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Range/Efficiency Report from 10,000+ mile US roadtrip

I own a 2021 Model Y LR (delivered 12/20) and had logged about 1,800 miles before embarking on a roadtrip in early Feb that covered about 30 US states and pretty much every type of terrain that can be experienced in the continental US - dirt roads, interstates, canyons, steep uphill climbs (and downhill coasting), etc. The car was driven in temps from -15F to about 75F over the course of this trip. Posting the below in the hopes this will serve as a guide on what others can expect on their range during a sustained period of long-distance driving.

Special shoutout to two tools that made this trip (and this analysis) much simpler - Abetterrouteplanner ("ABRP") and TeslaFi. Before diving in, some notes on my driving style:

1. On interstates and open roads, I tried to keep the car on autopilot/cruise control around 65-75mph. I noticed that average speed for a typical "leg" on the open road usually averaged in the high-60s mph on TeslaFi.

2. In most instances the HVAC was on 2 or lower, and oftentimes was turned off entirely if the outside temp was comfortable.

3. Sentry mode (or any of the other battery-consuming modes) were never used. Climate was never used remotely, except to warm up the battery on a handful of exceptionally cold days.

A quick summary of my findings below:

1. My trip odometer in the car reads 331wh/mi over the entire trip, versus the car's rated efficiency of 250wh/mi. (TeslaFi was not logging for the entire trip, so I don't have more detailed data at that level). This included about a week of subzero weather, and a number of days that involved winding climbs up mountains and canyons, many of which were one-way.

2. The legs of the trip in temperate weather (40-70F, about 60% of my total miles driven) had an efficiency of 294wh/mi with an average speed of 49mph.

3. In general, the car's navigation system estimating arrival charge level was NOT accurate. I wouldn't rely on this tool going forward to estimate charge, especially if weather is inclement (see below) or terrain is challenging. ABRP, on the other hand, was quite accurate in estimating my charge on arrival at any given waypoint. ABRP was mostly conservative, and only proved to be overly optimistic on a couple of days where I encountered strong headwinds. in

4. I'm not sure where ABRP pulls map data from, but in some rare instances it would have directed me to drive on roads that were either closed or unmaintained (this is primarily relevant when driving near reservation land in the US southwest, so really a rare occurrence). Waze was the best guide in these areas to sense check if ABRP was actually sending me on a "real" route and not down some ranch road.

5. At full charge, the car's computer estimated 316mi of range versus the 326mi advertised for a MY LR. Anybody else experience this?

6. Wind and rain appeared to have a huge impact on range, and should definitely be considered when on a long trip. For example, check out the drive below that happened in a downpour:
Distance: 139mi
Elevation Gain: -97ft
Wind speed: 15.5mph (angle was perpendicular to car for most of drive)
Avg speed: 64mph (max speed 87mph)
Efficiency: 392wh/mi (55%)
Outside temp: 44F
H
I own a 2021 Model Y LR (delivered 12/20) and had logged about 1,800 miles before embarking on a roadtrip in early Feb that covered about 30 US states and pretty much every type of terrain that can be experienced in the continental US - dirt roads, interstates, canyons, steep uphill climbs (and downhill coasting), etc. The car was driven in temps from -15F to about 75F over the course of this trip. Posting the below in the hopes this will serve as a guide on what others can expect on their range during a sustained period of long-distance driving.

Special shoutout to two tools that made this trip (and this analysis) much simpler - Abetterrouteplanner ("ABRP") and TeslaFi. Before diving in, some notes on my driving style:

1. On interstates and open roads, I tried to keep the car on autopilot/cruise control around 65-75mph. I noticed that average speed for a typical "leg" on the open road usually averaged in the high-60s mph on TeslaFi.

2. In most instances the HVAC was on 2 or lower, and oftentimes was turned off entirely if the outside temp was comfortable.

3. Sentry mode (or any of the other battery-consuming modes) were never used. Climate was never used remotely, except to warm up the battery on a handful of exceptionally cold days.

A quick summary of my findings below:

1. My trip odometer in the car reads 331wh/mi over the entire trip, versus the car's rated efficiency of 250wh/mi. (TeslaFi was not logging for the entire trip, so I don't have more detailed data at that level). This included about a week of subzero weather, and a number of days that involved winding climbs up mountains and canyons, many of which were one-way.

2. The legs of the trip in temperate weather (40-70F, about 60% of my total miles driven) had an efficiency of 294wh/mi with an average speed of 49mph.

3. In general, the car's navigation system estimating arrival charge level was NOT accurate. I wouldn't rely on this tool going forward to estimate charge, especially if weather is inclement (see below) or terrain is challenging. ABRP, on the other hand, was quite accurate in estimating my charge on arrival at any given waypoint. ABRP was mostly conservative, and only proved to be overly optimistic on a couple of days where I encountered strong headwinds. in

4. I'm not sure where ABRP pulls map data from, but in some rare instances it would have directed me to drive on roads that were either closed or unmaintained (this is primarily relevant when driving near reservation land in the US southwest, so really a rare occurrence). Waze was the best guide in these areas to sense check if ABRP was actually sending me on a "real" route and not down some ranch road.

5. At full charge, the car's computer estimated 316mi of range versus the 326mi advertised for a MY LR. Anybody else experience this?

6. Wind and rain appeared to have a huge impact on range, and should definitely be considered when on a long trip. For example, check out the drive below that happened in a downpour:
Distance: 139mi
Elevation Gain: -97ft
Wind speed: 15.5mph (angle was perpendicular to car for most of drive)
Avg speed: 64mph (max speed 87mph)
Efficiency: 392wh/mi (55%)
Outside temp: 44F
HVAC: 67F, avg. fan level of 1.5

On some drives with headwinds, consumption was close to 500 wh/mi, even with minimal elevation gain and at much slower speeds.

Any tips to help improve range that I may be missing would be welcome. While I drive slightly slower than I might have in an ICE car (I tried to avoid staying over 80mph for any sustained period of time to conserve battery, even when the speed limit was 75 or 80), I don't think I'd be willing to drive significantly slower on the open road just to get more miles on a charge.
 

Pianewman

2021 MYLR VIN 88,XXX, Rd/Wh, 12/20 delivery
Supporting Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,987
1,589
Fort Worth
Excellent, detailed evaluation. I don't see anything out of the ordinary in your energy consumption.

There are a couple of interesting aspects that I believe need to be highlighted:

"...(I tried [my emphasis] to avoid staying over 80mph for any sustained period of time to conserve battery, even when the speed limit was 75 or 80),..."

Your "...average speed for a typical "leg" on the open road usually averaged in the high-60s mph on TeslaFi...."

It's my understanding that if you had an average of high-60s for sustained portions, you were probably driving in the 75-85mph range for longer than you think.

I think we all understand how difficult it is, on the open road, to keep our speed low. At 85-90, the car is so smooth, there's no real awareness of speed.

I owned "clean diesel" VWs for several years, and was always impressed by the cars' ability to achieve 52-55mpg while cruising at 55-60mph. HAHAHAHA!!! Our road trip MPG average was always 42-44mpg, because we just...couldn't...drive...below 60mph on the open road.

Bottom line? I think your 331wh/m is an accurate "real world" expectation. That number would drop significantly by lowering open road MPH by 10+.

Thanks for posting!
 
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Nice post. As @pianewmn indicated, driving faster will have a significant impact on your range/economy. Wind resistance tends to increase significantly when you drive faster than 55-60 mph and that’s all electrons down the drain. Ditto with inclement weather - snowy roads significantly increase your rolling resistance. Even wet roads can affect it more than you think.

After my first MN Winter with a MY including 2 weeks where the temp never got above 0, I can say that cold weather absolutely kills the battery. Not only are you spending a lot of energy to heat the cabin but regenerative braking is practically nonexistant under 15º F/-10º C.
 

DriverOne

Member
Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2012
882
568
Austin, TX
> 331wh/mi over the entire trip, versus the car's rated efficiency of 250wh/mi

Yup. I wish the EPA or whoever's in control of measuring rated efficiency would do more realistic estimates. To achieve the rated number I have to be in at least one of these situations: 1) driving downhill 2) under 40mph 3) with a tailwind.

It's absurd how misleading the rated numbers are. I guess that they are useful for comparing vehicles (even across manufacturers), but as they're not even close to real-world actual numbers, that's their only use.
 

mark95476

Active Member
Jun 21, 2020
2,067
1,598
Bay Area CA
Thanks for the post. I plan on doing long road trips in the future so all of this is very useful.

ABRP seems like a must have, but I'll be wary of the routing. Personally, I've always had issues with Google Maps routing when I'm in unfamiliar areas like LA.

>5. At full charge, the car's computer estimated 316mi of range versus the 326mi advertised for a MY LR. Anybody else experience this?

I use % SoC, but my early 2020 LR showed the same range when I checked months ago.


I own a 2021 Model Y LR (delivered 12/20) and had logged about 1,800 miles before embarking on a roadtrip in early Feb that covered about 30 US states and pretty much every type of terrain that can be experienced in the continental US - dirt roads, interstates, canyons, steep uphill climbs (and downhill coasting), etc. The car was driven in temps from -15F to about 75F over the course of this trip. Posting the below in the hopes this will serve as a guide on what others can expect on their range during a sustained period of long-distance driving.

Special shoutout to two tools that made this trip (and this analysis) much simpler - Abetterrouteplanner ("ABRP") and TeslaFi. Before diving in, some notes on my driving style:

1. On interstates and open roads, I tried to keep the car on autopilot/cruise control around 65-75mph. I noticed that average speed for a typical "leg" on the open road usually averaged in the high-60s mph on TeslaFi.

2. In most instances the HVAC was on 2 or lower, and oftentimes was turned off entirely if the outside temp was comfortable.

3. Sentry mode (or any of the other battery-consuming modes) were never used. Climate was never used remotely, except to warm up the battery on a handful of exceptionally cold days.

A quick summary of my findings below:

1. My trip odometer in the car reads 331wh/mi over the entire trip, versus the car's rated efficiency of 250wh/mi. (TeslaFi was not logging for the entire trip, so I don't have more detailed data at that level). This included about a week of subzero weather, and a number of days that involved winding climbs up mountains and canyons, many of which were one-way.

2. The legs of the trip in temperate weather (40-70F, about 60% of my total miles driven) had an efficiency of 294wh/mi with an average speed of 49mph.

3. In general, the car's navigation system estimating arrival charge level was NOT accurate. I wouldn't rely on this tool going forward to estimate charge, especially if weather is inclement (see below) or terrain is challenging. ABRP, on the other hand, was quite accurate in estimating my charge on arrival at any given waypoint. ABRP was mostly conservative, and only proved to be overly optimistic on a couple of days where I encountered strong headwinds. in

4. I'm not sure where ABRP pulls map data from, but in some rare instances it would have directed me to drive on roads that were either closed or unmaintained (this is primarily relevant when driving near reservation land in the US southwest, so really a rare occurrence). Waze was the best guide in these areas to sense check if ABRP was actually sending me on a "real" route and not down some ranch road.

5. At full charge, the car's computer estimated 316mi of range versus the 326mi advertised for a MY LR. Anybody else experience this?

6. Wind and rain appeared to have a huge impact on range, and should definitely be considered when on a long trip. For example, check out the drive below that happened in a downpour:
Distance: 139mi
Elevation Gain: -97ft
Wind speed: 15.5mph (angle was perpendicular to car for most of drive)
Avg speed: 64mph (max speed 87mph)
Efficiency: 392wh/mi (55%)
Outside temp: 44F
H
I own a 2021 Model Y LR (delivered 12/20) and had logged about 1,800 miles before embarking on a roadtrip in early Feb that covered about 30 US states and pretty much every type of terrain that can be experienced in the continental US - dirt roads, interstates, canyons, steep uphill climbs (and downhill coasting), etc. The car was driven in temps from -15F to about 75F over the course of this trip. Posting the below in the hopes this will serve as a guide on what others can expect on their range during a sustained period of long-distance driving.

Special shoutout to two tools that made this trip (and this analysis) much simpler - Abetterrouteplanner ("ABRP") and TeslaFi. Before diving in, some notes on my driving style:

1. On interstates and open roads, I tried to keep the car on autopilot/cruise control around 65-75mph. I noticed that average speed for a typical "leg" on the open road usually averaged in the high-60s mph on TeslaFi.

2. In most instances the HVAC was on 2 or lower, and oftentimes was turned off entirely if the outside temp was comfortable.

3. Sentry mode (or any of the other battery-consuming modes) were never used. Climate was never used remotely, except to warm up the battery on a handful of exceptionally cold days.

A quick summary of my findings below:

1. My trip odometer in the car reads 331wh/mi over the entire trip, versus the car's rated efficiency of 250wh/mi. (TeslaFi was not logging for the entire trip, so I don't have more detailed data at that level). This included about a week of subzero weather, and a number of days that involved winding climbs up mountains and canyons, many of which were one-way.

2. The legs of the trip in temperate weather (40-70F, about 60% of my total miles driven) had an efficiency of 294wh/mi with an average speed of 49mph.

3. In general, the car's navigation system estimating arrival charge level was NOT accurate. I wouldn't rely on this tool going forward to estimate charge, especially if weather is inclement (see below) or terrain is challenging. ABRP, on the other hand, was quite accurate in estimating my charge on arrival at any given waypoint. ABRP was mostly conservative, and only proved to be overly optimistic on a couple of days where I encountered strong headwinds. in

4. I'm not sure where ABRP pulls map data from, but in some rare instances it would have directed me to drive on roads that were either closed or unmaintained (this is primarily relevant when driving near reservation land in the US southwest, so really a rare occurrence). Waze was the best guide in these areas to sense check if ABRP was actually sending me on a "real" route and not down some ranch road.

5. At full charge, the car's computer estimated 316mi of range versus the 326mi advertised for a MY LR. Anybody else experience this?

6. Wind and rain appeared to have a huge impact on range, and should definitely be considered when on a long trip. For example, check out the drive below that happened in a downpour:
Distance: 139mi
Elevation Gain: -97ft
Wind speed: 15.5mph (angle was perpendicular to car for most of drive)
Avg speed: 64mph (max speed 87mph)
Efficiency: 392wh/mi (55%)
Outside temp: 44F
HVAC: 67F, avg. fan level of 1.5

On some drives with headwinds, consumption was close to 500 wh/mi, even with minimal elevation gain and at much slower speeds.

Any tips to help improve range that I may be missing would be welcome. While I drive slightly slower than I might have in an ICE car (I tried to avoid staying over 80mph for any sustained period of time to conserve battery, even when the speed limit was 75 or 80), I don't think I'd be willing to drive significantly slower on the open road just to get more miles on a charge.
 
> 331wh/mi over the entire trip, versus the car's rated efficiency of 250wh/mi

Yup. I wish the EPA or whoever's in control of measuring rated efficiency would do more realistic estimates. To achieve the rated number I have to be in at least one of these situations: 1) driving downhill 2) under 40mph 3) with a tailwind.

It's absurd how misleading the rated numbers are. I guess that they are useful for comparing vehicles (even across manufacturers), but as they're not even close to real-world actual numbers, that's their only use.
I routinely get 250 wh/mi when the temperature’s reasonable and if I drive conservatively. I view it as being no different from the EPA MPG estimates on ice cars. They are done under controlled, ideal conditions that you virtually never get in real life. The big difference with a Tesla is you have a specific range estimate and because charging the battery is not as trivial as filling up a gas tank you are also a bit more aware of it. If Chevy said “400 miles per tank” and everyone was generally getting 250 or 300 more people would say something. The other reality is most people driving ICE cars never bother to look at their economy while a far larger percentage of EV drivers really focus on it.
 
I routinely get 250 wh/mi when the temperature’s reasonable and if I drive conservatively. I view it as being no different from the EPA MPG estimates on ice cars. They are done under controlled, ideal conditions that you virtually never get in real life. The big difference with a Tesla is you have a specific range estimate and because charging the battery is not as trivial as filling up a gas tank you are also a bit more aware of it. If Chevy said “400 miles per tank” and everyone was generally getting 250 or 300 more people would say something. The other reality is most people driving ICE cars never bother to look at their economy while a far larger percentage of EV drivers really focus on it.
Exactly. Range is one of the key buying points with EVs, not really with ICE vehicles. We can't fault the EPA methodology but EV companies should advertise "real world" range to avoid the confusion of new drivers. If Tesla simply advertised that the MY LR has "240mi of typical range" there would be a lot less confusion.
 
Here's real world range/efficiency (for me) after 5k miles and ~6 months of ownership.

MY_5K_efficiency.jpg


I'm super impressed considering where I drive. My old gasser would get <10 mpg vs 20 mpg rated and I'm driving significantly faster in my Tesla.

Exactly. Range is one of the key buying points with EVs, not really with ICE vehicles. We can't fault the EPA methodology but EV companies should advertise "real world" range to avoid the confusion of new drivers. If Tesla simply advertised that the MY LR has "240mi of typical range" there would be a lot less confusion.
 
Here's real world range/efficiency (for me) after 5k miles and ~6 months of ownership.

View attachment 647336

I'm super impressed considering where I drive. My old gasser would get <10 mpg vs 20 mpg rated and I'm driving significantly faster in my Tesla.
If I slice up my trip, I actually got closest to the rated efficiency of 250wh/mi in the Bay Area and LA. I chalk that up to temperate weather, relatively flat terrain (or at least uphill stretches that are balanced out by downhills) and the fact that most of my drives were relatively short so that I was never at high speeds to extended stretches and the regen was really given a chance to work. I think it's probably easier to achieve the rated efficiency if the car is being used primarily for shorter trips rather than 100+ mile drives where one might be cruising for extended periods at high speeds.
 

VT_EE

Active Member
Apr 22, 2017
2,106
2,846
Maryland
If I slice up my trip, I actually got closest to the rated efficiency of 250wh/mi in the Bay Area and LA. I chalk that up to temperate weather, relatively flat terrain (or at least uphill stretches that are balanced out by downhills) and the fact that most of my drives were relatively short so that I was never at high speeds to extended stretches and the regen was really given a chance to work. I think it's probably easier to achieve the rated efficiency if the car is being used primarily for shorter trips rather than 100+ mile drives where one might be cruising for extended periods at high speeds.
What type of wheels/tires does your Y have?
 
That's real life right there. Lots of people in the Bay Area and LA/Socal with Teslas everywhere for good reason. These are massive (sub)urban sprawls where you can't don't move fast for long due to abundant traffic.

Sustained high-speed cruising for 100s of miles is generally rare and completely artificial for typical drivers. You can only get that in the middle of nowhere when traffic is light (meaning most people are at home or sleeping).


If I slice up my trip, I actually got closest to the rated efficiency of 250wh/mi in the Bay Area and LA. I chalk that up to temperate weather, relatively flat terrain (or at least uphill stretches that are balanced out by downhills) and the fact that most of my drives were relatively short so that I was never at high speeds to extended stretches and the regen was really given a chance to work. I think it's probably easier to achieve the rated efficiency if the car is being used primarily for shorter trips rather than 100+ mile drives where one might be cruising for extended periods at high speeds.
 
I own a 2021 Model Y LR (delivered 12/20) and had logged about 1,800 miles before embarking on a roadtrip in early Feb that covered about 30 US states and pretty much every type of terrain that can be experienced in the continental US - dirt roads, interstates, canyons, steep uphill climbs (and downhill coasting), etc. The car was driven in temps from -15F to about 75F over the course of this trip. Posting the below in the hopes this will serve as a guide on what others can expect on their range during a sustained period of long-distance driving.

Special shoutout to two tools that made this trip (and this analysis) much simpler - Abetterrouteplanner ("ABRP") and TeslaFi. Before diving in, some notes on my driving style:


On some drives with headwinds, consumption was close to 500 wh/mi, even with minimal elevation gain and at much slower speeds.

Any tips to help improve range that I may be missing would be welcome. While I drive slightly slower than I might have in an ICE car (I tried to avoid staying over 80mph for any sustained period of time to conserve battery, even when the speed limit was 75 or 80), I don't think I'd be willing to drive significantly slower on the open road just to get more miles on a charge.
Thanks for the information. I'm expecting to take delivery next week and will be taking a trip in late June so this is very helpful.
 
That's real life right there. Lots of people in the Bay Area and LA/Socal with Teslas everywhere for good reason. These are massive (sub)urban sprawls where you can't don't move fast for long due to abundant traffic.

Sustained high-speed cruising for 100s of miles is generally rare and completely artificial for typical drivers. You can only get that in the middle of nowhere when traffic is light (meaning most people are at home or sleeping).
I strongly disagree that "real life" for most drivers is cruising around the Bay Area/silicon valley, but we can leave it at that.

In my view, range is most critical when on a roadtrip, when there are likely to be 100+ mile stretches on open road and higher speeds. If your EV's primary use is as a commuter vehicle or for short trips, it doesn't really matter if your range is 100 miles versus 300 miles because you'll be charging well before your battery is low enough to care.
 

Pianewman

2021 MYLR VIN 88,XXX, Rd/Wh, 12/20 delivery
Supporting Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,987
1,589
Fort Worth
Modlyowner: While I don't "strongly disagree" about the "real life" efficiency, it is certainly more accurate than any EPA estimate.

Any discussion about efficiency, in the US, is challenged by infinite variables, which should be obvious. However, info from the consumer is extremely valuable.

I think the discussion about range is pointless. I haven't taken a road trip yet, but for sure, if speed is my objective, I'll be using ABRP, keeping my SOC between 10 and 60%, hopping from SC to SC every 100-140miles, in order to take advantage of the high-speed charging capabilities of the SC. Having a "range" of 300+ miles just won't matter to me. I'll be able to drive at or above the speed limit, as well.

(I LOATHE stopping on road trips, once driving from the Grand Canyon to Daytona Beach, stopping only for gas and fast food, so stopping every 100 miles will be a new experience, but will ultimately make the trip much faster)
 
The EPA gives gas cars a highway, city, and combined rating. Why in the heck don't they do that for EVs!? 300+ mile city, 180 mile highway, and 220ish combined. This would do a great deal to bring everyone's expectations in line with real world results.
My personal opinion is that it would be a boon to Tesla's brand to educate propsective owners and provide this info on the vehicle order pages. Even after years of education on how range can vary (and how EPA EV estimates are quite generous) it still is an ongoing point of confusion for many new owners.

Accurate/realistic range feels like it is pretty relevant given the volume of those sorts of posts on this forum and elsewhere. It's not intuitive to understand how to actually acheive rated efficiency without doing a lot of reading on these forums, which I don't think is necessarily realistic expectation. Better just squash the potential confusion and have Tesla be upfront about it.
 
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Modlyowner: While I don't "strongly disagree" about the "real life" efficiency, it is certainly more accurate than any EPA estimate.

Any discussion about efficiency, in the US, is challenged by infinite variables, which should be obvious. However, info from the consumer is extremely valuable.

I think the discussion about range is pointless. I haven't taken a road trip yet, but for sure, if speed is my objective, I'll be using ABRP, keeping my SOC between 10 and 60%, hopping from SC to SC every 100-140miles, in order to take advantage of the high-speed charging capabilities of the SC. Having a "range" of 300+ miles just won't matter to me. I'll be able to drive at or above the speed limit, as well.

(I LOATHE stopping on road trips, once driving from the Grand Canyon to Daytona Beach, stopping only for gas and fast food, so stopping every 100 miles will be a new experience, but will ultimately make the trip much faster)
Not sure if you misspoke but I think it's impossible to make your trip "faster" when needing to charge. On my trip, rule of thumb using ABRP (which optimizes for charging curve) was that about 1 hour of charge time added for every 350 miles driven. This didn't I include time to detour to the SC - some SCs are right off interstates but others are more like 5-6min detour.
 

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