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Thoughts on day trip to Waco from Dallas

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Boourns, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. Boourns

    Boourns Active Member

    Mar 9, 2016
    My wife, son and I took a day trip on Saturday to Waco, Texas to meet my best friend, who lives in Austin and who I haven’t seen in a while. Waco is about halfway between Dallas and Austin. On the wife’s request, we went to Magnolia Market to hang out, eat some food truck food, and let the kid run around a bit. This was our first drive more than 40 miles or so in the Model S and my first time supercharging.

    We left home (northern suburb of Dallas) around 9 a.m. and made it to Waco a bit before 11. We spent a couple hours there, then went to Colin St. bakery to supercharge and have a lazy lunch. Then, after dropping my friend off back at his truck, we drove back to Dallas and were home by 4. My wife enjoyed it so much she suggested we take a trip down to Austin later this year, so we are already planning that.

    Overall, it was a great time and the trip was uneventful in a good way. We all love Teslas so much we have taken the time to join the forum and obsess over every Elon tweet, but ultimately, these are just tools. With few exceptions, they do not bring us happiness. Happiness in large part comes from the memories that our cars make possible. I will remember this trip years from now because of the time I spent with my son, wife, and friend. And our Model S worked perfectly to get us there comfortably and safely without adding any additional worries.

    For anyone interested, I have written up some thoughts on the tip and analysis of our energy usage.

    Trip notes:
    • We left the house with a 90% charge with 217 rated miles showing and arrived in Waco at 39% with 93 miles. Supercharged from 37% back to 90. Arrived home with 38%. No range anxiety what so ever. We live in an amazing technological era.
    • I am impressed every time I drive this car by how smooth and quiet it is, even for an early-VIN. By far the quietest car I have ever owned. My son (20 months old) slept most of the way there and back. I also think the weight and low center of gravity make the car especially enjoyable for trips like this. The car stays in the lane easily, even on the bad parts of 35, and it is not easily blown around by wind.
    • As most everyone here already knows, the Model S is a great road trip car. We didn’t take much, but the stroller and all the baby gear was swallowed easily by the back cargo area. We could have taken a lot more things, bought a bunch of stuff, and still not even needed the frunk;
    • There was one time I was especially happy to have the S. On the way back, I had to stop at the Petro in Carl’s Corner because I had too much tea at lunch. Getting back onto 35 we were behind a semi. A little more than 1/2 way down the on-ramp, the semi notices us and pulls over waiving us past. This isn’t an especially long on ramp, and already being half way down, it was nice to have the Tesla’s instant torque to get past him and up to speed. No problem for the Model S, but for other cars it would have been much tougher.
    • The Waco supercharger is great. Easy to get to and plenty of spaces. We took a long lunch at Colin Street, so I got to see that it is used very frequently. When we pulled in there were two other Model S charging. One left shortly after we arrived and other other left maybe 10 minutes before we did. A family in a Model X came in for a short cookie break and left after about 10 minutes. Two more Model S drivers pulled in while we were eating and were there when we left. Lots of usage, never too many cars charging at once. Colin Street Bakery is awesome. Good food and amazing pastries very reasonably priced. The only downside I can see is their hours of operation are limited. If you are going through down late or on a holiday, there wouldn’t be much around the supercharger in terms of food or bathrooms without a bit of a walk.
    • This was actually my first time supercharging and, for anyone concerned, it is super easy. Literally just plug in and go.
    • Newly installed tint helped immensely. Car wasn’t as hot being parked outside, and while driving less need to keep the AC blasting.
    • For anyone whose wife is nagging him to go to Magnolia Market, it’s not that bad! Yes it’s a bunch of home decor in that fake weathered look, but they have a half dozen food trucks and a nice outdoor area with covered tables to eat. They also have a big astroturf lawn with soccer balls, hula hoops, etc. provided for your kids to play. Our 20-month-old had a blast. Not to mention you are just a couple miles from the Waco supercharger.
    Energy Usage and efficiency:
    I plotted out the route using EV Trip Planner with the following inputs:
    • Our house --> 601 Webster St. in Waco, TX --> Waco Supercharger --> Back to 601 Webster St. --> Back home
    • Model S 85 w/ 19’’
    • Speed 1.05
    • Cabin temp 70, outside temp 95
    • Payload 330 lbs.
    It spit out the following:
    • Distance: 231.8 miles
    • Predicted energy used: 85.8 kWh, 286 RM
    • Predicted efficiency: 370 Wh/mile
    • Net elevation change: -7 feet (not sure how it came up with this one)
    We ended up beating those number significantly: (Data captured via Teslafi. Thanks @Jdeck !)
    • Distance driven: 240 miles
    • Total energy used: 78.67 kWh, 247.3 rated miles
    • Efficiency: 327 Wh/mile
    • Total cost of electricity: $4.35! Try doing that in an ICE car. (This is not counting the ~$4 electricity we got free from the supercharger.) Total for the day, with two meals out and extra cookies to take home we spent less than $70.
    I think we beat the projected numbers due to several factors:
    • We took a slightly different route to Waco than the planner suggested (through downtown versus around 20).
    • I drove slower than I thought. There was a significant portion of the trip where EV trip planner had us rolling at 77 mph, since 75 is the speed limit for a good portion of the drive, but I didn’t go that fast for very long. This obviously made the biggest difference.
    • It wasn’t as hot on the way there. According to the logger, when we left it was about 80 out and only touched 90 right when we arrived. However, on the way back it was between 97 and 101 (indicated by the car).
    • Tint helped keep the car cooler (and feel cooler). I think this made a big difference. Not only does the car have to work less to keep to temp, but without the “burning” sensation that you get in direct sun around this time of year, the car feels cooler.
    • We probably didn’t have the 330 lbs in payload.
    Finally, here’s a photo of the car supercharging and a pic of my son playing at Magnolia Market.

    Tl;dr: Good trip. Would do again.

    Attached Files:

    • Like x 6
    • Informative x 1
  2. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    Austin, TX
    Dallas to Waco? Glad you like your new car but this must win the prize for the ratio of post length/trip length.
    • Funny x 3
    • Like x 2
  3. Boourns

    Boourns Active Member

    Mar 9, 2016
    Haha. My son has made a 10-mile drive seem like 100 miles, so I will admit my perspective may be a bit skewed.
  4. Model S M.D.

    Model S M.D. Ludicrous Radiologist

    Oct 31, 2015
    Houston, TX

    Nice post and congrats on your first SC experience! I haven't been to that supercharger, but the CSB in Corsicana is awesome as well.

    If you go to Austin, let us know about your destination charging experience. I haven't been yet in my Tesla, but do want to make that drive soon!

    On my trips to Dallas from Houston, I didn't have many issues with destination charging, largely due to plugshare and my Chademo adapter.
  5. cab

    cab Active Member

    Sep 5, 2013
    Grapevine, TX
    Boourns - how long did you plug in at the supercharger. Technically, if you had done a range charge I guess you might have conceivably just squeaked back home w/o supercharging (and careful use of throttle) - not that it would have been worth risking!

    I'm shopping for a CPO Tesla and am wondering about this very trip (note: the Texas subforum likely has several folks who've made it).
  6. Electroman

    Electroman Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2012
    I have done day trips from Plano to Austin (and back), with a pit stop at Waco SC both ways. No issues at all. CSB even gives free coffee if you show your Tesla key
    • Like x 1
  7. John Stuckey

    John Stuckey Member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Dayton, Ohio
    What fun - brings back good memories. We did a Dayton to Lima SC trip for our maiden voyage before or Dayton to Albuquerque venture.
    Our CHAdeMO adapter saved us when the St Charles SC was done for 5 months.
    • Like x 1
  8. JPUConn

    JPUConn Active Member

    Aug 11, 2014
    Great post! After our first supercharger trip (400 mile trip starting the evening of delivery with weak destination options) my wife and our 3 little ones have done several 100-140 mile day trips (200-280 miles round trip).

    our first trip we acted similar to yours where we overcompensated just out of caution and unknown. Since then we start with a range charge and keep an eye on the nav arrival and return % guesstimate. As long as arrival stays above 60% or round trip above 20% we don't bother charging before getting home. If we want to drive faster than ~70 mph (AC is always on with the kids in the car) or know we will be giving rides we might stop for 5-10 min at a supercharger almost out of convenience.

    With all that I wouldn't buy one without supercharger access - when we pass a slow driving leaf I appreciate it even more.
    • Like x 1
  9. Boourns

    Boourns Active Member

    Mar 9, 2016
    I used to live in Austin when I owned a Leaf. There are a TON of J1772s available in Austin, especially if you have a Chargepoint card. I moved to Dallas about a year and a half ago, and when I left there was only one chademo charger at a Nissan dealer, but it looks like there are a few more at Walmarts now. For HPWCs, your best bet is hotels it seems.

    According to the log, it took about 50 minutes to get from 37% to 90%. I have an A battery pack, so anything with a B or better will be faster. I think I peaked at about 197 miles/hr. It is possible that I could have done the trip on a single range charge -- I show 245 to 247 miles on a 100% charge -- but with the baby that wasn't an option. With a newer 85 (or if lived closer to downtown) it would be a little easier probably. A 90D (or maybe even 75D) could do it no problem.

    @JPUConn Agreed. Since this was the first trip (and I don't have nav) I was extra cautious. Next time I know I can charge to ~75- at home as usual and make it no problem.
    • Like x 1
  10. Cnasty

    Cnasty Active Member

    Jun 20, 2016
    You are living my life right now my friend!

    We live in Frisco and my wife has been bugging me non-stop since we moved to Texas (almost 2 years now) to go to Magnolia on a day trip.

    We have 2 little ones so I know that comparison of 10 miles feeling like 100. :)

    I told her we can finally go when we get the Tesla. Currently waiting for production confirmation on our 60 and hopefully will have it by the end of August.
    Love hearing stories of locals. Great read!

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