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Road trip range anxiety is still a thing?

2016 MS 90D Used [Current] - .................. It enjoys the longest range of the free supercharging cars, ..[NO, SEE BELOW].......... The MS 90D is ready for camping, and the range is still 280 of 294. ...................... I don't care what anyone says about AP1... Except for cresting hills where it absolutely fails, it still performs better than Tesla Vision in about 70% of situations and you get the lane changing and summon included. Automatic brights don't behave erratically and the wipers are operating off a rain sensor instead of just the camera. No phantom braking. Obviously it is as good as it will ever be, and the ceiling for Tesla Vision is vastly higher as improvements are made but right now AP1 is king in my opinion.
That was my first Tesla, and its rated range was down to 272 when I turned it in with 44,817 miles. On Aug. 3, 2019 Raven Model S&X were first sold with free supercharging, so that's when I placed the order for my current car. I'm fairly sure the free supercharging was available for at least the remainder of 2019. It's not offered on the 2021 refresh and it may have been cancelled earlier in conjunction with the 2020 price cut to $69,420, which was even a better deal.

In general I agree with jookyone about AP1. By 2019 the Autosteer was quite good and yes no phantom braking. I did not think auto lane change was safe with AP1 using the limited range sensors, while I'm very confident it is with the diagonal rear facing cameras. But auto lane change is the only clear cut superiority of AP2&3 vs. AP1 so far IMHO. And AP1 in 2016 cost $1,500 vs. $6,000 for AP3 in 2019.
Three years ago, Tesla reduced the charge rate on these dinosaurs by about 20%. A charge from ~15% to 65% will average out to be 1kWh per minute assuming no external factors like a cold battery or sharing a V2 SC. If out of necessity, one needs to charge to >85%, the average addition per minute drops to ~.85 kWh per minute or lower. The car will charge at 30kW when 70% full. If my aging memory recalls, the rate prior to three years ago was around 35-40kWh at 70%.
On my 8,000 mile road trip in 2020, the Raven Model S charge from ~15% to 65% averaged out to be 2kWh per minute assuming no external factors like a cold battery or sharing a V2 SC. My longest drive day was 740 miles with 4 supercharge stops totaling 89 minutes. I would probably not have had the patience for that 8,000 mile trip in the S90D. On my most common road trip, L.A. to Mammoth, the Lone Pine charge stop averaged 45 minutes in the S90D but only 20 in Raven S due to the combination of longer range and faster charging.

The refresh Model S charges up to 4kWh per minute on v3, but not only is there no free supercharging, the car costs $25K more than mine did. I expect to hang on to the 2019 Raven (now at 49,000 miles) much longer than I did the S90D.
 
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Upside to this possible range anxiety, is that traveling via Superchargers can result in you arriving at your destination fresh, with energy and a positive attitude. Stopping a few time enroute can give your body and mind a welcome refresh. No need to rush aroun, have a nice lunch, use the restroom, splash some water on your face and take a lttle walk as your battery fills. You will be notified via app when you should return to your car, and be on your way. Using Autopilot or FSD on the long boring legs can take lots of the mental exercise out of equasion.Quite liberating actually.

There are thousands of deaths every year by drivers pushing their cars and bladders to the limit. They nod off and...
 
I'm not disagreeing with what is being said here, but for me all the above are some of the reasons after owning my MY for just over a year I consider it a great around the town car, but not a road trip vehicle. More power to the those who like it and make it work, but for me it's a PITA. I don't like all the frequent charging stops that take too long and I'm too lazy to investigate places to stay that have a destination charger. I generally just stop when I get tired. Even for short trips it's not as convenient. I've taken the Y from Indianapolis to Cincinnati 3 times and each time when leaving for home I have to charge for 20-30 min. My gas car goes there and back arriving home with a 1/4 tank of gas left. For me once there are almost as many chargers as gas stations on the road then Ev's will be more acceptable road vehicles.
 
I'm not disagreeing with what is being said here, but for me all the above are some of the reasons after owning my MY for just over a year I consider it a great around the town car, but not a road trip vehicle. More power to the those who like it and make it work, but for me it's a PITA. I don't like all the frequent charging stops that take too long and I'm too lazy to investigate places to stay that have a destination charger. I generally just stop when I get tired. Even for short trips it's not as convenient. I've taken the Y from Indianapolis to Cincinnati 3 times and each time when leaving for home I have to charge for 20-30 min. My gas car goes there and back arriving home with a 1/4 tank of gas left. For me once there are almost as many chargers as gas stations on the road then Ev's will be more acceptable road vehicles.
agree. especially when i can't get even close to the range the car is supposed to get. if it got even close it wouldn't be too bad. took it to the airport a couple weeks ago which is 114 miles. Charged to 305 I believe before I left and was hoping to get get a destination charger at the airport(think they had 8-12) but all were full. Then they had 4 fast charging stalls with 2 different connectors and neither worked on the tesla or with the standard adapter that comes with it. So parked in a regular spot.

Turned off sentry mode as I knew I only had 105 miles range when I parked and thought I'd be able to make it to terre haute on the way back but the car recommended getting charged in Indy. So after a long day and being tired I drive 15 minutes the wrong way to get to the supercharger and charge for maybe 30 min and then 15 min back to where I came from so it added an hour to my trip. I guess the only way to get even close to the rated range is drive 5-10 mph under the speed limit as I used 200 miles of estimated range to go 115 miles on the way there. That was running maybe 75-80 for decent part of the drive. Had a stall been open at the airport destination charging or their fast charger would have worked with something I had it wouldn't be a big pain. I've got 1 road trip I want to do with it for fun but overall I agree it's kind of annoying for trips.
 
I guess the only way to get even close to the rated range is drive 5-10 mph under the speed limit as I used 200 miles of estimated range to go 115 miles on the way there. That was running maybe 75-80 for decent part of the drive.
This is why the Y isn't the best choice for long highway trips. It's the least aerodynamic of all the current Tesla models and the energy needed to push that tall frontend through the air at 80 MPH is just a whole lot more than with a 3 or S. With the refreshed MSLR range anxiety is pretty much non-existent. In fact, on our recent 5,300 mile road trip we found that we wanted to (and did) stop before the car needed to charge, and we were often able to skip chargers. It would reliably go 250 miles when charged to 90%.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
674
788
Sunnyvale, CA
This is why the Y isn't the best choice for long highway trips. It's the least aerodynamic of all the current Tesla models and the energy needed to push that tall frontend through the air at 80 MPH is just a whole lot more than with a 3 or S. With the refreshed MSLR range anxiety is pretty much non-existent. In fact, on our recent 5,300 mile road trip we found that we wanted to (and did) stop before the car needed to charge, and we were often able to skip chargers. It would reliably go 250 miles when charged to 90%.
I think you can do it in a Y. I've done probably 10,000 miles of road tripping in my mid-range 3 which now is cut back to 230 miles at 100% SoC.
But I won't pretend it requires a lot more planning than a gasoline trip, and a little bit of adventure, and there are a few things you can't do, the most regrettable of which is the sudden decision to take a side trip when out in the boonies.

Over time this will change. On the other hand, the gas car involves many compromises too.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,542
5,091
Central Valley
At the risk of ridicule I will say this:

We have a lifetime of habits that we've developed. These habits are who we are. The reasons are not material. I am not passing judgment.

Most of us drive over the speed limit--sometimes as much as 15MPH over.) Most of us are used to a ten-minute break to pull off the interstate to a refueling station, insert our credit card, pump gas, and return to the highway. Most of us know that when the gas gauge reads 1/4, that we have another 50+ miles before running out of gas. We have nearly an hour to figure where and when to stop.

Fuel economy is related to highway speed too. The difference is that (just for argument; this is not a lesson in physics and aerodynamics) the MPG at 70 might be 3 MPG more efficient than at 80. With an 18-gallon gas tank, you might reduce your range by 50 miles or so. But you are driving a 350-mile leg in 4.375 hours at 80 versus 5 hours at 70. Twenty-two minutes slower at 70 versus 80. We adapt our travel time to accommodate our expected driving habits. You can leave a half-hour later when you average 80, so you can sleep in longer, or have leisure time before departing.

With BEVs the reduction in efficiency at high speeds is more pronounced than with ICE. Charging time takes longer, obviously. Battery capacities pale in comparison to contemporary ICE equivalents. ICE engineering has increased MPG by at least a factor of two. In short we are accustomed to the conveniences that driving ICE long distances affords us.

My dad came to California from Nebraska in 1923 with his parents in a Model T touring car. Top speed on oil roads was about 40, lower on dirt or gravel. Gas tank was 10-12 gallons. Not sure of the MPG (LOL).

I guess I'm trying to say that we need to put things in perspective. If speed and convenience are most important, don't drive a BEV more than 100 miles away from home. If driving a BEV is something enjoyable, then we need to adjust our thinking accordingly. Doubtless there will be strides made in battery chemistry, capacity, charging speeds, and charging locations. But we're not there quite yet.
 
I'm not disagreeing with what is being said here, but for me all the above are some of the reasons after owning my MY for just over a year I consider it a great around the town car, but not a road trip vehicle. More power to the those who like it and make it work, but for me it's a PITA....

agree. especially when i can't get even close to the range the car is supposed to get. if it got even close it wouldn't be too bad. ...

This is why the Y isn't the best choice for long highway trips. It's the least aerodynamic of all the current Tesla models...

I have to defend the Model Y. Like a lot of things in life, "it depends".

When I was a college student, a bunch of us could take turns driving and power through a solid 24 hours, while only stopping to refuel and pee every few hours. Less than 10 years later, when I had was moving and had to drive alone from Chicago to North Carolina in a day, I already had to stop every 2 to 3 hours to keep from getting sore. And now that I'm solidly middle age, I often find myself wishing I needed to charge more often ;). I can, and have, done over 3 hours legs without getting out of my Model Y, but I make that an exception, not the rule.

Of course, it requires a little planning, but the more practice you get, the better your intuition gets, and the less formal planning you need.

I have taken holiday trips to Chicago, a long weekend to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, hiking trips to West Virginia, and a cross country trip to L.A. I have gotten an hour or two off the interstates to sight-see, hike, or just to avoid driving through Indianapolis yet again. (Apologies to all the Hoosiers.) I have hiked Guadalupe High Peak in west Texas, toured the brewery in Shiner, driven through Chiricahua National Monument, up Mount Lemmon, through Kofa National Wildlife Refuge on a dirt road, and through Joshua Tree National Park.

Of all the places I've been told I can't road-trip an EV, currently there are only two stretches of road that I would like to see, but don't think I can yet: US-50 through Nevada, and US-2 through Montana. I also would not tow a trailer on a road trip with my Model Y.

Here are a couple of things I've learned that have helped me road-trip my Model Y.
  1. Look at battery percentage, not miles remaining. When I drove ICE cars, I relied on the traditional gas gauge more than the trip computer's estimated miles remaining, too.
  2. Check the consumption graph periodically. If you start to worry about how low your charge will get, slow down a little, and if favorable conditions show that you'll arrive with more charge than you expected, speed up (within reason).
  3. Ride the bottom half of the battery pack. Even though you trip to start the day with 90%–100% SOC, try to plan each stop at 10–15%, and only charge up to 60%–70%. Adding 50% from 10 to 60% will only take 15–20 minutes, while going from 50 to 100% will probably take twice as long. (The problem with this strategy is that some of your stops, like at lunch or supper time, will not be long enough for a decent, healthy meal. I've had to move my car between ordering and getting my food at restaurants several times.)
I get that road-tripping an EV, even if it's a Tesla, may not be for everyone. But blanket statements that you can't do it, that just not true.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,324
10,695
Boise, ID
We're on page 2, so time to throw my 2 cents in. I keep seeing a few people saying how you MUST do pre-planning if you are going to travel with an EV. Nah. I don't pre-plan trips with a gas car or an electric car. We've already reached the stage of "doable". But it's still fairly common that there are inconveniences and having to go out of your way or not the easiest or most direct route to make it work. So I am sort of in the middle on this. It's not so much range anxiety as it is annoyance and frustration sometimes with it not being the route or the stops you prefer. I'm patient, so I don't usually mind, but I can easily see how it would get on some people's nerves.
 
I have to defend the Model Y. Like a lot of things in life, "it depends".

I get that road-tripping an EV, even if it's a Tesla, may not be for everyone. But blanket statements that you can't do it, that just not true.
I would never suggest that you can't do a road trip in a Y—you most emphatically can. We saw tons of Ys at small-town (so likely not locals) Superchargers on our road trips this summer, one or two even pulling trailers. The MYLR is probably about as easy to road trip in (range-wise) as my old 85D, in which we drove 25K or more just on road trips. I was just pointing out that of all of Tesla's models, the Y is probably the least good choice—followed closely by the X—for range anxiety. They're all still good choices, but the MSLR and M3LR will be more predictable and go further at 80MPH just because they're so more aerodynamic. In city driving, there wouldn't be the same level of discrepancy.
 
This is why the Y isn't the best choice for long highway trips. It's the least aerodynamic of all the current Tesla models and the energy needed to push that tall frontend through the air at 80 MPH is just a whole lot more than with a 3 or S. With the refreshed MSLR range anxiety is pretty much non-existent. In fact, on our recent 5,300 mile road trip we found that we wanted to (and did) stop before the car needed to charge, and we were often able to skip chargers. It would reliably go 250 miles when charged to 90%.
I was talking about my M3P.
 
Just turned 200k miles on 2016 Model X. It's crazy to see that most chargers are only 120-150 miles apart when those gaps used to be 170-200 miles. Makes this old Model X still capable of road tripping. The pace of a road trip in it is insanely slow now, because some gaps require 100% charge on the ol' 90kWh battery, but definitely doable. I'm now up to 117k on the 90D (16k since May post) and happy to report that road tripping is still a stress free experience especially with all the new superchargers being built everywhere. Makes it easier to skip or plan which place you might want to eat, sleep, or hang out. I see no earthly reason why any Tesla on the road today can't road trip to most areas, in most states. Might cost time on certain routes, but as others have said it's just a new way of thinking. Definitely need some planning on the destination end if you don't have a family member with an accessible dryer plug or other charge options nearby. Enjoy the ride. Happy road tripping, cheers!
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
674
788
Sunnyvale, CA
Just turned 200k miles on 2016 Model X. It's crazy to see that most chargers are only 120-150 miles apart when those gaps used to be 170-200 miles. Makes this old Model X still capable of road tripping. The pace of a road trip in it is insanely slow now, because some gaps require 100% charge on the ol' 90kWh battery, but definitely doable. I'm now up to 117k on the 90D (16k since May post) and happy to report that road tripping is still a stress free experience especially with all the new superchargers being built everywhere. Makes it easier to skip or plan which place you might want to eat, sleep, or hang out. I see no earthly reason why any Tesla on the road today can't road trip to most areas, in most states. Might cost time on certain routes, but as others have said it's just a new way of thinking. Definitely need some planning on the destination end if you don't have a family member with an accessible dryer plug or other charge options nearby. Enjoy the ride. Happy road tripping, cheers!
It gets better, but for me, "road trip" means getting off the beaten path, and there are still limits on what I can do, particularly in my mid-range which is degraded to 230 miles. I usually make it, but there are limitations and planning is needed.

Tesla is doing a vote on where to put new superchargers, and my vote is to put them on the great road trip routes, not on interstates and in cities. Or partner with the DC Fast ones to make it possible to do the Alaska Highway, the Utah National Parks, a bit easier time on California 1, Baja, those sorts of places.
 

Prairie

Model x on order for January 2022
Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
228
220
Nebraska
Also near Big Bend National Park, other National Parks. For me, the whole point is to get off the beaten path. Also serious need for some on major north/south highways in the Central States. It’s a long way between interstates in a north south direction and we are cold and windy. Need something at least every 125 miles.
 

bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
674
788
Sunnyvale, CA
Also near Big Bend National Park, other National Parks. For me, the whole point is to get off the beaten path. Also serious need for some on major north/south highways in the Central States. It’s a long way between interstates in a north south direction and we are cold and windy. Need something at least every 125 miles.
You should like my tweet and other tweets like it in the supercharger vote.
 
I hear you, there are some really nice roads that can't be driven thru. In areas that are "off the beaten path" I'm usually leaning heavy on RV Parky and staying in those areas, and not really driving thru them. I think someone else did mention 50 thru Nevada which is one I'd like to drive as an alt route. I saw there's going to be one added to Ely, NV but they'll need another one in Austin to really get across there on Tesla's network. I saw there is a level 3 in Austin if you have a CHAdeMO or CCS adapter. I only recently got the Lectron CCS adapter but haven't had to use it on the road yet. Maybe worth a try. Cheers!
 
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We've only had our MY for just over 3 weeks and have done 2 small road trips so far. Both around 500-600km return trips. It was a bit weird to see both trips use up battery at such a different rate. Not sure if it was because of more/less hills or I was driving faster (although I typically drive around 10% above the limit if traffic allows). I need to drive a few more trips to get a better understanding of it.

I had a CCS adapter that I had purchased and that reduced my anxiety, knowing I could stop at pretty much any of the non-Tesla fast chargers in a pinch, which I did do on both trips. Turned out to be much cheaper than the Superchargers as well (like half price).

We take many roadtrips (at least one super long 2600km one-way trip to Florida per year) and have our routines down in our ICE vehicle(s). If we are adventurous enough to try something that long in the MY, I'm certain it will require a bit more planning.
 
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bradtem

Robocar consultant
Dec 18, 2018
674
788
Sunnyvale, CA
I hear you, there are some really nice roads that can't be driven thru. In areas that are "off the beaten path" I'm usually leaning heavy on RV Parky and staying in those areas, and not really driving thru them. I think someone else did mention 50 thru Nevada which is one I'd like to drive as an alt route. I saw there's going to be one added to Ely, NV but they'll need another one in Austin to really get across there on Tesla's network. I saw there is a level 3 in Austin if you have a CHAdeMO or CCS adapter. I only recently got the Lectron CCS adapter but haven't had to use it on the road yet. Maybe worth a try. Cheers!
50 in Nevada has had ccs chargers for a while now.
 
I hear you, there are some really nice roads that can't be driven thru. In areas that are "off the beaten path" I'm usually leaning heavy on RV Parky and staying in those areas, and not really driving thru them. I think someone else did mention 50 thru Nevada which is one I'd like to drive as an alt route. I saw there's going to be one added to Ely, NV but they'll need another one in Austin to really get across there on Tesla's network. I saw there is a level 3 in Austin if you have a CHAdeMO or CCS adapter. I only recently got the Lectron CCS adapter but haven't had to use it on the road yet. Maybe worth a try. Cheers!
A CCS adapter is definitely worth every penny.
 

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