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Real World Range Questions (Winter)

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by mknox, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    So, I'm trying to get a handle on what I can expect my "real world" range will look like on Model S over time with the 85 kWh pack. I have no real EV experience, so I'm trying to piece together a picure with the facts I can find. Here's what I'm working with:


    • Tesla says 300 miles, albeit at 55 MPH in perfect conditions with a new battery and no HVAC.
    • EPA sys 265 miles.
    • Recent Motor Trend range test shows about 238 miles and that seems like it was done in ideal weather and "nursing" it a bit. Their sense is that range is better in stop-and-go than on the freeway.
    • A recent Cars.com long term report on the Chevy Volt shows electric range drops from 40 miles to 25 miles in "cold" weather. That's a 38% reduction! Not the same car for sure, but it does have a similar technology liquid cooled/heated Li-ion battery. We have a company Volt, but no cold weather experience with it yet.
    • Tesla says they expect the battery to retain 70% of its capacity after 7 years. This turns an 85 kWh battery into an approximately 60 kWh battery by that time.

    About me:


    • I live in Canada. It gets cold. In addition to cold, it gets snowy, which increases rolling resistance and reduces range further.
    • My driving is about 85% freeway with the balance urban use.

    Conclusion:

    At the 7 year point, I would start out with 238 * 0.7 = 167 miles of "ideal weather" range. (Perhaps a bit lower because of my freeway per-centage). In the "cold", I would lop of another 38% which takes me to 104 miles, and I haven't factored in snowy roads yet.
    My total commute is 80 miles with no side trips, which I am required to make for my job from time to time. My cottage trip is 125 miles one-way, but I can charge when I get there.

    Something I don't fully have a grasp on is what is meant by "Range" vs. "Normal" charging. I gather "Range" charging gives you the full, advertised range, but is not meant for everyday driving as it can degrade the battery performance. How much of a range "hit" does one take with "Normal" mode charging?

    Am I crazy here? Have I missed something? It looks like what starts out as a 300 mile car may barely make an 80 mile commute in the winter months after a few years, and that would be with a "Range" charge.

    Mike
     
  2. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    The cold weather reduction is nowhere near a 38% reduction. Ask Doug_G or Jaff, they both drive their roadsters in winter, I think the biggest hit you take is running the cabin heater...

     
  3. KBF

    KBF Model S 2017

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    Yeah, I don't think that the Volt or Leaf is comparable to Tesla's thermal management system.

    Because you keep it plugged in during the winter you won't have the issues an ICE has trying to get everything going when it's -40. It just means you'll use a bit more electricity while it's keeping the battery warm (but you'll still start your trip with a full battery). Apparently hot weather is worse.
     
  4. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    The Leaf is air cooled, but the Volt has a liquid thermal management system, so I thought it might be a good proxy. Perhaps not, but as I understand it, even the Roadster's pack is a different configuration than Model S.

    Perhaps it's not as bad as my raw numbers suggest. The car should be nice and cozy coming out of the garage in the morning, but I do have to park it at work outside all day with no place to plug in.

    We've had some pretty hot spells here in Southern Ontario this summer, and our Volt showed no reduction in range during those spells. During that time, the Volt would sit all day not plugged in, but I noticed fans/pumps running when it was plugged in, even after being fully charged. Not so much in more moderate temperatures.
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    You only want to charge in range mode if you need the added range. With your 80 mile daily commute, you shouldn't get close to running out even in standard mode with the heat on and running at 75 mph for many years.
    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/model-s-efficiency-and-range

    At 75 mph you should get around 185 miles in range mode with heat off. I believe running your heat is a 10-15% hit according to Tesla (link above), not 38%. We'll know a lot more of course this winter when owners up north start getting real world data.

    Is there any way you could talk someone into a place for you to plug in at work? I see you said you must park outside with no place to plug in.
     
  6. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Yeah, the heater uses more power than the seat heater does mnx...Grimsby is nowhere near as cold as Doug_G gets in Ottawa, but I dress according to the conditions so I rarely get cold.

    mknox, I have noticed no appreciable reduction in range in the winter...however, I rarely travel longer distances in the winter (i.e. to the cottage...about 240 kms)...I remember reading some Roadster winter range reduction numbers in the 5-15% range somewhere on this forum

    Firstly, I would be less worried about what TMC says the range is or the EPA for that matter...the real range is the distance that you are able to drive in your vehicle, on your regular routes, with your driving style.

    I feel that the Model S will closely mirror my Roadster's range experience...in non-winter driving, if I stay within 5-7 kph of the posted speed limits and avoid jack-rabbit starts (and dispatching the young punks :wink::biggrin:), I will get exactly what :biggrin:my vds tells me to expect re remaining range.

    One option that is rarely discussed by reviewers is the option of "slowing down"...going marginally slower than the posted speed limit, even 95 kph in a 100 zone will increase your range...my sister had a vehicle emergency a few months ago...bottom line was I had to drive my brother-in-law from the cottage to Guelph so their vehicle could be repaired...I found myself heading back to the cottage (152 km distance) with 133 kms of range left in the tank...I simply slowed my speed and travelled 75 kph rather than the posted speed limit of 80 kph, put the roof back on, and shut off the a/c...I made it back fine with about 20 kms of range to spare...simply slowing down can extend your range significantly.

    For those with pre-delivery range concerns, you should search out and read the posts of this club's "range-meister" Eberhard...he knows how to squeeze out every last drop!

    These numbers won't apply to the Model S, but in my Roadster, a range charge (100% of the battery), I get around 382 kms of range...in a standard charge (90% of the battery) I get around 300 kms.


     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I'm working on it. Of all things, I work for an electric utility where we actually promote EVs! You'd think they'd encourage it by enabling employees and customers.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks. I haven't been able to find much on Range vs. Standard charging other than my assumption that the Tesla and EPA numbers are based on a 100% Range charge, which you technically shouldn't do on a regular basis.
     
  8. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I've heard sometimes people have had luck if they offer to pay for in installation of the plug (that could be cost prohibitive though) but definitely try and talk them into doing it for you. You'll have better luck putting the charging spots away from prime parking places (not right next to the building) since people seem less bitter that EVs are getting the prime parking spots. Good luck!

    Jaff makes excellent points about speed being a big factor. You'll likely be ok for many years in standard mode (even without a place to charge at work). How fast do you normally drive on your way to work (highway speed)?
     
  9. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    If they are a public utility district, they may be constrained by laws that prohibit them from giving away free power. A utility I do business with is in that boat, so when we drive the company LEAF up there, we have to go to a parking garage several blocks away to get a charge.
     
  10. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Would a paid option be allowed (something like the Chargepoint network) where the utility could simply charge the cost of electricity with no profit?
     
  11. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    I confess that I was a little disappointed in the EPA and Motor Trend numbers. I had hoped that the 300 was going to be the equivalent of the EPA number, and that careful driving would allow exceeding it, while inattentive driving would yield more like 265.

    I'm going to be watching the Supercharger announcement closely. I chose the 60kWh pack because I thought that with modest driving, I could expect 230 miles of range from it in good but not perfect conditions when new. But if that's the 55-on-a-flat-windless-road number, and if the Superchargers are not in the locations I require, or there's some unforeseen limitation in their use, then I might opt to bump up to 85.
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #12 dsm363, Aug 29, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
    The 85 kWh pack is probably want you want if 230 miles with reasonable highway driving (65-70mph with AC on) is your goal. The EPA number includes many different cycles other than driving a constant speed at 55mph so the number was actually better than some thought (many were thinking around 210 or 70%). The charging infrastructure on the west coast is much better than most places so you should have many reasonable options.
     
  13. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    I "need" the 60. But I have already made the decision to get the 85 for greater durability/pack life and the ability to drive ~200 miles without having to hypermile.

    For those of you worried about the MT test, keep in mind that the range chart Tesla published in June showed that at a continuous 65mph with 1 passenger under ideal conditions the expected range was ~260 miles.

    Motor Trend had 2 people in the car and averaged 65 over less than ideal conditions. The drive from Fontana to San Diego on the I15 is very mountainous (if not quite the Grapevine), and the drive up Pacific Coast highway has a large number of stoplights on portions of it and there was stop and go traffic at points. They still managed ~240 miles of range which isn't that far off the expected ideal considering the extra passenger and other deviations from the best case scenario.

    In extreme cold and with a degraded battery in 8-10 years I'd still expect you could drive using otherwise identical conditions and get 150+ miles of range (though if you are experiencing snowy conditions on Pacific Coast Highway between San Diego and Los Angeles, you have a far bigger problem in that the world has likely experienced a massive nuclear war).
     
  14. kcveins

    kcveins delivery 2/7

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    But wouldn't the stop and go traffic on the PCH actually help your mileage? I need to drive from Chicago to Detroit several times a year (288 miles door to door) and though there are a few hills, was hoping that going 55mph would be enough to get me there. Not so sure now....
     
  15. ddruz

    ddruz Member

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    Variations of this stat have been floating about the forums. However, when I checked with my rep he would not confirm it. Battery degradation is not addressed at all in the battery warranty. My impression is no one knows with certainty how much battery degradation there will be. This may be one of those stats that has taken a life of its own without ever having direct, in writing, confirmation. If anyone can point me to an official, in writing, Tesla statement confirming this stat I'd appreciate it very much.

    In the meantime I have personally been using a 30% degradation in battery capacity as a conservative guess for estimating a relatively worse case scenario at the end of 8 years or 125,000 miles. A number of Roadster owners who have had their cars for 3 or more years report only a few percent degradation, others somewhat more. I suspect that in real life the degradation will be much, much less than 30% at 7 or 8 years if you drive and charge smart. But because this is such a big unknown it contributes to making the selection of battery size difficult for many people.
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    You could probably do it taking state highways but you'll have a much better time making one stop of maybe 90 min at a campground and charging at 40A. That would allow you to drive slightly faster and take some of the stress of range away.
     
  17. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    As I recall MT also got only 45 mpg on the 2004 Prius (going from memory). I'm not particularly concerned about what they get.

    2004 Prius MPG from the logbook. (Complete years only):
    2003-2004 -- 50.8 mpg 17,628 miles
    2005 -- 52.6 mpg 14,688 miles
    2006 -- 56.3 mpg 16,174 miles
    2007 -- 57.3 mpg 18,384 miles
    2008 -- 59.9 mpg 21,755 miles
    2009 -- 61.4 mpg 16,177 miles
    2010 -- 65.2 mpg 12,134 miles
    2011 -- 66.9 mpg 11,272 miles

    DATE__________ODO____INC_____AVG
    --- Trip to NE starts here
    01/07/12____128603____481____56.6 (4.2)
    -- 13 F here
    01/12/12____129042____438____52.7 (4.5)
    01/15/12____129420____378____50.3 (4.7)
    01/20/12____129094____481____56.2 (4.2)
    --- Trip to NE ends here
    01/31/12____130503____600____69.8 (3.4)
    02/23/12____131050____546____69.4 (3.4)
    03/07/12____131679____629____72.2 (3.3)
    03/23/12____132319____638____71.3 (3.3)
    04/12/12____132987____668____74.0 (3.2)
    05/02/12____133647____659____74.3 (3.2)
    05/18/12____134272____624____73.4 (3.2)
    --- Flat tire here
    --- High temperatures start here
    06/06/12____134907____634____74.1 (3.2)
    06/22/12____135557____650____74.2 (3.2)
    07/11/12____136210____652____74.3 (3.2)
    08/02/12____136901____690____75.8 (3.1)
    --- Trip to NE starts here
    08/03/12____137499____597____57.8 (4.1)
    08/04/12____138145____645____61.7 (3.8)
    08/11/12____138646____601____58.8 (4.0)
    08/12/12____139286____539____59.5 (4.0)
    08/22/12____139881____595____64.1 (3.7)
    --- Trip to NE ends here
     
  18. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    MT also did not have the A/C on. I will probably have it on Max Cool for 100% of my driving, all year.
     
  19. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    FWIW, I've had my A/C on 100% this entire summer and the impact on my Roadster range could be classified as a little more than marginal. It certainly hasn't bothered or worried me one bit. If I was driving close to the range limit I would have been concerned, but like most EV owners I try not to do that.
     
  20. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    I'm not a Roadster owner, but I think I've read that the A/C works totally differently than the Model S. And with the "range limit" getting lower and lower as I get closer to delivery, it's something I'm worried about. IMO, it's just passed below my Miami-Orlando comfort limit.
     

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