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My Successful first 500+ mile trip in 60KW

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by vcor, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. vcor

    vcor Member

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    My objective was to travel from San Jose area to the entrance of Sequoia national Forest and back without compromise on a holiday weekend. This means running with prevailing traffic (not slow lanes) and heat set to 75 degrees. Outside temps ranged from 50 to 65 degrees. This trip is 265 miles each way and has quite a few significant hills along the route. Most roads are freeway, but about 15% of the route is hilly two-lane slower roads. Highway 5 is posted at 70, but the prevailing speed is usually higher.

    The entire trip was a success and included an extra day traveling around, with a 240V/40A charge each night. We never went below 60 miles of range due to several stops at superchargers. The Gilroy superchargers with 4 stations is popular. Two were in use on the way down, and three in use on the return. We never had to wait to get in. We didn’t really bother to get a full charge as there was plenty of safety margin on both directions (to the Harris Ranch supercharger is 110 miles, and on the return, home is 45 miles from Gilroy). I might have skipped Gilroy altogether, but it would have made the trip rather tight with about 15 miles of range left, so it really wasn’t worth pushing it that close.

    The Harris Ranch supercharger can be a bottleneck with only one station. We were a bit behind schedule and we had to wait an hour for another S to charge up who arrived from Gilroy just ahead of us. Once we got plugged in, it took about 45 minutes to range charge, going from 62 to 197 rated miles. No one else appeared while we were charging. The Harris Ranch Super charger is actually between the Shell and Subway sandwich store. There is a list at the Subway checkout where you should sign up and leave a phone number. I guess you can call the current person charging to get an estimate when they will be done. While charging we walked over to Harris Ranch next door for lunch. Having the phone app to see the charge level is really nice. Note that Harris Ranch restaurant service is a bit slow, and will likely take about hour – longer if you have to wait for a table.

    We spent a day traveling down to Visalia and back, with some around-town driving, about 80 miles of driving in all.

    On the return trip to Harris Ranch, also at lunch time, we were able to charge up immediately. From the list it appeared only 3 others charged up in the two days between our last charge, so it doesn’t appear to be all that busy. Some users may not have signed up on the list if they didn't know about it. A note on this supercharger indicates additional chargers will be in place at the end of March. I think I read from another post that 10 new supercharger stations are going in here.

    During the trip there was no attempt to baby it or alter normal driving habits other than using normal regeneration. The trip ended with a 330KW/h average, which considering the speed and hills, seems reasonable to me.

    Overall, the trip was a joy. While it took a bit longer than my ICE car, it demonstrated to me that I can live without a ICE car. It’s time to let it go, as I’ve not used it in a month other than one quick trip to keep the ICE battery charged!
     
  2. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Awesome. No other word needed.
     
  3. mulder1231

    mulder1231 Active Member

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    That's so great, vcor, thanks for the detailed report. Now I feel better about not spending the extra $10K to get the 85kWh pack.

    I am still a little worried about the ability to make it all the way to L.A. from here, especially the last climb.

    That's 135 miles in 45 minutes, not bad. Do you remember how many miles were added after 30 min charging? Must have slowed down a bit once you got close to the maximum SOC.
     
  4. Banahogg

    Banahogg Member

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    Thanks for the trip report vcor. I'm sure I'll be doing the exact same trip in my 60kWh at some point.

    Where did you stay by Sequoia? I'm assuming it was one of the RV parks near the entrance.


    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
     
  5. vcor

    vcor Member

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    Sorry, I was not closely watching while eating. I checked at about 45 minutes and noticed it was fully charged.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Actually I stayed at my brother's house in Three Rivers, a couple of miles before the entrance to the park. On a prior trip I added a 240V/40A connector so I was ready for the overnight charge. I think there are two RV parks with hookups a few miles before the entrance, but I didn't check it out.
     
  6. mattjn

    mattjn Member

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    So, how long did it take you including charging times to cover each leg of the 265 miles?
     
  7. vcor

    vcor Member

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    Going over my logs, it took about 8 hours to get there. That includes:
    45 minutes at Gilroy (15 minutes connected to charger, but passenger shopping took longer!)
    70 minutes at Harris Ranch, wait for access to charger
    75 minutes at Harris Ranch, charging & eating (charge complete at 45 minutes)
    70 minutes in Visalia visiting

    So 3.6 hours driving, and 4.3 hours not driving which includes 1 hour of real charging. The driving time is about the same for the driving time in ICE car, for the same trip I've made many times. Of course the ICE car needs gas fill-ups, breaks, lunch, etc. too.

    My time at Harris Ranch could have been better optimized if I had known about the log/cell number to find out how long the first car was going to be. We could have started our lunch earlier and perhaps switched into the charger in less than an hour when the first person was charged up (I presume most of us are kind enough to pull out when charged if someone is waiting). Keep in mind that lunch service is slow (and we had to wait 15 minutes to get a table), although the food is good.

    There is a slow charger in the next stall that might have helped, but a non-EV car was in that stall, and the charger was locked. Without twin-chargers, I didn't think it was worth it to find out how to unlock it and find/confront the non-EV car owner to get a slow charge - maybe 25 mi/hr. If you have a twin charger, it may be worth it to get some charge if you have to wait for someone else.

    Anyway, we were not under any time pressures, and the weather was great. A nice relaxed trip!
     
  8. rpavlicek

    rpavlicek ***** Neophyte

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    Thanks for informative story! I also have a 60kWh car in the San Jose area (Santa Clara).

    Although I've been to Sequoia multiple times...it would be wonderful to go in this car.

    Did you use any RV electric outlets (NEMA 14-50)? If so, can you describe (in detail) how you went about arranging to use them? Did you just ask to use an outlet? What was the charge? etc...

    Cheers!
     
  9. vcor

    vcor Member

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    I didn't need any RV outlets, although there are several RV parks within 6 miles of the entrance. I installed a NEMA 14-50 at my brother's house in Three Rivers, and used it for nightly charging.

    Somewhat unrelated, he's on a 1/4 mile, steep, poorly maintained, dirt road that has lots of ruts and a few rocks you have to drive over. It's great for testing traction control when wet with other cars, but it was dry this time. I always adjusted the height to high each time I used it, and luckily I never bottomed out. I didn't try it at normal height.
     
  10. mrjohnlnguyen

    mrjohnlnguyen Member

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    no problem with my 60, pit stop at Lebec and fully charged and made it to Newport Beach with 60 miles in the tank!
     
  11. FredTMC

    FredTMC Model S VIN #4925

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    #11 FredTMC, Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
    Nice! I've got a 60 also. Just got it last Thursday. Luv it. I went to Hawthorne SC on Saturday to try it out. Worked like a charm!
    I'm looking forward to driving up to NorCal!

    Heres my car at Hawthorne on Saturday. One other guy was there. His first time using an SC also. Super fun.
     

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  12. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    Someone needs to make arrangements to tow vehicles which are taking up Tesla charging stalls, whether a SuperCharger or not.
     
  13. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    @vcor, thanks for your info, I'm planning on driving from LA to Sequoia in early April. I was wondering if chains were needed, or how far you can drive into the park without them? Never been there before - the main reason I'm going is because I want an excuse to drive somewhere far, but I would at least like to get a taste of the park and see some big trees. I'm also a little worried about paint chips from rocks, was that a problem at all?
     

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