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Supercharger Hopping Method

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by ratsbew, May 14, 2016.

  1. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

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    I'm making this post to help clarify how long distance travel in a Tesla works. Many people are concerned about long charge times because they don't understand how to properly manager their state of charge. Below is a simple graph that I created that shows the best way to manage your charge for a long trip.

    You should start all long road trips with 100% charge. Stop at every supercharger along your route and perform a simple bathroom break. A 5 minute bathroom break will add about 30 miles. Repeat this until lunchtime. At lunch, plan on charging for the duration of your meal. You should add about 150 miles in 30 minutes. Resume 5 minute bathroom charges at every supercharger. Plan on arriving at your destination with about 10% charge. The 5 minute bathroom breaks can be extended to 6-7 minutes if your journey is slightly farther.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. vjlvjl

    vjlvjl Bluebird

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    What are your datapoints for this chart?
     
  3. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    This oversimplifies things... I understand the concept -- and we do use that basic approach on our road trips.

    However the 5 min at most chargers and a 30 min lunch break don't work in all scenarios. You also need to take into account:
    - Battery size -- I have a 60 for example, so I have less total range and charging is a bit slower (max at 105kW and it hits the taper quicker. I've supercharged over 60 times now. A couple were just a few minutes for a bio beak, but many are close to an hour for me to have enough range to make the next supercharger or destination. My average supercharging time is just under 45 min (and I only charge enough to get to the next charger with a bit of buffer...)
    - Distance to the next Supercharger. I've done stretches up to 185 actual miles to get to a Supercharger -- pretty close to my max rated range (my 60 is nearly 3 years old and a 100% charge now gives 192-195 rated...)
    - Elevation changes or weather that can increase the range needed. My first supercharger road trip meant getting to a supercharger that was only 129 miles away, but it took 187 rated to reach it going mostly the speed limit due to the elevation change.
    - speed -- are you driving the limit or over? The faster you go, the more energy you will need to get to the next stop. 5 over may make sense since it will save a bit of driving time, but it will mean a bit longer at the supercharger.
     
  4. mmccord

    mmccord Member

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    Also, each supercharger is its own story as far as accessibility to/from the highway. For instance, I'd much rather make a longer stop right off the NJ turnpike than have to wade through paramus for a "five minute" stop on my way to Newburgh. That five minute stop could add an hour to your trip, depending on the time of day.
     
  5. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    If you're lucky enough to have destination charging. Otherwise you try and get to your destination with enough SoC to make it round trip to your last supercharger.
     
  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Sorry but your graph is not anywhere near reality. You cannot drive through 2 superchargers with just a 5 min charge and then drive to the third. Your graph suggests you had enough energy in your battery to skip tow superchargers and then drive to the third one. In reality even skipping one is hard. The reality of long trips with an 85 or 90 is that you have to charge for about 20 to 40 min at each supercharger. Your idea would be nice if we had 200 kWh batteries.
     
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  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    Spiffy graph :)
    I'd like to see a table of charge rates at different SOCs to convince myself this approach is possible
     
  8. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    As always, XKCD has the right answer:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Edmond

    Edmond Permanon

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    Isn't this what the OP gets for trying to help...

    Tough crowd, man. That's why I've stopped helping.
     
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  10. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    Chin up. The phrase that comes to mind is "keyboard warriors ain't shite*."

    * Rhymes with Quartzsite
     
  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    #11 ItsNotAboutTheMoney, May 15, 2016
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
    I think you're a couple of key things:
    - The amount of charge you get in 5 minutes varies with SoC.
    - Every time you stop at a Supercharger it requires a diversion that requires extra time, distance and energy just to get from the highway to the charger and back.

    All things being equal, I believe that the optimal strategy to minimize journey time is:
    - stop at a Supercharger if you can't make the next one
    - be adaptable with meal times
    - only charge more than necessary to reach the next Supercharger if it allows you to skip Superchargers and the extra time taken is less than the diversion time.
    - slow down if the energy savings allow you to skip a Supercharger and the extra time taken is less than the diversion time plus the difference in time taken to charge due to charging speeds being greater at lower SoC.

    But all things aren't equal, so in my opinion the optimal strategy will be affected by:
    - highway speed
    - possible routes
    - traffic variation
    - diversions
    - occupancy of Supercharger
    - weather
    - amenities
    - biology

    TL;DR: depends.
     
  12. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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    100%---bathroom break---meal---bathroom break---destination works for most of my trips with wife & 2 kids.
    220miles ---------- 75 -------- 200 -------------- 75
     
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  13. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    In the chart it appears as if you could reach the 2nd supercharger without stopping at the first.

    If you can skip a Supercharger it will always (availability being equal) be faster to actually skip said Supercharger and go to the next one.

    Rule of thumb: The less SOC you arrive with at Superchargers, the faster your overall journey becomes.

    The way the Tesla NAV does it is the correct way in spirit - it's just not so good at the whole 'math' thing.
     
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  14. ABCCBA

    ABCCBA Member

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    I bought my S85D in Austin,TX and drove it home to Florida. I started a thread here and blogged the entire route along with pictures, milage etc. trust me when I say that 5 minutes of charge would not work at all. Each stop required 20+ minutes to get to the next SuC. One leg required a 100% charge and I arrived with less than 30 miles due to weather conditions. I needed another full charge to make it to the next SuC. My guess is that a person needs to plan for an average of 30 minutes for 85 or 90s and 45 minutes for smaller battery. JMHO
     
  15. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    The point of this post is well-taken but it gives the impression to new owners that that's it. That's not it. There are numerous examples internationally wherein if this advice is taken, they'll be stranded and calling for a flatbed.

    Yes, Nav/Trip Planner tries. But there's another, safer viewpoint, and that is to collect SCs. Point being, unless and until you are familiar with the route *or have vetted it with the .csv file from evtripplanner (see elevation) or the route is as flat as eastern Kansas, that whole skipping thing is not always a good idea.

    And it only takes one time to torpedo a trip, and unless research is done, you're not going to know in advance.

    Examples:

    Mt. Shasta
    Barstow to Needles
    Palm Desert
    Shamrock, TX to Tucumcari, NM

    Now, once you know, you know, and the original post makes sense. But until you do, skipping SCs ain't great unless you charge extra (and then, what's the point unless the SC to be skipped is well off the highway - itself a good reason to skip *if* it doesn't strand you).
     
  16. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

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    Of course my chart assumes common sense and actual trip planning. It is mostly to illustrate a possible charging strategy.
     
  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    There will always be YMMVaries (weather for example,) but I was under the general impression that SC spacing takes elevation changes into consideration.
     
  18. glenhurst

    glenhurst Member

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    I'm wrestling with this exact problem now. In the fall I'm travelling from Minnesota to Maine. Last summer my son and I drove from Minnesota to Quebec, travelling much of the same route. But in last year's trip, we stopped off for a few days in Buffalo/Niagara, and had a more leisurely schedule. We generally stopped at every other SC. I've got an 85 so making it to each of the other chargers was never a problem (we generally drove along I-80 east of Chicago). However, this fall, I've got to make it to Maine in two days. They'll be long days, but autopilot will make it easier, and I like driving. The question I haven't resolved yet is if it would be faster to stop at every charger and charge briefly (skipping the first charger since I'll start with a full battery) or stop at every other charger & charge longer. The trip will be in October, so it will be cooler then, perhaps substantially. I'll may try one method the first day and the other the second, just to compare.
     
  19. Edmond

    Edmond Permanon

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    #19 Edmond, May 15, 2016
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
    Respect to you Tao.

    This thread is a good example where, rather than offering alternatives or kindly explaining other methods or extending ideas, it was a tone of derisiveness until my first post. It was an 'everybody's not as smart as me' party.

    Maybe I'm too old-fashioned, or need safety to create {der}, but it's not worth it trying to push the envelope with the peanut gallery shooting spitwads from every direction. Life's too short. I'll enjoy my improvements with friends in backchannel (you can join us), and watch whether the idiocracy continues to prevail here, or this becomes a mature and supportive forum. (haha)
     
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  20. TaoJones

    TaoJones Beyond Driven

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    The coding is supposed to, yes. However, this is the same coding that will advise that charging is "almost done" when approaching 80%. Fine for most - not fine for all.

    I have lost count of the number of times had I taken the advice of Nav/Trip Planner when it says "You've charged enough to move on to the next SC" that I would have been flat out stranded. And it's not close. Minimum 20% add, and sometimes (admittedly these are the outliers) 35% is necessary to arrive, and still in the single digits.

    I did hear, however, and will know in a couple of weeks as travel resumes, that they fixed the arbitrary routing bug that goes something like this: NE Ohio to Buffalo - straight shot, largely adjacent to a Great Lake. Out of the blue 5 miles into the leg, the route changes to a horseshoe as Trip Planner has decided that now, my nearest SC is in CANADA, with this new route that resembles something between a severe dogleg left and a horseshoe. It's one picture among many that I've taken and someday I'll edit and upload it - it's a thing of beauty.

    Again, original route a straight shot to Buffalo. Arbitrary new route a horseshoe into Canada - passing within 2 miles of the Buffalo SC as if it wasn't even there. If ever there was a time to drive a P car, that was it, as the 007 submarine Easter egg would have been particularly apropos.

    I've given it away, but here's why that happened - *as the crow flies* the Canadian SC was in fact 1 mile closer than was Buffalo, and routing be damned, that's where Nav wanted me to go. The Buffalo SC wasn't even on the route and I would have had no idea it even existed (which is another problem). It was true that the Canadian SC was 1 mile closer - IF THE CAR COULD SWIM, since there was a Great Lake in the way. The same problem exists if you view the list of Chargers in Nav - all of those distances/sorting are also *as the crow flies* which is wonderful for quick/untested coding, but for the foreseeable future, we still need these things called roads. And often, road miles are far enough different than overland to cause, at minimum, confusion. No fix for that yet, as it would require some dynamic work and it's not a sexy enough problem to solve, probably.
     
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