TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Real-world range anxiety - first experience!

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Mike_C, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Mike_C

    Mike_C Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    London, UK
    Well, I had my first proper experience of “Range Anxiety” this weekend! We went up to Scotland (UK owner, here!) for some snowboarding, and the car (Tesla Model S) had performed faultlessly throughout, and charging all the way there and whilst there and been a doddle.


    However, on the way home (London) the weather was pretty poor; heavy rain with standing water, around 2’C, at night and with a 20mph headwind. This is pretty much worst case range-wise; the cold weather reduces battery range, being at night and in the rain requires both lights and wipers, and of course both a strong headwind and standing water increase drag substantially. Add to that 3x motorway closures and the resulting diversions, and everything was working against us.


    So we set off from Gretna Green Supercharger with around 220 miles of charge, aiming for Stoke Supercharger (Keele Services) 160 miles away. So we had 60 miles in hand. Soon it became apparent this was not enough, as the car advised to drive at 65mph, and then 60mph, to reach our destination. Realising this was cutting it a bit too fine, we then diverted to the more-northerly Warrington Supercharger, 136 miles away. Long story short, driving ultra-conservatively (64mph), no heated seats on, minimal air-con (heating) to stop the car misting up and even turning the headlights off so DRL-only on the lit sections of motorway, we eventually made it to Warrington with 6% (14 miles) battery range remaining! Needless to say, we were very relieved to get there!!


    I don’t blame the car particularly, a combination of weather/road conditions and diversions were bound to reduce the range beyond the ‘Typical’ figure given. However, what I do question is how ‘typical’ this figure is? It strikes me that the range figure given as ‘typical’ is more likely ‘ideal’ in reality, and any deviation from those ideal parameters, be that speed, weather or road conditions can have a pretty dramatic impact on actual range!


    Anyone else had a similar experience?!
     
  2. rage_777

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    US
    Just one question: I thought everyone in the EU uses the metric system? Why all the mph and miles instead of kmh and km?
     
  3. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    868
    Location:
    NJ
    Check the EVtripplanner.com site, Its very accurate and allows for modification of driving speed and temperature. You can also check for variations in the weather based on headwinds. The only thing you can't anticipate is road closures.

    Also note that the seat heaters and and the headlights have a very minimal effect on range. Even cabin heat doesn't have a huge effect.
     
  4. llavalle

    llavalle Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    554
    Location:
    Somewhere around Montreal in Quebec, Canada
    Next time around, don't turn off the headlights. At 35W each, the HID don't consume much electricity at all. The 17in screen in the middle of your dash probably consume 2x that ;) 64mph is above my recommended threshold in cold weather... When temp is around the freezing point, I suggest staying below 60mph. Around -10C and you should not go over 55mph is you expect to get good range.


    The UK still uses Imperial measurements.
     
  5. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    875
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    I find it interesting that you're using miles as your unit of measure . . .

    But, thanks for sharing your story! :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    +1 My thoughts exactly!
     
  6. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,887
    Location:
    NoVa
    1. Headlights use almost no energy
    2. Heated seats use almost no energy, while the heating does. So you would have been better off turning off the HVAC and turning on heated seats
    3. What did the trip meter predict?

    I have 17.5k miles on my S already, and I've taken many SpC'ed trips. So far, I've never had range anxiety. In the summer my buffer for SpC to SpC is around 7%. In the winter or rain or wind, I go all the way up to 10%. I trust the trip meter blindly, I don't calculate how many miles it is SpC to SpC and a buffer. 100 miles going uphill will use a lot more range than 100 miles going straight.
     
  7. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    4,737
    Location:
    Smithfield, VA
    IMO next time, don't divert out of your way to go to a different Supercharger (unless this one wasn't really that far out of the way). If you wanted more of a buffer than you felt the car was giving you, you probably would have saved a lot of time just going a few mph below what the car recommended for a little bit. Referring to the trip graph is very useful in this situation.

    Ideally, if you're driving too slow for the motorway, you'd be able to find an alternate parallel road with a lower speed limit. If that's not possible, you could turn on your hazard lights and drive a little bit slower in the left lane for a few minutes. If you found the car's recommended speed starting to rise, you could then give it a little more go.
     
  8. larmor

    larmor Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    As long as your still part of the EU...

     
  9. Altaa

    Altaa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    UK
    My first post after lurking on the forum for a while but this was one of my first concerns, I'm based in West Cumbria and looking to get an S in the next year.
    The gap between Gretna and Keele is OK going South but Keele SC is only on the Southbound services so I'd have a problem coming back North when visiting our daughter at High Wycombe (in this case I'd turn off the motorway at Penrith)
    However, I've looked at the Ecotricity site and with the number of Type 2 43kW chargers along the route, I've have calculated that I'll be OK with an extra stop to top up at one of those.

    It looks as though these are at all services these days, so could always do that slower top up if needed.
     
  10. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    811
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I set the car in % mode and assume 1% = 2 miles.


    If you ask Tesla (or join the Tesla UK Owners Group on Facebook) they will give you the access code to use the service road at Keele where you can cross from the Northbound to Southbound sides. It's pretty easy (but you have to pay attention because the satnav will never route you that way - it doesn't know that the service road can be used).
     
  11. brec

    brec Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    287
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Just to clarify... by a buffer of 7% or 10%, do you mean you stop charging when the Trips tab of the Energy app shows you'll have 7% or 10% at the next SpC?

    [Note: predicted % remaining can also be shown on the Nav app by touching the area at the bottom of the turn-by-turn direction list.]
     
  12. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,887
    Location:
    NoVa
    Exactly.
     
  13. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2015
    Messages:
    1,979
    Location:
    SK
    No they don't. They switched to metric years ago, except for pints in bars.

    However, like Canada years after the switch to metric people still go back and forth on which system they're using depending on context and habit.
     
  14. aija SigX 649

    aija SigX 649 Winged Lion

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    PA/NJ
    I had a near miss myself today ..had my Model X in the shop for interior/exterior protection for about a week and they drained the battery down to 70 miles. My drive was roughly 55 miles with heavy traffic. No other harsh conditions but I did have the day time running light on and heated seat as it was a bit chilly. All in all I had roughly 20 miles remaining so no biggie, but I have to admit I was a bit nervous as it's still a relatively new experience for me. Made me think back to my college days when I ran out of gas trying to make it back from Canada (500mi) in my Civic on a single refuel ..only happened 2 of the 5 years I did the trip :redface: My girlfriend was not amused!
    I wonder if there will be a Mobil SuperCharger Service in the near future?? Enterprising entrepreneurs - Your welcome! :biggrin:
     
  15. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,144
    Location:
    NE
    Always plan for the worst case and have enough reserve. Some people on here think that's silly, but running out of charge in southern california is different than running out of charge in cold and inclement weather.
     
  16. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,683
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    In these circumstances draft any larger vehicle you can -- trucks, SUVs, minivans. You would be amazed how much range it adds and you don't have to follow that close to get the benefit. If you drafted you probably would have finished your trip with 40 miles of range left. I did this on my trip cross country whenever the range warning came on.
     
  17. brec

    brec Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    287
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    I made my first multi-SpC round trip Friday and yesterday. A couple of issues...

    On Friday, on the second leg, I must have made some kind of operator error. I was using the car's prediction of charge% remaining at the destination just as you do, but with a buffer of 20%. Somehow I started a 169-mile leg, for which EVTripPlanner.com predicted usage of 49 kWh, with a charge of 73%. (I have my IC set to display % rather than rated miles.) In retrospect this doesn't make sense if I was showing a 20% buffer. The plan was to go from the Mammoth Lakes, CA ScC to the Inyokern, CA ScC, bypassing the Lone Pine, CA ScC. As the displayed destination charge% kept decreasing, by the time it got down to 6% I decided to stop at Lone Pine.

    Based on this experience, at my destination I decided that for the return trip I would depart each ScC with a buffer equal to 100x(EVTripPlanner.com predicted kWh)/74 plus 20%. (74kWh is my estimate of my car's usable battery capacity.) Doing this, my leg arrival charges remaining were 32%, 32%, 26%, and 21%. (Note: for the first three legs I had used an ambient temperature in EVTP of 45F when the actual was 75F-80F; 45F was much nearer the actual for the first leg on Friday.)

    I also observed on a few occasions large fluctuations in prediction of energy remaining at the destination, e.g., it'd be 23% and then the next time I'd look, not more than a few minutes later, 17%, then the next time (less than a minute later!) 23% again.

    Regardless, for the return trip the car's initial estimate of energy remaining was fairly accurate; for each leg initial/final were: 32%/31%, 32%/35%, 26%/26%, 21%/23%.

    Henceforth, I'll use the car's displayed buffer figure with more confidence.
     
  18. FrederikBoivin

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Boring!
    twice we arrived home or at the charger with... 0 km of range. To convert, it is 0 miles!
    last saturday, we arrived home with 4% left...
    but, yes, it can be scary...
     
  19. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Sacramento
    You'll no doubt really find it interesting when he describes his weight as 11 stone 4 lbs! (just guessing)

    not everyone has fallen for the archaic metric system...:biggrin:

     
  20. roblab

    roblab Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,038
    Location:
    Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
    But not very.... The accuracy of the gauges are good. With a LITTLE experience, you begin to see how far you can go at what speed, and with not very much effort, you can tell how much you will have left. The Trip meter is really good at figuring it all out for you and telling you how much you won't have left.

    'Way better than a gas car fuel gauge.
     

Share This Page