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Range on road trip much lower than expected (<200 miles on full charge)

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,941
10,060
Boise, ID
One number may not be accurate, but it's a good apple-to-apple comparison when shopping, as long as the underlying metric is the same.
It would be if that were the case, but it is not, unfortunately. One of the annoying factors in this is that the EPA offers the car makers a choice of two different methods to calculate their efficiencies for electric vehicles, and when they choose different ones, it causes a lot of this chaos and confusion.
 
It would be if that were the case, but it is not, unfortunately. One of the annoying factors in this is that the EPA offers the car makers a choice of two different methods to calculate their efficiencies for electric vehicles, and when they choose different ones, it causes a lot of this chaos and confusion.
I had no idea. Mind share an article on that topic? Would love to read a bit more on that. Either way, I feel a single number is better than multiple numbers for at-a-glance comparison. I would hope that automakers and the EPA take their thumb off the scale and give consumers true apple to apple numbers.

Sorry for being off-topic. I think the OP's issue is more likely caused by defective batteries.
 
Last edited:

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,941
10,060
Boise, ID
I had no idea. Mind share an article on that topic? Would love to read a bit more on that.
I've heard it mentioned here on the forum several times, like here, but hadn't seen a reference.

They refer to the choice between taking simple values and multiplying by a 0.7 fudge factor, or choosing to do the more complicated 5 cycle testing procedure. Most other car companies are choosing one method, but Tesla is choosing the other. So I did some searching and found the references to it in a document on fueleconomy.gov. They do mention that most auto makers use the 0.7 method.


Here's a quote of the section about it.

Electric Vehicle - Adjustment Procedure used to Derive FE Label (Window Sticker) Estimates - EPA
regulations require fuel economy, energy consumption, CO2 and driving range values listed on the FE Label
(window sticker) to be adjusted to more accurately reflect the values that customers can expect to achieve in the
real world. EPA currently allows fuel economy, energy consumption, CO2 values, and range values listed on the
FE Label (window sticker) for electric vehicles to be adjusted using one of the following methods:1

 by multiplying city/highway fuel economy and range values by 0.7 and dividing city/highway energy
consumption and CO2 values by 0.7;
 using the derived 5-cycle method described in 40 CFR 600.210-12(a)(2) and EPA guidance letter CD-15-
15, June 22, 2015 (available at Transportation, Air Pollution, and Climate Change | US EPA
 using a method which is equivalent to the vehicle specific 5-cycle method described in 40 CFR 600.210-
12(a)(1) (with prior EPA approval) such as the method provided in Appendix B of SAE J1634 July 2017
Recommended Practice;
 using adjustment factors which are based on in-use data (with prior EPA approval).

Currently, most EVs use the first or third method (the 0.7 factor).
 
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Ez0199

New Member
Feb 12, 2022
1
0
Kansas
I’m new to owning a Tesla and am severely disappointed that I bought a long range model S and it won’t go any further than 230 miles on a full charge. I drove today on a 3.5 hr trip. Took 78% and got around 200 miles. Charge to 93% and drive 230 miles and down to 3%. Not anywhere near 400. Flat road, drove at 75 the whole way, no gunning it, auto drive on a straight flat path the whole way. No wind, temp around 20-30. Any ideas what is going on? Is there something running that is significantly using up the battery?
 

jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
5,510
6,028
Maryland
Speed: Drive 70 MPH instead of 75 and gain 9% efficiency, similar gain in range. Drive 65 and gain almost 20%.

Tire Pressure: Make sure the tire pressure (when the tires are cold) is set per the label on the B pillar by the driver's door, or a few pounds higher.

Climate Control: Always fully precondition the Tesla vehicle while plugged in. This can take more than 30 minutes in colder temperatures. Use the seat heaters and steering wheel heater to help keep warm as these use negligible energy. Use the climate control heat as needed, dress warmly and set to climate control to Auto and 68F to 72F.
 
As a pre-heat pump Model 3 owner now coming up on 4 years..

While I am tempted by a lot of the non-Tesla competition, 4 years has taught me I need 300mi++ range and the Supercharger network.
Living in the northeast, I experience cold soaked batteries, and high consumption rates.

I can't imagine trying to get by on "250ish miles" and ElectrifyAmerica in these circumstances. In fact it has pushed me more into the "I'd really like 400mi EPA" camp.

Most recent example- charged my 4 year old battery to 100%, which in winter now comes to 280mi. I ran a local errand then parked in home garage for an hour.
Left the house with 270mi on an 85mi, 95% highway on autopilot 70mph road trip. Landed at my destination with 155mi, having consumed 115mi of range to go 85mi in pretty mild winter 45F weather with dry roads (about 340Wh/mi).

On paper when I got the car new, 310mi battery should allow me to make this trip back&forth and get home with almost half the battery still.
In reality, 4 years in, I won't even make it round trip.
It is now 30F and snowing, so if I were to attempt the return home, on a now cold soaked battery, my consumption would probably be high enough to run the battery to 0 if I don't stop to charge (despite having 155mi of charge left & 85mi to travel).

On the other hand, the supercharger & destination charger infrastructure is incredible compared to 4 years ago in NY. Which again makes it hard to turn back to clock by going with a non-Tesla EV. So I will garage park and leave the car plugged in to a destination charge and happily be on my way home later in week.
 
I’ve noticed using autopilot (not just cruise control) will up my energy usage slightly as well by a few wh/mi.

My subjective impression is that the biggest range factors are speed and temperature. Elevation gain can be an even bigger factor if going over a mountain pass. Conditions are next (rain/snow), then climate control and autopilot. If you want to hit that EPA number drive 55 on a flat dry road with no headwind in 75F temps using only cruise control, you might get there.
 
I’ve noticed using autopilot (not just cruise control) will up my energy usage slightly as well by a few wh/mi.

My subjective impression is that the biggest range factors are speed and temperature. Elevation gain can be an even bigger factor if going over a mountain pass. Conditions are next (rain/snow), then climate control and autopilot. If you want to hit that EPA number drive 55 on a flat dry road with no headwind in 75F temps using only cruise control, you might get there.
I think you're probably right on the AP usage.
In theory, AP should be a smooth sober driver and keep burn rate to a minimum.

However, in practice, a few times per hour, AP does some sort of stupid phantom braking, HOV lane freakout, unnecessary declaration, GPS confusion based speed reduction, etc.. which probably adds a few Wh/mi on.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,941
10,060
Boise, ID
Any ideas what is going on?
Yes.
drove at 75 the whole way
That's what's going on.

That number on the display is called "RATED miles", not "your miles". It's from the EPA testing, and their testing is notoriously, irritatingly optimistic. It's like a nervous nearsighted granny driving the car. You are (presumably) not a nervous nearsighted granny, so you will not get near the EPA rating levels driving at your normal highway speed.

People can match those "rated miles" if they're going about 55-60 mph with no heating or A/C running. That's just the way it is. I do wish the EPA offered some method for doing ratings according to faster highway speeds, but that's not a thing yet.
 
No one complains about MPG on ICE cars not being as advertised. Simply put, those EPA estimates are under ideal conditions. My old MB truck advertises to be 21 City/23 Hwy, My city mpg is usually about 17, calculated by onboard trip meters. That's a whopping 19%. I'm sure that's pretty consistent for that model but never heard a complaint on the forum. At best, people compared mileage but accepted as is.

Somehow when it comes to Tesla, the mileage are taken literally.
 
No one complains about MPG on ICE cars not being as advertised. Simply put, those EPA estimates are under ideal conditions. My old MB truck advertises to be 21 City/23 Hwy, My city mpg is usually about 17, calculated by onboard trip meters. That's a whopping 19%. I'm sure that's pretty consistent for that model but never heard a complaint on the forum. At best, people compared mileage but accepted as is.

Somehow when it comes to Tesla, the mileage are taken literally.
Not true. People care about RANGE, not mileage. For ICE cars, range is a non-issue because gas stations are everywhere and refueling is near-instantaneous (regardless of how much gas is already in the tank). None of this applies to EVs, so they are all about range. And when effective range on a road trip is 50% of what was advertised (because of distance between chargers, real world conditions, and the charging curve), people get antsy.
 
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Not true. People care about RANGE, not mileage. For ICE cars, range is a non-issue because gas stations are everywhere and refueling is near-instantaneous (regardless of how much gas is already in the tank). None of this applies to EVs, so they are all about range. And when effective range on a road trip is 50% of what was advertised (because of distance between chargers, real world conditions, and the charging curve), people get antsy.

That hasn't been the argument. If that's the case, then you should just wait for charging stations prefoliations and speed increase. EV is not for you then. It's silly to argue that EPA, eMPG is not as advertised and think this is a problem unique to EVs.
 
That hasn't been the argument. If that's the case, then you should just wait for charging stations prefoliations and speed increase. EV is not for you then. It's silly to argue that EPA, eMPG is not as advertised and think this is a problem unique to EVs.
If you think this is just about eMPG, then you’re missing the point. Buyers of EVs care about range, and the posted numbers are downright misleading. E.g. the winter range could be half of the stated value. This disconnect with reality risks creating a backlash with mainstream buyers.
 
If you think this is just about eMPG, then you’re missing the point. Buyers of EVs care about range, and the posted numbers are downright misleading. E.g. the winter range could be half of the stated value. This disconnect with reality risks creating a backlash with mainstream buyers.


Agreed. Range or eMPG, it is still estimated based on the driving condition.
These numbers are always measured under a prescribed condition. It’s really for consumers to compare vehicles against a standard.

my point is that why is this a surprise?

As you mentioned, range anxiety is a thing as charging capability on the road may not be equal as ICE car but then any EV is not for you.

Do you research before buying, Tesla has been around long enough. This isn’t a model Y problem, or unique to Tesla. The “misleading” range or MPG isn’t even a problem exclusive to EV (just more easily solvable in ICE)
 
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My experience is I can get very close to the "rated" range and ~240 WH/m when driving around town.

On the highway, it's a straight trade vs velocity. At 65 MPH it's 270 WH/m. At 75 MPH it's 300 WH/m. Adjust speed to be more or less efficient as desired.

I do understand that those in cold climates, rain, and other adverse conditions will not reach my sunny southern california numbers.
 

Dave EV

Active Member
Jun 23, 2009
2,192
2,268
Earth
Left the house with 270mi on an 85mi, 95% highway on autopilot 70mph road trip. Landed at my destination with 155mi, having consumed 115mi of range to go 85mi in pretty mild winter 45F weather with dry roads (about 340Wh/mi).
340 Wh/mi is really high - the rated efficiency is closer to 250 Wh/mi - so that's 36% more energy/mile right there. And go figure - 115 miles is 35% more than the 85 miles you drove. Figure out how to get your efficiency closer to the rated efficiency and you'll get closer to the rated range.

Not true. People care about RANGE, not mileage. For ICE cars, range is a non-issue because gas stations are everywhere and refueling is near-instantaneous (regardless of how much gas is already in the tank).
The near instantaneous nature of refueling (< 10 minutes for most reasonable vehicles to get in and out) is nice, but it's also the fact that most people don't even care about the range of the car or how big the tank is.

The two most recent cars I owned had a 15.9 gallon tank and 11.9 gallon tank and highway rated at 27 mpg and 45 mpg highway, respectively.

In theory, that would have given me a highway range of 430 and 535 miles, respectively - but did I ever get that far? Not once! Though I did get within 10% a few times on a particularly efficient trip and well timed gas stations.

In the 15.9 gallon car a typical fillup was around 300 miles and In the 11.9 gallon car a typical fillup was around 400 miles.
 
340 Wh/mi is really high - the rated efficiency is closer to 250 Wh/mi - so that's 36% more energy/mile right there. And go figure - 115 miles is 35% more than the 85 miles you drove. Figure out how to get your efficiency closer to the rated efficiency and you'll get closer to the rated range.


The near instantaneous nature of refueling (< 10 minutes for most reasonable vehicles to get in and out) is nice, but it's also the fact that most people don't even care about the range of the car or how big the tank is.

The two most recent cars I owned had a 15.9 gallon tank and 11.9 gallon tank and highway rated at 27 mpg and 45 mpg highway, respectively.

In theory, that would have given me a highway range of 430 and 535 miles, respectively - but did I ever get that far? Not once! Though I did get within 10% a few times on a particularly efficient trip and well timed gas stations.

In the 15.9 gallon car a typical fillup was around 300 miles and In the 11.9 gallon car a typical fillup was around 400 miles.
Says the guy based in San Diego where the temperature is always +/- in the Tesla performance sweet spot :)
Did you read the part about it being winter?
The performance of EVs, including Tesla below ~55F starts to change pretty dramatically for every 10F drop, and add some moisture to the road, headwinds, or speed above 60mph for even worse performance.
 
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Xebec

Member
Mar 20, 2019
85
84
PA
What’s the wh/mile difference between the 19” Gemini wheel+tire package vs the 20s?

On the model 3 there is a significant range reduction (15-20% at highway speed?) stepping up wheel size because you also get stickier tires.

Lastly 3-6 additional psi on the tires (stay within spec..) can make a noticeable difference in range, though at the expense of a harsher ride.
 

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