousand Oaks, California
Note that sometimes the station will be listed as 250kW or 150kW but in reality most (all?) of the stalls might be 72kW. Fortunately 72kW may be more convenient for a meal stop anyway.

Also, be aware that some Superchargers are not actually accessible. For example, San Diego only has one Supercharger in the whole city but it's not open to the public. There's a guarded gate where you have to pay a troll for access. This isn't noted on the nav screen or on the website so if you arrive there with an empty battery you'll leave with an empty wallet.

Screenshot 2021-08-14 110203.jpg
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,758
3,495
Maine
Hi

I'm planning a trip from NJ to Maine to NH and back to NJ.

I'm trying to crack the code on the optimal way to drive / charge. From what I've seen the rate of charge is way higher at lower battery levels - so where there are an adequate number of superchargers on route, it looks like it makes sense to get the car down around 5-10%, charge up to 60% max, quicker charges but more frequent stops.

Also, is there an easy way to determine where the 250kw chargers are? Can't seem to figure out how to filter for that on Tesla or ABRP.

Can't wait for a long ride with Autopilot helping out :)

Thanks for the help!!

Dave
I'm on a trip now from Maine to Denver. Yes, if you play with ABRP, you'll find the optimal strategy is to drive fast, recharge at about 15% SOC, then up to about 65%, repeat. If you sign up for Premium, which means 14 days free, you'll find that ABRP uses weather, meaning the wind, to give you far more accurate estimates. I drove to Denver, 2100 miles in 3 days, with 20 stops, and drove at around 80mph for much of the trip, and honestly, I might have charged to 70% once a day. Oh, the ABRP Premium estimates were accurate to about 1% SOC. Tesla's planner had me off as much as 15% SOC. As for the 250kW V3 chargers, I didn't really look. If you get one, great, if not, that's also pretty good.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,088
1,449
Syracuse, NY
OK to answer your questions.

Yes, the way you think is the proper way to do a road trip. Go down to 9-15%, charge to 70% or so then hit the next Supercharger. You can tell the difference between Gen1, Gen2, and Gen3 superchargers by looking at the map in your car. Hit the lightening bolt to bring up the Superchargers, choose a Supercharger on the map and you should see the power level of the station.

Gen 1 = 120KW
Gen 2 = 150KW
Gen 3 = 250KW

The 72KW station you find inside cities are called Urban Superchargers. Try to avoid chargers inside major cities. (The 72KW ones)
Destination chargers are at hotels, restaurants, etc and they could be even slower.
 
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NC2CA

Member
Aug 10, 2021
6
6
North Carolina
Thanks, this is all very helpful. I'm about to take delivery of a new Model 3 and drive it coast to coast in the first week. As a first time EV owner, I think I might be a little nuts, but looking forward to the adventure!
 

Frank99

April 2018 Model 3 LR RWD, EAP, FSD
Apr 7, 2016
351
473
Arizona
You'll have a great time, and all this will make sense by the time you get back.

By the way, one thing to do on long trips is learn to use the Energy graph. The Consumption tab is kinda cute (believe it or not, you can look at the graph and see the effect of going over a bridge), but the Trip tab is the one that'll tell you whether you're gonna make it to the SC 200 miles down the road or not.
 

NC2CA

Member
Aug 10, 2021
6
6
North Carolina
You'll have a great time, and all this will make sense by the time you get back.

By the way, one thing to do on long trips is learn to use the Energy graph. The Consumption tab is kinda cute (believe it or not, you can look at the graph and see the effect of going over a bridge), but the Trip tab is the one that'll tell you whether you're gonna make it to the SC 200 miles down the road or not.
Thanks, I can't wait to dive in and learn all the little details.
 

golfpilot

Member
Oct 14, 2016
437
416
Modesto, CA
Drive as fast as you can to reach the next stop you can reach with as little charge as possible. 50-70% charge will usually yield you the fastest travel time. Some superchargers aren't close to the freeway, might be full, or if its a 150 charger shared. I will generally try to skip these by spending more time at the previous charger. Sometimes this hurts your overall travel time, sometimes it helps
 
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