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St. Louis to Orlando - Tessie's first 3+ SpC trip... any hints / suggestions?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by FlasherZ, May 29, 2015.

  1. FlasherZ

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

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    Jun 21, 2012
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    7,019
    Hi all,

    So my family and I are headed to Florida (Orlando + a short cruise) coming up in the next month, and it's the first 3+ SpC trip that I make with Tessie. Given the information from EVTripPlanner and Supercharge.info, I feel as if I have nothing to worry about in terms of range. At the same time, I'm looking for veterans of the route (or portions of the route) who might be able to give me optimization tips.

    My trip will take me through:

    Effingham, IL
    Indianapolis, IN
    Lexington, KY
    London, KY
    Knoxville, TN
    Chattanooga, TN
    Atlanta - Atlantic, GA
    Macon, GA
    Tifton, GA
    Lake City, FL
    Turkey Lake, FL

    I could stop at them all, but looking for opinions on optimizations in the route. I might be able to skip London, KY (and go Lexington-Knoxville now that it's open). It also looks like I might be able to skip Macon and go straight to Tifton as well?

    It looks like Indy-Lexington might be a bit tight? Atlanta traffic sucks at any time of day or night, so I already know that. Any other pitfalls I need to watch for?

    I was hoping to be doing this in the Model X by now, but we'll make ole' Tessie work at it. :)

    (Sorry for the location of this post - given that it crosses multiple local regions, I didn't feel it would get the right attention in the individual regional fora...)
     
  2. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Falls Church, VA
    My strategy isn't route-specific. Last summer going from DC to FL and back, I made every other stop intentionally longer, generally timed to coincide with meals. That way, the non-meal stops can be even shorter (10-15 minutes), and/or it's possible you can skip some superchargers altogether. For example, if the legs are 150 rated miles each (I know, in reality they're +/-), you could start at 260 range, arrive at stop 1 with 110, charge to 160-170, arrive at stop 2 with 10-20, have lunch and charge to 260. Then you could skip stop 3 or just charge briefly there so that you arrive at stop 4 with low battery at dinner time. Preceding each of my longer stops, I only felt like I had to allow a 10-20 mile buffer beyond what EVTripPlanner had predicted, and I never arrived at a supercharger with less than 20 miles remaining.

    Traveling with my family, I chose NOT to skip any superchargers even when I had enough range to do so, because it was always wise to let everyone (the kids in particular) stretch their legs, use the restroom, and have a small snack.

    Overall, it's not necessarily an optimal strategy in terms of minimizing total charging time, but it worked really well for us. (We have twins who turned 9 years old during the trip.)
     
  3. FLDarren

    FLDarren Member

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    Location:
    Seminole, Fl.
    I would avoid Macon at night. It's not in a good part of town.
     
  4. FlasherZ

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

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    I was investigating an alternate path that would have me charge for an hour on a 14-50 in Paducah, KY, then on to Clarksville, TN where there's a very friendly Nissan dealership that encourages the use of its CHAdeMO charger (Matthews Nissan) with a Wal-Mart next door.

    We've decided instead to follow the Supercharger path... it will add just over an hour to the trip in terms of time (and 250 additional miles), but we're good with that in exchange for the uncertainty of charging on the I-24 path. We've also decided to skip both London, and Macon (unless children's real-time status dictates otherwise) as we'll have a comfortable margin.
     
  5. FlasherZ

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

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    Well, we made it here... a few notes:

    * Yes, Macon appears to be quite sketchy - proximity to the bus station brings a lot of eyeballs to a car, especially if packed up for a trip. We found that we could skip it if desired but it happened to fall right at brunch time. Great cafe there (Market City Cafe) on third street, and Clara was wonderful. Waffles and french toast was just great!

    * If you're stopping in Lexington, stop by Saul Good's... they just opened a few weeks ago. Kids' meals came VERY quickly, everyone was very friendly, and be sure to tell them you're charging at the SpC...

    * At Turkey Lake, a new owner pulled into a stall next to me on the same pair of pedestals and suddenly I got alerts. Went outside, got the red-ring-of-death. Disconnected and reconnected and we were in business again (I moved the car to another pair to help them out and educated them on stall pairing).

    * Overall, we did very well and were able to move along as we felt comfortable. The car's software needs a bit of work, though - when you want to skip a supercharger, it's not easy. For quite some time after passing it, it will still demand you turn around and go back for some charging, until you split the difference toward the next stop. I found you either had to program in the next supercharger from the chargers tab, or just have it remove the charging stops for a while, then put them back.

    * We stopped at the Westin Peachtree in Atlanta for one night... what a view from the 53rd floor. Their HPWC on Tesla's destination site says "up to 80A", but we found they had configured it with a 60A breaker. We arrived quite late (1:30) with only 25 miles left, and by the time we left (9:00 am) it had reached a full charge again. We also got a great price on the room (although the $32 for parking is quite steep - the full charge helped to justify it, poor ICE'ers who stay there).

    We're comfortably enjoying our vacation and have a bit more time to make it back.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh yes... and at the resort, they gave me their golf cart charging outlet. 108V, 9A (blows the circuit at 12)... better than nothing. :)
     
  6. capt601

    capt601 Vin02324

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    I've found for most trips it doesn't pay to skip a supercharger. Much shorter charge times at each one, versus a long charge at the next charger.

     
  7. FlasherZ

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

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    We line it up with eat times... if we SpC while we eat, we don't mind the longer ones. For example, breakfast in Atlanta and then lunch in Tifton would allow you to have 2 long charges and skip the one in the middle. But you're right, if you can manage a bunch of shorter charges at the bottom of the SOC you're good.
     
  8. FlasherZ

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

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    We came back via the same path over the past couple of days... I learned a lot, namely that I could trust the trip planner a bit more than I thought I could.

    Here's what our energy graph looked like for the trip:

    Capture.PNG

    Tesla really needs to give us the ability to choose to skip a Supercharger in the display. There were several times where I wanted to use a 10-15% safety margin instead of 20%, and so the car kept telling me to return to the SpC I had just been at, or to stop at one that I wanted to bypass. I found I had to cancel my navigation and select the specific SpC I wanted to go to, then "remove all charging stops". I should be able to put in my home address, and de-select the ones I elect to skip.

    This makes sense when you have more time to supercharge for longer periods. In our case, to bypass Macon, GA, we elected to dine in Tifton and charge so that we could make it to Chattanooga. Same goes for charging in Knoxville - we ate there, the time allowed us to charge more so that we could bypass London, KY and head straight to Lexington, KY.
     

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