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New owner road trip thoughts

snikt

Member
May 14, 2021
289
403
Denver, CO
Just took my first road trip in my M3 and also my first electric vehicle. Went from my house near Denver to Rapid City, SD, through rural areas of Wyoming and South Dakota. Overall was very impressed by the speed of the superchargers, even though these were all older V2 versions. For nearly all stops the charging was done while we were stopped for lunch or restroom breaks, and the car was done charging before we were even ready to go. Almost no time was spent actually waiting for the car to charge separately.

Overall drove 1171 miles and averaged 259 wh/Mile, which seems good to me especially since much of the driving is on lonely 75-80+MPH roads and through really windy plains.

I was debating on getting a Mach-E originally and looking on Plugshare I actually don't think I would have even been able to do this trip in the Mach-E. There's 0 fast CCS chargers between Northern CO and between Rapid City, which is a huge distance.

Dog mode was also really useful for some areas we couldn't bring our dog.

Thumbs up for the Model 3 and road trips, even through pretty remote areas. It would only be better than this in most other locations.
 

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bjrosen

Member
Apr 19, 2019
367
388
Westford MA
I wouldn't buy a CCS car yet unless the places that you want to go are served by EA. It's not just having locations, it's about having more than one charger at each location. On our road trip to Maine on Saturday there was an EVGO CCS charger next to the Portland Superchargers and there is also one next to the Kennebunk Superchargers. Both have a single CCS and and a single CHADeMO plug and a charge rate of 60KW. I'd hate to be in a MachE and really need to charge only to find out the charger is broken. Superchargers always have a minimum of eight chargers so even if three of the cabinets were down you would still have two chargers available. The only good thing about CCS chargers is that nobody is ever there. I expect this will all improve significantly in the next couple of years but for now I'd take a pass on a CCS car. The only exception to that rule will be Aptera, which hopefully will start shipping next year. Aptera's will be ridiculously efficient, 100Wh/mile, which will give them incredible range. I have a reservation on a 600 mile version, the top spec will be 1000 miles, the charging rate will only be 60KW but that shouldn't matter because I don't think I will ever need to fast charge. That Maine trip was 400 miles and the most I've ever done in a day is 450 miles, 80% of 600 is 480 miles. I drive the limit so I'm getting better efficiency than you, my average on my M3 AWD has been 228Wh/mile over the last 9000 miles which is almost all day trips.
 
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snikt

Member
May 14, 2021
289
403
Denver, CO
I wouldn't buy a CCS car yet unless the places that you want to go are served by EA. It's not just having locations, it's about having more than one charger at each location. On our road trip to Maine on Saturday there was an EVGO CCS charger next to the Portland Superchargers and there is also one next to the Kennebunk Superchargers. Both have a single CCS and and a single CHADeMO plug and a charge rate of 60KW. I'd hate to be in a MachE and really need to charge only to find out the charger is broken. Superchargers always have a minimum of eight chargers so even if three of the cabinets were down you would still have two chargers available. The only good thing about CCS chargers is that nobody is ever there. I expect this will all improve significantly in the next couple of years but for now I'd take a pass on a CCS car. The only exception to that rule will be Aptera, which hopefully will start shipping next year. Aptera's will be ridiculously efficient, 100Wh/mile, which will give them incredible range. I have a reservation on a 600 mile version, the top spec will be 1000 miles, the charging rate will only be 60KW but that shouldn't matter because I don't think I will ever need to fast charge. That Maine trip was 400 miles and the most I've ever done in a day is 450 miles, 80% of 600 is 480 miles. I drive the limit so I'm getting better efficiency than you, my average on my M3 AWD has been 228Wh/mile over the last 9000 miles which is almost all day trips.

2 of the 4 superchargers I visited only had 4 stalls, so they definitely don't always have a minimum of 8
 
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Darmie

Super Member
Supporting Member
Jan 13, 2016
2,113
1,413
Clear Lake TX.
That's awesome to hear. Road trips are so much fun in a Tesla. Fall is the best season to get out and see the country too.
It's all the other stuff that makes a Tesla fun to own. Do we know of any other EV maker that has Dog Mode? I didn't think so. I now keep a game controller in my console. Do I need one, No. Do I love playing Sky forces, Yes.
 
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rpiotro

Member
Aug 18, 2021
157
101
42°57'33.77"N 88°03'05"W
I wouldn't buy a CCS car yet unless the places that you want to go are served by EA. It's not just having locations, it's about having more than one charger at each location. On our road trip to Maine on Saturday there was an EVGO CCS charger next to the Portland Superchargers and there is also one next to the Kennebunk Superchargers. Both have a single CCS and and a single CHADeMO plug and a charge rate of 60KW. I'd hate to be in a MachE and really need to charge only to find out the charger is broken. Superchargers always have a minimum of eight chargers so even if three of the cabinets were down you would still have two chargers available. The only good thing about CCS chargers is that nobody is ever there. I expect this will all improve significantly in the next couple of years but for now I'd take a pass on a CCS car. The only exception to that rule will be Aptera, which hopefully will start shipping next year. Aptera's will be ridiculously efficient, 100Wh/mile, which will give them incredible range. I have a reservation on a 600 mile version, the top spec will be 1000 miles, the charging rate will only be 60KW but that shouldn't matter because I don't think I will ever need to fast charge. That Maine trip was 400 miles and the most I've ever done in a day is 450 miles, 80% of 600 is 480 miles. I drive the limit so I'm getting better efficiency than you, my average on my M3 AWD has been 228Wh/mile over the last 9000 miles which is almost all day trips.
The Aptera uses such little power. It is incredibly efficient. If you connected a 250Kw CCS charger to I think it would just burst into flame. How long would it take to top that off? 47 seconds? Did you know that the total aero drag on that thing is less than just the outside mirrors on a Ford F-250?

Sorry for derailing this thread.
 

rpiotro

Member
Aug 18, 2021
157
101
42°57'33.77"N 88°03'05"W
Just took my first road trip in my M3 and also my first electric vehicle. Went from my house near Denver to Rapid City, SD, through rural areas of Wyoming and South Dakota. Overall was very impressed by the speed of the superchargers, even though these were all older V2 versions. For nearly all stops the charging was done while we were stopped for lunch or restroom breaks, and the car was done charging before we were even ready to go. Almost no time was spent actually waiting for the car to charge separately.

Overall drove 1171 miles and averaged 259 wh/Mile, which seems good to me especially since much of the driving is on lonely 75-80+MPH roads and through really windy plains.

I was debating on getting a Mach-E originally and looking on Plugshare I actually don't think I would have even been able to do this trip in the Mach-E. There's 0 fast CCS chargers between Northern CO and between Rapid City, which is a huge distance.

Dog mode was also really useful for some areas we couldn't bring our dog.

Thumbs up for the Model 3 and road trips, even through pretty remote areas. It would only be better than this in most other locations.
This reinforces my confidence in taking some reasonable road trips. Thanks.

My son bought a model Y in February. He has already taken a four day trip from Milwaukee, WI to Dearborn MI. And another from Milwaukee to rural SE Kentucky. NO anxiety. In Detroit they stopped to visit GM's Renaissance Center. The have a half dozen spots with level ll chargers reserved for EVs. Nice touch He has also since taken a 400 mile road trip pulling a small RV trailer. Takes careful planning but can be done.

I plan on going to visit a friend in Minneapolis with my M3 SR+. Two stops of 15 minutes each. Hard to beat.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
278
138
NYC
I did the trip from Wall, SD to Boulder but once we headed out from Custer there were no chargers on the route we took through Scottsbluff. I wouldn't have made it to Cheyenne in my SR+. Good thing we were in my daughter's Camry. I'd have had to go out of the way to do that trip, but we'd probably have just skipped Scottsbluff entirely. It wasn't an important stop, but we wanted to see the history of it. Imagine being in a horse drawn wagon coming across the prairie and seeing nothing but grass for hundreds of miles and then you encounter that.
 

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