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Need Feedback from real world users - long commute

Discussion in 'Model S' started by RichSeattle, May 7, 2013.

  1. RichSeattle

    RichSeattle New Member

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    Hello current owners -

    I'm looking for feedback from current owners before putting in my order, preferably owners who use the S for regular longer commute/trips.

    I'm currently make regular trips between Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. The trip is exactly 191 miles door to door each way (178 of which is freeway speed of 60 or 70 mph zones) and I would be making the trip at least once a week. Obviously this is within advertised range for the 85kwh battery ( I would be ordering the performance version), but I'll like owner feedback on this type of trip range (what percent battery would be left, etc). Again real world conditions (radio, AC, etc on).

    Also, thoughts on wear and tear of doing this trip regularly. Basically that's 20k miles a year from just this trip and Seattle roads are as bad as any city. Would you do it? Would you get something else. Comparing other cars, it would be an S vs an S6 Audi. Thoughts?


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    This trip is easily doable in range mode. In standard mode, it is doable even with the a/c on the entire time, BUT you will have to drive very conservatively, not park the car unplugged for very long before returning(until sleep mode is re-enabled), and not exceed 60mph. The lights use very little power, as does the a/c, and seat warmers. The heat uses quite a bit of power, and while you could use it, it will definately cut 10-20% of your range if used on high the entire trip.
     
  3. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    I'm not the guy you're looking for. There are many other superb sources to answer the exact question on this board. I was compelled to answer though.

    191 miles on a nice (warm) day is well within the range of a standard charge at 70mph. If I were going to do the trip I would always range charge for that day. The AC will eat up a little rated range. The heater will eat up quite a bit more. The other stuff is negligible.

    I would also have a "favorite" charging location somewhere along the route as a backup just in case. I know you don't want to stop but just for peace of mind. You could have a charger located near a favorite cafe, diner etc.. where you don't mind topping off for an hour if needed. Eventually you would know what your mileage absolutely has to be at that point to continue. Or else stop and have a break while you put an extra 30 miles on. Probably wont be necessary but you never know.

    I would also consider the 19 inch wheels for better mileage, more choices of tires, and less anxiety about road damage.

    It absolutely should not be a problem. Have you driven the car? Any "inconvenience" encountered about range goes away when you drive the car. It's simply an amazing experience. Even after 1500 miles in my case.
     
  4. rlawson4

    rlawson4 Member

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    I have had several 180-200 mile days. I have 11500 on the car. I generally keep it 65-70 mph. I run the A/C and heat when applicable. I have done these trips as a standard charge. I have also done 245 miles on a range charge with 10 miles to go. I think you will be fine.
     
  5. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    I have done several road trips and I usually get about 80% of the rated range when driving with the flow of traffic (75 - 80 mph around here) and with all the climate settings adjusted for maximum comfort. But I got about 85% of rated range on my recent road trip to Las Vegas where I set the cruise control to 75 whenever possible.

    The Model S is a fantastic car for long road trips and it should be fine for a 191 mile trip each way once a week (as long as you have a way to fully charge at the destination before the return trip). But I know things like a stiff headwind and heavy rain can take a toll on range so you might want to take Al Sherman's suggestion and look for backup recharging spots along the way for times when the weather doesn't cooperate.
     
  6. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Here's a thought... Do you have access to charging at the destination ? You do realize there is x hours needed to recharge assuming no supercharging is available ?
     
  7. Daniel Scherer

    Daniel Scherer Junior Member

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    In winter I used 160 battery miles to go 104 actual miles one way, about 85% highway miles. Then I charge 4 hours putting 100 battery miles back in for the trip home. I'll update my spreadsheet and post it here soon.
     
  8. RichSeattle

    RichSeattle New Member

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    It rains all the time in both cities (you know, Seattle, rainy city) so I expect that most of my trips would he raining at some point. This makes me wonder about the winter trips. We don't often get snow, but it can be in the 30s and raining heavily during the winter. Any thoughts on this affecting battery life?



    I do have access in Portland to charging (there are EV stations in our parking lot) and expect to charge over night between, so I don't think a full charge would be an issue. Obviously at home in Seattle I would have the main charger installed in the garage.

    As for the mid range option, Centralia which is about half way is listed as having chargers including a DC fast charge (anyone have compatibility info?)
    (West Coast Green Highway - Washington's Electric Highways)
     
  9. Blurry_Eyed

    Blurry_Eyed MS Sig #267, MX Sig # 761

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    #9 Blurry_Eyed, May 7, 2013
    Last edited: May 7, 2013
    I haven't driven the Audi A6 or other premium sedans besides the Model S, but that being said, I would highly recommend the Model S for the trip. It's comfortable, quiet, fast and a great long distance traveling car. If it were me with that commute, I definitely would be comfortable with the Model S. But I'm not sure by your post if you need to turn around that same day and come home or if you have an overnight trip. If it's an overnight trip, then 100% yes, I'd do it every week. If it's same day return, then I'd have to really plan carefully and I'd probably need a couple hours of charging in Portland (minimum of about 8 to 9 hours on a NEMA 14-50 plug) to be able to make it back that same day. A High Power Charger in Portland would help cut down the time, but if you didn't have either a 14-50 plug or HPC available, it might be tough to make it back that same day.

    At some point in time there should be a Supercharger between Seattle and Portland. Once that is in place, you would need to make about a 30 minute or so stop at the Supercharger each way if you want to be able to make it back to Seattle that same day, but that should minimize the need to charge while you are in Portland and make the trip no problem at all. Also you probably could just charge up to standard mode (probably around 180 miles of range or so under fair to good conditions going the speed limit on I-5). If you drove about 90 miles from Seattle and charged at the Supercharger that might end up being in Centralia, you would get back to about 180 miles of actual range with a short stay there. Then when you were in Portland, you would have about 90 miles of real world range left. You may have to charge for an hour or so in Portland to have enough range to get back to the Supercharger in Centralia if you are doing a standard charge (Still not confirmed and not there yet). You'd charge for about 30 minutes or so to have a comfortable charge to get back to Seattle. To get around having to get that extra charge in Portland, you would probably want to do a full range charge and get you to about 200 to 220 miles of actual range, but that might extend your charge stop up to an hour at the Supercharger.

    I drove to Portland over Presidents Day weekend from Redmond and made it easily. But I stayed in Portland for three days and driving conditions were very good both ways: No rain, minimal use of HVAC, no wind and stretches of about 1 to 3 miles both ways on the freeway where traffic slowed me down to about 30 miles per hour.

    You can make the trip OK right now without the Supercharger to help, but if you ran into the worst case situation (cold, windy, rainy, need to drive fast and high heat use for the interior of the car) you might need to stop somewhere to do a charge to make it to Seattle or Portland. Plus once you were at your destination, you would almost be out of energy in your battery and would have to charge up for a couple of hours.
     
  10. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    We don't quite do that long of a trip. About once a week we do a 130-150 mile day.
    We have done this on a standard charge all through winter (Minnesota winter).
    Highway speeds 65-70mph and have always had room to spare.
    You may need to charge to 100% in winter.
    I would very highly recommend the 19 inch tires. Both for range and being less susceptible to damage.
     
  11. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Ok I missed that. You can go any speed (within reason) that you want with all the heat you want. Just always plug in in Portland and your good to go. Not an issue at all.
     
  12. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I believe there will be a Supercharger between Seattle and Portland in the near future (possibly announced next week). In this case, you can stop there, plug in for 5-10 minutes, and easily get enough additional charge to make the drive comfortably, and at any speed. No more inconvenient than a gas fill up (and free!). And if you spend a little more time there, you can do it without using range mode. And if you spend a little more time there, much of the round trip fuel will be free!
     
  13. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Not quite. That distance is 191 miles one way. (382 miles round trip).

    You will definitely need to watch your speed (speed limit cruise control should be fine), and use conservative heat.


    The other issue we have is, if you average more than 10mph between Olympia and Fort Lewis, you're on a bicycle, not a car... Bad weather in the winter combined with a 2 hour traffic hickup will chew through even the rangiest of range charges.


    No. The WCGH DC is CHAdeMO and is not compatible. The A/C ones will work however. Slowly...

    However, see if you can get in on the Burgerville HPC charger in Centralia:
    Centralia, WA Burgerville Model S to Roadster HPC adapter

    To take true advantage of that one you will need a twin charger.


    But who knows, maybe in 2 weeks we'll learn we have a 120 supercharger somewhere along the way. You'll really only need about a 10 minute stop - even on the worst days.

    I would be willing to bet though, that even if you do need an occasional 1-hour stop at even a 30 AMP J1772 charger on the really bad days, you would be spending less time charging in a year than you would spend driving to & refilling your car at a gas station. (Which you would HAVE to do on every trip - sometimes twice). Once there are SC's - you'll be way ahead.
     
  14. dadaleus

    dadaleus 4GETOIL P85#S70,FdrX,S85D

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    ^ This.

    I drive about 1,000 miles per week most weeks. I do a 250 mile round trip about once a week and a 125 mile round trip the other days. But I have NEMA 14-50s at both destinations.

    Assuming the Supercharger is en route, you're golden. In that case, I'd avoid weekly range charging out of fear of wear and tear on the battery. With this kind of driving, I'd also get the twin chargers and if that Burgerville HPC is en route as that would make a nice alternate pit stop as well. I suspect on at least some if not many days you'd need neither, but you probably need a bathroom and/or coffee stop on a drive like that so why not pick up some juice. And with those two options you should have confidence you will be fine even without range charging regularly.
     
  15. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Supercharging is also not the most ideal for the battery. I wonder which is worse - a range charge or a supercharge. Anybody knows?
     
  16. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I've heard this repeated before. At the moment, a supercharge is a ~1C charge rate... which is typically not stressful on a LiON cell at all. Even the new SC 120's should be no problem.

    Is there something else I'm missing?
     
  17. Zextraterrestrial

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    nope.
     
  18. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Nope, AND Tesla has officially stated that Supercharging is not harmful to the battery and does not significantly impact battery life.
     
  19. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Ahh. Ok. I stand corrected. Thanks. The information I got was from the delivery person. Makes me wonder what else he was wrong about...
     
  20. William13

    William13 Member

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    I frequently drive 200 miles round trip without charging. I always range charge before long drives and know about contingencies. The only concern is baaaadddd weather. Less than 20 F with snow or rain.

    I would wait until you get a supercharger announcement for the corridor. I expect it will be soon.
     

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