TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Taking first long distance drive.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by medphys, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. medphys

    medphys Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Chesapeake Va
    Hi all,

    Am new to Tesla having got my Tesla about 1 month ago and am about to take of first long distance trip. A couple of questions:
    1. What is the difference in destination chargers and Tesla Superchargers?
    2. What is the protocol at the charging stations, 1st come first serve, reservations if so how to make them!
    3 What is the typical time to recharge your Tesla at a charging station? I understand it depends on the percentage of charge left when you stop to re-charge. Just wondering.
    4. Any good software to use for planning a trip?



    Thanks
     
  2. AGM

    AGM Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    El Dorado Hills, CA, United States
    The car is pretty good at that, just follow its directions. You can also try evtripplanner.com . But there is no substitute for just getting out there and getting firsthand experience. You will get the hang of it in no time at all.
     
    • Like x 2
  3. javawolfpack

    javawolfpack Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Chico, CA USA
    I've been working on a tool to calculate an optimal trip (including where to charge based on my available charger data) in an EV; however, due to budget/computational needs in it's current state... not at a releasable stage yet. But will say I've been impressed with evtripplanner.com as a basic planning tool.

    But beyond doing it yourself and using tools like Tesla's charger map, AirBNB hosts w/ EV/Tesla Charging, plugshare, and others... I kind of agree, I think without getting out there and getting a feel for it... hard to really gauge your real world range, what works best for you trip planning wise, etc. I know I keep discovering variables that I'm not currently accounting for in my tool and this only increases the difficulty of making this tool capable of running in a timely manner to create usable results. And I know from some of the simpler results I've gotten so far... I could effectively have generated most of them with little effort on my own.
     
  4. javawolfpack

    javawolfpack Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Chico, CA USA
  5. javawolfpack

    javawolfpack Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    Chico, CA USA
    Destination chargers are wall chargers, like what you could get installed in your house but at different destinations, usually hotels that allow you to use them if you are staying with them. A supercharger is a higher speed DC charger that is available to all Tesla owners for free (for now at least). The time to recharge differs depending on the type of charger and of course how much charge you need. Think of this as different pumping speeds at a gas pump... and the amount of charge you need is how empty your tank is. Or potentially a better analogy internet connection = speed of charge & size of file = how much charge you need. If you are on dial-up (a wall outlet) then if you have a large file (multi-GB) then it's going to take a while, but if you are on Google Fiber (supercharger) with the same file it'll take less time.
     
    • Informative x 1
  6. Clomer

    Clomer Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    1: Destination chargers use AC charging, meaning they are dependent on your car's onboard charger. The charging speed you can expect will be similar to what you experience at home. They are primarily intended to provide an overnight charge. Superchargers, OTOH, are DC chargers, bypassing the car's onboard charger. They are designed to charge you fast enough that charging is done, or nearly done, by the time you've used the bathroom and/or gotten a bite to eat. When doing long-distance driving, supercharging is where you'll do most, if not all, of your charging.
    2: At superchargers, it's first come first served. That said, most supercharger sites have excess capacity - it is unlikely that you'll ever have to wait to plug in. It's really only in California, and only at a handful of really popular sites, that waiting is common. For destination chargers, it depends on the venue that is hosting it as to how they want to handle it.
    3: Somewhat repeating what I said in 1 and 2 above - destination chargers will charge at roughly the same speed you see at home, and you will probably want to avoid them for mid-day charging. Overnight is fine. Many of them are only 40 amp, which means to go from empty to full will take 8-9 hours. Superchargers depend on your current charge level and how much charge you need to get to your next charge stop/destination. 15 minutes is often enough, and it is extremely rare that you'll have to spend more than an hour.
    4: EVTripplanner.com is a good site for planning road trips.

    I'm not an owner, but I've been following along long enough that I think I understand how all this works. If I've said anything that's wrong, someone will correct me.

    Good luck!
     
    • Informative x 3
    • Like x 2
    • Love x 1
  7. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,765
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If you care to share, how long is "Long distance"? I've done many trips up and down the east coast and to Ohio and Chicago, so I might be able to give you some tips on specific stops.
     
  8. chillaban

    chillaban Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    San Jose, CA

    Congrats, and I'm sure you will enjoy your trip! I took my first big trip a week after getting the car and it went super smoothly, and if anything I way overplanned. To answer some of your questions:


    2: Superchargers are first come first serve. Fellow Tesla owners I've found to be very friendly and will often strike up a conversation with you. Of course, don't forget to return the courtesy: Your Tesla iPhone app will tell you how many minutes are remaining for the charge you need to reach your next charger. It will send you a notification when charging is done. Don't forget to take your car off the charger if you aren't ready to leave yet (most charging stops are 15 to 20 minutes and you might find that a sit down restaurant takes much longer than that)

    3 and 4: First thing I'd recommend doing is using the car's built-in Trip Planner: Input the destination and you will see the car plans charging stops for you, and even tells you how many minutes you have to spend on each charger. You can also use the website EV Trip Planner but I rarely find that necessary because the car's built-in plans are very sensible.


    Additional tips:

    1. For better traffic aware routing, I still recommend using Waze or Google Maps in addition to the car's built in maps. I usually set the destination to the next supercharger (e.g. the car tells you to stop at the Smallville supercharger, put that in as your Google Maps destination)
    2. Keep an eye on the Energy graph's trip tab. This shows you a projected vs actual graph of how much battery you'll arrive with to your next charging stop. If that number starts getting concerningly low, slow down. The best way to increase your range is to slow down.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    I don't know that there's anywhere in the eastern U.S. where you're likely to encounter a full SpC -- much more likely you'll run across
    them deserted. If you run across another Tesla at an SpC you'll not want to park right next to them, 'cause they may mean you're
    sharing a charging unit, which will slow both of you down. I just did my first long (1500 mile r/t) trip a couple of weeks ago (Lafayette, IN
    to Ithaca, NY) and all I can say is the SpCs are awesome -- they worked great! My only complaint was the absence of one in western NY state was somewhat inconvenient, but Tesla is building new ones all the time so, like with other areas, I'm just waiting for the "Tesla
    experience" to keep getting better and better.

    As many people have mentioned here from time to time, you'll likely find that rather than feeling "strung out" ("... from the road" -- thanks,
    Bob Seeger :)) at the end of each day instead you feel great.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,765
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Just a note on this and one of my pet peeves -- not all SCs are paired like this: 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B -- that's where you don't want to park next to someone with the same stall number but it's totally OK to do 1B and 2A.

    BUT -- some superchargers are like this: 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 1B, 2B, 3B, 4B... so you actually have to go look and see which NUMBERS are currently occupied, and try to park on a free number where A and B are both open. Woodbridge VA is like this, and I think Rocky Mount.

    I've ranted about this several times, but they should just color-code each pair of stalls, so if you see someone on a GREEN stall, but two BLUES are open, go to BLUE. Much easier than this 1A,2B nonsense designed by an engineer.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Helpful x 1
  11. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    If you pull into such an SpC and there's only one other car there (at most, as is likely at many SpCs) then if you randomly pick a stall
    your odds of competing for a charger unit are reasonably low. @HLR, how often has this issue actually been relevant in your region?
     
  12. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,765
    Location:
    Connecticut
    It has been a problem because most people around here (the north east) don't know about the pairing issue, and just pull into any stall and wonder why they're not getting a full charge rate. I've pulled into Woodbrigdge and found lots of paired up cars charging and paired stalls empty (maybe some cars just left, but you never know). It was a big problem at Newark, DE when there were only 4 stalls, and in addition that location had the lines all painted wrong.

    In my experience driving up/down the east coast, most of the Tesla owners are older, ahem, less technologically informed folks who bought the car for the status, and not the green or performance, and just pull into any old stall to charge. More often than not I'm explaining how the pairing works, and half of those times, the people really aren't interested in learning about it.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. medphys

    medphys Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2016
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Chesapeake Va
    2oo-500miles at first to get the frre of the experience then to the Dakotas from Chesapeake for sightseeing.

    Thanks for the reply
     
  14. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,348
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    Maybe the lighted rim around the charging socket should only flash a sickly algae color rather than a bright, cheerful
    green
    when the cable is connected to a shared charger?
     
    • Like x 1
  15. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,772
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I would suggest reading the charging page on the Tesla web site for a good overview of the different types of charging.
     
    • Helpful x 2
  16. ABCCBA

    ABCCBA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2015
    Messages:
    390
    Location:
    Somewhere
    @RogerHScott You would be surprised at how few Tesla owners know about this. I took a trip from Austin, TX to Melbourne, FL. At three of the Superchargers, either someone pulled beside me on a matching pair or beside someone else on the same pair. In every case, none of the Telsa owners knew about the shared pairs. I have also run across it twice at locations near me.

     
  17. kevinf311

    kevinf311 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    DCish
    Yep, on each long distance trip I've taken, the Supercharger pairing has been news to at least one driver I've run into. I almost feel like it should have a bullet point in the Delivery walk through.

    Also, @medphys one additional nifty thing you can make (if you'd like), is a little Fogo de Chao style laminated card to place on your dashboard when charging. The one I have is red on one side and green on the other, both have my cell phone listed. The red side says something to the effect of "I need to charge" and the green side says something like "I can move my car if you need juice"

    I'll try and find the template someone linked me with a while back.

    Edit: Found it (It's a little more phrased towards Level 2 chargers that don't lock into the car, I guess) - EV Card | Plug In America
     
  18. DCGOO

    DCGOO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    Messages:
    234
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    On a return trip from New York City to Indianapolis (~725 miles) there were 3 other Teslas parked at the Dayton Supercharger when I arrived. I had look at the numbers to avoid doubling up. If you are navigating, hit the "Trip" button. It will show you the estimated time at each supercharger on your route. All but one of the stops, I could not get a drink and bio break in, before I was notified I had charged enough to continue, and I was alone on this trip. Only at the Tridelphia WV supercharger did I feel like I was waiting to charge. 50 minutes, and no restaurants within easy walking distance. Otherwise, easy peasy. When I got home, I realized I could have easily driven another couple of hours more. ...and I am an overweight 63 yr old AARP member. It's really nice!

    The only thing that could be nicer, would be superchargers along I-80, I-70 (PA Turnpike) is slower and costs.
     
    • Like x 2
  19. int32_t

    int32_t Tesla Spotter

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Messages:
    452
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    #19 int32_t, Jul 28, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
    If this helps ... no more than 30-50 ish km/h charging on a Destination Charger, but a Supercharger can charge you at over 300 km per hour of charge.

    Also, plugshare.com has loads of charging stations. You can filter by speed, connector type, and whether the station is free (financially, I mean) or not. Plugsharers who charge up can "check in," letting you verify ahead of getting there that the station is actually working. There's a Plugshare app as well, so load the webpage on your Tesla browser and the app on your phone!

    -- Updated --

    Edited to clarify "free" as being in the monetary sense, rather than "free" as in charge spot unused/available.
     
    • Like x 2
  20. bob_p

    bob_p Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Messages:
    939
    For long distance travelling, the destination chargers are only useful if you're planning to spend hours at that location. They aren't going to be useful for recharging - in the middle of a driving segment, only the superchargers will charge fast enough to be practical.

    Tesla should be able to tell which charging stations are actually in use - and the charging rates of the cars that are currently being plugged in, and as you approach the supercharger, the car could display recommendations on which of the chargers to use.

    Even though we've only had contention once at a supercharger in Texas, we still have angst every time we approach a supercharger location - and are relieved to see open charging stations.

    Since Tesla should be communicating with the cars at the superchargers - plus tracking cars approaching the superchargers (especially those that are using Tesla's navigation software), Tesla could provide quite a bit of information to drivers - before they even approach the superchargers - providing advanced notice of how busy the supercharger is - and the likely time required to get the needed charge (similar to how the estimated travel time is adjusted, based on real time traffic data).
     

Share This Page