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Model S or Y for Boston/NY trips?

ChatNoir

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
3
0
Boston
Hi all,

Excited to be planning to order my first Tesla in the coming days! I was hoping for the community's advice as we decide between a Model S or a Model Y-

All things considered I would rather go for the extra height and cargo capacity of the Y. But a primary use for the car would be making trips between Boston and NY, at ~215 miles each way. I'd prefer to avoid having to charge along the way if possible.

In real-world conditions of highway speeds, chilly weather, 2 or 3 years of battery capacity degradation, another passenger, etc. - will even the S require a mid-trip charge if we're keeping the battery in the ~10-90% charge range? If that's the case, I'm inclined to just opt for the Y (which I assume will definitely have to be charged along the way).

Thanks for your help!
 

1.21GW

Member
Jul 23, 2018
739
1,185
Michigan
The new model S would be my choice. With the rear hatch, you can still store a ton of items. The 412 miles of rated range(0-100%), which in the middle of winter would probably be around 250-270 miles of real range (10-90% and winter efficiency hit)

In the summer months, you could probably make it without charging in the Y, but it would be more challenging in the winter.
 

TFCooper3

Member
Nov 13, 2019
29
13
Massachusetts
In real-world conditions of highway speeds, chilly weather, 2 or 3 years of battery capacity degradation, another passenger, etc. - will even the S require a mid-trip charge if we're keeping the battery in the ~10-90% charge range?
If that's the case, I'm inclined to just opt for the Y (which I assume will definitely have to be charged along the way).
The short answer is yes, you will want to charge somewhere along the way. You can make it without charging, but you'll be looking for a destination charger pretty quick.
In cold weather (say 20°) your range will be reduced by around 30% from optimal temperature (around 65°), in my experience.
 

ChatNoir

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
3
0
Boston
In cold weather (say 20°) your range will be reduced by around 30% from optimal temperature (around 65°), in my experience.
Thanks! I've read that preheating the cabin can help there - in your experience does it not make as big a difference as expected since the battery still needs to be warmed up?
 

Raechris

Member
Nov 21, 2017
643
298
Boston
I've owned S75D and presently have LR Y. The S is quieter and a better ride but the Y is excellent. If money is a consideration then the Y is a much better value and the S isn't worth paying close to double for its marginal benefits over Y IMHO.
Wait for likely 7k fed tax credit and 2500 in MA for Y if car is 50k or less (destination and doc fee now excluded). To get Y for 40k net is crazy good deal.
 
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David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,186
685
Cary, NC
Preheating the cabin/battery helps a small amount.
It isn't just heat, the air is denser in the cold. The tires are stiffer. Things that have nothing to do with cabin heating hurt efficiency.

I haven't lived in the area for 20+ years but are you really driving "highway speeds" in that corridor? For much of the country, that means 80 MPH. You should consider that going even 55 mph for part of the trip might be a challenge. The slower speeds will be more efficient. A lot of times, avoiding a charging stop involve slowing down a bit. I have a regular trip that is a bit tight with cold weather and it means 75 mph instead of 80 mph.

You also need to consider your charging at arrival. It is comfortable to arrive to your own house with 15 miles on the clock. Not so much if you don't have complete control of charging. You also need to consider whether you can charge right before leaving. We have a weekend place and sometimes we leave after work - so that adds a few miles - since I can't charge at work.
 
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jpk195

Member
Sep 15, 2018
64
25
Boston Ma
Preowned S (100d?) versus new Y seems like the right comparison based on pricing. I’m picking up a 90d next week. I chose that over a Y because I just like the S better(and selling my 3 for more space). The highway seems to be the place it really shines. That said, the totally practical choice is probably still the Y.
 
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ChatNoir

New Member
Feb 23, 2021
3
0
Boston
Preheating the cabin/battery helps a small amount.
It isn't just heat, the air is denser in the cold. The tires are stiffer. Things that have nothing to do with cabin heating hurt efficiency.

I haven't lived in the area for 20+ years but are you really driving "highway speeds" in that corridor? For much of the country, that means 80 MPH. You should consider that going even 55 mph for part of the trip might be a challenge. The slower speeds will be more efficient. A lot of times, avoiding a charging stop involve slowing down a bit. I have a regular trip that is a bit tight with cold weather and it means 75 mph instead of 80 mph.

You also need to consider your charging at arrival. It is comfortable to arrive to your own house with 15 miles on the clock. Not so much if you don't have complete control of charging. You also need to consider whether you can charge right before leaving. We have a weekend place and sometimes we leave after work - so that adds a few miles - since I can't charge at work.
Thanks for the thoughtful commentary. You definitely can't do 80 all along the trip, but there are definitely stretches where it's possible - probably about a third of it - though certainly there are other times when the traffic is considerable. Is it a fair summary that you feel that, even with the S, I'd likely have to charge along the way for much of the year?
 

TFCooper3

Member
Nov 13, 2019
29
13
Massachusetts
You definitely can't do 80 all along the trip, but there are definitely stretches where it's possible - probably about a third of it...
Goodness gracious, you drive fast! You thinking Pike-84-91, then Merritt or perhaps 95?

In any case, going 75+ in cold weather will require a stop, even with cabin preheat. E.g. going 80 versus 65 will increase your power consumption over distance by over 30%. That's because the power required to overcome air resistance increases with the cube of speed.

For comparison, the nominal range on our S is 360+ miles, but the only way I'd attempt the 300-mile trip nonstop to our Maine cottage is in the warmer months, at 70mph on I-95. And even then I'd probably hit the K-bunk chargers, if only for a bathroom stop.
 

jlv1

Twice as much fun
Oct 14, 2015
471
445
Central MA
We do trips from MA=>Buffalo (~440miles) all the time (well, not over the last 12 months), summer and winter. With my S75D (~240mi range), we usually charge twice on the way (Albany and Utica), but we need the bathroom break anyway. With the X100D (~290mi range) we only stop to charge in Utica (unless we need the bathroom break). Our usual speed in MA is 75mph, but on the NY Thruway it drops to about 72mph (rest of traffic).

I've not driven a Y so I can't compare it to either of our cars. FWIW, my S has coils and the X has air suspension, and I can't tell the difference when driving the car.

Both of our cars predate the Raven range improvements. You are only going about half the distance, so a new S or a Y should make it without charging when starting with 100%. My S75D when new was close to getting to Utica with about 2% remaining, although I wouldn't push it like that.

2 years ago we were going to Buffalo for Christmas in the Model S and traveled in an snow/ice storm. The car was coated with 1/2" of ice. On that trip we had to stop to charge 3 times IIRC.
 

powaking

Member
Feb 1, 2018
432
263
Massachusetts
When I got my S I found someone in Queens selling a set of Slipstreams which I intended to use for my winter tire setup. Coming from southeastern MA I only had to stop once in CT at a mall (forget the name). It really worked out well as not only did I need to charge but I also needed to use the restroom and have lunch. So I think with these long trips the bladder range is also a factor that needs to be included in any road trip. Now the new S can certainly make it without the need for a charge but I think there will be situations where bladder will trump all.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,256
6,779
Canyon Lake,CA
Boston and NY have terrible roads. I would imagine the S with the amazing adaptive air suspension would give the far more enjoyable driving experience. It's 100 kWh battery makes it the King of long range.
The 4 door hatch back design gives it tremendous carrying capacity even compared to the Y.

S carries a price premium over the Y, but the driving for long distances is far better.
 
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