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Model X Long-Range Report: Denver to Dallas (About 900 miles) in 1 Day

Discussion in 'Model X' started by swesson, May 10, 2016.

  1. swesson

    swesson Member

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    I recently made my first long-range trip in my new Model X. I've had the car for 3 weeks. I chronicled my thoughts about the trip below.

    4:51am (Mountain time) Departure: Fully charged with range reading of 263 miles. I put the car in autopilot on e470 at 78mph. Projected to arrive at the Limon, CO Supercharger (SC) at 6:00am. It is a very quiet, dark morning and the silence of the X engine makes the beginning of the drive almost eery.

    6am: First Stop, LIMON Colorado: The Limon SC was adjacent to Arby's. I had the place to myself. I only charged for 8 minutes, but EVTRIP Planner suggested 4. Decided not to skip Limon because it would extend my range to Goodland. Should I charge for the 53 minutes that was recommended at Goodland or subtract the extra 4 that I took at Limon? I haven't used the AC or heat to save energy for now. It's 46 degrees outside so I don't need it. I used The BioWeapon Defense Mode near Kanorado at a huge cattle farm. The outside air really smelled bad! I used BWDM and the smell went away in mere seconds! Autopilot works great for the most part, but Autopilot + high winds + 18 wheelers + construction = scary! Also, I can't figure out why auto-lane changes works sometimes and not others. Scheduled to have 17% of my battery left when I hit Goodland, KS. I’ve only had the car for 3 weeks and so I still have some range anxiety issues! Hopefully, this trip will work those out.

    8:47am Second Stop, Goodland KS (change to central time): First sighting of another Tesla! Also saw my first etiquette breach where the driver parked across 3 stations perpendicular to the chargers. Plenty of area amenities such as: Holiday Inn express, Steak and Shake, and a truck stop across the road. Planning to charge for an hour. One learning: the car uses energy faster than it predicts. (I found out later this is due to my lead foot!) The charger charged at 338mph. I learned something else at this stop: I forgot to put the car in range mode at the beginning of the trip, but I’m not sure it cost me much economy. The Goodland stop charge was about 37 minutes. Total driven so far 202.6. Avg. energy is 369w/h. Maybe I should just trust EV Trip planner since it seems to make very good recommendations regarding speed, how long to charge, etc. I could easily sub-optimize if I don't pay close attention. The Holiday Inn Express in Goodland was very friendly to Tesla owners charging. They were happy to let me hang out in their lobby, use their restrooms, etc. now on to Hays which is 142 miles, second longest segment of the day. Also the second longest charge of the day at 53 minutes. (I decided to go for the original charge recommendation).

    12:02pm Third Stop: Hays, KS: The conditions were very windy, as is customary on the plains of Kansas. This SC is located in an Applebee's parking lot. One other Tesla at the SC, but he didn't stay long. I want to stay a bit longer than the recommendation since I'm experiencing a lot of wind conditions that appear to be sapping the battery faster than projected. Next stop is Salina, KS. Range is still not what I thought it would be. Probably the combo of wind and my lead food. Tip: always check PlugShare before stopping at an SC or any charging station. I saw a tip that station 1A charges significantly faster than the rest at this stop. And it was true!

    1:28pm Fourth Stop: Salina, KS: At this stop, I got to meet 2 other Tesla owners. They were driving all the way to NY! They asked me what I was experiencing with the X on rated range vs actual range. We also talked about the wind and its effect on autopilot. So far, the best advice I have gotten has is to slow down to gain more range back! (Did I mention that I’m a lead-foot)?

    3:26pm Fifth Stop: Wichita, KS : Over halfway there! This is a very nice SC next to an Applebee's on the southwest side of town. Nice to not have to back into the stations. Each can be pulled into the slots without backing in. Aside from the Applebee’s, there is a Taco Bell in short walking distance and a McDonald’s across the street. Charging at 322mph. Central Kansas traffic is kind of challenging because locals want to go 55 on 135 and the rest want to go 85 so it creates a bit of a problem with lots of both kinds of drivers on the road..

    5:29pm Sixth Stop: Perry OK: 1a stall kept giving me a cable fault, so I moved the car to 1b. Charged at 271mph, which is a bit slower than normal, but later ramped up to 320mph. I want to charge a bit longer here because the next segment to Ardmore is 155 miles. This SC is at a Mobil station/Subway. (First time I’ve been to a gas station since taking delivery of my X!) Walking distance to a McDonalds. As I was finishing up my charge, another Tesla owner shows up with a Model S and told me he had my exact configuration on order right now and was hoping to get delivery soon. He wanted to know if I had any issues with the car. I told him NONE. He encouraged me to drive a bit slower to get more range with the X. As I was leaving this SC, I saw for the first time the windshield distortion that I’ve heard some on this forum discussing. It is quite prevalent on a dark night and can be most acutely viewed when looking at the top of taillights…they project a double image on top of the taillights. Lots of heavy traffic and construction throughout the state of Oklahoma really slowed me down considerably.

    9:04pm Seventh Stop: Ardmore, OK: This SC is in the back lot of a nice restaurant/bar called the Interurban Grill. There are plenty of other restaurants in the area if you don’t mind walking, however. Should I stop at the Denton, TX SC or go directly into Dallas? I could easily make it to my north Dallas hotel, but could get some bonus range if I stop at Denton. Since the SC’s stop 30 miles outside of Dallas, I have mapped out some Level 2 ChaDemo stations at 2 Walgreens locations in town to keep me from having to trickle charge all night.

    11:40pm Arrival! I made it to the Hilton Garden Inn with about 75 miles of range left over. I decided not to stop at the SC in Denton, mainly because of how bad the traffic was congested. There was major construction that cut down I-35 to a single lane and added at least another 1 hour to my drive today. One unforeseen benefit to the autopilot is how much it can reduce your fatigue on long trips. I have done this trip 40 to 50 times in gas-powered cars and I was much more fresh and relaxed on this trip, which I attribute in large part to how much I was able to use the autopilot. The next morning, I was able to charge at a Walgreen’s on a Level 2 Chademo charger, which charged at about 133 mph. It sure is easy to get spoiled on Tesla SC’s!
     
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  2. Singularity

    Singularity Member

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    Great write up, thanks!
     
  3. vandacca

    vandacca Active Member

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    Great write-up, thanks for sharing! Another probable reason for feeling more fresh and relaxed after your trip is all the mandatory charging breaks.
     
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  4. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    I really enjoyed your report so far, so I hope you do more!
    Congratulations on your new X too.

    BTW, CHAdeMO is actually level 3, because it it DC rather than AC. Level 2 are the AC chargers at 208/240v regardless of amperage. As you note CHAdeMO typically yields charge faster than HPWC at 240/80 but slower than Supercharger.
     
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  5. Jeff Andrews

    Jeff Andrews Member

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    I did this drive but the other way. I went from Houston to Dallas to Denver to Las Vegas back home to California. I was in my Model S 60. Are you going to do the same route on your way back to Denver? If you had range anxiety on this trip that you just wrote about, just wait until you head back to Denver as it is up hill. It was quite the struggle in my 60, so you should have no problem in a 90.
     
  6. swesson

    swesson Member

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    I did the drive back. I definitely had some issues from Hays to Goodland on the way back. I would like to see Tesla work on the recommendations on how long to charge, because I don't think it adjusts for the elevation pickup from eastern Kansas to central Colorado.
     
  7. loganintx

    loganintx Member

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    Can you elaborate on the settings you used on EVTripPlanner... Screenshot maybe?
     
  8. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Nice write-up.

    Could you state what you charge % was set to? Was it the same for each stop?

    Also it would be neat to see a table of actual miles between SC and what the Model X though it would take in kWh versus what you ended up with.
     
  9. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Absolutely !!
     
  10. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Agreed with that. I've done the San Francisco -> Seattle one-day drive (808 miles) multiple times in an ICE and multiple times in a Model S. There's no contest - you're much more fresh and relaxed after the Model S trip.

    And I don't have autopilot, so purely attributing this to the mandatory charging stops.
     
  11. Camera-Cruiser

    Camera-Cruiser Fully Charged

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    Great info! I see at the start you set autopilot at 78MPH, but you also refer to having a lead foot:). So were bumping up to the mid 80s over larger distances, or was it, uh hum, a bit more than that, and aggressively so, when passing those pesky semis? Geesh, or doing both!

    Because I can imagine really chewing up KwHs above 80MPH in the X.
     
  12. Piney999

    Piney999 Member

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    This was an awesome write-up, thank you for this, and I hope others do something similar!
     
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  13. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Even on I 80 in NV (speed limit 75 mph) I am afraid to push it over 80. And don't even think about it within 5 miles either side of any town unless you want to contribute to the local economy.;)
     
  14. ccutrer

    ccutrer Member

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    Try I-15 in Utah. Speed limit 80mph. I did Salt Lake to St. George in my Chrysler Aspen the first week of April, towing a trailer (empty on the way down; full of furniture on the way back). When I hit the 80 zones I barely bump up my speed 1 or 2 mph. Within a week after that, the X was ordered :).

    To the OP - great write up. I can't wait to start road tripping in the X. It's getting harder with 4 kids now, and I'm really hoping the more leisurely ride will relieve some of that.
     
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  15. Tjhappel

    Tjhappel Member

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    What was you average energy usage? Since you've done this trip so many times what time penalty do you think you experienced over an ice vehicle? The mandatory stops get annoying for me on my s after about the 2 stop. Agreed on the estimator, it would run you out of energy so quickly if you don't watch it.

    Thanks for the write up. Also how was the wind noise?
     
  16. Camera-Cruiser

    Camera-Cruiser Fully Charged

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    I love my Tesla, but it is still not a long range car to me. I really don't won't to be stopping every 75 to 100 minutes. My bladder is good for 350 miles if not more.

    I used to drive LA to Denver. Stop in St George, then Colorado Springs and then home. less then 10 minutes a stop. Give me a no quibbles 350-400 mile range please. I'll buy that upgrade.
     
  17. swesson

    swesson Member

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    Yeah, I kept pushing it above 80 because the road was smooth and 78 felt like sitting still. the first step is admitting you have a problem...
     
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  18. swesson

    swesson Member

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    see attached
     

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  19. swesson

    swesson Member

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    I think it was in the 360's. Penalty was 2.5 hours. I wish you could make manual adjustments to the estimator or at least it was more accurate given road conditions and driving style.
     
  20. swesson

    swesson Member

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    Good question! I think i would have made life a lot easier on myself had i just set a specific charge % and just hit it each stop, but i didn't. on the way out, i used the ev trip planner recommendations and on the way back, used the Tesla recommendations. I may have captured the miles estimated vs. driven, so i will look at my notes.
     

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