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my first real road trip in my model X

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by Dansblum, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Dansblum

    Dansblum Member

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    I just thought I'd post me experience. I previously posted about driving from Sacramento to Sunnyvale and back, so I needed to stop at a supercharger - but that was one stop. The last few days I made my first "real" roadtrip depending on the supercharger network. I have an X 90D - usually 254 miles fully charged.

    Because of various family member commitments, our family was getting together on Friday instead of Thursday, down in Calimesa, CA. So we drove on Thursday. And decided to skip traffic on Sunday by driving back overnight on Saturday night. I was also worried about congestion at superchargers.

    From Sacramento, I range-charged, except I forgot the night before to change to 100% - so starting charging when I remembered, and only started out with about 240 miles. We had me, my wife, my mom, and two kids, plus luggage - let's call it 1000 lbs total (the kids aren't that big, and it wasn't a lot of luggage for just a couple nights).

    We went to Harris Ranch - I know it might be close (198 miles), so initially set the AP at 67. Once I was over halfway, I sped up to 70, and then when I got closer I went 75. I ended up arriving with 19 miles of range.

    We charged for about 30 minutes while eating, planning to go to Tejon, and then wife and kids had to do one more thing...so ending up charging more than needed. Did 75 to 80 all the way to Tejon, and arrived with 50 or 60 miles of range. Was heading to my sister's place in Yucaipa, and wasn't sure how going up over the grapevine would impact range, so figured we'd get to at least 170 - and worst case stop in Rancho Cucamonga. Again, everyone took longer at Startbucks, so ended up leaving with almost 210 miles.

    No issues, went about 75 to 80 - arrived around 5:30 (left Sac at 8 am). 468 miles, no real traffic, just two stops - and arrived with 65 miles of range.

    Only plug-in was a 110v - their dryer is on the 2nd floor. But had about 110 to start Friday - ran around, went to dinner, etc., and plugged back in with around 75. Charged @ 110v again, started Saturday with 120 or so. Went to see more family over in Riverside (37 miles), went out, then left around 7:30 to go top off at Rancho Cucamonga (22 miles away). Arrived with 25 miles, started charging...wife and kids (Mom only rode sound with us) were cold so we went to Johnny Rockets for hot chocolate (coffee for me).

    Again took longer than needed - original plan was to go to Tejon, but when I got there I still had 60 miles, so kept going to Buttonwillow - arrived around 11. Got a refill on coffee, youngest was sleeping....just before we had enough charge, oldest (17) and spouse decide they need to go across the street for snacks...so charge a bit extra.

    Good thing, as rain hurt my range - I made it to Anderson's with 13 or 14 miles, but would have preferred not to have to keep it at 70. Without the extra few minutes I might have had to slow down to 60 or 65.

    Charged for about 30 minutes at Andersons, and made it home fine.

    Lessons:

    I'm much more comfortable getting down to 10-20 miles than I was in the previous 8500 miles I've driven since June. I basically drove how I wanted, but kept an eye on remaining range....if it got down to 5%, I slowed down, kept it at 65 or so until it moved back to 6%. I liked to charge to where it was showing about a 15% buffer, then drive how I wanted until it go down to the 5% range. Which was almost never, except in the rain.

    The closer I got, I kept an eye on the difference between the remaining miles to go and the remaining range - by the time I had only 50 miles to go, anything more than a 25 mile buffer felt wasted, so I sped up.

    The planning router in the car wanted me to make more, shorter stops - but with my family, the more efficient use of time is to make fewer longer stops. There was only one stop where everyone was ready to go before the car was - every other time, stopping to supercharge didn't cost us any time at all.

    I'll definitely be doing more trips - likely to southern CA again around Christmas or new years. I'll probably drive at night again. There were NO waits for charging - I think only one location even had close to half the stalls being used - most times there were 3 to 4 cars at most.

    AP worked great.

    I know there've been a lot of posts like this. I've personally found them some of the most helpful posts I've read, so hopefully this is helpful to someone else.

    Dan
     
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  2. alloverx

    alloverx Member

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    Good detail and interesting to get different feedback. thanks for taking the time to do this.
     
  3. PedanticOne

    PedanticOne MyTesla Refresh Champion

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    As someone who's going to be new to this whole electric car thing (though I do have a Zero motorcycle as a commuter), these stories give me good info on what it will be like. I hope to take some longer trips, so this was super helpful.
     
  4. polymathic

    polymathic Member

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    Thanks, that was useful, especially after reading some horror stories in some threads.
     
  5. dhcp

    dhcp Member

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    #5 dhcp, Nov 28, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
    Thanks for taking the time to write this up - I'm still waiting to take a trip longer than Napa and trying to resist feeling like I need to charge all the way to 90% every opportunity I can.

    Did you find the power estimates by the energy app fairly accurate? I think it takes into account upcoming elevation along the route? I'm thinking about how it would be driving to Tahoe.
     
  6. Dansblum

    Dansblum Member

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    it was pretty accurate on elevation changes, I think - but realistically over the grapevine was kind of a wash, as the up and down even out. I went to Reno, though - definitely a big hit on range going up. If you have enough for a round-trip and you uphill first, you should be fine...

    PedanticOne - how is the Zero motorcycle? That's my next toy. It took me three years to convince my wife on the Tesla - and we got a new dog, two new cats, and a new house first. For a Zero I'm hoping it will be a slightly easier sell! I grew up on dirtbikes but I haven't had a motorcycle for over 10 years - would love to get back on one.

    In terms of the horror stories, I read those, too - that's why I wrote this up. I think people are way more likely to report the bad stuff, so for people just "lurking" (like I did for a couple years before even getting a user ID!), I want to show that the experience can be GREAT.

    To be fair, having to stop to charge WOULD slow me down if I was by myself - I grew up with the expectation that there were no stops until we needed to fill up in 400 miles, and that the stop would be for 10 minutes. We all used the restroom, got a snack, cleaned the windows, and were back on the road. But I can't convince my wife and kids to travel that way!
     
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  7. PedanticOne

    PedanticOne MyTesla Refresh Champion

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    I love it. And the 2017s seems to boast something like a 200 mile range. I get about 70, but I'm also set to be at max torque because, well, max torque. It's the perfect commuter bike, IMO. I got the DSR, which is the dual sport. I don't have plans to off-road it, but I guess I could. But it is heavy for a bike its' size. But it's easy to move on, and there's that MAX TORQUE - more than my BMW S1000RR:D.
     
  8. Dansblum

    Dansblum Member

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    wow...I've been drooling over the Zero for awhile. So far I've resisted a test drive - that was what did me in for a Tesla.

    Have to pay off the X first. But they aren't that much...
     
  9. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    I got a 2013 Zero S almost exactly a year before we got our Model S in spring of 2014. I did find out a big difference. When you talk about going up a hill and coming back down recovering most of the energy, that does NOT apply to a motorcycle. It is not aerodynamic enough to coast down the other side recovering energy with regen. You still have that wind catching against your chest slowing you down, even when hunched over, so you have to stay on the power on the downhill side as well.
     
  10. HookBill

    HookBill Member

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    @Dansblum thanks for posting a positive story. Seems like the only stories posted anymore are problems or complaints and I know there are far more good stories than bad.
     
  11. PedanticOne

    PedanticOne MyTesla Refresh Champion

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    Interesting, because I was actually pleasantly surprised when I took my Zero up 84 to Alice's and back down. Good to know the Tesla will do even better. Do you know if a windscreen might help here? The Zero site seems to indicate it might (not that I'd expect huge gains, if any).
     
  12. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Might help a little, but I doubt very much.
     
  13. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    That's interesting. Recently I had my trip planner do the opposite on a number of trips. It wanted us to charge longer and then skip charging stops.

    I really like the fact that I5 now has some nice spacing for the superchargers both North and South of Harris Ranch so everybody does not have to bunch up there. And it gave you flexibility to try different charging points based on your real life situation.
     
  14. Dansblum

    Dansblum Member

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    agreed, the flexibility in charging stops was nice - as well as the option to go up 99 or 5.

    In terms of it wanting to force more stops, there might be a setting about how much "reserve" to keep that I need to change. As I mentioned, my biggest takeaway from the trip was around getting comfortable taking it down to a 5% buffer.
     
  15. WARP 10

    WARP 10 Member

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    As others have noted, it's nice to see positive posts like this. We're spending the night in Albuquerque on the way back from a trip from San Diego to Atlanta. I've been keeping some notes on the experience and will be posting my observations when we get back. Really haven't found much of anything to be negative about as we pretty much knew what to expect. Fun time overall. And today, we ran into a guy from Montreal at the supercharger in Santa Rosa, NM who is on a REAL adventure. Towing a small (but not that small) camping trailer, he wanted my help in getting from there to Albuquerque (about 115 miles) in his P90D model X. Claimed his range with the trailer was only averaging about 75 miles per charge. We suggested he head up to Las Vegas, NM (69 miles) and then to Santa Fe and Albuquerque. His final destination (at least with the trailer) is Las Vegas, NV and then on to the factory. Gonna take some real planning.
     
  16. PedanticOne

    PedanticOne MyTesla Refresh Champion

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    Wow. 75 miles doesn't sound good. I have an enclosed motorcycle trailer and I typically drive about 140 miles to the track. That would suck if it's really 75 miles.
     
  17. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Not sure if I could ever get comfortable with 5%. I feel like I am on the edge if I arrive with less than 10%. :)

    But I agree if conditions are perfect and you are going fast and nothing will be changing in the wrong direction (ie uphill, headwinds, rain/snow), targeting 5% is OK. If you have some levers you can pull such as slowing down or drafting then that can be your buffer.
     
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  18. Dansblum

    Dansblum Member

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    To be fair, a 5% level at arrival felt 'safe' when I was within 40 miles or so (in other words, I showed 50 miles or less of range left), no major hills, and not a lot of traffic. Since I know what it takes to 'get' the rated mileage, 5% of 255 is about 13 miles. And 13 miles is over 25% of 50...in other words, the closer I am to the destination, even a 15% hit is a small # of actual miles.
     
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  19. Ambidexter

    Ambidexter Member

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    This is a really interesting point, thanks Dansblum! I had not thought of the idea of driving more conservatively *first*, then speeding up once I got comfortable with the arrival estimate. I'll have to try this.
     
  20. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    And pumping up the heat too.:D
     

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