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Northern Virginia to Savannah and back

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by Only Trons, May 27, 2014.

  1. Only Trons

    Only Trons Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    A couple of weeks ago I had my first opportunity for a real road trip from Northern Virginia to Savannah. I planned to stop at each Supercharger along the way (except for Woodbridge VA on the southbound leg) so that I would have no restrictions on speed, use of A/C, etc etc etc.

    The table below provides details of my trip. Average Wh/mi consumption for the entire trip was just over 300. That was with my driving at the speed limit (or perhaps +1 or +2 ??) on I-95 the entire way. The car performed superbly. I listed to internet radio the entire trip. I had only two minor problems during the trip. First, on the southbound journey I twice had the “TPMS system needs service” warning appear. The first time I pulled off the highway to a rest stop and checked all tires --- they appeared to be OK. The second time the warning cleared itself after about 20 minutes. Interestingly, I had the first annual service performed on my car about two weeks prior to the trip. About a week after the service, I checked tire pressure in preparation for my trip and found all tires to be at 55 lbs. Quite a surprise. I lowered the pressure to the recommended setting prior to my journey. The second minor problem occurred near the end of my northbound journey, as I was getting closer to the Woodbridge supercharger. My connectivity became spotty --- internet radio stopped and maps disappeared. This happened on and off for about 30 or 40 minutes or so. I had seen this problem previously (before this trip) and reported it to the service center for investigation during the annual service. I was told that logs were sent to HQ engineering for review, but I haven’t heard anything yet in response. I did check the 3G signal strength bars on the 17” display each time the connectivity was lost ---- and I was seeing 4 bars or higher. So signal strength didn’t seem to be the problem.


    Time ArrTime DepElapsed Driving Time (hrs:min)Rated Mile ArrRated Mile DepRated Miles UsedOdometer Arr/DepActual Odometer MilesAverage SpeedTot Eng Used KwHAvg WH/MiCharging Rate (at start)Time at Charger (mins)Rated Miles AddedWeatherA/C?
    SOUTHBOUND















    Home
    5:50

    227
    11984








    Glen Allen7:308:151:401231851041209210864.8029.3272??2062Clear
    70[SUP]o[/SUP]
    No
    Rocky Mount10:2511:002:10421811431222913763.234129990 Kw / 285 mph35139Clear
    76[SUP]o[/SUP]
    No
    Lumberton12:5013:251:50451801361235012166.003932490 Kw / 285 mph35135Clear
    88[SUP]o[/SUP]
    Yes
    Santee15:1515:501:50491701311247312367.0937.730657 Kw / 190 mph35121Clear
    90[SUP]o[/SUP]
    Yes
    Savannah18:3020:002:40202291501261013751.383928590 Kw / 285 mph85209Clear
    90[SUP]o[/SUP]
    Yes

















    NORTHBOUND















    Savannah
    6:30

    227
    12699








    Santee8:308:572:00891751381282812964.5043.830582 Kw / 256 mph2586Rain
    75 - 80[SUP]o[/SUP]
    Yes
    Lumberton10:4611:201:49441711311295212468.263830889 Kw / 270 mph33127Rain
    75[SUP]o[/SUP]
    Yes
    Rocky Mount13:1514:131:55482221231307111962.0935.5297??58174Rain
    75 - 80[SUP]o[/SUP]
    No
    Glen Allen16:1516:302:02831401391320813767.384029290 Kw / 285 mph1357Cloudy
    75 - 80[SUP]o[/SUP]
    Yes
    Woodbridge17:5718:401:276821272132837551.7220.928090 Kw / 272 mph43144Drizzle
    75[SUP]o[/SUP]
    No
    During my trip, I used the following settings/techniques:
    1. Regen to low.
    2. Used Range Mode for HVAC. I only used A/C for part of the trip, so this probably had little effect.
    3. Used cruise control. I-95 between Northern Virginia and Savannah is fairly level.

    Thoughts on Superchargers:

    1. I saw very few other Teslas at the superchargers. At my first stop in Glen Allen, I plugged in and went to Panera Bread to get a cup of coffee. By the time I returned to my car, another Tesla had just pulled in. They were going from Northern Virginia to Norfolk to attend a meeting. On the remainder of my trip south, no other Teslas were at Rocky Mount, Lumberton, or Santee. When I arrived at the Savannah airport supercharger location (after driving a few miles first around the town), there was a Tesla with Florida plates in one of the bays. I had to wait inside the airport for a little over an hour to pick up someone flying in to town; upon returning to my car I noted that the other Tesla was gone.

    2. On the southbound leg, the Santee SC didn’t provide full power. I was getting only about 57 Kw of power at the beginning. I arrived with 49 rated miles remaining, so I expected to get the full 90 Kw initially. I changed to a different bay but got the same results.

    3. On my return northbound, the Santee SC worked at full power. At my next stop in Lumberton, I met a guy in a new (3 week old) white MS 85. It was raining cats and dogs and so we didn’t get to chat much. He was heading back to NY. I went to Texas Steakhouse to get a cup of coffee. When I departed, the white MS was still there. About ten minutes after I arrived in Rocky Mount, the white MS pulled in. He didn’t know about the power sharing schemes for the pedestals, so I provided that information to him. We compared charging rates on our phone apps --- I was jealous when I saw him charging at 120 Kw and I was getting only 90 Kw (I have an A battery). (Note: I have since seen the “Charge-off 90kW vs 120kW” test results reported in the Forum) I decided to eat lunch at Texas Steakhouse in Rocky Mount. When I returned to my car, it was nearly fully charged (58 minutes to get 174 miles) and the white MS was gone. I arrived at Glen Allen with no other car there; about 10 minutes later, the white MS pulled in. It seems he had gotten lost. So during my northbound trip, the only other Tesla I saw at any of the superchargers was the white one. I stopped at Woodbridge to top off and sat in another rain storm.

    4. I used the supercharger charge time curves posted by wcalvin to estimate the time needed to charge to my desired level. the charge time curves are for 120 Kw charging, so taking that into consideration, I found them to be a good rough estimator.

    5. The location of the Woodbridge SC is painful. I’ve lived in this area for 26 years and I avoid going to that area because it is always crowded.

    6. I made a point at each SC (except for Woodbridge) to stop in at the local restaurant or café to eat or get a cup of coffee and let them know I was charging my Tesla and appreciated having the supercharger there.

    Plugshare was useful in Savannah. I utilized public charging at the Savannah Visitors Center and in one of the city's parking garages. Charging was free. A day long parking pass cost $7.00.
     
  2. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    Location:
    No. VA
    Great report. Once I get the Model S, I anticipate taking it to OBX, which your report indicates should be pretty easy based on stopping in Glen Allen and then Plymouth, NC (ok, I know you didn't stop there) and then crossing over to the Hatteras area.

    It was interesting to see how your "actual miles" and "rated miles used" lined up. Seems like actual and rated are a little off. However, I wonder if the mismatch is related to your decision to set the regen to low. Was there a particular reason you did this? Also, I'm addicted to AC, so expect my actual miles will vary some from the rated miles.
     
  3. Only Trons

    Only Trons Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
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    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I believe rated miles is greater than actual miles due to speed. Everyone will tell you that the greater the speed, the more energy used. If you look at the energy usage curve provided by Tesla (you can see it on their website), you will see that at 55 mph the range is "about" 300 miles; at 65 mph, the range is "about" 265 miles (or so). The graph provided by Tesla is not very detailed, but you can get a broad idea from looking at it. So I was not surprised at my rate miles usage -- as you can see from the table, my average speed was typically in the mid 60's.

    There has been discussion in this forum about the appropriate usage of regen. Most posts I have read indicate that on the highway regen provides little value; you might slow down occasionally due to traffic, waiting to pass someone, etc. The amount of energy you have to expend to speed back up from, say 55 mph to 65 mph, would likely be much greater than the energy put back into the battery by regen as you were slowing down. I use standard regen for all my local driving but changed it to low only for the highway portion of this trip.
     
  4. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
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    If you know how to use your right foot with a little finesse, then it's always better to leave the regen in standard.

    The only place that "standard" regen will lose on the highway is if you are constantly going in and out with the accelerator pedal power and regen with out using cruise control. Let's take an example. If someone slows in front of you or you need to slow for an exit, is it better to put some energy back into the battery with some regen or is it better to heat the friction brakes.

    In quickly rolling short hills (very unlikely in the SE low country), there may be an argument for less regen with cruise control, but that situation, you are better off with standard regen, no cruise control, and a right foot that can create a virtual neutral.

    I will wager you that standard regen always wins, the question is when to use cruise control...
     
  5. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    I'm one of those people who doesn't use cruise control too much. In the DC area there are few opportunities to use it. Once I'm out on the highway for a longer trip, I usually forget about it because I'm not in the habit. However, with the Model S' fine tuning (1 MPH or 5 MPH), I may try this more often once I get the car. In addition, it's obviously valuable if you are trying to save the charge. Another reason why I'm planning on an 85, I just want to drive and try not to think too much about range or my particular driving habits, speed, etc.
     
  6. jthompson

    jthompson JThompson

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    Fairfax, Virginia, United States
    @onlytrons: Outstanding report - thanks for sharing your insight and experiences!
     
  7. Mnlevin

    Mnlevin Member

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    South Florida
    Great report, I will keep it handy for my round trip from Ft Laud area to Western Mass this summer in my 60. I am only concerned with the trip between St Augustine and Savannah, but know I can do it if I keep the speed at around 65 with a full charge. The interesting part is the variance in the used miles between the other SC. I know to plan for a fudge factor but want to only charge to what I need as to not waste too much time at the SCs. So for the most part I shouldn't need more than 150 miles to get between the SCs.
     
  8. Only Trons

    Only Trons Member

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    @mnlevin;

    My plan was to charge at each SC only enough to get to the next SC with some buffer. There was no need to do a max charge because, as you note, the next SC was some 120 or 130 miles away. As I noted, I used the charging time curves to estimate the time I needed to charge. In preparation for the trip, I estimated that I would need to charge about 20 - 25 minutes at most of the SC, and that turned out to be fairly close. I believe the distance from St Augustine to Savannah is about 175 miles, so you should have no problem.

    Most important: Have fun and enjoy the trip!

    @Cottonwood: no comment on the finesse of my right foot!!!!:rolleyes:
     
  9. Treker56

    Treker56 Member

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    Great report, thanks for sharing!
     
  10. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Your approach to charging to "enough plus some margin" is perfect. Great report; thanks!

    Given your finesse with spreadsheets and the art of efficient Supercharger travel, I am guessing that the pressure your right foot puts on the accelerator is done with extreme finesse!

    Continue enjoying your Tesla Supercharged travels. :cool:
     
  11. ajw

    ajw Member

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    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    iadbound,,,
    For your obx trip...do you plan to use rt 64, to cross into the outer banks around the Mateo area? I was scoping out this route the other day.
    Also, once you get to your destination...do you plan on just figuring something out at your cottage, or going to an RV park(I think there is one in Kitty Hawk).
    I'm just curious, because I find out that I can get to lots of places....then I'm worried about what to do when I actually get there...
     
  12. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    #12 iadbound, May 29, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
    Yes. I plan on crossing over using rt 64 and then heading south on 12 (away from Kitty Hawk). There is a KOA campground in Rodanthe that appears to have 50 AMP hookups (according to Plugshare). I'm not sure if KOA is ok with such charging, but from what I have read it is usually not a problem. Thus, I might charge at KOA or just slow charge at the rental. Presumably one charge up at the KOA should cover local driving for a week (hopefully). After that, I just need to supercharge in Plymouth and Glen Allen on the way home.
     
  13. ajw

    ajw Member

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    i admire the sense of adventure. I've got a 2 and 5 year old....so selling the family on an extra hour, and definite charging stop is prohibitive on my end. Nevertheless the trip is totally doable...and I'd love to hear about your charging situation etc once your back. I love the outer banks so it'd be good to hear about 1st hand model s experiences in that area.
     
  14. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    Sadly, I won't have my Model S in hand before the trip. However, I may try making the drive in my ICE the same way. Hopefully, I'll have the Model S before my trip after this one.

    I would think that having a enforced stop with a 2 and 5 year old might be good, but if they are sleeping then stopping might not be so great. My kid is 12, so she's pretty easy going at this point.
     
  15. fuelsman

    fuelsman Member

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    I did a similar trip over the Memorial Day Weekend from Jacksonville to Richmond roundtrip. Stayed overnight northbound at Santee at Clark's Inn is very convenient to 'fill up' at the SC in the morning. The rooms at Clark's Inn include full made to order breakfast. Found that a full charge could be delayed until every other SC. Left Santee full range charge with a 15 minute quick charge at Lumberton had lunch at the Outback Restaurant (very reasonable lunch specials - hamburgers are hand pattied) to get nearly full range charge (40 minutes) for sightseeing in Petersburg before staying at the Springhill Suites in Glen Allen. Overall if not too much time added for charging if SC and stops for eating and restrooms are planned.
     

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