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Road Trips

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Cottonwood, May 25, 2009.

  1. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #1 Cottonwood, May 25, 2009
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
    I did not see a topic for this, so I thought I would start one. Certainly the Yosemite thread is a great road trip, http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/tesla-roadster/2777-yosemite.html, but I thought we should have a continuing thread on interesting road trips.

    =====================

    I took an interesting Road Trip in my Tesla yesterday. From my house in Boulder, CO to the top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, the round trip is 130 miles. This was an easy one charge out and back. Trail Ridge Road is the highest, paved, pass road in the U.S., and tops out at a little over 12,100 ft MSL.

    See Rocky Mountain/Trail Ridge Pics for some pictures of the outing.

    As I have found from other outings into the mountains, the regen on the Tesla is pretty good and round trips tend to get average W-Hr/mi numbers. If you look at Trip Stats, you can see my summary. I think that the reason for the high energy usage on the high altitude segment (#3) was from the need to run the heat and defrost as the temperatures dropped to 33˚ F. and the snow was flying.

    On the way down, the continued, low W-Hr/Mi gave me my best yet range number on half a battery. See Great Range for the picture my passenger snapped during the descent.

    Because of the conditions, I did not get to try out the performance of 245 ponies at altitude.

    As expected, the traction of the high performance tires was very poor on icy roads. On one straight stretch of road with no one close, I gently tried the brakes; the anti-lock engaged amazingly quickly. After that test, I drove even more conservatively until all snow and ice disappeared from the road surface. On the other hand, I did not have any trouble with wet roads, although I did not push it either.

    My biggest disappointment was with the defroster performance. The heater/defrost function seemed to be able to produce plenty of heat, but the air was not directed well. I was running with full heat, max fan, no recirculation, and all defrost, and I got to see things like this, Poor Defrost Performance The drivers side would sort of clear, and the passenger side never cleared completely. The biggest problem was that the sides of the windshield never cleared and just got more condensation. Also, the side windows in front of the rear view mirrors never cleared. I would hate to be out on a really cold, snowy night in this car, and will make it a point not to do so.

    My next high altitude outing will be to Mt Evans Highway; the road up Mt Evans is the highest paved road in North America. It looks to be another 130 mile round trip, but this time up to 14,240 ft MSL and should be a lot of fun! After the snowy, cloudy drive up Trail Ridge, I will be waiting for a nice, clear, sunny morning for that trip.
     
  2. SteveF

    SteveF Member

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    #2 SteveF, May 25, 2009
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
    Roadster in Napa

    This seems like as good a place as any to post my first road trip. I just got the MC240 last week, so I was hesitant to take a longer road trip on the weekend, for fear I wouldn't be able to get the car fully charged again in time to use it as my commuter to work. So today my wife and I took the Roadster to do some wine tasting in Napa. It was a blast. Every time I stopped somewhere, people loved the car and asked questions, took pictures.

    I just took one photo to document the trip, and I hope I've figured out how to attach it here.

    I charged the car in range mode for the first time since I've had it, just to be safe, but I figured the round trip was going to be less than 200 miles from my home in San Francisco so I wasn't too worried I would have problems. I started with 245 miles for "Ideal Range", and had 56 miles left when I pulled into the driveway at the end of the day after traveling a total of 166 miles per the odometer. So the 166 miles of actual range took me 189 miles of "ideal range", which I thought was not too bad. I pretty much went the speed limit on the freeway both out and back, but not over the limit.

    It was a gorgeous day in the Napa Valley, in the 80's, so not too hot. Perfect for driving the Roadster with the top off, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the valley. The only downside was that trunk space limited our purchases to about a case and a half of wine (besides the jackets, purses and other odd items we brought with us). I suppose we'll just need to make more frequent trips - not a bad thing!
     

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  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    "BAT R EE" :smile:
    (Sounds like you have an EE degree in battery technology)

    Thanks much for the story.
     
  4. SteveF

    SteveF Member

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    Ha! Not even close on that score. "Battery" wasn't available from the DMV, but this seems close enough to convey the status of the Roadster as an electric vehicle to those who aren't familiar with Tesla Motors. However, so far the great majority of the people who stop to talk to me already know about the company.

    The interest seemed considerably greater in Napa than around my typical haunts, I'm guessing because the folks in Napa haven't seen too many Roadsters around their neck of the woods (yet). :smile:
     
  5. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Cottonwood, those are some great range numbers! I can only hope to get that some day! :biggrin:

    SteveF: It seems like a great trip. I will have to try heading to Napa some day soon!
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Now you just need a PV (Solar) system from "EE Solar"!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. SteveF

    SteveF Member

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    I'm guessing that trip for you would involve a recharging stop somewhere, Graham. I don't have an HPC or I'd offer my house as a place to make a stop to charge. Perhaps the charger in San Ramon makes some sense for your likely route to NAPA.
     
  8. walk_n_wind

    walk_n_wind Member

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    Liking this topic

    For what it's worth, reports and 1st hand accounts of usage experience is valuable to us (me?) watching from the sidelines :) Having some idea of how these vehicles serve is pretty darn valuable.

    So keep 'em coming! Commuting experience, longer-distance excursions, performance in traffic,..it's all good stuff!
     
  9. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Commuting experience: Mine is short (10mi each way). But there's something about this car that wakes me up during that short drive more than the 911 ever did (though that was still an amazing car, this one is just better!). As a commute car, it's just great. Tuck my gym bag and work stuff in back (that the trunk opens itself, thanks to really light carbon fiber, helps - and it's easy to close once you know the trick), plug-in at work, no worries about range.
     
  10. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    With a 10 mile commute, do you even bother to charge at home?
     
  11. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Not during the week. 120v/15a during the day is just enough to cover it.
     
  12. ToddLa

    ToddLa Member

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    Tesla Seattle to Whistler

    My friend Gary and I drove my Tesla up to Whistler yesterday, I am glad to report we made it with no problems.

    I gave my car a full charge in Range mode, did a top off, and reset the trip meter.

    we left at 1:00pm with 246mi Ideal Range

    every so often along the ride we recorded the following information: Time, Distance traveled, kWh used, Ideal Range, Elevation. You can find the raw data here.

    We crossed the border at the truck customs at Blaine, WA with no problems, it was weird looking up at the customs agent, anyone who has exited a parking garage will know the feeling, except this time a gun and invasive questions were involved.

    The first stop was at 3:20pm at the Pacific Border RV Park, they had a 50amp outlet and were more than happy to let us charge up. An electric car does not drive through every day so we got alot of attention and I passed out a bunch of brochures and answered many questions. We charged for 2 hours and got 48mi of extra range. We used about 12kWh @.08 we cost the RV park about a loonie. The managers Charlie and Vicky were very nice, they did not charge us for the power. It may be because I called ahead, they are just nice, or because I fixed their Windows XP computer cd drive issue.

    We left the RV park at 5:45pm with 166 miles Ideal range, Whistler was ~110 miles away so we had a 50mi buffer.

    our next stop was at 183mi at the Klahanie Campground this campground was my preferred charge up point because it has a great restaurant with a deck looking at the Howe Sound and Shannon Falls. It only has 30amp hookups so I did not want to risk using this site on the first trip.

    we left the campground with 94 miles ideal range and only 40 miles left, still about a 50mi buffer, but the uphill was still to come.

    the next major millstone was when we used 53kWh, this happened at 205mi about 18mi from Whistler at the Dam, proving beyond a doubt we could not make it in a single charge.

    We arrived in Whistler at 8:45 with 42 miles of range left, the drive took 4:50min of driving and a 2+ hour stop for a charge. I think it is possible to stop at the Klahanie Campground and charge up for 2hours at 30amp and still make it, or only charge for 1 hour at the border, also the 40amp charger will lower the charge time to 45min.

    hA0pmBk1yo71nexo1iHBWOgAo1_500.jpg
    hA0pmBk1yo72jkq3saBLlRY6o1_500.jpg
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #13 TEG, Jun 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
    Thanks for that!

    I was wondering why you were trying hard to find a 50amp RV outlet (not just a 30amp), when the MC240 is only rated for 30amps anyways, but later learned that those RV TT-30 outlets are only 120V so you couldn't use the MC240 there.

    Moderator's note: Ongoing discussion about plug standards etc has been moved to the Charging the Roadster thread. Let's keep this one for the road trip stories.
     
  14. SuperCarnitas

    SuperCarnitas Sig100 #54

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    (NorCal) Oakland -> Marin -> Sonoma -> Oakland loop

    Here are my notes from a recent overnight loop in Northern California.

    Link to Route Map

    We set off from Oakland, CA using the Range mode, having topped off the night before. Showing 244 miles ideal, 183 miles predictive at departure.

    According to the above Google Maps route we drove 153 miles through Marin and Sonoma roads. Route was split about an even third between freeways (65-70mph), 2-lane highways (45-55mph), and narrow backcountry roads (30-40mph).

    We arrived back home with indicated 50 miles ideal, 34 miles predictive range remaining on the original charge.

    Additional notes:

    • The good folks at Carneros Inn had offered to let us use the 110v outlet overnight, but we declined thinking we had plenty of charge. I came to regret this decision, because...
    • Even though it was an unseasonably hot day I didn't feel comfortable using the A/C for the top-up freeway drive home, until maybe the last 20 miles. I should've grabbed the little bit of extra charge if only for psychological comfort.
    • Energy consumption was really low in the backroads, but pushing 70+ mph on the freeway really, really kills the range; Enough so to detract from the trip enjoyment as I stared at the range indicator. We slowed down and drove mostly in the right lanes, and just relaxed. It was not unlike heading out in a greasy old Alfa, and certainly quite different from the usual left-lane bursts of speed we enjoy on shorter trips.
     
  15. ToddLa

    ToddLa Member

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  16. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  17. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Is ToddLA plugged into the concrete? :smile:
     
  18. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I was gonna make that joke, but I decided to let it go... :smile:
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Don't laugh too hard:
    Twitter / Bob Sexton: @alexandra_paul No accide ...
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I guess many of us have pushed a drive with the gasoline gauge light shouting at us . As we gasoline fill we tell the nearest person how we were running on fumes and amazingly how we filed an X gallon tank with >X gallons of gasoline.

    The noncommital "25-ish miles" gasoline light in seems like a risker proposition than a numeric readout.

    Reading Bob's twitters I wonder what the "mouse" car is? Disney?
     

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