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Road Trip: Post your trip experiences

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Lloyd, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    #1 Lloyd, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
    680 Mile one day Road Trip

    I had a meeting in San Diego yesterday. From my house that is 340 miles each way, and needed to get back the same day for Easter today. I decided to test the ability of the Model S P85 to do a road trip like this.

    I left my house in San Luis Obispo with a full range charge at 5:30 am, and I drove in range mode. I stopped in Los Olivos, CA to pick up my Father. The weather was mild and I started with the climate control off. I started keeping the speed at or below 65, then ramped the speed up to keep up with LA traffic ~75 as we got closer and I was assured that there was enough range remaining. We arrived at the Tesla Supercharger station in Hawthorne about 8:45, 210 miles, 50 miles remaining.

    I had an interesting converstion with one of the Tesla employees while waiting for our charge to complete who was in charge of formulating colors for Tesla. 45 minutes later following a cup of coffee and a breakfast bar we left with 230 mile range charge. We had 120 miles left to get to our destination meeting location. I had located a Wallgreens with charging several blocks from my meeting location. I drove 75-80 mph on this leg and turned the climate control back on. 30 amp Semacharge EVSE worked fine, charging 17 mph, 198v and 29-30 amps. We arrived 11:30 am with 45 miles of range left., still having time for lunch, and a nice short walk to our meeting location.

    Following our 2.5 hour meeting we left Wallreens headed for Tesla Fashion Island. I had previously contacted to advise them that I would be needing a charge. We had added enough at Wallgreens during our meeting to have 135 miles of range. It was 90 miles to the Tesla store so good to go. We arrived at Tesla, had a little trouble finding the EVSE in the parking structure, but helpful Fashion Island Security led us right to it. These is only one HPWC, and an out of service Clipper Creek EVSE. We had about 25 miles left when pulling into the parking so we had to charge there. Tesla has a policy there to leave a note with your phone number to charge there in case someone comes by and needs a charge. Another Model S was charging and no note was left. I called the Tesla store who looked up the owners phone number, called them in the mall, secured the key with the owners permission (Thank you Very Much) and unlocked the other Tesla so I could begin charging. What great service! (Thanks Alex!) There is room for 4 or 5 additional HPWC's here, and the addition of more would be a great service to the owners without a lot of cost to Tesla. We charged for about an hour and 15 minutes, had a nice dinner at the Cheesecake factory and continued back to the Hawthorne Supercharger with about 110 miles of charge. It is now about 6:30 pm.

    We arrived Hawthorne about 7:45pm and <30 miles. We charged to 250 miles. The last miles go really slow as the supercharger tapers back at the end of the charge. We were getting 60 amps at 250 rated miles in the battery. Leaving Hawthorne at about 8:45 I arrived back in San Luis Obispo about 11:15 pm with 30 miles remaining.

    Good trip with lots of miles in one day. We spent about 3 hours waiting for charges which I consider not bad considering the miles traveled, but we would have stopped for Lunch and dinner anyway so not much of a delay if you factor that. We would have stopped for Gasoline twice in my ICE, taking about 1/2 hour. We saved $170 in fuel, and did not burn about 37 gallons.

    I'd love to hear others experiences in Road Tripping!:cool:
     
  2. Anzir

    Anzir Member

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    Very cool. The infrastructure there is so conducive to road trips. Florida is a little behind but i was surprised to see all the public charging stations on Chargepoint. Thanks for sharing your experience.
     
  3. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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  4. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    I'd love to see a separate section of the forum devoted to road trips, and road trip information. Now they are scattered all over the forum and it makes it difficult to refer back to them as a reference for future travel.
     
  5. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    #5 wraithnot, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
    I completely agree- taking road trips in the Model S still takes some planning and skill. A dedicated thread (perhaps further divided by geographic area) would be really helpful.

    Here are the two modest road trips I've taken so far to the Santa Lucia highlands and Paso Robles:

    First proper road trip in my blue 85 kWh

    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/15176-Paso-Robles-road-trip-our-first-multi-day-EV-experience?p=303068#post303068


    We're also planning a road trip to Vegas in late April.
     
  6. Odenator

    Odenator P2607

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    So my wife and I are planning a road trip to Vegas this summer. I'm wondering if I could go directly from the Folsom superchargers to the Harris Ranch Superchargers nonstop. According to Google maps, the trip on I-5 is 205 miles. I'm not sure if there are is much of a change in elevation, but since this violates ChadS's advise about not going more than 2/3 of rated range (177 miles) I don't know if I should chance (going the speed limit) or just play it safe and detour to Gilroy. Any advise would be appreciated from people who already made this trip before.
     
  7. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Agreed. A big difference here was that Lloyd called in advance to the Tesla Store about needing a charge, which the other owner didn't do, and also planned out in advance other places to charge (Walgreens) so he wouldn't run into problems. I always read that a road trip with an EV requires advanced planning to ensure it goes without a hitch. This story is a perfect example of that. With proper planning, it's easy and cheap to go long distances in a EV.
     
  8. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    Shouldn't be any problem at all as long as you're willing to keep it at 65mph or under. This bothers some people but it was no problem for me. I made it to Harris from Napa (205 miles) with 45 left.

    And I did a Range charge for 270 to start.
     
  9. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Hi Odenator,

    I'm very glad you're being careful and planning ahead. Just to clarify, my 177-mile advice was for planning a trip. I do indeed highly recommend that you plan charging stops every 177 miles at least. If I were you, I would definitely plan to go to Gilroy for now.

    However, on the day of the trip...it the weather looks really good, and you are starting with a full range charge, and you are willing to keep your speed down, it is definitely possible to make it without the stop. Keep an eye on consumption (in case there are headwinds you aren't aware of) and if you've built in time to divert to Gilroy, it will be no problem to do so if necessary. Personally, on that stretch of freeway I'd have a hard time keeping my speeds down far enough (if you go 75 the whole way, you are very unlikely to make it unless you luck out and get a tail wind; I'd plan for 65) the whole way to make it without a stop. And going over the small pass to get to Gilroy is a lovely drive. It is possible to bypass it with low speeds on a nice day; but it may be close enough that you will be monitoring your consumption the whole way and perhaps be concerned about making it. I'd rather not have to worry about it; and in fact when I took that trip I did stop in Gilroy.

    A link to my "road trip" suggestions is in my signature below.
     
  10. ddenboer

    ddenboer MODEL X #1770

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    #10 ddenboer, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
    In my experience, the trip over Pacheco Pass can easily eat up 100 miles of range (it is a FUN drive).
    Keep your speed 70 or less, and you're golden. 205 miles at 70 on those roads should not be difficult at all. It is almost all flat from Folsom to Harris.

    -- edit

    And by trip over Pacheco pass, I mean one way. Both ways are fun, but eat up the miles quickly.
     
  11. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    #11 MikeC, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    LA to Sequoia National Park

    It would be great to have a separate road trip section (arranged by geography or starting destination). Here is the trip I did yesterday:

    Los Angeles to Sequoia National Park

    Totals
    462.5 miles
    14 hours, 48 minutes (9:05 am-11:53 pm)
    -535 minutes driving
    -233 minutes charging (Supercharge: 90 min for 251 miles; NEMA 14-50: 135 min for 66 miles)
    -120 minutes hiking
    140.3 kWh
    303 Wh/mi

    Breakdown
    Los Angeles - Tejon Ranch
    245 rated miles
    -105 rated miles (85 actual miles)
    +126 rated miles Supercharge (68 min)

    Tejon Ranch - Three Rivers
    266 rated miles
    -105 rated miles (115 actual miles; drove 50-65 mph)
    +39 rated miles RV park NEMA-14-50 (80 min)

    Three Rivers - Sequoia National Park
    200 rated miles
    -67 rated (24 miles, 7000 ft ascent)

    Hiked for 2 hours

    Sequoia National Park - Three Rivers
    133 rated miles
    +10 rated miles (24 actual miles, 7000 ft descent)
    +27 rated miles RV park NEMA 14-50 (55 min)

    Three Rivers - Tejon Ranch
    170 rated miles
    -122 rated miles (120 actual miles; drove 55-65 mph)
    +125 rated miles Supercharge (30 min)

    Tejon Ranch - Los Angeles
    173 rated miles
    -97 rated miles (85 actual miles)

    Notes: Model S performed like a champ on the windy mountain roads, one pedal driving is really great for that. Drove past a deer at one point and it didn't seem to notice me, not sure if that would have been the case in an ICE. It was nice to know that I wasn't polluting the park with fumes and noise. I charged at Three Rivers Hideaway RV park (there are two others that have 50 amp service: Sequoia RV Ranch and Kaweah Park Resort). I had budgeted 7 hours total of RV park charging as a worst case scenario. As it turned out, I only needed 2.25 hours for a 66 rated mile cushion that was just barely needed (only had 48 rated remaining when I got back to Tejon on the way home). Obviously, Supercharging is the way to go and this trip will be a breeze when there are more of them, but for right now I can confirm LA-Sequoia is doable in a single day.

    Sequoia.jpeg

    photo.jpg
    Charging at RV Park
     
  12. xray

    xray P85 6313 - X Res 3450

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    I completely agree with you Lloyd that it should be common sense and great etiquette to leave the phone number when you're at a place like the Fashion Island HPWC. As you said, there's only one functioning charger at this time (the Roadster one is out of service). I am a local here in Newport and so when we go to Fashion Island, I like to plug in, but I always leave my phone number and several times, I have been called and asked if I could kindly unplug my car so that someone in greater need could plug in. The parking area in this lot is such that I can just unlock the car through the iPhone app, have the owner unplug the Tesla and then they can park right next to me and charge. That way, I don't even have to leave the store or restaurant in order to give access to the HPWC. Of course, you could argue I shouldn't even plug in in the first place but there are many times when the HPWC is unused and I see no reason why locals couldn't take advantage while we shop/eat.

    I wish Tesla would build in a feature where you can unlock the charge port only. That way, you wouldn't have to unlock the car itself. Also, I wish there was a way that you could provide remote access to the car's charge port in order to allow plugging in of the connector without necessarily unlocking the doors. Also, I hope at some point they increase the amps on that charger since it runs at around 200 volts and 72 amps (probably because it use to be a Roadster charger in the past). It is now exclusively a Model S HPWC so its not like the Roadsters can plug into it. That way, it would charge everyone with twin chargers at double the rate (20 kwh) instead of the current (~14 kwh). Plus I also second that motion to add more HPWC in this parking lot. With all 3000+ model S in California, the demand for the HPWC at places like Fashion Island will only increase.
     
  13. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    Wow- thanks for posting such a detailed account of your trip and the great photo. I especially liked the part where the car actually gained range on the descent.

    I totally agree that there should be a separate road trip section in this forum so people can easily learn from the experiences of others. I sent one of the moderators a private message with this suggestion a few days ago- if you do the same it might help convince them that there really is a need for a new road trip section. Or we can keep bumping this thread up to the top . . .
     
  14. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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    #14 Puyallup Bill, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    Short Trip

    Hardly worthy of being called a road trip, but it was my first venture of more than 60 or so miles from home in the S. My wife wanted to visit our son and he wanted to check out the Tesla, so a lunch date was set.

    Puyallup WA to Bellingham WA via I5, WA 522, WA 9, I5, and return. Google maps 254 miles, actual including slight detour and my son’s test drive, 270 miles. Route was about half freeway and half mostly two lane highway. Speed was generally at the posted rate, except somewhat higher in the HOV lanes to avoid getting pushed off the road.:wink:

    Our son operates an auto repair shop in Bellingham and had sent me a photo of the electrical outlet used by the shop welder. It appeared to be a NEMA 10-50, so I fabricated an adapter, 10-50 to 14-50. Bellingham is woefully short of public charging facilities. One J1772 and a CHAdeMO in a shopping mall, and a Nissan dealer, and that is it. There are numerous J1772s along I5 south of Bellingham, in case the welder lash up didn’t work. I was concerned since I believe most 10-30 and 10-50 are connected hot, hot, and neutral, and I don’t believe the UMC would like that. It was fine - 50 Amp breaker, 39 Amps at 237 volts for 28 mph. A long lunch and visit with our son allowed for ample charge for the return trip with plenty of margin.

    What a joy to be free of range anxiety and long charge times. I was always a “never less than a quarter tank” ICE guy, so extended trips in the LEAF always had me on edge comparing distance to go and remaining charge. (I hasten to add that the LEAF is a fun car to drive, and works just great for our local running around - we are retired.)

    Actual miles were 270 and we used 275 rated miles. Roads were dry and temperature was such that neither heat nor cooling was needed. Under those conditions and with reasonably conservative driving, rated is pretty darn close to actual.

    P.S. Afraid the productivity at our son's shop took a small hit as the techs all wanted a look-see. Sad that all the "guts" are hidden from view.
     
  15. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    Thanks, I just added a panoramic shot of charging at the RV park. If not a separate section, maybe this could at least be a sticky on the main Model S page.

    @Pullyapp Bill: Agree that rated is pretty accurate with good conditions and conservative driving. I calculate that I used up 486 rated to go 462.5 actual - that's within 5% (and I drove up a mountain).
     
  16. vlsidude

    vlsidude Member

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    How does it work when you charge at an RV park? Do you pay for Wh used or do you have to rent a campsite for some period of time?
     
  17. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    I think $10 is the standard flat rate at this point. That's what the guy charged me. If they're cool, they might let you do it for free.
     
  18. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    We took another road trip yesterday, although this one was more modest than the trip to Paso Robles a couple of weeks ago. My wife and I drove from our home to Elk Grove to participate in a fund raiser poker tournament that a friend in Elk Grove told us about. Google maps said it was 190 miles round trip to his house and back and my previous experience was that I get about 80% rated range when driving with the flow of traffic. This works out to about 238 miles of range so a standard charge would be cutting it really close, but a range charge should do just fine. Since we’d be passing through Lodi, we also figured we would stop at some wineries on the way. It turns out that the St Jorge winery has a chargepoing charger so we added that to our itinerary.

    I did a standard charge overnight and then did a range charge while we were getting ready in the morning so as not to leave the battery fully charged any longer than necessary. The range charge was almost done when we left and we started with 268 miles on the gauge. I decided to keep the cruise control at 70 mph for most of the way rather going with the flow of traffic (about 75 mph) since we were cutting things a little close on this trip. My wife added the Michael David winery to the itinerary and we made that our first stop. In addition to great wine they have lots of food so we bought some snacks in addition to three bottles of wine. We then took some back roads to the St Jorge winery. The Chargepoint charger is right out in front so it’s very easy to find. The only downside is that you have to get perilously close to some sharp stonework in order for the cord to reach the charging port.

    st_jorge.jpg

    We charged for 22 minutes and added about 6 miles of range. They were so excited that someone was using their charger that they gave us a discount on the bottle of wine we bought :) I think it was to reimburse us for what chargepoint charged us, but the $5 discount more than covered the $1.09 chargepoint charge.

    Then we headed to our friend’s place in Elk Grove. We took on a few extra passengers who were interested in seeing how that car performed and headed the seven miles to the poker tournament. They started with 14 tables and we lasted until they were down to 5 tables, but at that point my wife and I both busted out. Several of our friends were doing better, but we decided to call it a night. After making sure the people we drove there had rides back, we got in the car and headed home.

    As it turns out, adding those six miles of range at the winery was probably a good idea. The detours to the wineries and the distance between the friend’s house and the venue for the poker tournament added some distance to the original plan. The overall stats for the trip were 207.8 miles, 69.9 kWh used, 337 wh/mi and only 25 miles of rated range left when we pulled into our garage. When you get down that low, the battery gauge turns from green to yellow and you start getting that yellow line on the power gauge indicating that power is being limited. That was the lowest we’ve ever drained the battery in 5 weeks of ownership. I was confident in my calculations so there was never any actual range anxiety. But I can definitely see someone who assumes rated range = real range when driving with the flow of traffic getting themselves in some trouble!
     
  19. PaceyWhitter

    PaceyWhitter Member

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    I love roadtrip stories, but this line jumped out at me. Did you talk about whether they are planning different future colors, or just about the formulation of their current colors?
     
  20. htsai14752

    htsai14752 Member

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    Kind of a road trip but not really. Rented a car and drove up to fremont. Need to drive my Tesla back home to LA.

    Picked up my car on 4/5/13 at the factory. We were the only group there so we had a private tour of the factory. Our tour guide allowed us to get up-close with the production cars but no touching. We also had a glimpse of the battery cells when a trailer drove by us. Unfortunately the factory was closed for the week for maintenance. The employees need a break after pushing out so many cars to ramp sales for the first qtr. Shout out to Andrew for being such a great DS.

    Had no anxiety driving the car back down to LA. Drove 70-75 the entire way and arrived at each supercharger with about 50 rated miles to spare on standard charge. Going up the grapevine was amazing. There are no words to describe my feelings and emotions. I'm so happy with the car!
    2013-04-05111916Small.jpg
    2013-04-05111926Small.jpg
    2013-04-05111930Small.jpg
    2013-04-05220302Small.jpg
     

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