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Observations from our first long road trip in our Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by jeffro01, Jul 26, 2016.

  1. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Good Morning... (or afternoon, or evening, or tomorrow depending on where you are),

    So last week the family and I took a vacation to San Diego from the SF Bay Area in our Model S90D and I wanted to share some observations from that trip and what we learned from taking our Model S. This won't be terribly long winded as I just want to focus on the major points of the experience.

    For starters, supercharging during a long trip isn't really all that bad... From the Bay Area to San Diego we had to stop at 3 superchargers with the only delay of any kind being at SJC. Outside of SJC we had no issues with stall availability, nor with getting a completely unused stall pair. Granted our drive down was on a Saturday so perhaps that played a role, hard to say. We stopped at Harris Ranch, Tejon Ranch, and SJC. I think we could have made it all the way from Tejon Ranch had I charged to 100% but either way, it worked out okay. I'm known to be a bit of a long range road warrior only stopping for gas but neither my wife or kids are that way so given that we'd have had to stop for bathroom breaks anyhow, the 3 stops weren't an issue at all. All in all, I don't feel like the supercharging stops impacted our drive in any negative fashion.

    We stayed at a hotel in the San Diego area that had HPWCs as part of the destination charging program so we never had an issue coming back to our hotel in the evening to charge which was quite awesome by itself...

    Coming back (came back on a Thursday) we stopped at Hawthorn, Buttonwillow, and Harris Ranch. Hawthorn was really a forced bio break stop but it was neat to see the SpaceX site. Again, no issues with stall availability or anything like that. We even made it home (Pinole\Hercules\Rodeo area) on a 90% charge from Harris Ranch, pulling in the driveway with 5% battery left... :)

    We drove 77/78MPH most of the way there and back and never really felt like we needed to slow down or anything like that to make it. It was nice actually...

    The major thing I noticed is there was a dramatic improvement in range by setting the car suspension to "low". It's hard to quantify "dramatic" but we were getting around 283wh/mile (give or take a few watts) at 77/78MPH while on low...

    All in all, fantastic trip and it completely removed any range anxiety concerns I may have had going forward for future trips. Just outstanding and I'm sooooo glad now that we went with the 90D. :)

    Jeff

    PS: AP made the entire drive so much more relaxing and comfortable, especially in LA traffic, that I'll NEVER own another car without it... Ever.
     
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  2. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    As compared to what wh/mi going normal height? Unless you're saying that 283wh/mi is an improvement over the adverised spec.

    I've gotten ~280wh/mi on coils, going 75-80mph in the summer with 4 people in the car. The key is summer. If you do the same drive in colder weather, rain, etc. the wh/mi is much higher on the same trip.
     
  3. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Great question... We don't do a lot of long stretches of FW\HW driving so I'm normally around 340wh/mi. The low setting got my attention because when we left the first SC stop from Tesla software was Harris Ranch arriving with 18% or something like that. I switched to low about a quarter of the way there and the software went up to arriving with 27% and we actually got there with 32% remaining. Also went from about 305wh/mi down to the 283wh/mi I referenced as well.

    It's hard for me to quantify all of that since I don't have much of a benchmark to compare it to but given what I saw from the Tesla trip planning software, and the reduction in wh/mi after changing to low, it seemed to make a big difference to me.

    Jeff
     
  4. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I gotchya. I'm not disagreeing that low would be better than normal, but I'm having a hard time believing it's an 8% improvement (and yes, I understand your test was not scientific, two different stretches of road; leaving the SpC with trip planner is a joke, that thing re-adjusts the estimates for the first handful of miles of driving; headwind/tailwinds; etc. etc. etc.)

    I would be curious what the real number is, if there is one (might change what I get on the Model 3 ;)).
     
  5. Austin Powers

    Austin Powers Member

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    Great post. Doesn't the Smart Air Suspension automatically set itself to 'Low' at higher speeds?
     
  6. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    It can, I have mine to automatically lower at 90+ because for most Bay Area freeways there is just enough crap to discourage low at 70-80MPH.

    As for the low affecting the range, I'm 100% convinced it made a major improvement on the range I am just not sure how to quite quantify it... Both times I forgot to put it in low, I definitely noticed it so far as the wh/mi goes which was my reminder to double check... :)

    Jef
     
  7. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Tesla Model S Energy Consumption - Low Versus Normal Suspension Setting - Video

    I knew I saw this somewhere, Bjørn says it's ~1.6% improvement by going to low at 80mph. Maybe at 90mph it's slightly more, but I still have a hard time believing 8%.

    Bjørn said that all tests were performed on the same night, as a way to minimize weather variations, and performed across a fixed distance with near constant speeds.
     
  8. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    No worries, understood. I didn't take any sort of remotely scientific readings or anything like that. Like I said, I can't quite quantify it since I didn't write anything down but I know it made a difference.

    Jeff
     
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