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Running a Tesla in the UK

Discussion in 'Europe' started by JohnnyH, Jun 15, 2015.

  1. JohnnyH

    JohnnyH New Member

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    Jun 14, 2015
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    Apologies if this is an old topic but I've only recently discovered the Tesla marque and it's time for a new car.
    I'm curious whether UK drivers achieve the claimed long range quoted by Tesla considering that UK major roads are typically higher speed than US (at least when they are clear) and that UK South east roads are often very busy giving rise to a lot of accelerating and braking. I'm also curious where UK drivers charge when on long trips away from home as there are only four supercharge stations. In other words, is the Tesla a practical choice over here? Any advice or comments welcome.
     
  2. arg

    arg Member

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    #2 arg, Jun 15, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
    You might get more responses in the UK sub-forum.

    UK-spec Model S have two choices for the range you see shown on the display - one being "rated range" which is the based on the ludicrously high official european test, and "typical range" which is more realistic. Typical shows about 240 miles on the gauge at a 100% charge, about 215 miles if you use 90% as your daily charge limit.

    I haven't seen an official explanation, but 'typical range' seems to be based on 70mph on a still day with no traffic, no heating etc - in normal motorway driving if keeping to the speed limit, I find I don't quite get as much as typical range; driving ordinary single-carriageway roads or motorways where there is too much traffic to achieve 70 then I might get the indicated range on a good day. Spirited driving on ordinary roads, or driving well over the limit on motorways can come off quite a lot worse. In winter, starting off with a cold car knocks quite a few miles off your range (unless you pre-heat it before setting out), but the UK climate doesn't get cold enough for this to be a big deal on a long drive. 'Typical' seems to equate to about 330 Wh/mile; some people report using over 400 on their average driving, which would equate to about 200 miles range on a 100% charge. Realistically, you will usually do worse than 'typical' range - but the nice thing about that number is that you always _can_ get that range if you ever need to (just by slowing down a bit).

    But you also need to bear in mind how you use the car. For most people, their typical daily driving is well under 200 miles, so on those days you can just drive how you feel like it and not worry as it will be full again by next morning. So you only need to think about range on long trips, and even then if there happens to be a supercharger conveniently located you still don't need to worry.

    For longer day trips, charging on the road is normally not a big problem since you typically only need a top-up - full charge at home equates to 5 or more hours driving, so unless you are going to drive somewhere and turn round and come back again straight away you don't need another full charge. Depending exactly where in the UK you are, there's not a lot of places that make a sensible day-trip that's over 300 miles or so - which can be made up from a hour's charging stop (or two half-hour stops) at motorway service areas or suchlike even if there isn't a Supercharger on the route.

    The category of trips that's not so easy is where you drive a substantial one-way distance and stay over somewhere that you can't charge overnight. Here you are reliant on public charging that can be thin on the ground in many places and/or ultra slow charging from a 13A socket or suchlike. Usually you can find some way to make these trips work, but it needs a bit of planning.

    Like quite a few posters here, the Model S is my only car; 99% of the time range isn't an issue, and for the other 1% I've always managed to get where I wanted to go.
     
  3. JohnnyH

    JohnnyH New Member

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    Many thanks for the comprehensive reply. I live in Bedfordshire and have a 70 mile round trip commute so I don't have concerns with that, although I do make occasional trips to the West Country of around 250 miles one way so your comments re supercharging at services are reassuring. Looks like I need to educate myself on planning for long distance trips.
     
  4. arg

    arg Member

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    Just to be clear: Supercharging is at the (relatively few) Supercharger sites, which currently aren't at motorway services; if you have one of those on your route you are laughing. However, motorway services means the Ecotricity chargepoints which offer 22kW AC charging (if your car is equipped with dual chargers - puts in about 60 miles of driving per hour of charging), or CHAdeMO charging (if you bought the optional CHAdeMO adapter - can be up to 120 miles per hour of charging). Currently the Ecotricity CHAdeMO points are hobbled to something like 70 miles per hour of charging - but that's still usually enough for a top up, even if it would be a long wait for a full charge.

    Have a look here: http://www.teslapedia.org/model-s/tesla-driver/70-planning-longer-trips-energy-management
     
  5. Epoch

    Epoch Member

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    I picked my S85 up today, my daily commute is 140 miles and have no apprehension on longer journeys based on the research and reading i've done on here, Tesla own forums and SpeakEv.

    With phone apps like Zapp Map and others and a bit of internet research before hand i don't expect too many issues that can't be foreseen.

    Picked my car up in Brum, charged to 245 miles, bobbed into Warrington SC on the way home to top up from 191 to 225 (85% charge). Been driving the family about all night and the range decrease is back to 191. Bang it on charge tonight and will be ready to roll with a full charge (225miles 85%) in the morning.
     

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