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Model S vs Audi TDIs vs 535d - looong commute

BigEgyptian

Member
Oct 22, 2020
13
2
Woods & Sticks of CT
Agree with this. It seems that most who see 40% loss are driving in Montana or similar, gale winds with large elevation changes. Not typical NE or mid-Atlantic conditions.

Thank you @CSFTN ; my assumption of 40% loss was actually based on a blog post for someone who had bought an 85D, and lived in MA. Not too far from where I live (can't seem to find the link now, but will paste here once I find it again).
When doing my calculations, I actually added a buffer to that, and assumed a 55% loss, just to be safe.

Two questions: 1) do you have access to charging at your place of work? I'm assuming you don't since you're concerned about having range for the full 170 mile round trip. 2) How fast do you drive?
Thank you @JohnQ
1) Checking online, I could find a Tesla Destination Charger less than 3 miles from where I'll be working (Ridgefield, CT, if that helps)
2) I usually average around 75, with speeds varying between 70 & 80mph (rarely go over 80).

What I'm planning on doing over the next couple of weeks is to actually drive out to the place and see if they have any chargers in the parking lot that are not considered 'public'. If they do, then we have a much easier problem to solve here.

I'm in SW CT and have a 2013 85kWh that I've owned since new. When it was new, I could make the drive to Boston--exactly 170 miles--in the dead of winter if I charged to 100% and kept the speed between 75 and 80 mph. 100% charge was 265 miles and I usually arrived with about 40 miles when temps were in the single digits. I'd then charge up over 10 hours at an L2 while at work (this was before there were any superchargers on the I-84 to I-90 route) and make the drive home the same day.

If you don't have a charger at work you have to consider the energy to reheat the cold soaked battery while you're at work. If you slow down, that'll help, of course. I'd honestly be uncomfortable with that drive in the winter, including the cold soak, with less than 250 miles range. You'll get killed on range if there's slush on the road and that would definitely require a supercharger stop on the way home.

I still wouldn't get the Audi or BWW, I'd just get the right Model S for the job if it's in your budget--current model year LR.

Thank you for explaining your ownership experience, this actually helps.
You also bring up a great point; my commute is going to be something like this in the dead of winter:
- Leave garage at home, fully charged (% charge TBD, based on model)
- Drive 85 miles
- Sit for 10 - 12 hrs in single digit freezing weather - I'm sure I'll venture out for the occasional lunch every now & then
- Drive 85 miles back

That last bit is the one in question :)
I want to make sure I have enough juice, after pre-conditioning, to allow me to drive back with no issues.
 

JohnQ

Active Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,612
75
Redding, CT
I live the next town over from Ridgefield so familiar with the area. The only L2 charger I'm aware of that's publicly available is at town hall. Usually even a "private" L2 charger will appear on PlugShare. L1 is a different story but all that would give you is a warm battery rather than any significantly added miles. Though it's the cold soak that will kill you, especially if you also head out for lunch.

Don't forget, there's a supercharger at Danbury Mall where 84 meets 7. If you're headed toward the Merritt then there's no other option but popping down to Milford. It's tough to drive anywhere along a major highway in CT and not be within a few miles of a supercharger. Stopping for 10 minutes is a pain in a regular commute but you'd really only be doing it on the really cold mornings if you go with an S that charges to less than 250 miles.

I drove 80 miles to Windsor yesterday along 7, 84 and 91. It was 35 degrees in the morning. Cost me 115 miles of range. It took me 1:04 to complete the drive so gives you an idea of the speeds I was driving. If I slowed down would have made a big difference. On the way home it took me 1:20 in 55 degree weather and I used 95 miles of range.
 

BigEgyptian

Member
Oct 22, 2020
13
2
Woods & Sticks of CT
I live the next town over from Ridgefield so familiar with the area. The only L2 charger I'm aware of that's publicly available is at town hall. Usually even a "private" L2 charger will appear on PlugShare. L1 is a different story but all that would give you is a warm battery rather than any significantly added miles. Though it's the cold soak that will kill you, especially if you also head out for lunch.
In that case, then there's an interesting discrepancy I found, and is part of my 'scope out' plan:
Plugshare is only showing the L2 charger at town hall.

Google maps is showing 2 more chargers in the area:
1. Tesla Destination Charger - 60 Backus Ave, Danbury, CT 06810 - this one's the closest to where I'll be working
2. Tesla Supercharger - 7 Backus Ave, Danbury, CT 06810 - I believe that's the one you're referring to

Don't forget, there's a supercharger at Danbury Mall where 84 meets 7. If you're headed toward the Merritt then there's no other option but popping down to Milford. It's tough to drive anywhere along a major highway in CT and not be within a few miles of a supercharger. Stopping for 10 minutes is a pain in a regular commute but you'd really only be doing it on the really cold mornings if you go with an S that charges to less than 250 miles.
I think that's the second one of the 2 I listed above.
My commute will take me onto I-84 East, and from there all the way home. So, the Merritt is not part of my commute.

I have to agree with you about the regular stop being a pain. That's where I'm going back-and-forth all the time, to be perfectly honest... do I stay within my budget, and tough out the 10 - 15 min stop on cold days (the rest of the year, my commute should be ok)
Or, should I bite the bullet, and get the new one and be done with it?

Trying to take it a little slow for now, to make sure the Model S will check all other boxes for us, before I start thinking about it at this level

I drove 80 miles to Windsor yesterday along 7, 84 and 91. It was 35 degrees in the morning. Cost me 115 miles of range. It took me 1:04 to complete the drive so gives you an idea of the speeds I was driving. If I slowed down would have made a big difference. On the way home it took me 1:20 in 55 degree weather and I used 95 miles of range.
Thank you, this does help.
 

BigEgyptian

Member
Oct 22, 2020
13
2
Woods & Sticks of CT
To sum up, my gameplan is as follows:
1. Rent out a Model S (or ask the dealership to lend me one) for a weekend to see if/how it fits our lifestyle
2. Drive out to the place where I'll work, to scope out the area and see if there are any chargers nearby

Based on my findings, buy the model that fits my findings :)

Will circle back with updates here, as I go through these steps
The 'buy' action may still be months away, depending on when companies decide to go back to work. Before then, I'd be spending a LOT of money to park the car in my garage for 90% of the time :)

A huge THANK YOU to everyone for patiently answering my questions, and chiming in with their experiences

More to come, as my plan unfolds... :)
 
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2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,787
1,834
USA
Consider a long range Y or 3, new. More range and warranty for the money.
hes stated (multiple times) he needs the space/room that the S has.

To BigEgyptian: As a high performance gas car lover all of my life (AMG, //M, etc), after owning my S for the past ten months? Never going back. Sold two Mercedes since the S purchase and about to sell the wifes Lexus for a Y fairly soon. While traditional cars are (for example) doing everything to ADD more gears to their transmissions to increase efficiency and reduce 0-60, Tesla went to...ONE gear. And is MORE efficient and faster (especially in their performance versions) than all but exotic supercars.

No more exhaust system, Oxygen sensors, fuel filters, clogged fuel injectors, air filters, spark plugs, transmission and differential fluid changes, no more oil/filter changes, brake pads/rotors that literally may last the life of the vehicle, no more...(Do I need to go on?)

EV is just so much more efficient. A combusion engine needs so many systems JUST to keep it at the right operating temp, to keep the air/fuel flow at the right ratio during varying conditions, etc. While an electric car (aside from the electronics) is so much more simple...a battery pack, couple of efficient electric motors. Thats almost 95% of your drivetrain/power....

Did I say Im NEVER going back to gas engine cars? Get the Tesla. You'll have no regrets.
 
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DustinT

Member
Oct 14, 2020
62
30
Atlanta, Georgia
hes stated (multiple times) he needs the space/room that the S has.

To BigEgyptian: As a high performance gas car lover all of my life (AMG, //M, etc), after owning my S for the past ten months? Never going back. Sold two Mercedes since the S purchase and about to sell the wifes Lexus for a Y fairly soon. While traditional cars are (for example) doing everything to ADD more gears to their transmissions to increase efficiency and reduce 0-60, Tesla went to...ONE gear. And is MORE efficient and faster (especially in their performance versions) than all but exotic supercars.

No more exhaust system, Oxygen sensors, fuel filters, clogged fuel injectors, air filters, spark plugs, transmission and differential fluid changes, no more oil/filter changes, brake pads/rotors that literally may last the life of the vehicle, no more...(Do I need to go on?)

EV is just so much more efficient. A combusion engine needs so many systems JUST to keep it at the right operating temp, to keep the air/fuel flow at the right ratio during varying conditions, etc. While an electric car (aside from the electronics) is so much more simple...a battery pack, couple of efficient electric motors. Thats almost 95% of your drivetrain/power....

Did I say Im NEVER going back to gas engine cars? Get the Tesla. You'll have no regrets.
Your post is making me chuckle. We just Turn-rented a 2017 Model S 75 for five days to get some experience with it before our 2021 MSLR is delivered. It was a revelation for my wife, who LOVED it. Her first turn behind the wheel she decided to drive all the way to the mountains on a bit of a joy ride. Super nice... I'm hoping I'll be able to trade in her 8 year old Honda soon on a MY as a second car.

However, it'll take something more to pry the keys to my Ram out of my hands. Real 4x4, 10k lbs towing capacity and a hand stiched leather interior are still not available in an electric vehicle. Perhaps in another 2-3 years, someone with come up with something that does NOT look like a movie prop and meets my needs.
 
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BigEgyptian

Member
Oct 22, 2020
13
2
Woods & Sticks of CT
Consider a long range Y or 3, new. More range and warranty for the money.
Thank you, I actually need the longer wheelbase of the S, due to us being a long legged family :)

To BigEgyptian: As a high performance gas car lover all of my life (AMG, //M, etc), after owning my S for the past ten months? Never going back. Sold two Mercedes since the S purchase and about to sell the wifes Lexus for a Y fairly soon. While traditional cars are (for example) doing everything to ADD more gears to their transmissions to increase efficiency and reduce 0-60, Tesla went to...ONE gear. And is MORE efficient and faster (especially in their performance versions) than all but exotic supercars.

No more exhaust system, Oxygen sensors, fuel filters, clogged fuel injectors, air filters, spark plugs, transmission and differential fluid changes, no more oil/filter changes, brake pads/rotors that literally may last the life of the vehicle, no more...(Do I need to go on?)

EV is just so much more efficient. A combusion engine needs so many systems JUST to keep it at the right operating temp, to keep the air/fuel flow at the right ratio during varying conditions, etc. While an electric car (aside from the electronics) is so much more simple...a battery pack, couple of efficient electric motors. Thats almost 95% of your drivetrain/power....

Did I say Im NEVER going back to gas engine cars? Get the Tesla. You'll have no regrets.
Hahaha
Completely agree, and THIS is exactly why I'm considering it. There is no doubt that it's far more efficient than any ICE engine. It's all a matter of range, at this point :)
 

BigEgyptian

Member
Oct 22, 2020
13
2
Woods & Sticks of CT
Speaking of range... saw this on social media the other day, and it might be what I need to do in the dead of winter :D :D

123249397_851584382331930_1165632073249029329_n.jpg
 

babydocmd

Supporting Member
Oct 26, 2017
5
15
Burlington, NC
Congratulations on your Model S future. I commute 110 miles roundtrip and my first ignorant winter in temperate NC/VA included more than one limp home with the heat off due to poor planning . . . and I bet it is REALLY cold in CT. IMO you have at least one criterion that cannot be compromised . . . the ability to get to work and back home in relative comfort without range anxiety. That will require the 100D. Tesla and fanboys may claim the 90D will suffice. It won't. If free Supercharging is your thing then a Unicorn 100D is a great option. But given your plan for non-Supercharged commuting, expanding your search past Unicorns will significantly increase your options. Electricity on Elon's dime feels good but as a practical matter is relatively inconsequential. Forgoing P models will save you money in initial cost and staggered wheels/tires. The best tires in the world (and skill) are no match for this big, heavy car. I beseech you to NOT drive a P85DL or P100DL. They are fantastic. But you will never get the image of those staggered 21" wheels or experience of the speed out of your head. You don't need either. For the cost of replacing one set, you could easily have a 19" winter wheel/tire (Nokian) and a 19" 3-season (shod with Pilot Sport 4S). Yes, I am a hypocrite. Every Spring the 21s go back on . . . with glee.

I agree with everyone else that once you go Tesla, it is unlikely you will return to ICE but . . . Tesla still does not know how to make a luxury interior. If you are accustomed to 6-figure Euro (new), you WILL be disappointed by Tesla. It's not a deal breaker, you will learn to live with it. But if you can't an oil-burning Audi is probably better . . . if you can find it.
 

VaztheDad

Member
Apr 23, 2019
113
66
Nashville, TN
Would asking your employer to install a destination charger (or even a few) be out of the question? Being able to prewarm your car prior to departure and not expend your battery will be a huge luxury.

Decent incentives for companies to install these and provide for their employees.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,814
23,174
Texas
What do you guys think? Where have I gone wrong?
My recommendation is to always get the longest range you can possibly afford. No one ever regrets having additional range. Charging is faster, the useful life of the car is longer, and sometimes stuff happens--such as the road being closed for a few hours due to blizzard conditions or accidents.
 

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