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Range and Driving Habits

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by tonybelding, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    1,078
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    I've been thinking a fair bit about the Roadster's range and how it will apply to my driving habits. This is a calculation every potential buyer will make in one way or another, and the answer will be different for everyone. Still, I thought some of you might find a bit of interest in it.

    Most of the driving I do is puttering around town, which should be no problem for the Roadster. I could leave it on 50% charge most of the time (to extend the ESS service life) and have no problem. Even when I am taking some spins around our nearby country roads -- which I've become fond of doing in the Esprit V8 -- range shouldn't be any kind of issue.

    The next thing I do once in a while, every several weeks, is visit nearby towns: Gatesville (32 miles), Stephenville (40 miles) and Waco (68 miles). Incidentally, I never make these trips without at least knowing about it the day before, so I can always set the charge level up to 90% or 100% overnight before starting. Waco is my benchmark. I want to be able to go there and back without stopping to charge the car, with a comfortable margin to spare. I also still want to be able to do this after a few years when the ESS has degraded somewhat. When it was announced that the Roadster probably wouldn't achieve 250 miles per charge, I had to stop and do some figuring on this one. After doing my back-of-the-envelope calculations, I figured I should be able to manage as long as it achieves 200 miles per charge when new. If the specs dipped below that, I would start getting uncomfortable about it.

    After that, we're getting into trips where some away-from-home charging would be needed. These would include: Austin (123 miles), Dallas (122 miles), Enchanted Rock State Park (112 miles), Port Lavaca (262 miles), or Terlingua (484 miles). These trips I make rarely -- not more than every few years, typically. Since I'm not planning to scrap my boring old Pontiac Bonneville, the ability to make these trips in the Roadster is not critical for me. However. . .

    I do think making some of these trips in the Roadster would be fun, and it might be possible to pull it off with a bit of planning, and calling ahead to ensure that charging points will be available. Given a 50-amp RV hookup and a two-hour stop to charge up, I could easily make a day trip to Austin, Dallas or Enchanted Rock and back home.

    Enchanted Rock is an interesting case, because so many Texas state parks have RV hookups on-site. So, if the park rangers were agreeable, I could charge my car while hiking around and enjoying the park. In theory. However, Enchanted Rock is one of the minority of Texas state parks that does not, at this time, have RV hookups. I hope that will change. There are other RV hookups available in the area, but it presents a logistical problem if I have to charge somewhere away from the state park itself.

    Austin is another interesting case. Outside of California, Austin has the most active EV community that I know of. The local government and utilities in Austin have come out in favor of PHEVs and V2G technology. And there's a Hyatt. :) I have hopes that somebody will make a dedicated Tesla charging station available in Austin within the next couple of years. That would make trips to Austin and back easier for me, and it would also make trips to the coast (Port Lavaca) easier, since Austin would be the halfway point. Given a Tesla charging station in Austin, going to Port Lavaca would be a one-day trip -- which is about what it would be in my Bonneville.

    That leaves me with only one scenario that would give me fits, which is going to Terlingua. Terlingua is the gateway to Big Bend National Park, which is one of my favorite places to visit, though I haven't been there in quite some years now. Driving from here to there in the Bonneville would require a long, full day of driving. In the Roadster I reckon it would take two full days with multiple charging stops along the way. For me this is really a toss-up. I imagine that making this trip in the Roadster would be a fun adventure for me, and trying it out on the mountain roads of West Texas would be particularly appealing. On the other hand, adding two days to the trip would test my patience, and spending that much time in the spartan cockpit of the Roadster might test my patience too. It's something I'll be thinking about.
     
  2. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Oh, and while I'm at it. . . .

    enchanted_rock.jpg

    Taken with my dinky little pocket camera. I'll come back with better photos next time.
     
  3. Brent

    Brent Member

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    Apr 18, 2007
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    If I were buying a Roadster, I would miss being able to reach three destinations: Mammoth Lakes, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. Of these three, only one has no commercial flights, so I suppose I wouldn't be too inconvenienced.

    When I used to go with family on driving trips northwards -- either to Palo Alto, S.F. or Yosemite -- we'd often overnight at Harris Ranch, where the steaks are plentiful, and the pool refreshing. Harris Ranch also happens to be almost exactly 200 miles from Los Angeles, and about 186 from San Francisco, putting it at the edge of the Roadster's range from either direction. I don't recall whether they have RV hookups, but it might be one of those ideal spots to for a 16KW charger. It attracts the sorts of people that would otherwise stay at a Hyatt, if Hyatt decided to put up hotels in the middle of nowhere.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah... I am a vegetarian and I still stop at Harris ranch on the I-5 trek between LA and SF. It is a good place in the middle to stop and let the kids run around for a while.
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Having driven the LA - SF commute a coupla' milliion times I too have stopped at Harris Ranch for food -but never lodging.

    Since I tend to be a "power driver" stopping only for gas when needed, my Harris stops are the trips with the wife.

    It's a decent place with good meat.



    And a very expensive gift shop.
     

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