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Running out of power & roadtrips

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Francis Lau, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    #1 Francis Lau, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
    If this has been discussed already, please let me know of the thread. In the worst case scenario where one is stranded with a model s without power, what options are there? Is towing the only option? And does it need a flat bed truck? Without power, how do you put it in a mode where it can be pushed or towed? I hope this never happens but it is good to know.
     
  2. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    I believe it has a "neutral" setting on the car. But I may be incorrect. So I suppose you could always push. Beyond that I imagine you will be screwed, and this is why there is such a stigma with electric cars. In fact at my work place everyone asks me "What if you run out of electricity?". Well.... what if you run out of gas? I know the two aren't the same because you can get gas at every corner, so the inconvenience level is pretty high. It' s just one of those things you will have to wait for I imagine. You either believe infrastructure will expand or it won't.

    EDIT: I've also wondered what the mileage reduction would be having an additional Wheel in the frunk or trunk as it doesn't come with a spare. Having a flat tire without a replacement is worse in my opinion.
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Tow? Not necessarily ... AAA Is Now Providing Emergency Electric-Vehicle Charging Services To Stranded Drivers | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation . That's been spreading quickly.

    You will always know when you have about 20 miles left, plenty of time to find a plug. And worst case, you've ignored every warning and just kept on driving ... still a 12v battery that should* allow you to put the car in tow mode with free moving wheels, just like the Roadster. And that's if AAA isn't available to give you a quick charge from their truck.

    *I don't know if it will, this is an assumption.

    There are many vehicles that, if you run out of fuel, you have a problem. Fuel pumps that need to be reprimed. Gwedge (that's a highly technical term) that formerly hung out in the tank has now moved location and managed to gwedge things up (highly technical phrase).

    You pay attention to your gas gauge. You'll pay attention to your SOC, too.
     
  4. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I always laugh when people ask this question, then I point out to them that every power socket is a potential charge location for me. There's a lot more places to plug-in than there are gas stations.
     
  5. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    This is true, its just the convenience of filling up in one minute as oppose to waiting thirty to drive back home after running out of electricity... depending how far away home is. Bonnie has a good point though, you should know your limits and watch the obvious gauges and warnings.
     
  6. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I used to worry about this kind of thing. Until I started driving an EV and realized how much of a non-issue it really is.
     
  7. mikevbf

    mikevbf Member

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    I remember as a kid I always found it cool that my father's Jag had two gas tanks even though combined they probably did not carry much more than one tank. Still switching from tank 1 to tank 2 was always a reminder that it was time to get more gas. I wonder if it would be useful to artificially make a second reserve "tank" where you had to physically push a button to get the last 10 to 20 miles of range?
     
  8. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    Well that brings up another topic that really grinds my gears. I have a lot of people asking me "What if you go on a road trip?"

    Now maybe I am just naive but I honestly don't think most American's take road trips anymore. At least not on the level they used to. A road trip to them may be 600+ miles, of which could easily be solved with super chargers. But, even if there was no infrastructure I don't think I would ever be concerned by this because I never drive anywhere that is over 200 miles round trip. And that 200 mile round trip is once a year. If I need to travel 600+ miles, personally I am going to fly. I don't make six figures either and I consider myself middle-class, maybe a little more. Flights aren't expensive and the hassle of driving 1000 miles is not worth it over flying.

    Just my two cents.
     
  9. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    There is on the Roadster. It's called Standard mode, switching to Range mode. Voila! Another 20-30 miles.
     
  10. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Many of us HAVE taken road trips. I've headed to southern CA (1300 m roundtrip) and am planning a trip up to Seattle shortly. And it's easier every day with more and more infrastructure in place. iPhone apps tell you help you find places to plug in. You pick hotels that have installed what you need. You stop to eat where you can plug in.
     
  11. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    So its not frustrating to you to stop every 200 or so miles to recharge? On average how long do you have to wait to recharge? Obviously these times and mileage will change, but does it frustrate you, honestly, compared to the 300+ miles available to you from an ICE vehicle?

    EDIT: I honestly never take road trips that I can't one-shot in 3 or less hours, so I am legitimately curious the frustrations of the current range/infrastructure needs.
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    No, it wasn't frustrating. Yes, it wasn't as fast as filling my gas tank. But it was really nice to stop and explore the area for a couple of hours. Two 70 amp chargers were near movie theaters, bookstores, and restaurants. And I only did it once each day, because I started with a full charge and spent the night where I could plug in. So I had 400+ miles each day, only stopping once for charging purposes. But anytime I stopped, I plugged in - not just when I needed it. There are a lot of plugs out there.

    I had one time where I had to charge at an RV park that wasn't ideal. Hot hot day. 40 amps. But I'd stopped for a picnic lunch, had a good book and shade, napped, and just hung out. So it wasn't the worst experience. Just a long experience (about 4 hours there). And with a supercharger network going in, I expect to take a lot of roadtrips with the X.

    But then, I like roadtrips. I always have. Sometimes I just can't take an airport again (usually a weekly event) and just decide to drive if it's 1-2 days of driving.
     
  13. Sometimes charging is frustrating (usually on the return trip back when you just want to get home). With 70amp chargers its not that bad. You can usually catch a meal and a movie and recapture a significant amount of miles.

    You feel a huge sense of accomplishment when you complete a 1000+ mile roadie in an EV. Hard to explain.
     
  14. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I have 3 kids - 4, 6, and 12 - with another on the way. We don't make it much past 200-250 without having to do breaks anyway.
     
  15. swegman

    swegman Member

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    #15 swegman, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
    I disagree. I think many people take "roadtrips". I know many people that travel between DC and NY several times a month for pleasure (not business). I recently traveled from MD to MI (586 miles), then to WI (600 miles), then Chicago, and back to DC, looking at colleges with my son. Each leg was done in one day. As much as I thought such a trip would be great to take in the Tesla, it is not possible at the present time. For example, given the current infrastructure, it would take 3 days to get from MD to MI because the car would require 2 complete recharging. Why three charges total? Because the approximate 300 mile range is at a constant 55 mph. However, we averaged 84 mph on this leg of the trip (once you hit Ohio, the speed limit becomes 75 mph). At 84 mph, Tesla indicates the car should (based upon their projections) have a range of approximately 200 miles. Bottom line, is that electric cars are great for local commuting and short trips, but not there yet for extended range trips. At the present time, an ICE car is the best choice for a long distance trip. And BTW, the only chargers I saw during the entire trip were at the University of Michigan. Everywhere else along thr route i drove would have required charging from a 120 Volt outlet, which would taken forever.
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    If 80A HPCs (Model S) were commonplace, I don't think it would be that bad. You might be there a few hours but after 4 hours of driving, I don't mind an extended break. With 30A or 40A outlets though it is more of a journey. I've never taken a roundtrip over 450 miles but did have to stop once each way to charge at an RV park. It wasn't that bad. If you're the kind of person who likes to drive 600 miles in a day with no more than a 30 min lunch break you'll probably not like it but most people don't seem to have those kinds of driving habits. And as was said, it will only get better with time as the charging infrastructure and Supercharger network improve.
     
  17. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I take road trips all the time. I don't like to drive over about 600 miles per day anymore though. No doubt those that drive old fashioned cars don't drive as much due to the gas prices. I expect that to change as the old fashioned cars die out.

    Superchargers would be perfect, but I suspect it will be years before they are even remotely common (except in CA and around DC), and longer before the are on the more interesting non-interstate highway roads. (I avoid the interstates whenever possible--Interstates are mainly for trucks and RVs and they're welcome to them).

    Flying is so much hassle. Get to the airport two hours early, minimum, plus the hour it takes to get to the airport. Then there's the 45 minute wait for the luggage and rental car and the unpleasantness of the gestapo checks. I really dislike being treated like a criminal.

    I don't know of any airline that charges less than $100 to travel 1000 miles. It costs about $60 to drive 1000 miles (and $20 in a Model S). Then there's the cost of parking (or a taxi), and rental car charges. And with all the waiting involved in flying, it's often faster and certainly more pleasant to drive. The only time I'd fly anymore is if there is a substantial body of water between me and my destination (and even then I'd consider a boat).

    DATE__________ODO____INC_____AVG
    --- Trip to KY starts here
    10/11/08____79725____544____57.3 (4.6)
    10/12/08____80252____526____56.4 (4.2)
    10/14/08____80769____516____56.6 (4.2)
    10/15/08____81286____516____56.2 (4.2)
    --- Trip to KY ends here

    --- Trip to KS starts here
    11/01/08____82320____505____61.0 (3.9)
    11/01/08____82772____451____56.0 (4.2)
    11/06/08____83272____499____58.5 (4.0)
    --- Trip to KS ends here

    --- Trip to NE starts here
    11/08/08____83688____416____52.5 (4.5)
    11/09/08____84087____399____51.7 (4.5)
    11/09/08____84542____454____54.1 (4.3)
    --- Trip to NE ends here

    --- Trip to AZ starts here
    12/04/08____85560____501____62.3 (3.8)
    -- 27 F here
    12/06/08____85929____368____53.4 (4.4)
    12/07/08____86322____392____56.7 (4.1)
    12/08/08____86800____478____60.8 (3.9)
    12/13/08____87232____431____57.4 (4.1)
    12/14/08____87673____440____63.3 (3.9)
    -- 25 F here and 50 mph winds
    12/17/08____88133____459____56.3 (4.2)
    --- Trip to AZ ends here

    --- Trip to NE starts here
    --- Four hours of hard rain
    10/09/09____100520____569____63.9 (3.7)
    10/09/09____100967____446____51.3 (4.6)
    --- It snowed here
    --- Trip to MO starts here
    --- Five people plus luggage
    10/16/09____101312____344____51.4 (4.6)
    10/17/09____101759____447____53.8 (4.4)
    --- Trip to MO ends here
    10/18/09____102219____460____54.7 (4.3)
    10/28/09____102716____496____58.5 (4.0)
    --- Trip to NE ends here

    --- Trip to NE starts here
    08/13/10____111690____625____59.8 (3.9)
    08/14/10____112308____618____60.0 (3.9)
    08/20/10____112972____663____64.2 (3.7)
    08/22/10____113411____438____58.9 (4.0)
    08/31/10____113922____510____61.8 (3.8)
    --- Trip to NE ends here

    --- Trip to NE starts here
    01/07/12____128603____481____56.6 (4.2)
    -- 13 F here
    01/12/12____129042____438____52.7 (4.5)
    01/15/12____129420____378____50.3 (4.7)
    01/20/12____129094____481____56.2 (4.2)
    --- Trip to NE ends here
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    [ Mod note: Updated thread title to be inclusive of roadtrip discussion. ]
     
  19. mulder1231

    mulder1231 Active Member

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    @jerry33. Can you explain what these numbers mean--the non-obvious ones?
     
  20. Bound466

    Bound466 Member

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    Slightly off topic.. I've been trying to get my mind ready and wrapped around the mode of driving a pure electric, and getting past my range anxiety, for a while now. It's taken me a bit of time to finally lose the concerns I had, but I am fully confident now that it won't be an issue for me.

    It was getting past the idea that the concern of not having enough charge before getting to your destination is really an ICE concept, due to gas stations being ubiquitous. Since gas stations are ubiquitous, we allow ourselves to be placed into situations where we can be lazy about watching our gas tank, and not be concerned if we have only 20 miles of gas left, and 100 miles to go before getting home at night after a long day's work.

    So when I now think about how that type of scenario will work with the Model S, I can confidently say I simply won't be in the same situation. Why? Because (1) I would start off the day 99% of the time with a full charge, (2) I know where I am going for the day or the drive (or roughly how far I would be going), so I can judge if I should take the BEV or the Prius, (3) in the very rare chance where I do end up without enough capacity to get home, yes I would look for the nearest charging station, drive slower, get a tow, etc. Yes it would be a pain and way more inconvenient. However, I just can't see myself in that type of situation any longer. I put myself in that situation with an ICE, because I can. I would not end up in that situation in a BEV without knowingly putting myself into it - it will simply become part of my consciousness when driving a BEV. Okay, so what if it does happen? It will be so rare that I just shouldn't lose any sleep over it. I believe the probability of getting a flat tire, or breakdown, will be much higher in a BEV since I will be aware of range when driving it. Thus, I have completely quit worrying about it.

    It has certainly helped me reading the many posts from Roadster owners (and other BEV owners), sharing your experience and seeing that you have shed away your concerns about range. Some of you are even thinking of no longer owning an ICE vehicle. That confidence has helped me think through the range concerns. I'm hoping in about 5 years I too can say that I no longer own an ICE car.
     

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