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My first 450km day of driving.

Discussion in 'Canada' started by mnx, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ancaster, Canada
    Here is a tale of my longest driving day yet. It was a day of firsts. The first day of relying on public charging infrastructure, my first day going into the single digits of range remaining, and the first time I saw multiple Teslas in one day.

    I set my charge timer for 3am and slid the SOC slider all the way up. I knew by the time I had to take my parents to the airport at 6am I'd have a standard charge plus a little bit. I left for Pearson Intl' Airport with ~360km of range. I got back at 8:15am. I knew I was going back into Toronto later that day to watch a hockey game with my brother in law but I figured I'd wait until we were off peak TOU electricity rates at 11am to top the car up. My wife was taking the kids swimming at 11am for an hour or so, I figured there was plenty of time left in the day to charge so I didn't dissuade her from taking the Tesla. 15 minutes later I got a call that the parent and tot swim was full, and that they were headed to another pool and would be back at 1pm. I'm now thinking I should have been charging the car from 8am to 11am... My wife brought the car back with 160km of range remaining.

    I had the car charging for 30 minutes at home and left for an appointment with the optimitrist. I decided to drive with the heat off and take it easy on the accelerator. I got back home from the optimitrist and now had ~140km of range left. Things were looking tighter and tighter... I was able to charge at home from 2:30 -> 4pm before I left to pick up my brother in law. The car now had 201km of range, which was cutting it close when a roundtrip from my home to the arena was 160km, not including the detour to pick my brother in law up. I now knew I wanted to charge while we were watching the game.

    I picked my brother in law up in Oakville, and we head off for the hockey game. We drive ~10 minutes or so and realize he left the tickets at his house.... Doh! Traffic was terrible on the QEW heading to the game which is good for electricity consumption. Saves me from putting along in the slow lane. :) Traffic downtown is always a mess I'm sure and today is no exception. I was planning to park/charge at the Harbourfront Center which has 4-5 EVSE's there. We were sitting at a red light beside the TD center which also has a L2 charger and it was getting very close to the start of the Leafs game so I decided to park there. Hopefully the L2 charger would be available...

    It was not, there was a sig red Model S parked there charging. Darn! I now have 90km of range remaining. I really wish mr. sig red went to the Tesla Owners meeting last night. ;)

    I spot a few 120V plug close to where I parked, and think "Great, these will get me the buffer I need to get home!!!)

    WRONG. 120V outlets are totally useless in my experience. This is the second time I've needed a 120V outlet to charge the car but it didn't work out.... It charged perfectly fine for about 30minutes and then it stopped charging and the charge port turned red. They really need to add a function to the app that will let it restart charging (when the charge port is red) and allow you to lower the amperage as well. Either that or fix it so the car doesn't quit charging in the first place....

    I was now planning to stop at Budds Chevrolet on the way home and hit up the 100A Suncountry highway J1772 for 15 minutes. My brother in law said he'd come along with me to top the car up but it was out of the way so I had him open the plugshare app. There was a Ford and Chevy dealer nearby. We went to Courtesy Chevrolet on the Queensway first, no charger in sight. The comments did say they were unable to charge when the dealership was closed, I suspect it was behind locked gates. I really don't know why chargers like this are even on plug share or why the owner didn't have the foresight to make the charger available 24/7. This is almost as frustrating as trying to charge a Model S on 120V. I knew we'd have better luck at the Ford dealer as the comments seemed to indicate it was accessible 24/7.

    There was a dealership owned Ford Focus Electric plugged in which didn't appear to be charging, so I unplugged it and plugged myself in. I was now happily charging at 32A. I had 69km of range left for a 70km drive. This was going to be my buffer.

    There was a very fancy Wendy's next door and we both enjoyed a frosty. I think we were there about 30 minutes, and the car was now saying 85km of range left. Not much of a buffer but hopefully enough. There were a couple more J1772s on the way home I could use if things were looking sketchy. We drive 1km down the road and have lost 3km of range.... Eww maybe I wil stop at Budd's Chevrolet after all!

    I got to my brother in laws house with 55km of range left with 45km's to drive. The sketchy part about this situation for those who don't know the local geography is that in the last few km's before my house I have to climb the Niagara escarpment... Not sure if my 10km buffer is enough.

    Thankfully it's 5C outside and not any colder as I haven't been running the heat in the car at all. I was turning the fan on briefly with the HVAC set to low and the AC off to clear the windshield occasionally.

    I start out on the QEW at 95km/h trying to maintain or build up my buffer higher... I slow down to 90, then 85 then 80km/h... I keep a close eye on the GPS vs. Energy screen, and I'm maintaining my buffer. I'm averaging 166Wh/km. Pretty good for 5C and rainy! By the time I got to the base of the escarpment I had built my buffer up by about 1.5km. I begin to climb the hill and the car is pulling 35kW or so. I try to remember what Chad S said about elevation... 6 miles per 1000ft????? I have 200ft to climb I think? I think that's a loss of 2-3km??????

    I get to the top of the hill and my 11km buffer has now shrunk to 6km.... However the GPS is taking me the longer way around so I exit the highway to take the shorter and lower speed limit route to my house. I'm now only a few km from home with an 8km buffer. Piece of cake.

    I pull in the driveway with 7km remaining and realize I forgot to mail a few things. LOL Of all the days, at least I know the mailbox is <1km away. I pull into the garage for the 2nd time after taking care of the mail and have 5km remaining. It's 12:15am, I plug in and the car says 7h 15m remaining. For the first time the car won't be finished charging when I wake up in the morning as TOU changes from off peak to peak.

    5km.jpg

    This has got me re-considering whether I should put in a HWPC or not... I have all the wiring in place so it would be a straight forward job. I know I still don't need it but perhaps this is the excuse I've been looking for to install one.
     
  2. mcfadyena

    mcfadyena Member

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    #2 mcfadyena, Mar 20, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
    Glad you made it!
    The HPWC is a life saver, and has helped me on numerous in and out occasions. I wondered whether I needed one when I purchased, but now I'd never go without.

    Nice work on the range. I bet you were pretty anxious! Rest assured, I've driven below 0 on many, many occasions. I've gone about 12 KM on 0 before, and just did 10 km below zero with temperatures at -7C. It's not the recommended approach by any stretch!

     
  3. GlennAlanBerry

    Joined:
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    Parker, CO
    Glad you made it home ok. Still, I don't get why so many people seem to almost take pride in cutting it so close, especially when they have an opportunity to charge and they stop the charging as soon as they barely have enough to make it. Maybe it is the thrill of doing something vaguely risky (like riding a roller coaster)?

    Of course the risk of running out is just the expense of a flat-bed tow, and the time waiting for the truck to show up and take you somewhere to charge. :)
     
  4. mcfadyena

    mcfadyena Member

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    I'm not sure it's pride, I expect it's the lack of available charging infrastructure. In my case, it's the later. Couple that with mass amounts of driving (over 20,000 km in a few months), and you're bound to cut it close on more than one occasion.

     
  5. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    It was in my bucket list to get down to single digits on the range remaining. I don't care to do it again.

    It's definitely a lack of charging infrastructure. Had there been more than 1 charger in the parking garage I wouldn't have a story to tell. :)
    Or if the Supercharger was online in Toronto I would have driven there and charged for 15 minutes instead of spending 30 minutes on a 32A J1772...

     
  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Waiting for your car to charge is boring and keeps you from getting home to friends and family. Of course you want to keep it as short as possible.
     
  7. GlennAlanBerry

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    Charging long enough so you don't run out and get stranded is the prudent thing to do. Plus, I would rather avoid the stress of worrying about whether I was going to make it or not as I was driving with basically no reserve. But sometimes, "stuff happens"...

    If people want to push the limits of range, good for them! On the other hand, if you end up on a flat-bed, I think it is pretty lame to complain about how it is somehow the car's fault or that Tesla should make modifications to magically keep you from ever running the battery down completely, no matter what you do or don't do. The OP is not doing that here, but I have seen plenty of threads where that is what the discussion devolves into.

    If you run out of charge, it is really your own fault, just like with an ICE running out of gas.
     
  8. djp

    djp Roadster 2.0 VIN939

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    Brookfield Place is the best location downtown. They have seven chargers across 14 spots - there's always space open.
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I'm afraid that's your big mistake. If you know you've even got a remote chance of pushing range later in the day, get every electron you can at home. The incremental cost is tiny compared to the risk of getting stuck. And peak rates are still a heck of a lot cheaper than gasoline!

    Yeah, that always worries me (or getting ICEd) when I'm using public infrastructure. I'm afraid that situation can only get more common!

    I don't trust Plugshare at all. A lot of the chargers are either (a) available only when the business is open, (b) not available to the public, or (c) don't exist!!! While planning one trip last year I found that every single Plugshare in the area was either (a), (b), or (c). And most of them were (b) or (c)!!!

    If you think you might ever use a Plugshare location in the future, call ahead and ask about it. Or drop by to check it out when you don't need to charge.

    Yeah, that's the thing. 40A is plenty for normal day-to-day charging, but once in a while it's handy to have a faster charge. I normally charge with my UMC, but I also have a Roadster in the garage, and I've adapted its HPC to J1772 so I can charge the Model S on 70A if I need to. I have done so only on a few rare occasions, such as after returning home from a long trip but I still need to go shopping.
     
  10. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Thanks! I'll keep that in mind for next time I'm down there.

    I e-mailed Tesla to find out why my car quit charging on the 120V outlet. Hopefully they'll be able to tell me something useful. :)
     
  11. wolfpet

    wolfpet Member

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    Thanks for sharing your story. Although so far I managed to avoid stress like that, now I know why I've got HPWC ;-)
     
  12. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Yep, lesson learned Matt...life is busy, and plans can change at anytime...when they do, you will want / need to recoup range ASAP...this is what I learned in the first year of driving the Roadster...this is why I have an HPC for the Roadster, and a HWPC for the Model S (even though I typically charge the Roadster at 15-24 amps & the Model S at 20-30 amps)...it is great to have "peace of mind" knowing that you have the ability to slam in the electrons quickly when "life happens"...
     
  13. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing is that PlugShare is my go-to app. I have PlugShare, Recargo, Greenlots (useless), CarStations and the CAA EVSE Locator and PlugShare seems to be the most reliable for me. Are there others that I should be looking at?

    Re: mnx's charging, I agree that Peak-Time charging is a lot better than getting stranded. I still am relying on a 20 amp 240 volt outlet in my garage that gives me 16 amps continuous. With that I get 11 MPH or 18 km/h of range, so sometimes if I arrive home late in the evening, I don't have enough time to recover the charge overnight. Most of the time I'm okay, and even if I don't fully charge by morning, I've always had enough to get to work and back and make it up the next night when I get home earlier. If I've come home mid-day and have to go out later, I plug in straight away even if it is Mid or On Peak although my regular day-to-day routine is to start at 7:00 PM when our Off Peak period begins.
     
  14. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Seems like an ideal use-case for the HPWC.
     

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