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taking cold into account when planning trip

Peter Kalmus

Member
Dec 11, 2018
7
4
Los Angeles
I'm taking a 2000 mile trip this winter over the Rocky Mountains, supercharger to supercharger, with my LR 3.

Does the Model 3 onboard trip planner take into account cold weather (forecasts) when it suggests charge times at superchargers? How about mountain ascents?

This would seem a key feature and something computers should be able to do well.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
5,962
11,295
Springfield, VA
It does not take current temperature, wind or precipitation into account when planning your trip, but it will update as you drive. All three of these things can have a significant impact on energy consumption. Be sure to allow enough extra buffer from what it recommends to make it to your destination.

I've found A Better Routeplanner to be very helpful, as you can plug in temperature, wind and travel speed.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,417
14,430
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Does the Model 3 onboard trip planner take into account cold weather (forecasts) when it suggests charge times at superchargers? How about mountain ascents?
Your questions have been discussed many times on TMC over the years. The onboard nav does not take weather or elevation changes into account when initially estimating trip time and energy usage (remaining battery percentage when you arrive at your destination).

You need to assume that cold weather, strong headwinds, rain, and elevation gains will use additional energy. I realize that is hard to do when you are a new owner and don’t have a feel for how those factors will impact your range.

I highly recommend this app because it accounts for all those things New EV Trip Optimizer For Tesla App | Digital Auto Guides

That said, after you have entered your destination and been on the road for awhile, the onboard nav does adjust to some degree if your energy usage is more than it assumed it would be. You will see the estimated arrival time increase, and estimated remaining battery percentage decrease, if it is very cold, or there are strong headwinds, or rain, or you are going up a long steep grade.

In inclement weather or when driving for extended periods in the mountains, charge enough so you have a bigger remaining battery percentage when you start out. Don’t assume a 10% remaining battery percentage will be enough, go for 25% or more. Plan ahead and use the Plugshare app to ensure there are alternate charging stops on your route.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
5,962
11,295
Springfield, VA
Your questions have been discussed many times on TMC over the years. The onboard nav does not take weather or elevation changes into account when initially estimating trip time and energy usage (remaining battery percentage when you arrive at your destination).

You need to assume that cold weather, strong headwinds, rain, and elevation gains will use additional energy. I realize that is hard to do when you are a new owner and don’t have a feel for how those factors will impact your range.

I highly recommend this app because it accounts for all those things New EV Trip Optimizer For Tesla App | Digital Auto Guides

That said, after you have entered your destination and been on the road for awhile, the onboard nav does adjust to some degree if your energy usage is more than it assumed it would be. You will see the estimated arrival time increase, and estimated remaining battery percentage decrease, if it is very cold, or there are strong headwinds, or rain, or you are going up a long steep grade.

In inclement weather or when driving for extended periods in the mountains, charge enough so you have a bigger remaining battery percentage when you start out. Don’t assume a 10% remaining battery percentage will be enough, go for 25% or more. Plan ahead and use the Plugshare app to ensure there are alternate charging stops on your route.

The navigation absolutely does take elevation into account. It isn't perfect on some routes, but it's very accurate most of the time.
 
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RedSafari

Member
Mar 28, 2018
124
129
Toronto
I did a long road trip in cold weather this November (IL, WI, MN, ND and into Canada). In my experience, the nav gives good estimates for how long to charge at a supercharger, but once charging starts, it sometimes notifies a little too early that it's ok to continue the trip.
For example, some of my stops were estimated at 50 minutes and the notification came 35-40 minutes in.

If I took off without charging extra, range estimate would go down while driving and I'd need to slow down to get to the next charger.
In the first couple of legs of your trip, consider charging a bit longer than nav instructs. That will give you a feel for how close your driving is to the estimate.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,822
8,431
Boise, ID
I would say it isn't something you need to do pre-planning for, but you just adapt to it as you go. I did a 5,332 mile trip in February and went over the mountains on I-70 in Colorado, and then going across Kansas, it was down to 9 degrees. You don't want to leave with an expected arrival % showing like 10%, because that's not enough margin for the extra heating. I would say shoot for something like 20-25%, and then you can keep an eye on it as you drive, and it will update every few minutes to let you see if you may need to drop speed by a few miles per hour or whatever.
 
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Rocky_H

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Feb 19, 2015
6,822
8,431
Boise, ID
Oh, and one other thing to watch out for on a long trip like that. I hate the built-in trip planner. It frequently gives terrible recommendations in picking which Superchargers to stop at. It has this preference toward the least amount of stops for the longest amount of time each--sometimes over an hour--to attempt to skip over Superchargers, which is about the most annoying, cumbersome, boring, inconvenient way to do long travel, when it's having you charge for over 50 minutes at a time, and then white-knuckle to conserve energy to skip over a Supercharger you really could have stopped at. Doing more frequent stops for 15 or 20 minutes feels a bit better and is more time efficient.

And the really stupid thing is that when it picks a route for you, it HIDES all of the Superchargers it doesn't think you should use, so that you can't see them on the map!! That is awful. On my trip back in February, it was having me charge up to nearly 100% in Grand Junction, CO to drive all the way straight through to Silverthorne, CO, which is 181 miles, but very much uphill and below freezing temperature, and it was projecting to arrive with only 7% remaining! I knew that was bad, but I zoomed out and didn't see any other Superchargers in between to break that up into more reasonable chunks (I didn't know it hides them at that point). I drove very conservatively and made it, but then I looked back at the map and saw that there was another Supercharger right there halfway in between at Glenwood Springs that would have made it much easier.

So I recommend to just zoom out on the map a bit at each stop, and pick the next Supercharger along your route that you want to go to, and just select that for your next destination. That way you can check the distance to make sure it's reasonable before it possibly picks something bad and hides better options and gets you into some trouble.
 

FlyinLow

Enjoy the journey
Feb 5, 2018
335
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29036
It has this preference toward the least amount of stops for the longest amount of time each--sometimes over an hour--to attempt to skip over Superchargers, which is about the most annoying, cumbersome, boring, inconvenient way to do long travel, when it's having you charge for over 50 minutes...
I drove very conservatively and made it, but then I looked back at the map and saw that there was another Supercharger right there halfway in between at Glenwood Springs that would have made it much easier.

Driving the speed limit is the only way to make the in car nav data useful. Most people I know drive 10-15 mph over the limit and stop more often. Driving fast and drafting behind a van or truck can really take the range anxiety out of the equation.

I use EVTO-Tesla or Abetterrouteplanner to decide where my “long stops” make the most sense. With my family on board it makes sense to do two long legs in a day and shorter legs after that.

With winter driving I’ll plan on using 2/3 of my available range for Driving, leaving 1/3 for heater and other accessories. LR Model 3 with 300 usable miles can easily be driven for 210 miles (3 hrs) on the first leg of a highway type cross country trip.

Example for a 535 mile trip over Appalachian Mtns, 8.5 hrs driving, 2.0 charging:

Leg 1 leaving the house with 90-100% SOC early in the morning allows me to maximize my first leg since everyone is still waking up. This leg is 3 hours, 210 miles. Plan to arrive with 20% SOC for fastest charging.

Leg 2 leaves after 20 minutes of supercharging since the family is usually ready to press on after a 20 min break. The next stop is likely going to be lunch, so I plan a two hour leg here, or about 120-150miles, which is about the distance between Superchargers on many freeways.

Leg 3 starts with 90-100% again since lunch often takes an hour for my family to walk to a nearby establishment, sit down, order, eat, use the facilities, walk back to the car and leave. This “long stop” allows us to stretch our legs, eat outside the car, start preheat of the car before we walk back in the winter. Go 210 mi again since the family is content and reading or relaxing after lunch.

Leg 4 is the last leg and gives me miles to drive with after arriving at my destination. The family is ready for this break even though there’s only an hour and change to finish the trip. Dogs also appreciate this stop. It prevents potty accidents when the excitement of seeing people at the destination. Finish the last 30 min or so of the drive and arrive ready/rested.

Enjoy your EV road trips!
 

animorph

Active Member
Apr 1, 2016
2,152
1,580
Scottsdale, AZ
I use ABetterRoutePlanner and write down the Supercharger stops we want to use, as well as the RM's we should have when departing each one. Then we mostly just hop between SC's with the nav. It (the nav) has been fairly accurate in estimating our destination arrival charge when conditions are stable. It does use the past 30 miles or so to estimate the car's current efficiency, and it already knows about elevation changes. So as long as your future driving conditions are the same as your last 30 miles it should be pretty accurate.
 

JBare

Member
Mar 30, 2016
219
112
Northern VA
Thanks for the info! I'm planning a 400 mile trip with my MR in a few weeks and have plotted the route a few times while in the car however it always has me on a quick stop, then at the next for 50 min and arriving at my folks house with 10% left. Now I'll break 3 times (vs 2) and get a nice charge towards the end of the trip.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,873
12,594
Riverside Co. CA
Your questions have been discussed many times on TMC over the years. The onboard nav does not take weather or elevation changes into account when initially estimating trip time and energy usage (remaining battery percentage when you arrive at your destination).

You need to assume that cold weather, strong headwinds, rain, and elevation gains will use additional energy. I realize that is hard to do when you are a new owner and don’t have a feel for how those factors will impact your range.

I highly recommend this app because it accounts for all those things New EV Trip Optimizer For Tesla App | Digital Auto Guides

That said, after you have entered your destination and been on the road for awhile, the onboard nav does adjust to some degree if your energy usage is more than it assumed it would be. You will see the estimated arrival time increase, and estimated remaining battery percentage decrease, if it is very cold, or there are strong headwinds, or rain, or you are going up a long steep grade.

In inclement weather or when driving for extended periods in the mountains, charge enough so you have a bigger remaining battery percentage when you start out. Don’t assume a 10% remaining battery percentage will be enough, go for 25% or more. Plan ahead and use the Plugshare app to ensure there are alternate charging stops on your route.

I just took a look at the comments on the app you recommended, and it seems to want a subscription of 9.99 a year or something for trips over 500 miles?

Does that sound accurate to you? Just checking as I am collecting useful apps and such for my long term ownership of this car, but 9.99 a year for something that I would use at most once a year or less is not worth it to me.
 

FlyinLow

Enjoy the journey
Feb 5, 2018
335
330
29036
I just took a look at the comments on the app you recommended, and it seems to want a subscription of 9.99 a year or something for trips over 500 miles?

Does that sound accurate to you? Just checking as I am collecting useful apps and such for my long term ownership of this car, but 9.99 a year for something that I would use at most once a year or less is not worth it to me.

You can use some apps for free.

Try evtripplanner.com for similar results for free.

999AEA81-B6C5-486B-928A-27EA028682A4.jpeg
 

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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,417
14,430
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I just took a look at the comments on the app you recommended, and it seems to want a subscription of 9.99 a year or something for trips over 500 miles?

Does that sound accurate to you? Just checking as I am collecting useful apps and such for my long term ownership of this car, but 9.99 a year for something that I would use at most once a year or less is not worth it to me.
A very small price for such a valuable tool, in my opinion.
You can use some apps for free.

Try evtripplanner.com for similar results for free.

View attachment 360839
In my opinion that website is not nearly as useful as the app I recommended. evtripplanner.com does not take weather into account (you have to enter an estimated headwind or tailwind speed and your own temperature estimates) and is relatively inflexible compared to the EV Trip Optimizer app. evtripplanner.com is free, and it is a volunteer operation that is well-meaning of course. But the guy who created the EV Trip Optimizer app really did an amazing job. He’s on TMC.

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in that app and do not personally know the person who created it, though I have communicated with him.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,822
8,431
Boise, ID
I don't really see how that's useful to try to pre-plan for weather. Weather is literally a force of nature and doesn't cooperate like that. Wind and rain can change by the minute, so planning it a week ahead of time doesn't do anything. And for temperature, EVtripplanner lets you include that and run a few scenarios with different temperatures to see what margins you're looking at. I think weather planning is just something you do while you're on the trip.
 

animorph

Active Member
Apr 1, 2016
2,152
1,580
Scottsdale, AZ
Yes, the trip planners are good for seeing if you have enough margin to comfortably make a trip. They do have fudge factors, so if you suspect weather will be a factor they can help, but maybe not as precisely as we would like.

I use EVTO and like it quite a bit. It's the only planner that works directly as an Android App that I know of. The others require the browser. It has a few more abilities to plan complex trips. No need to buy it for one trip a year, but it does have its uses.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
5,962
11,295
Springfield, VA
I don't really see how that's useful to try to pre-plan for weather. Weather is literally a force of nature and doesn't cooperate like that. Wind and rain can change by the minute, so planning it a week ahead of time doesn't do anything. And for temperature, EVtripplanner lets you include that and run a few scenarios with different temperatures to see what margins you're looking at. I think weather planning is just something you do while you're on the trip.

I usually plan the trips a day or two in advance. The weather forecast is usually pretty accurate at that point. Better than not planning at all.
 
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2012MS85

Member
Apr 26, 2017
401
454
Blue Grass, IA
Ten days ago I flew to Seattle and drove my newly purchased 2012 P85 on I90 back to Iowa, through lots of mountains and extreme cold (38F at start; down to -4F by end of trip 2 days and 2,100 miles later). I first used Tesla.com trip planning tool to ensure I had adequate Superchargers (22 available on my route, 18 recommended to be used) for my P85’s current 251-max mile range (it’s lost about 5% of its original 265 mile range after 6 years and 48k miles), which would only net about two-thirds of that (~165 miles) after factoring in the cold, speed above 55mph, and mountains. And since it makes little sense to waste time “trickle charging” above 90%, nor run too low (below 10%) in freezing temps, my true effective range for my road trip was only 135 miles (251 x 0.8 x 0.67). As such, I actually used 20 of the SCs and skipped only two. My longest distance between two SCs was 143 miles, so before that stretch I charged to 90% (226), drove 70mph (instead of the 80 mph speed limit), and used two bacons (middle setting on heated seats) but very little cabin heat...just enough to defrost my view out the windshield and side windows. I arrived with only 13 miles (5%), but then that MN SC didn’t work! All 4 stalls were tried, each 2-3 times, and my car’s ring turned RED each time! It was 2:40am on a Sunday, and below zero with the wind chill :mad: Tesla rep sitting in his warm cubicle in Utah was unable to help (hour on the phone, diagnosis OTA was that my car wasn’t the problem, rather it must be all 4 Tesla SC units not working, and tow not available until 7am at best!). Thankfully, we had already found a 110v outlet at nearby AmericInn to plug in our home charger and keep charging my battery so the extreme cold didn’t brick/cold soak my battery. It worked, as 90 minutes later, my warm Tesla finally mated with SC stall #3 and I got the happy green ring :D Moral of the story is to always have a Plan B (blankets in car, 110v home charger with 240v adapter in trunk, cell fully charged, protein snacks, water, etc) when doing a road trip. I had also used EVtripplanner.com, which was another great tool. But Tesla’s onboard Nav for trips WAS extremely accurate as our journey had virtually all the extreme factors (cold, speed, mountains, wind) and the estimated arrival State Of Charge (SOC) turned out to be spot on! As I turned the heat up, my estimated arrival SOC would keep dropping, and vice versa. Also, as I got aggressive and hit 80mph (cause I wanted to get home), i was given the warning to keep my speed below xx mph if I wanted to make it to the next SC! It even changed the warning speeds I needed to remain below , so the algorithms really seemed to be accurate. I was impressed by Tesla’s accuracy and pro-active warnings.

Also, I just picked up my new 3 MR (with a similar 260 miles max) two days ago at Westmont with 8 miles on the odometer. By 38 miles, my EAP had finished its calibration and worked well through thick fog and lots of traffic. Finally, it was again very accurate in its forecast of my arrival SOC for my Iowa destination. Upon arrival 3 hours later, it was spot on. Well done, Tesla software engineers!
 

jgs

Active Member
Oct 28, 2014
1,581
952
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Doing more frequent stops for 15 or 20 minutes feels a bit better and is more time efficient.
As @ecarfan says, this topic has been done to death so I’m not going to even begin to attempt the full analysis — but I question the “time efficient” (though I suppose it depends what you mean by those words, people mean all kindsa stuff by “efficient”.). We all know charging the bottom of the pack is faster than charging the top, so depleting it as much as possible is a good strategy if you want to spend the fewest total minutes stopped. And of course there’s fixed overhead in every stop so that suggests fewer rather than more.

Personally, I don’t obsess over this and just stop when it suits me and charge until I feel like leaving, which is often longer than the prescribed length of time. I guess I’m agreeing with the “feels better” part, or at least saying, hey, if it feels better to you, go for it.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,822
8,431
Boise, ID
As @ecarfan says, this topic has been done to death so I’m not going to even begin to attempt the full analysis — but I question the “time efficient” (though I suppose it depends what you mean by those words, people mean all kindsa stuff by “efficient”.). We all know charging the bottom of the pack is faster than charging the top, so depleting it as much as possible is a good strategy if you want to spend the fewest total minutes stopped. And of course there’s fixed overhead in every stop so that suggests fewer rather than more.
You seem to be saying two directly conflicting statements back-to-back, so I'm confused at what you're trying to say here. First, you say you're questioning my conclusion of more but shorter stops.
But then you "support" your disagreement by pointing out that charging at the bottom of the battery pack is faster than charging at the top. However, that is exactly the point I was making. The onboard trip planner very frequently has you charging up well over 90% and for 50+ minutes, well into that slow, tapering point of the battery pack, which is quite a time waster.

But yes, there is a human factor to "feels better", too. The tendency toward people feeling bored is not linear with time. People can find a few things to do easily for 10-15 minutes without really noticing, so with shorter stops, you can almost always avoid that annoyed feeling like you're having to wait for the car. But with 50 or 60 minutes of charging time, it's highly likely to achieve boredom.
 

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