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Range Anxiety? What's that? (Phoenixhawk's Delivery Story)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Phoenixhawk101, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Phoenixhawk101

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    My delivery story is a bit different that most, as I purchased my vehicle used, however I thought it would be good for others to read. Especially those who are concerned about an electric vehicle and how it will change your daily life from an ICE vehicle.

    The challenge
    Let me start by saying that I have had my eye on a Tesla for well over three years, and 28 months ago (Yep, I kept track) I began squirreling away every single penny I could find into my Tesla fund. There was a running gag at the office when others would ask me to go out to lunch with them and I refused, those who knew me would respond "He's eating for his car". In June 2016 I was ready to pull the trigger on a brand new 70D when I stumbled upon the exact same build 85D available used from a member of the TMC. The price was right, the build was right, but the car was in Texas (I live in Chicago). Now one of the things my coworkers and even my wife had constantly harped on was the limited range of a Tesla, and how troublesome travel would be. So I decided I would use this purchase as a chance to prove to them and I that owning a Tesla would infact impact my daily life in no negative ways whatsoever. So here was the challenge. I would get a plane ticket to Houston, Texas, get an Uber from the airport to the sellers office, and then make the drive back to Chicago. All without once looking at a map, charging route planer, or even the Tesla website to see if Superchargers existed to get me from point A to point B.

    I got my AAA set up with the new car incase I needed a tow, grabbed the Chargepoint and Plugshare apps if it came to that (but made a promise not to load the apps unless it became an emergency) and boarded my flight. Some of you may roll your eyes at this, but I honestly had no idea if I was going to make it just 240 miles and then end up stranded.

    Day One
    The next morning I met the seller, we took care of the paperwork and I was officially a Tesla owner!
    [​IMG]

    I tossed my home address into the GPS of the car and was unsurprised when it came up with a perfect route of chargers taking me straight back to Chicago, IL. After about an hour of changing settings, trying out Regen levels and steering I was ready to start my trek. With a 100% trip charge in the "tank" I made it quite a ways until I had to hit up my first SuperCharger. Talk about perfect timing, I really had to pee. And to make matters even better it was at a lovely coffee shop that offered free coffee to Tesla owners (Just show them your Key Fob), how cool is that?!?!
    [​IMG]

    After a 25 minute break it was back onto the road. A MASSIVE rainstorm caused me to slow down a bit but the car performed like a champion and before long I was hunting for a place to grab dinner and a hotel for the night (Got a late start day one). Talk about convenient that just down the street from the hotel was a super charger (Actually a completely dumb accident).
    [​IMG]

    Day Two
    Started today early and after a top off at the charger I hit the road. I have to say how impressed I was with all of the Supercharger locations. I had originally expected them to be tucked into a corner somewhere and difficult to find but none were. The Supercharger team deserves some real props for the locations they got setup. I easily found myself spending 30 minutes at each stop without even realizing it. With the 85Kwh battery I was able to get 250 miles pretty easily even with my inexperienced (and a little bit lead) foot. As I approached Kansas city I decided to see if I could skip a charger completely and go straight from Wichita to Independence. As it turns out I could, but just barely. I rolled into the Independence, MO supercharger with only 12 miles left but had little fear I could find something to do for 50 minutes....I mean it was at a Bass Pro shop after all! Met my first Tesla 'Fan' at the charger too and we had a great conversation about the car.
    [​IMG]

    After lunch it was back on the road. And a chance to try out Autopilot. Let me tell you, it made the long highway drive quite a pleasure indeed. It even gave me the ability to enjoy a little bit of the scenery on my drive. Look, wind turbines. I wonder if any of them helped power my car?
    [​IMG]

    After a very long drive I managed to make it to the Aurora Charger in Chicago, IL. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed so far on my trip. I had heard horror stories about over crowded chargers and at the very least had hoped to run into another Tesla on my trip. But I didn't see a single one. Not at any SuperChargers or on the roads. I was starting to feel a little bummed. But that issue disappeared when I got to Chicago. When I get to see both a 2016 refreshed Model S and a brand new Model X (And by brand new I mean he had just received it an hour earlier and wanted to try out the SuperCharger). With the charger at a local brew pub it became the perfect place to make some new friends as we enjoyed a drink and swapped delivery stories. It really felt like I had joined a new family, with each of us sharing something in common immediately.
    [​IMG]

    Arriving Home
    After 1388 miles I pulled into my driveway, and was surprised at how rested I felt. Often when I took long drives I felt exhausted when I arrived, but with the many stops and chances to stretch my legs plus the comfortable seats I was ready to keep going. (Trip A was my drive up from Texas)
    [​IMG]

    Now my challenge wasn't quite finished yet. See I wanted to prove to everyone that I needed to change absolutely nothing in owning a Tesla. So on another self dare I hadn't installed a 220V line. So I set the car up on the 110V outlet in my garage. Considering my drive to my office and back is only 28.2 miles total and on the 110V I can get roughly 40 miles each night I actually don't need to use a 220V (though it's more efficient). I have now owned the car for a little over a month, and it's still on the 110V charger. I will be installing a 220v, but I needed to prove that I could use the car without it.
    [​IMG]

    In the end the 1388 mile trip took me about 22 hours of driving time. In an ICE car I likely would have made the same drive in about 19 hours. But the trade off of the 3 extra hours was being significantly more comfortable on my drive, and taking a little bit of time to enjoy the sights (After all I did spend a fortune at a sporting good store where the Springfield, IL charger was located). But I now have the confidence to answer anyone who asks "Aren't you concerned with the limited range?" with 'Not in the slightest. Afterall I drove from Texas to Chicago in a single trip, unplanned and never had an issue'. Afterwards I did EVTripplanner the route and was impressed with how I did overall.
    [​IMG]

    I want to thank the amazing team of engineers, planners, project managers, and everyone else who helped to make this a reality. Just 6 short years ago this sort of journey was pure fairy tale. Now it is something i feel confident in being able to do on a whim, no planning needed. In fact I'm making plans for my trip the the east coast for next month!
     
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  2. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,350
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    Until you've actually done a long trip like this you really just can't quite grasp a) how friggin' awesome the SpC network is and b) what a delight the car, esp. with AP, is to drive on long trips.

    Depending on where on the Coast you're headed, you might be stopping at our local SpC here in Lafayette along your way.
    I can guarantee you if you do you won't have a wait.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. whitecotton

    whitecotton Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2015
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Awesome, congrats on a successful trip.
     
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  4. Ormond

    Ormond Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2016
    Messages:
    229
    Location:
    USA
    As a prospective owner, I enjoyed reading about your trip. Thank you for taking the time to share it.

    Ormond
     
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  5. Model S M.D.

    Model S M.D. Ludicrous Radiologist

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    @Phoenixhawk101 Love this story. Keep us updated on your travels! I also enjoy supercharging at the Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana on my trips to Dallas.
     
    • Like x 1
  6. slmlc02

    slmlc02 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Chicago
    Appreciate you taking the time to share. I'm a future Chicago owner. Order confirmed last week and a late August or early September delivery. Looking forward to my first road trip in the S and hope it's as successful as yours.
     
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  7. Barry

    Barry Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Messages:
    780
    Location:
    Colorado
    Great story!
     
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  8. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT Quickish

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2016
    Messages:
    341
    Location:
    Sydney
    Great story, I can't wait to do similar here in Australia.
     
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