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Supercharged Travels

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by scaesare, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Previously, I wrote about the value I felt that Superchargers represented from a financial standpoint in my Supercharging ROI thread, and was interested in what value other folks felt they got from them. The more I use the Superchargers, the more I'm convinced that the network is a huge advantage for us as owners, and for Tesla.

    Therefore, in this thread, I am hoping to we can share real-world examples of the types of travel Supercharging has enabled with the Model S. As the network expands, more and more opportunities for taking advantage of them will obviously arise, hopefully to the point where NOT being able to get somewhere (at least in North America and Europe) via supercharger will be the exception. In the meantime, it might be interesting to see how folks are using them. I'm assuming most of the experiences will be positive, but if there are pitfalls, it would be good for us all to be aware of them as well.

    I'll start with a trip I completed yesterday, and see if this format works for others who also want to post:


    TRIP ORIGIN & DESTINATION
    A 4-day pleasure trip from Ashburn, VA (about 40 minutes west of DC) to Philadelphia, PA. About 170 miles driving distance via I-95

    SUPERCHARGERS USED
    Newark, DE (2X)

    TRAVEL LEGS

    A) Did a max "range" charge at my house before departure, and drove the ~125 miles to the Newark DE supercharger. Did another max charge (well, ~255 [email protected]%) and drove the remaining 45 miles to Philly. Arrived with ~200 miles rated range left.

    B) After having burned ~40 miles of range within the city and surrounding area during the stay (it was cold), drove the 45 mile leg back to Newark, arriving with about 85 miles in the pack(it was really cold) . Supercharged for about 20-30mins, and departed for the final 125 mile journey home with just over 240 miles in the pack. Arrived home with about 80 miles range left.

    TOTAL MILES DRIVEN
    380

    NOTES
    1) The hotel could not guarantee me any charging in their off-site garage (even 120V). While there are some pay-for-use level II chargers nearby I had as a backup plan, my hope was to be able to make a max charge last from DE to PA and back to DE again, which I was able to do with plenty to spare. However we did very little driving at our destination.

    2) Although the first day was in the 60's, the remainder of the trip was cold. We didn't drive the car at all on the 3rd day, so when we left late-morning on the 4th day for the trip home, the car had been sitting in the open parking garage for ~48 hours. It was 26 degrees that morning and the battery was thoroughly cold-soaked. It was the first time I had 0 regen due to cold alone. Interestingly, my entire trip average was only ~360Wh/mi.

    3) I did a max-charge prior to departing home because, even though Newark was within easy driving distance of a standard charge, I knew I wanted to max-charge a the supercharger, and we had tickets for an event ans was concerned about travel on the Sunday prior to Xmas and didn't want to spend extra time at the supercharger. It turned out we left with plenty of time. Had I to do it over again, I'd not bother with a max charge initially, and just allow another 10 minutes, which is all I really saved.

    4) I really want a valet mode.
     
  2. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    #2 scaesare, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
    Well, this thread didn't get a lot of traction when I posted it near the end of December... but with the supercharger roll out really ramping up through the end of the year, and increasing in to January, I thought I'd resurrect it and add another entry. (Or perhaps nobody other then myself is really interested in such things and finds it silly... :eek: )


    TRIP ORIGIN & DESTINATION
    An extended weekend trip to NYC , starting from Ashburn, VA and ending in North Bergen, NJ (just outside the Lincoln Tunnel)

    SUPERCHARGERS USED
    Newark, DE (2X), (and one 120V/12A outlet at destination hotel)

    TRAVEL LEGS
    A) Did a max "range" charge at my house before departure, and drove the ~125 miles to the Newark DE supercharger, charged back up to ~220 miles. Drove the remaining 130 miles to NJ.

    B) The car remained plugged in to a 120V/12A outlet at the hotel for ~40 hours , started back home with just over 200 miles range. Drove the leg back to Newark, arriving with about 70 miles in the pack. Supercharged for about 20-30mins, and departed for the final 125 mile journey home with just under 200 miles in the pack. Arrived home with about 70 miles range left.

    TOTAL MILES DRIVEN
    ~510

    NOTES
    1) The hotel had 2 120V outlets available on the exterior, and when I had called to reserve told me I was welcome to use them, indicating that they would allow me to park in one of their "reserved" spots near one if need be. It turns out that both had parking spaces accessible. The first (near the portico entrance) wouldn't work. It gave me a red indicator on the car/UMC when I tried to charge. The second outlet (near the portico exit) worked fine at 12A.

    2) This was a warm summer trip, and we typically made close to rated range.

    3) It was easier to shuttle in to NYC from the hotel, to drive in and find and pay for parking, etc... so the Level I charging for 2 days straight was sufficient. Not to mention there aren't many hotels with more than that in the area I could find...

    4) This trip prompted me to purchase an outlet tester and voltage sniffer to keep in my car charging kit.
     
  3. crazybrit

    crazybrit Member

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    #3 crazybrit, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
    This is a good thread. I hope more people contribute to it.

    On 1/19/14 I took a trip from Burnsville MN (south suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul to Champaign IL. As of January it is a fully supercharged route. This was my very first foray into supercharging. My biggest challenge was finding a destination charge. I had several backup plans: A Nissan dealership and a EV plug at Research Park. I booked a hotel close to Research Park (called the iHotel). When I checked-in, I thought I would ask them if they had a charging outlet, and I am glad I did. They have a 20A 110v outlet. This is a NEMA 5-20. It looks just like a regular outlet, but is has a little T on one of the sides. You have seen them. You can plug a regular plug (5-15) into them, and get the standard 15A, but if you purchase the 5-20 from the Tesla store (which I did), you get 20A (16A continuous), which makes a big difference, especially if it is cold. It will give enough juice to keep the battery warm, and add a couple of miles per hour of charge. In regular weather, I got 4-5 miles per hour. My pack was completely full after one nights stay (My beginning SoC was at 174). The location of the outlet is not ideal, the Tesla cord is only just long enough if you park next to the curb, and the car is a bit exposed, but the hotel management had no problem with me parking there. They are very helpful here. Nice hotel too. Highly recommended. I will add them to Plugshare.

    I did have a concern though. During my first supercharge, there was a buzzing sound from the front left heat exchanger. Not a fan sound (which is what I expected), but a definite buzz. I could hear it inside the vehicle. The pitch would go up in steps. It was almost as if it was trying to start a fan, or if a fan was catching on something. The second time it was much louder. I could hear it from the other side of the parking lot. I called Tesla, and they told me that they would pull the logs, and to carry on if I didn't hear back from them. They did not call back, but the problem seems to have fixed itself (or maybe they made a change over the air?).

    I created this spreadsheet for logging my trip. Since a spreadsheet is a very efficient means of quickly communicating log information, I propose we standardize on a format, and we all follow it. I am throwing mine out as a starting point. Please let me know if you have ideas for enhancement. I am sure there are many.

    Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 9.47.20 PM.png
     
  4. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I like the spreadsheet... although I'm not sure I'll typically capture that much info... it's a good format to fill in as much as one can...

    Thanks for the report.

    Any chance the sound from the car was just one of the pumps? I've heard them activate without seeming to always engaging the fan also...
     
  5. Apoclyps

    Apoclyps Member

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  6. crazybrit

    crazybrit Member

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    It doesn't take long at all. Something to do while you are waiting to top off. I got into the habit of jotting down the arrival rated miles and time as soon as I arrived, then while charging, entered ODO reading, and kWh from the "since last charge" info in the trip meters. Just before leaving, note the time and the new rated miles. The rest is calculated by the spreadsheet. It's pretty easy. Once we get more data, we will have more real world info on the charging rates in different conditions.

    FYI, and of note is that I have a "B" battery (120+ kWh charge rate). And its a P85.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Interesting report Apoclyps. What a difference temperature makes! I noticed my Wh/mi goes up dramatically when I am driving in 0F. What were the prevailing winds like on that trip? I find that wind has a huge effect too.

     
  7. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    It's a good thread! I only picked up my S 2nd week Jan, haven't been on a trip yet (but now planning about 6), so couldn't have posted anything useful. Several other threads have also been a great help getting me to think about the right things. Thankyou TMC!
     
  8. muleferg

    muleferg Member

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    My first look and wont be my last. Model S in waiting. Am planning some trips up and down the east cost. I 95.

    - - - Updated - - -

    @Scaesare. I see you live in VA. 5 years ago I went to Deals Gap for a Mini Cooper Rally. over 500 Mini's there It sure was fun driving this Dragon's Tail. Maybe we can put together a Tesla event We also went to the Parkway once a year. It was North Carolina Mini Cooper Club. I sold mine when I got my Leaf. Thanks for starting this.


    Tail of the Dragon Road Maps
     
  9. Apoclyps

    Apoclyps Member

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    Luckily, it was rather calm during my trip. Temps in the 70s during the day, and 50s at night so I didn't need the HVAC, well...maybe just to heat up the cabin at night.
     
  10. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    #10 scaesare, Jan 22, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
    My first trip to use the Glen Allen (just outside of Richmond), VA supercharger shortly after it opened. The trip itself was rather mundane, but I include it because I've made this same trip a couple of time previously PRIOR the supercharger being available, and it's an interesting contrast in how much more convenient it makes things.

    TRIP ORIGIN & DESTINATION
    A single-day trip from Ashburn, VA to Richmond, VA for a religious convention. About 135 miles driving distance one-way via I-95


    SUPERCHARGERS USED
    Glen Allen, VA


    TRAVEL LEGS
    A) Left with a standard charge, and drove ~145 miles to Richmond. The extra 10 miles was a small detour for breakfast along the way. Arrived with ~70 miles of range in the pack.


    B) Drove ~25 miles to the supercharger. Charged (@ 120kW) while eating lunch, and the remainder of the ~110 miles home.


    TOTAL MILES DRIVEN
    280


    NOTES
    As mentioned above, I've made similar trips twice previously in the Ess, and prior to having the supercharger, it was much more of an adventure:

    1) The first time I stayed at the Richmond Omni for a 4-night trip, which was a 70A level-II charger in their parking garage. That made travel around the area during the stay a no-brainer. It also happened that the Richmond convention center has "shore power" in their underground service entrance that tour buses use. They are 14-50's. As I was working down there I noticed them, and asked if there was any chance I could plug in. They let me do so. As I was able to get a full charge one day, that allowed me to not have to tie up the Omni's charger for the next couple of days.

    However, the day we left we ended up taking a day excursion to Norfolk ~100 miles away. We ended up having to hit a Nissan dealership down there, and then ask the Omni to use their charger again for a few hours on the trip back home in order to have the range to make it. It was a bit of an exercise in planning and being careful...

    2) The second trip was a 2-night stay. Our hotel that time only had 120V/12A plugs available on a light-pole at one end of a parking lot. Unfortunately the management was not aware that circuit was shared with the lights on a nearby billboard. As soon as night hit, those lights came on and breaker somewhere tripped. I had to use an exterior outlet at a nearby business that shared the lot.

    The ~70 miles of additional range I got over the two nights of charging, along with my initial range charge was barely enough to cover the distance to and from home, along with my local driving (which wasn't much).


    The supercharger eliminates all of that concern. A 20 minute stop on the way home is all I'll need, which is nice as I go down about 3 times every year.
     
  11. Ratanlal

    Ratanlal Member

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    I picked up my Tesla in November 2013. My first trip from LA to Las Vegas started out as a disaster but ended pleasantly.
    Before heading out I went to Tesla super charging in Hawthorne. They have 6 chargers with 14 cars waiting to charge. 2 chargers went Dow and took an hour to repair. Finally my turn came to enter the repaired charger. It didn't work. It was niw 3 hours and my wife had already landed at LAX. So I took off hoping to charge in Barstow 156 miles away and I had 176 mile range.
    At Barstow the charge rate I got from Tesla superchargers was 75 mph. So 2 hours later I had enough to reach Vegas.
    In Vegas I first tried Venetion where they have 4 chargers on 6th floor. All occupied. I then went to Valet in Palazzo. Worked great. I went back after about 6 hours. It was fully charged. Thereafter I had no problems.
    On the way back I got 378 mph at the same Barstow supercharger.
    So it seems that the supercharging stations are sharing power and the charge you get depends on the number of cars being charged.
    Tesla definitely needs more charging stations. There is just 1 in the Widely spread Los Angeles area.
    I don't see why each station cannot have individual power instead of sharing thereby converting supercharging stations to plain charging stations.
    Any comments, suggestions to this new owner are welcome.
     
  12. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Welcome to the forums, Ratanlal!

    Tesla designed the Superchargers with twelve, 10kW chargers (identical to the one(s) under the rear seat in your Model S) in a cabinet that services two charging pedestals. The first S to plug into one of the two pedestals gets as much power as the battery pack is able to accept; the rate of charge also tapers off as the battery pack's state of charge increases. The second S to plug in gets the remainder of the power the Supercharger is able to deliver, and as the first car's charge rate tapers the second to charge gets more and more power until limited by its own taper. The pedestals are labeled: 1A and 2A share a single Supercharger cabinet, 2A and 2B share a second Supercharger, etc. So you can see that if the pedestals are all occupied but one, you just plug in and take what you can get; but if there are two or more pedestals open, you should try to pick one that isn't sharing a Supercharger cabinet with a pedestal that's already occupied.
     
  13. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Here's a shorter version of a trip report I posted in the Mid-Atlantic regional forum, in a format consistent with other posts in this thread.

    TRIP ORIGIN & DESTINATION
    A 3-day, 2-night trip from Falls Church, VA (just west of DC) to Branchburg (central) NJ to visit family. About 215 miles driving distance each way, via I-95 and Routes 31 & 202 in NJ, plus a bunch of local driving within central NJ.

    SUPERCHARGERS USED
    Newark, DE (2X)

    TRAVEL LEGS
    Following crazybrit's lead, I made a spreadsheet. I welcome questions, comments, and suggestions about the format or the content.
    Link: Google Drive

    attachment.php?attachmentid=41886&d=1390714946.png

    TOTAL MILES DRIVEN
    533

    NOTES

    • The Edison NJ supercharger would've made this trip MUCH easier.
    • Destination charging was tricky, and much of it was at 110-120V.
    • Older buildings don't always have "clean" power or convenient outlets.
    • Local driving eats up a LOT of range, especially short trips on cold days.
    • The NEMA 5-20 adapter would've helped me at my hotel, although the 5-15 worked well enough.
    • Plugshare/Recargo data isn't perfect. Fix it when you find mistakes and future travelers will be thankful.
    • To track a trip like this in detail, just take a photo of the Trip Meter every time you enter and exit the car, and take screenshots of the mobile app while charging.
     
  14. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Nice writeup...

    Having driven to NJ/NY 3 times in the S, I agree... the Edison supercharger will be most welcome.

    I agree on the NEMA 5-20, I've been starting to collect adapters and figure I'll pick one of those up as well. An extra 33% more power overnight helps in a pinch...
     
  15. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #15 ChadS, Jan 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
    We drove to Death Valley last year; but we went again this year - and this time we were able to use Superchargers all the way. Woot!

    TRIP ORIGIN & DESTINATION
    An 8-day trip from the Seattle area to Death Valley and back. Stops in Sunnyvale CA and Pahrump NV.

    SUPERCHARGERS USED
    Centralia, WA (2x)
    Woodburn, OR (2x)
    Springfield, OR (2x)
    Grants Pass, OR (2x)
    Mt Shasta, CA (2x)
    Corning, CA (2x)
    Vacaville, CA (2x)
    Fremont, CA (2x)
    Gilroy, CA (2x)
    Harris Ranch, CA (2x)
    Tejon Ranch, CA (2x)
    Barstow, CA (2x)

    TRAVEL LEGS
    Many legs. In the past I have recorded and analyzed many details. This time I intentionally did not. The only "calculating" I did for the entire trip was this:

    When we arrived at a Supercharger, I would first plug in, then get back in the car and ask the Navigation app for the distance to the next charging spot. Then we would charge until we had at least 150% of that number.

    No complex calculations, no slowing down, no turning down the heater, no worries about getting there. We would arrive at the next stop with anywhere from 16 to 75 miles of range (speed, wind and temperature had some hand in the variation; though net elevation changes seemed to be the largest single factor); usually around 40. Some of the legs could have been closer if the weather was really bad, but the worst we got was below freezing - no snow or rain on this trip. (The trip last year had more cold and snow! On one leg last year we used 143% of the rated miles, so I was glad I was charging to 150%).

    The bulk of the driving was during 4 days; 2 heading South and two going North. They were 600-725 miles each. I thought those distances were comfortable (with a break every 2 hours or so for charging, I'm fine), though at ~13 hours my wife thought the days were a little long. I suggested an extra stop one day after about 400 miles and 8 hours, and she just laughed and said that was too early.

    TOTAL MILES DRIVEN
    3,532

    NOTES

    1) Man, this was easy. And fun. And cheap.

    2) Even though I have an "A" battery and am limited to 90kW charging, and stops probably averaged 40 minutes or so, the car was still usually ready to go before we were. We would usually either have a meal, or go for a walk and then stop by Starbucks so my wife could get a fresh cup of tea. It's amazing how much time she can spend waiting in line, waiting for the tea to steep, getting rid of the tea bag, waiting for an available employee to get her fat-free milk because she doesn't want cream, using the restroom, etc.

    3) What a great car to drive around Death Valley. Between the geography (a dry, ecologically fragile basin surrounded by tall mountains) and the distance, an electric car sure seems suitable here. And of course the quietness was appreciated as well. Not to mention how smooth and comfortable it is. My wife likes driving and I've always let her drive because I quickly got sick of driving gas cars, but I'm never tired of driving the Model S. Well, until we've gone over 700 miles or so in a day and my butt starts to get sore.

    4) The hardest part of L2 trips was always finding a reasonable hotel for the night that also had charging nearby. That's still great to do if it's easy on a Supercharger trip; but if such a set up is not obvious, no worries - just stay where you want, and use the Superchargers as you happen to pass them. This made trip planning MUCH easier. Pretty much all I did was look where I wanted to go, ask Google for the time to travel that distance, then add 1/3 for Supercharging time.
     
  16. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Wow, that's a major road trip! Excellent example of how travel is rather worry-free once the superchargers are easily reachable along a given route....
     
  17. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #17 ChadS, Jan 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
    I've reported this in another thread, but buzzbuzz and I visited many WA and OR Superchargers back in November.

    TRIP ORIGIN & DESTINATION

    A day jaunt through WA and OR, just to visit Superchargers we hadn't seen yet. (We'd seen Burlington WA. Ellensburg WA and Detroit Lake OR weren't open at the time; neither were the ones in Northern CA). Buzzbuzz drove his Sig; I just rode along.

    SUPERCHARGERS USED

    Centralia, WA (2x)
    Woodburn, OR (2x)
    Springfield, OR (2x)
    Grants Pass, OR

    TRAVEL LEGS

    It was all one day. We used Supercharger time to get 3 meals and to catch up on email. We talked to Epley at one Supercharger. Part of this was just to see what was around the Superchargers so we could make plans for future trips. (This did help when my wife and I took our Death Valley trip last week).

    There wasn't much rain, but it was pretty cold outside for a lot of the trip.

    Buzzbuzz and I didn't really plan the trip. We did borrow a spreadsheet from brianman to calculate the time driving and charging just to make sure we'd get home that same day. At each Supercharger we took a few notes which I briefly analyzed and tossed once I got home. My main takeaways were:

    1. Charging to 150% of the distance to the next Supercharger is indeed enough to get there, and not very hard or time-consuming; and
    2. On a long trip, add about 1/3 to the driving time to account for charging time with a 90kW car.

    TOTAL MILES DRIVEN

    900+

    NOTES

    It took us just under 18 hours; about 1/4 of that time was Supercharging. Note that buzzbuzz has a Sig, so he's limited to 90kW charging. Plus we didn't always leave as soon as the charge was finished - Elmer's has decent food, but the service is not quick. Cold weather meant we used more power than in warmer months. We went pretty close to the speed limit, too. We were not trying to set a speed record; just visiting the Superchargers and making sure everything worked as planned. It did.
     
  18. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    Wow.. 900+ miles in a single day just for the heck of it to see new superchargers.

    I'd venture to say you won't hear about people doing THAT for gas stations! :)
     
  19. jerry33

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

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    Not since about 1900 anyway :)
     
  20. Ratanlal

    Ratanlal Member

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    I am planning a trip from Los Angeles to Dallas. Anyone know of a web site that will give me a map along with locations of superchargers along the way?
     

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