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Road trip and supercharger stops

Jul 29, 2020
60
30
San Francisco
Just completed our first real "family road trip" from SF to LA and back. Before this all our trips were just a few hours on a well known route.
Overall we give the Nav and superchargers on our road trip a 'B'. Pretty good but room for improvement.
comment and questions:
1. Supercharger restroom info displayed on nav screen should be better. If possible, Tesla should specify *exact* locations of the restrooms with real user input on the nav screen. It displays the local businesses with approx distances from the supercharger (.1 mile, etc) but would be better to know more about restrooms. When you've spent your life knowing there is a restroom AT the gas station, you want a similar experience at the supercharger. No superchargers I've ever stopped at have restrooms on site so you need to find them.
'Find restrooms' button on the screen and the App? With real user input it should be possible. We saw many Tesla owners hunting around at each stop.....and we did the same.
2. Question: how does the map pick the supercharger to use on route? On our route there were many options, not sure how it chooses, it picks one might be nice to have a couple options. And display the charge price right there on the route display, or have an option "find best charging rate I can use". You need to select the supercharger screen and pick them one by one to find out more. I've found prices range from .19 to .41 and some depend on the time of day.
3. Finally, waypoints! But lots of discussion about this already...
 

shotgunsi

Member
Apr 13, 2019
59
155
USA
To answer number 2, the car prioritizes the minimum number of stops above all else. So in general it will tell you to make less stops and charge for longer periods of time. If you are after minimal travel times you should use something like A Better Routeplanner
It will allow you tweak more variables than the in car nav, including your car, cargo weight, speed, desired beginning and ending state of charge % etc.

In general it's faster to stay in the lower half of your battery pack 10-50% and hop from charger to charger, as you'll get faster charging speeds on the bottom of the battery.
 
Jul 29, 2020
60
30
San Francisco
To answer number 2, the car prioritizes the minimum number of stops above all else. So in general it will tell you to make less stops and charge for longer periods of time. If you are after minimal travel times you should use something like A Better Routeplanner
It will allow you tweak more variables than the in car nav, including your car, cargo weight, speed, desired beginning and ending state of charge % etc.

In general it's faster to stay in the lower half of your battery pack 10-50% and hop from charger to charger, as you'll get faster charging speeds on the bottom of the battery.
Great info. Will check out routeplanner. I do like making the minimum number of stops as possible.
Speaking of charging times, my Y normally draws about 100 kW at a 150 kW charger. Highest I've gotten is 110 and sometimes only 50 kW. I'm guessing it depends on the load at the station or other factors although seems to just be some bad charger bays out there. For example, I used a 250 kW charger at a busy site and got only 80 kW. At the same charging site a few days later but at a different 250 kW bay it pulled 180 kW and charged super fast! The site was also less busy the second time.
 

brian.c

Member
Apr 7, 2021
104
57
Rocklin, ca
I found its best to map your trip manually and only use the trip planner from stop to stop. We have taken 2 recent trips from Sacramento area to San Diego and found that its easier to decide when and where i would stop before we leave. I tried other planners, but rather not have to be watching my phone etc. As for bathrooms, I always map out the area with google maps before we leave. Before our first trip, I looked at each potential stop, figured out if we would want to eat there or just use bathrooms. I also looked at google reviews to see if people had bad comments about bathrooms etc.

It would be a really nice feature if the Tesla planner would allow you to set the stops, and how long you want to be there. Something like that, but until that I will stick to doing manually. I do still use the planner, but I just enter the supercharger I plan to go to. Once there, I enter the next supercharger, and it will tell me how much I need to charge to make it to the next stop.

My typical superchargers going to and from LA would be, Firebaugh, Kettleman, and Tejon... Kettleman has the Tesla lounge, and our prefered place to stop and eat. We typically do 2 stops, assuming no extra bathroom breaks...
 

shotgunsi

Member
Apr 13, 2019
59
155
USA
Speaking of charging times, my Y normally draws about 100 kW at a 150 kW charger. Highest I've gotten is 110 and sometimes only 50 kW. I'm guessing it depends on the load at the station or other factors although seems to just be some bad charger bays out there. For example, I used a 250 kW charger at a busy site and got only 80 kW. At the same charging site a few days later but at a different 250 kW bay it pulled 180 kW and charged super fast! The site was also less busy the second time.
Totally depends on many factors like you said. V2 will share will the A/B stall and split the 150 kW between the two, so if you are by yourself you can pull the full 150 kW. V3 can potentially give you the full 250 kW but only from about 5-25% state of charge then it starts ramping down. Also the battery has to be warm enough to get the full power as well. This is a good guide with some charging curve graphs under ideal conditions listed on it.

 
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Reactions: srlawren
Jul 29, 2020
60
30
San Francisco
Totally depends on many factors like you said. V2 will share will the A/B stall and split the 150 kW between the two, so if you are by yourself you can pull the full 150 kW. V3 can potentially give you the full 250 kW but only from about 5-25% state of charge then it starts ramping down. Also the battery has to be warm enough to get the full power as well. This is a good guide with some charging curve graphs under ideal conditions listed on it.

Wow that's awesome info about A/B stalls. Did not know that. Going forward I'll choose a stall with nobody sharing and put an orange cone in the other space. Just kidding.
 
Jul 29, 2020
60
30
San Francisco
I found its best to map your trip manually and only use the trip planner from stop to stop. We have taken 2 recent trips from Sacramento area to San Diego and found that its easier to decide when and where i would stop before we leave. I tried other planners, but rather not have to be watching my phone etc. As for bathrooms, I always map out the area with google maps before we leave. Before our first trip, I looked at each potential stop, figured out if we would want to eat there or just use bathrooms. I also looked at google reviews to see if people had bad comments about bathrooms etc.

It would be a really nice feature if the Tesla planner would allow you to set the stops, and how long you want to be there. Something like that, but until that I will stick to doing manually. I do still use the planner, but I just enter the supercharger I plan to go to. Once there, I enter the next supercharger, and it will tell me how much I need to charge to make it to the next stop.

My typical superchargers going to and from LA would be, Firebaugh, Kettleman, and Tejon... Kettleman has the Tesla lounge, and our prefered place to stop and eat. We typically do 2 stops, assuming no extra bathroom breaks...
Tesla should provide the same or better info than google reviews on the nav map. After all, it's their superchargers and their customers.
 
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Reactions: brian.c

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,840
2,283
Seattle
As far as #2 is concerned, as others have noted, the car tends to favor minimal number of stops. Try looking at A Better Route Planner (ABRP), which will allow you to place your route with many more options. Many people here (myself included) use ABRP to plan out the route beforehand, doing a few "what if" type changes, and then just let the Tesla nav system drive the car to the superchargers once you have decided the overall route with ABRP.

It's important to let the nav system route you to the superchargers since the car will precondition the battery for optimal charging.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: philpkeller

srlawren

Member
Aug 3, 2020
872
577
Vancouver, BC, Canada, Eh?
@newcarbuyer123 when the car picks the route and supercharger stops for you, it will get your battery ready for supercharging when you're getting close to that stop (by warming it up to optimal temperatures to receive electricity quickly). On the other hand, if you're planning the route using A Better Routeplanner (ABRP) or some other means, your Tesla may not realize you're planning to stop at a particular charger and you'll miss out on that. The way you can get around that is to set your next Supercharger as your destination in the Tesla navigation system. So basically each leg of your journey, you'll manually set the supercharger as your destination.

EDIT: sorry I've basically duplicated what @drtimhill posted before me. I forgot to refresh the open tab before replying--my bad!
 

philpkeller

Supporting Member
May 3, 2021
62
77
Bay Area, Ca
It's important to let the nav system route you to the superchargers since the car will precondition the battery for optimal charging.
How long will the preconditioning take (I live on the left coast so our temperature extremes are mimimal) and is there any indication that it is in progress?
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
657
490
North East Arkansas
Wow that's awesome info about A/B stalls. Did not know that. Going forward I'll choose a stall with nobody sharing and put an orange cone in the other space. Just kidding.
Keep in mind that not all stations have the stalls arranged the same. Some go 1A, 1B... 2A, 2B.... 3A, 3B. Others will go 1A, 2A, 3A... 1B, 2B, 3B. So you can't assume that you just need to not park next to another Tesla to avoid sharing a cabinet.

Keith
 

babbit

Member
Jul 2, 2020
28
8
Los Angeles
How long will the preconditioning take (I live on the left coast so our temperature extremes are mimimal) and is there any indication that it is in progress?
Your screen will literally say that the car is preconditioning right under the nav directions. How long it takes is distance and temperature dependent. Sometimes it’s not even needed because your battery will already be warm enough just from the driving distance.
 

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