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Road-trip updates: SF to LA and back, on electricity. And Autopilot!

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
Hey all!
After an entertaining discussion on whether I should fly or drive for this trip (To fly or not to fly. Another SF-LA trip thread. Now with Autopilot!), I ended up deciding to drive.
The cost is the same to my employer (I charge mileage) as if I were flying and renting a car, I have the time to do it around my mid-day meetings Monday in LA, and well, I just want to do it. Have plenty of podcasts, and Autopilot to reduce fatigue!
And all of it with zero emissions. :cool:

Plan

  • Leave from San Francisco on Sunday.
  • Take a more scenic route, plus a stop at Space X. Just because.
  • Drive to meetings in San Bernardino on Monday morning.
  • Leave for San Francsico, taking the fast route, and see how quick and efficient I can make my way back.

I will update this thread with details of the trip.
Ongoing updates will also be available on Twitter.com/macalex filed under #SFtoLAonElectricity.

This is going to be great!
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
First order of business: waste electrons for the 2 miles up to Twin Peaks as the starting point. I mean, Twin Peaks to Hollywood sign does have a ring to it.
Today is the laid-back drive. Tomorrow will be the time-trial!
 

f-stop

Active Member
Jul 31, 2015
1,463
1,408
Vancouver BC, Canada
Hey all!
After an entertaining discussion on whether I should fly or drive for this trip (To fly or not to fly. Another SF-LA trip thread. Now with Autopilot!), I ended up deciding to drive. [...]
Hey e-FTW! This sounds like an EV remake of a 2014 episode of the Mythbusters in the making.

in 2014 episode 14, "Traffic Tricks" they tested the myth that for trips under 400 miles, driving is faster than flying. So they tested it with a race from SF to LA between car and commercial flight (Spoiler: they found it "Plausible")

since the Mythbusters M5 Industries is right in your backyard, they should sign you up to redo the test in your Model S. Whether faster or slower, it's guaranteed to be more enjoyable driving a Tesla, that's for sure. Enjoy the trip, I will be watching for updates!
 
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e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
400 miles each way? That's just an errand. ;)

Anyway, have fun on the trip. :)
Ha!

- - - Updated - - -

Hey e-FTW! This sounds like an EV remake of a 2014 episode of the Mythbusters in the making.

in episode 221 "Traffic Tricks" they tested the myth that for trips under 400 miles, driving is faster than flying. So they tested it with a race from SF to LA between car and commercial flight (Spoiler: they found it "Plausible")

since the Mythbusters M5 Industries is right in your backyard, they should sign you up to redo the test in your Model S. Whether faster or slower, it's guaranteed to be more enjoyable driving a Tesla, that's for sure. Enjoy the trip, I will be watching for updates!
You may have won most epic post in this thread already. OMGOMGOMG

- - - Updated - - -

First order of business: waste electrons for the 2 miles up to Twin Peaks as the starting point. I mean, Twin Peaks to Hollywood sign does have a ring to it.
Today is the laid-back drive. Tomorrow will be the time-trial!
From home, I am at 162 rated miles. No home charging here, long story. Non-issue so far. Now to see where the car tells me I can make it once I am up Twin Peaks.
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
Just got to Gilroy with 75 miles to spare. Plenty of spots open. They also have a bunch of other types of charging stations here, and I see an e-Golf and a Volt charging.
Now to decide between I-5 and 101. Have done this stretch of 101 when coming back for SLO 5 years ago. Maybe I should take the I-5 for a bit before going for the coast...
Would post the screenshots and data, but have not figured out my ideal image posting workflow to this forum yet. My Twitter feed is there for that, and keeping family and friends updated. See @macalex
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1449437457.643236.jpg
The view from 1B in Gilroy.
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
So picked the 101. Here are a few items from the last few hours:
1 - There are instances where the Tesla navigation will tell that you have charged enough to get to your destination or the next charger (with a 10% buffer). Sadly, I had two instances where after a few miles of driving, it changed its mind and asked me to turn around, saying I would need to charge another 5 minutes before leaving the same charger I just left.
The first time was after leaving Gilroy on the 101 going south. I fought the nav for a bit, and after restarting the trip, it offered to divert to Monterey/Seaside on the way. I did so.
Just before I got to Seaside Tesla (yay, lounge snacks!) I called the Mothership. Tech support told me that engineering was aware of the issue. The current quick fix is to shut off nav for a few miles, and try again.
Upon leaving Seaside, it complained similarly. By the time I left, I actually was looking at a 20% buffer at my next charge stop. I gave it a few miles, tried the nav again as suggested, and it sorted itself out.
Next charge was giving me a 31% buffer, and this time nav was happy. Maybe anything at or below 20% (yellow) is a trigger.

2- I assumed I would have plenty of time while charging to pick a route, upload pics, document, post here, tweet, text my wife and walk around. False! Am scarfing a meal down, as my car, as usual, will be ready before I am. :)
 

JenniferQ

Supporting Member
Sep 13, 2015
1,260
513
San Diego, CA
I am enjoying this thread. Thanks for taking the time to enlighten us all. I was supposed to do SAN to SF to Eugene OR and back last week but plans changed. Enjoying it vicariously through you.
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
I am enjoying this thread. Thanks for taking the time to enlighten us all. I was supposed to do SAN to SF to Eugene OR and back last week but plans changed. Enjoying it vicariously through you.

Happy you are enjoying it. Can't help but feel shame about the lack of hard data. But my car is impatient, and wants me to go! I am posting screenshots of Remote S and pics of the trip data car to my Twitter feed. Hopefully that quenches the data geeks' thirst!
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
Made it to Huntington Beach. Took well over 10 hours.
HB if 45 minutes south of the City of Angels, so 9.5 hours of that was actually the SF to LA trip. I told you it would be leisurely, and it was, in some ways. The unexpected side-trip to Monterey added about an hour, which was not great. I also spent more time than needed at some stops, started out with a partial charge, and ended with way more charge than needed (since I was planning for tomorrow).
Tomorrow's drive from SB to SF will be the fast one, on the I-5.

This was a LOT of miles and time in the car. But the biggest thing, the most amazing thing, is how much Autopilot takes away from the tiredness that one should feel after such a drive. I am not even close to how tired I should be after 522 miles of driving in one day. This works!
More thoughts tomorrow, scotch awaits...
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,197
13,846
San Mateo, CA
Made it to Huntington Beach. Took well over 10 hours.
HB if 45 minutes south of the City of Angels, so 9.5 hours of that was actually the SF to LA trip. I told you it would be leisurely, and it was, in some ways. The unexpected side-trip to Monterey added about an hour, which was not great
I routinely go from the Gilroy SC to the Atascadero SC on much less than a 100% charge, so don't know why you had to charge in Monterey (that would only be needed if you took Hwy 1 through Big Sur, which I assume you did not do). I've done the SF to LA trip on the 101 in much less time than what you described. I can skip the SC in Buelton and charge at Camarillo.
 
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e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
I routinely go from the Gilroy SC to the Atascadero SC on much less than a 100% charge, so don't know why you had to charge in Monterey (that would only be needed if you took Hwy 1 through Big Sur, which I assume you did not do). I've done the SF to LA trip on the 101 in much less time than what you described. I can skip the SC in Buelton.

Hey ecarfan, I agree with everything you said. I was not going for speed, nor did I have the conditions in place to do so (did not leave with full charge). Check out the data screenshots in my Twitter feed.
The Monterey side-trip was my geek brain trusting the engineers. It is a software bug that I should have ignored that took me there.
Should have made Gilroy-Atascadero easy. Again, this was not planned for speed.
But today is! San Bernardino to SF via the I-5 after lunch. Will plan to be fully charged at go-time.
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
Alright folks! Part 2!

Am having BBQ at Lucille's Smokehouse while Energon slurps electrons at the Rancho Cucamonga Supercharger. Had a nice chat with a San Bernardino police officer asking me about the car.
Range charge and then hoping to make it to Harris Ranch. I-5 all the way.

Have snacks, more podcasts and Autopilot to keep me company. This is like having another half-driver in the car to take over for the most boring parts of the drive.
 

rpo

Member
Jun 12, 2014
409
234
Seattle, Washington
I went from San Diego to Santa Rosa in 8 hours last weekend. There's a goal for you to beat! Just kidding about that. I was not exactly (IE: never) going the speed limit. According to VisibleTesla, the ~130 miles through L.A. between San Juan Capistrano and Tejon Ranch averaged over 90.
 

e-FTW

New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
3,263
3,086
San Francisco, CA
I went from San Diego to Santa Rosa in 8 hours last weekend. There's a goal for you to beat! Just kidding about that. I was not exactly (IE: never) going the speed limit. According to VisibleTesla, the ~130 miles through L.A. between San Juan Capistrano and Tejon Ranch averaged over 90.

I wish I had time to come up with a magical tool to find the optimal speed vs overall trip time including charge times. Oh well, next road trip! EVtriplanner does not think a 60 can make it to Harris. But I have a 70... Hmm. We'll see what the car thinks!
 

JenniferQ

Supporting Member
Sep 13, 2015
1,260
513
San Diego, CA
I went from San Diego to Santa Rosa in 8 hours last weekend. There's a goal for you to beat! Just kidding about that. I was not exactly (IE: never) going the speed limit. According to VisibleTesla, the ~130 miles through L.A. between San Juan Capistrano and Tejon Ranch averaged over 90.
That's pretty good speed considering it always seems to be 5mph through SJC for me!
 

thecloud

As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive
Nov 24, 2014
1,771
1,627
Sunnyvale, CA
I noticed you jumped right over the part between Huntington Beach and Rancho Cucamonga. So did you end up taking 91 east, were you able to use the HOV lane, and if not, how much of a nightmare was it?
 

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