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Should I display range, or percent?

Which do you use?

  • Distance (miles, kilometers)

    Votes: 32 29.4%
  • Energy (percentage)

    Votes: 68 62.4%
  • Either, depending on circumstances

    Votes: 9 8.3%

  • Total voters
    109

AdamVIP

Member
Mar 4, 2019
531
303
California
I'm a percentage guy as theres just less conversion to do in my head. THe range meter always reads higher than what I got so I would have to internally calculate percentage so its just easier to keep it on percentage. It would be nice if the app or car would show both at the same time though so you could see both before heading off on a trip.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,270
7,320
Boise, ID
I'm a percentage guy as theres just less conversion to do in my head. The range meter always reads higher than what I got so I would have to internally calculate percentage so its just easier to keep it on percentage.
Huh?! Why? You have about 60 miles to do, and you look at your gauge, and it says 66, and you say, "Nope--that's not gonna cut it." It says 91, and you say, "Oh, yeah, that's plenty." That's the point of it is a relatable number that's just ballpark higher than real miles, so you can just eyeball approximate it with a SWAG and never have to convert anything. Why would you ever try to calculate a conversion to %?
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,832
9,799
Riverside Co. CA
Huh?! Why? You have about 60 miles to do, and you look at your gauge, and it says 66, and you say, "Nope--that's not gonna cut it." It says 91, and you say, "Oh, yeah, that's plenty." That's the point of it is a relatable number that's just ballpark higher than real miles, so you can just eyeball approximate it with a SWAG and never have to convert anything. Why would you ever try to calculate a conversion to %?

Thats how you and I and people who prefer miles see it. In fact, for "me" percent would require more mental gymnastic calculation rather than miles. "it says I have 40%... I need to go 70 miles... what is that, exactly? /e scratches head".

People who prefer percent, though, seem to look at it like an analog fuel gauge and say "it says 50% and I need to go 50 miles, its fine, the car will tell me if I cant make it" (which it does for miles to).

I see this as one of those "is the dress blue and black or white and gold" type things, where people see the same thing in different ways.

I am glad we have choice though, so both those who prefer miles and those who prefer percent can look at what makes sense to them. Its my belief that tesla does not do both on the screen at the same time, as the nature of the user base (many highly technical people) would have them flooded with complaints about how "it says 48% but so and so miles and those two things dont match because... "see this formula here where I have calculated......:"

(lol)
 
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dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,541
4,729
New Jersey - Morris County
Huh?! Why? You have about 60 miles to do, and you look at your gauge, and it says 66, and you say, "Nope--that's not gonna cut it." It says 91, and you say, "Oh, yeah, that's plenty." Why would you ever try to calculate a conversion to %?

Spot on Rocky. Spot on.

On the converse: "I've got 60 miles to go, and the gauge reads 22%." Both are facts, but useless on their own.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,778
7,599
Visalia, CA
...running out of gas...

Looking back, it didn't make sense but at that time, it was perfectly sensible for me as I was a teenager. I had hardly any money in my pocket at that time. So, looking at the gasoline gauge, I figured I could drive a little more because why paid up so early when the car still ran? It was easy for me to walk to a nearby gas station in town with a can and it took a few times like this until I promised myself that I would never let the car run below 1/4 on the display.

I seldom drove far with my gasoline cars. 99.99% in town.

That changed when I got the Model S in 2012. I expanded my radius of travel to about 500 miles. I never ran out of battery with my Tesla cars because I know I need to add extra charged miles to the destination. If I miscalculate in the middle of the trip, I can slow down and shut down the HVAC and watch the actual remaining miles on the map and compare it with the battery gauge.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,095
Vernon, BC, Canada
I never voted in my own poll because I'm embarrassed by my choice. I'm logically fully in the "distance" camp... except my display is set to percent. I don't know why I do this to myself, but I do.

That's a valid point because that how battery meters work... or gas gauges work... Does your phone tell you how many hours of screen time it has left to the battery? NO. It tells you the percentage of energy left in your battery. If your phone only last 3 hours after 2 years of use, it will still show 100% when you fully charge it. I don't know why people are suddenly surprised or don't feel the percentage meter is 'good enough'. It's been a few decades of this in portable electronic devices.

Telsa will never put the Kwh for the battery meter (even though it's probably the best of both worlds) because they already hide the battery size in the newer cars. People have estimated that the total usable energy is around 73KWh out of a 75KWh battery but Telsa has never stated that, so they are not going to put 73KWh as the full charge in the battery meter.

And people are super frustrated when their "100%" phone battery lasts for much less time when 2 years old, right?

But besides that, phones can't really give an accurate indicator of runtime. They depend heavily on how you use it. Your brightness can swing it lasting between 3 hours and 18 hours for example, a 5x difference. Not to mention you just might not actively use the phone, in which case it may last for days.

Meanwhile even in a car with "inefficient" heating, the absolute worse I've been able to swing it is 50% of rated. As for above, maybe 10% better than rated? It's a much narrower swing even at the extremes, making a more familiar unit (distance) easier to provide than on a phone (time).

You should always drive with the nav pointing at your destination or supercharger when going long distances.

This just isn't possible in all cases. I do find myself using Nav waaaay more than my gas car (kind of for this reason, I guess), but when travelling this doesn't always work out. I've nav'd to somewhere that I didn't expect to not have signal, and couldn't Nav back due to said lack of signal. I could if I had an exact address, but it wasn't an area I was familiar with so I did not.

Solvable problem though. Probably not one Tesla will solve, but hey. Maybe another EV will.

One touch and voila ... upper left is showing % if set to Energy.
You can even choose how exactly that range in mid right is calculated.

tesla-range-estimator.jpg

But the number in the Energy graph is not rated miles (like beside the battery icon). Controversial opinion, but projected range is useless to me. There's hills and mountains here, and the projection does not know whether I'm about to continue uphill, descend way down, flatten out, etc. On flat ground with constant speeds (relevant to many people that recommend using the projection, for what it's worth) it's definitely valuable though.
 

hgmichna

Member
Jun 17, 2020
283
216
Germany
After reading this discussion, I have changed from energy (percent) to distance (miles, kilometers). The argument that that is the number I really need had convinced me.

Now I notice that there is one situation where I would prefer energy/percent, namely when setting the charge limit. Even the app obeys the setting and now also shows distance.

No big deal, and for the time being I will keep the distance setting. I would still prefer to have both at the same time, but that would lead to so many questions and service calls, because the relation between the two figures changes, that I am nearly certain that Tesla won't do it.
 

robl45

Member
Dec 23, 2019
490
142
33076
I used percent this past weekend because I was on a trip and both the nav and abrp calculate in terms of percentage left. I like the fact that on a road trip, I know that if the battery gets to zero, I'm out of juice and when it gets to say 10%, I need to figure out a place to charge. I don't like the fact that using distance is a joke and that Tesla does some pretty shady crap with their distance calculations. i'm sure half the Tesla owners on here wouldn't have bought had they known that the range being advertised is complete BS. Its a car, if you can't use the heater and A/C and get the rated mileage, it don't count. If you have to drive 55 to get it, it don't count. LOL. I may stick to percentage at this point, but that is really only useful on a road trip when you are going charger to charger. Around town I'd actually like a real visual of miles left and I'd like it to be somewhat accurate.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,832
9,799
Riverside Co. CA
I used percent this past weekend because I was on a trip and both the nav and abrp calculate in terms of percentage left. I like the fact that on a road trip, I know that if the battery gets to zero, I'm out of juice and when it gets to say 10%, I need to figure out a place to charge. I don't like the fact that using distance is a joke and that Tesla does some pretty shady crap with their distance calculations. i'm sure half the Tesla owners on here wouldn't have bought had they known that the range being advertised is complete BS. Its a car, if you can't use the heater and A/C and get the rated mileage, it don't count. If you have to drive 55 to get it, it don't count. LOL. I may stick to percentage at this point, but that is really only useful on a road trip when you are going charger to charger. Around town I'd actually like a real visual of miles left and I'd like it to be somewhat accurate.

Complain to the EPA, not tesla. its "EPA" rated range. Its not "tesla doing shady things with range". Why people continue to say "tesla doing shady stuff with range" when all they have done is report the EPA rated tests really confuses me.

Since your complaint is really around the EPA rated range, maybe you should start by going to the EPA website and filing a complaint about their test practices there.

US EPA
 

robl45

Member
Dec 23, 2019
490
142
33076
Because its not about the EPA. The EPA is a complaint on gas cars if you wan to complain that you aren't getting the mileage that they state, but the car on a tank of gas still goes a reasonable distance.

Tesla knows the range they are quoting is nonsense and they aren't doing anything about it. They could list realistic range. May car at 90% starts at 260miles. Drive 20 miles and its at 220. That's normal driving and not hammering it. I don't have hills, here but of course we do run air conditioning. Tell people the truth that they are going to get 220 tops on a full charge and stop deceiving people. That's on Tesla. not the EPA

Complain to the EPA, not tesla. its "EPA" rated range. Its not "tesla doing shady things with range". Why people continue to say "tesla doing shady stuff with range" when all they have done is report the EPA rated tests really confuses me.

Since your complaint is really around the EPA rated range, maybe you should start by going to the EPA website and filing a complaint about their test practices there.

US EPA
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,668
1,070
Syracuse, NY
After reading this discussion, I have changed from energy (percent) to distance (miles, kilometers). The argument that that is the number I really need had convinced me.

Now I notice that there is one situation where I would prefer energy/percent, namely when setting the charge limit. Even the app obeys the setting and now also shows distance.

No big deal, and for the time being I will keep the distance setting. I would still prefer to have both at the same time, but that would lead to so many questions and service calls, because the relation between the two figures changes, that I am nearly certain that Tesla won't do it.

Yeah, not really responding directly to you but just rambling from my head....

This is why the distance numbers for battery meter makes no sense because they keep changing it. How can you even know when the numbers keep changing? If I charge to (275 miles) everyday, it means that everyday I will be charging more and more in to my batteries. Then I have to make sure it's keep under 80% charge to make sure I don't degrade the batteries even more. Is 275 miles 80 percent? I don't know. The top end number changes with every update as you can tell from the "losing range" topics everyday.
It's no big deal, I can change the display everyday to make sure it's charging to 80 percent then switch the display back to miles...
sigh
 
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Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,668
1,070
Syracuse, NY
Complain to the EPA, not tesla. its "EPA" rated range. Its not "tesla doing shady things with range". Why people continue to say "tesla doing shady stuff with range" when all they have done is report the EPA rated tests really confuses me.

Since your complaint is really around the EPA rated range, maybe you should start by going to the EPA website and filing a complaint about their test practices there.

People are saying Tesla is doing shady things because the distance number keeps changing every day. How can your 100 percent charge range number go up and/or down ever day, week, month or update? If the battery is degrading and the calculation is based on a fixed equation, the number should never go up after it has gone down.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,832
9,799
Riverside Co. CA
People are saying Tesla is doing shady things because the distance number keeps changing every day. How can your 100 percent charge range number go up and/or down ever day, week, month or update? If the battery is degrading and the calculation is based on a fixed equation, the number should never go up after it has gone down.

Because electricity is not a physical substance like gas (which is a liquid) and measurement of energy in a battery is not "exact", but an estimation of energy.
 
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SigNC

Active Member
Aug 23, 2017
1,517
1,344
NC
and because there really is no way to accurately measure power stored in the battery except to fill it up and deplete it. The BMS is just doing the best it can as a guess based on battery voltage and what that was at other states of charge. This is the primary reason when you routinely charge to something below 85% the BMS guess gets off.
 
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Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,668
1,070
Syracuse, NY
and because there really is no way to accurately measure power stored in the battery except to fill it up and deplete it. The BMS is just doing the best it can as a guess based on battery voltage and what that was at other states of charge. This is the primary reason when you routinely charge to something below 85% the BMS guess gets off.

Right, exactly. So people freaking out about "losing" 5 miles on a guess makes no sense.
 
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camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,095
Vernon, BC, Canada
I used percent this past weekend because I was on a trip and both the nav and abrp calculate in terms of percentage left. I like the fact that on a road trip, I know that if the battery gets to zero, I'm out of juice and when it gets to say 10%, I need to figure out a place to charge. I don't like the fact that using distance is a joke and that Tesla does some pretty shady crap with their distance calculations. i'm sure half the Tesla owners on here wouldn't have bought had they known that the range being advertised is complete BS. Its a car, if you can't use the heater and A/C and get the rated mileage, it don't count. If you have to drive 55 to get it, it don't count. LOL. I may stick to percentage at this point, but that is really only useful on a road trip when you are going charger to charger. Around town I'd actually like a real visual of miles left and I'd like it to be somewhat accurate.

Your frustration is understood, but this isn't some "shady crap" (at least not just from Tesla).

Others are right. Your frustration is with the EPA, or rather rating agencies in general. Simultaneously, your frustration is with the general lack of understanding in the world of how to represent an EV's rated efficiency to the whole population.

Take miles per gallon. Miles. Gallons. You know what these things are. You put in gallons at the gas station, and you travel miles. You are given a city rating and a highway rating in MPG. Or L/100km, or whatever units your country uses.

There was no reason for the ol' gas cars to display a "rated range". No one treated it like that, because fueling is easy and readily available everywhere. In comparison, fast charging infrastructure is still an order of magnitude slower than fueling a gas vehicle, and it's way, way more sparse.

Combine that with this info: for an EV, you "fuel" it with kWh and you travel miles (or km). What's a kWh to the average person? No idea. Heck, I don't even really look at my own electricity bill. Utility company says total due, we pay total due. It's not like I have a meter ticking by the light bulbs, TV, washing machine, etc. telling me how much "fuel" they've gone through. I have almost no point of reference for kWh even though it used electricity every day.

And then, charging is complicated. You don't want to dip below 10% (basically wouldn't want to for gas either), and not go above 90% routinely. Does that mean they should only advertise 80% of achievable capacity? Why should they be forced to down-market their numbers when their cars are capable of more?

This is absolutely, positively, 110% a regulation and standards problem. I'd love a "Daily Range" figure (accounting for the 10-90% recommendation, for example). I'd love separate ratings for cold and warm weather. And we still need ratings separately for city and highway. These all complicate things and consumers hate that. I've basically said we need... 6 numbers or so? Compared to 2 for gas vehicles?

You also can't just apply this to all EVs moving forward. Maybe 10 years from now, the standard battery chemistries don't give a rip about being charged to 100% and everyone does that daily. Maybe they've all figured out heat pumps better and winter range doesn't universally suck as much as today. Maybe not everyone has these things fixed, so the comparison between vehicles still needs to be clear. Informing the consumer concisely and meaningfully is hard.

EDIT: I forgot a tangent. Wh/mi or Wh/km. Those are the "equivalents" to things like MPG or L/100km. Without a frame of reference, those are entirely meaningless. You basically have to drive EVs for a bit and track that before it has any meaning to most people right now. However, "rated range" is far more familiar, even if it comes with a bunch of caveats. So the advertised thing is currently range (based on ratings) rather than efficiency (Wh/mi).
 

Glamisduner

Active Member
Aug 2, 2017
3,582
2,119
Escondido, CA
I guess I'm in the minority here but I use percentage unless I'm going on a road trip or long range and trying to figure out if I should stop at the next supercharger. percentage helps me keep within optimal charge on a daily basis, but range is more useful when traveling.
 
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