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Long trip soon after delivery, any tips?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by bswn1, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. bswn1

    bswn1 Member

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    Curious if there's any tips for those of you that have taken long trips in the Tesla? I'm picking up a 70D soon and will be heading out in the next 1 - 2 months about 1500 miles. We've got the trip mapped on evtripplanner.com, and we're never more than 170 rated miles away from our next SC. Anything for those particularly long stretches I should keep in mind? Is 170 miles to the next charger a relatively safe buffer in a 70D? Should we range charge each stop or trust the car's nav and energy calculator?

    I think the average is about 100 miles, but the longest stretch is 150 - 170 miles rated range away from power.
     
  2. sbportech

    sbportech Member

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    Having done a few longs trips in our 70 I can offer you a few tips. First is the range is about 30% less in the cold, we were in the 0's-the 30's for most of our winter trip. I just took a trip out to SLC and back with temps in the 60's and there was not too much affect. The other thing to remember is that when on a long trip you have more weight in the car and that will make a difference on the up hills that the nav does not take into account. I usually give myself about 10% more charge after it says that I have enough change to make it to my next charge spot, I don't have to gauge in rated miles like most. The last thing is get used to driving the speed limit or a little below, and enjoy the car on the trip.
     
  3. byan1232

    byan1232 Member

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    I am also taking a road trip after delivery but we are planning to go from NJ to LA passing through Salt Lake City, Yellowstone, and San Francisco. I'm a little worried about driving at or below the speed limit. I'm normally used to driving 75-80 miles on the freeways.
     
  4. sbportech

    sbportech Member

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    I have found over 75 is not worth my time, i have to charge so much longer than just driving 75, also depends on the wind and temp. My last trip I was able to do 80 when it was in the 60's and had a little bit of a tail wind, two people and almost no luggage. One thing to remember is you are taking a road trip and if you wanted to make it the fastest trip possible then you would take a ICE car. On my 1100 mile trip home last week I think that it would have been about 4 hours faster with out the Tesla, but the 4 hours were worth it and I felt way better when I got home, you get the chance to get out of the car and walk around every few hours, stop at interesting placeless to eat and its at no fuel cost. Traveling with a 2 year old it is nice to let him out and run around every few hours anyways so it works great for my family.
    I would take your trips and have a little extra charge to start and then find you how your driving does with the range and then adjust from there, a few extra minutes at the charger is worth knowing that you will get there sometimes. After dropping off family in Sac and heading down I5 I was getting to the SpC with under 5% and not worrying about it.
     
  5. byan1232

    byan1232 Member

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    Well based on my understanding I feel like there's a lot more superchargers now than let's say two years ago. Also, the lower the state of charge when plugged in to a super charger, the faster the charge will be. So maybe taking more stops but driving a bit faster is ideal? I'm not sure how the math works out or if someone actually did the math.

    Would love over to find out :D
     
  6. Brunton

    Brunton Pontificating the obvious

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    What about that worries you, exactly? Stay more to the right and you should have no issues.

    I used to drive Philly to Baltimore every few months, and trying to stay with traffic at 75-80 made for a semi-stressful drive (to me at least). After the first few trips I slowed down to about 3-4 miles under the speed limit and stayed in the right or center lanes. Suddenly the drive was very pleasant. I was able to relax and let others battle the traffic. Took me all of about 10-15 more to make the 100+ mile drive. Slow down and enjoy the scenery.
     
  7. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    watch your speed, anything over 75MPH is actually counter productive.
    be aware that climatic conditions can have a serious effect on range. On one stretch of I70 in kansas I needed 30% more range than normal because of low temps and 30mph+ headwinds. I was drafting trucks in order to lessen the effects of the headwinds.
    rain and snow will also "steal" range from you.
    Lastly if the temps are below 40 try to plug the car in overnight or you could see significant vampire loss.
     
  8. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    From what I understand it is better for the battery to stay out of the top and bottom charge levels. So, don't habitually drive until it has 0 miles left on the range. I've done a couple long-distance trips and I charge extra so I arrive at the next supercharger with 20 or so miles on the battery. Maybe its all in my head, but I feel like I'm taking better care of the battery doing that.
     
  9. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    if the OP has TACC, he can set it at 2 seconds ( remembering the settings are in seconds, not car lengths, so the primary risk is rock chips rather than tailgating because you'll have legal, safe following even at setting 1).

    also, the overnight charge is crucial. Many hotels/motels have exterior 120v plugs that they'll let you use, and those eliminate the vampire and typically add about 3-5 miles per hour, so they are very useful. I carry a Hone Depot heavy duty 30 foot extension cord that I use on most long trips when there is no EV charging at my hotel.

    using PlugShare really helps find useful backups for long trips. I usually make contingency plans or plan an overnight stop when I have gaps more than 150 miles unless those are going downhill. Although I have a P85D I have a habit of driving fast and taking frequent charging breaks, which is less efficient but more pleasant for me.

    Finally, if the range is needed it is easy to beat rated range on level roads in moderate temperature without precipitation. Just set the cruise control (TACC I hope) at 55 mph. As a test I drove my P85D 301 miles and had almost 20% battery left, but I was during 45 MPH. An possibility without TACC and only doable then if your route is scenic, as mine was. I recommend it only to cure you of serious range anxiety. For me, once I did that I stopped worrying because I knew I could always do that if I needed to.
     
  10. thx1139

    thx1139 Member

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    Because of how the batteries and SuperChargers work to be most efficient with time. Do more frequent chargers for shorter periods of time. Get just enough charge to get to next SuperCharger with say 10% to spare. Unless you have a planned longer stop like for meal or something like that then charge the batteries all the way up. Remember especially in colder areas to turn Range Mode off when charging and turn back on when you get back on the road.
     
  11. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Everyone just about sumed it up, nothing to worry about.

    Nav sucks, so does the trip planner. So set your destination to be the next SpCer, from there, look at the Energy->Trips tab. Once it hits a safe buffer for you (7%-10%, some people say 20%, it's your call), drive off and watch the green line vs. the gray line. If the green line is above the gray line, feel free to speed more. If the green line is sinking below the gray line, slow down. Arrive at your next SpC with as low a SOC as you can.
     
  12. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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    IMHO that is unnecessary, I just completed a 4k round trip drive and would usually arrive at less than 10% remaining. you don't win prizes for overcharging and arriving with surplus energy reserves. the only caveat is that you need to factor in climatic and other known local conditions such as road closures and detours that will force you to deviate from your planned routes.
    FWIW the trip planner is vastly improved and is quite reliable now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The trip planner is vastly improved and is a useful tool on long trips. It gave me accurate estimates of how much to charge every stop along the way, that said you still have to use your head and be aware of things like strong headwinds that will cause it to not be spot on. but on "perfect" driving days, keeping to the posted speed limits the trip planner did not fail me.
     
  13. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Just relax and enjoy. 170 miles isn't a big deal, and the main thing is just going to be getting used to what the car can do.

    As others have noted, for best speed you want to arrive with as little on the battery as possible, and charge to the minimum you need to reach the next charger.

    But don't be afraid to add more! Sure, you'll waste a little time, but not a lot. Figure out what kind of buffer makes you happy. Charge to that. As your trip goes on, you'll probably find your expectations adjusting as you understand what the numbers really mean on the road, and you can bring your buffer down if you feel like it.

    The main thing is just to keep an eye on the estimated charge at arrival. You can see that in the Energy app, but you can also bring it up on the navigation screen by tapping the area with the ETA and miles remaining, at the bottom of the list of directions. Just bring that up and check it from time to time. If the estimate is steady or going up, then you're fine. If it's going down, then start to think about slowing down. Obviously, if it's 30% and drops to 29% over fifteen minutes, no big deal. If it's 10% and drops to 5% in five minutes, slow down.

    Finally, grab the PlugShare app for your smart phone and familiarize yourself with it. There are tons of chargers out there. Most are L2 (and you can't use non-Tesla L3 without the CHAdeMO adapter) which you don't want to rely on for a road trip, but it's good to have a Plan C. (Plan A being driving normally, Plan B being driving slowly.) It'll probably never come up, but if you can locate a slow charger in a pinch you might feel better about things.
     
  14. Gremlin

    Gremlin Member

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    Have the Tesla plug share URL running in the bottom of your browser (split screen). It will show nearby chargers in near real time. I like to know where non superchargers are as the Tesla map doesn't pull a lot all the nearby chargers. Life of a 60 kW user. Use cruise control 65 mph should be fine. I got the Tesla rear window shade as you use less AC to cool the car (more range) and it;s worth the 95 bucks.
    Going 95 south generally headed downhill lower than when headed north (use more energy). I like cursing at 65 mph and to use as less Superchargers as possible they degrade the battery. I sometimes skip a supercharger use overnight at the destination sport or hotel that has free EV chargers. Also keep looking at the energy history (last 30 miles average ) the estimated range doesn't mean squat! I run my AC at 73 degrees always get to my destination no problem. Always maintain 15 percent and don't let the battery drain in the yellow area for long, bad for the battery.
    Drove from Arlington, VA to Camp Lejune used 4 superchargers for a nearly 800 miles round trip for a 60 kw battery.
     
  15. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    Beware of headwinds. If you're going into a stretch with headwinds (like what is typical for driving north on 101 through Salinas Valley or I-5 north through San Joaquin Valley or west over 152 into Gilroy), then add a good buffer above and beyond what you'd normally add to drive faster. Newbies with the car very frequently underestimate the impact on wind. If you get caught with unexpected headwinds, SLOW DOWN. It won't kill you to driver slower.
     
  16. TTT

    TTT Member

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    I need to agree with Max, always charge 15-20% more than Nav tells you need to take into account weather amd wind. I would also recommend getting XPEL wrap so you don't need to worry about chipped paint. Take a look at my trip from SoCal to Colorado, it was a piece of cake, stopping to charge wasn't a problem because nature called. Only thing I wish we had was AP, that would have been the ultimate.
    Driving from SoCal to Denver - Page 2
     
  17. byan1232

    byan1232 Member

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    Actually, I'm not too sure but I think using the supercharger does not degrade the battery faster. I could be wrong?
     
  18. Steve2498

    Steve2498 Member

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    If doing this in winter time, I'd suggest using a buffer of 20% - 30% until you have some more experience. If temps are moderate and head winds aren't unusually high, you might dial that back to 10% - 20%.

    I recently drove from San Franciscio to Salt Lake. Temps were 15 - 30 degrees and I had some snow to deal with. On my worse case leg, I used 20% more than the trip planner said I needed, I was glad I started with a 30% buffer!
     
  19. ThortsMD

    ThortsMD Member

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    When I'm heading into unknown territory and possible head winds, I drive 3-ish miles under my standard for that local speed limit at the start of long drive. As I gain buffer, I accelerate later in the drive.
     
  20. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I don't think it does. I believe early on Tesla suggested it might degrade the battery more, but then with more real-world data they changed their mind. Or something like that. It seems that the main battery killer is temperature, and the Model S does a great job of keeping the battery cool when supercharging.
     

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