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Trip Planning

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by hmgolds, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. hmgolds

    hmgolds Member

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    My Model 3 is scheduled for delivery next week and planning a road trip (Minnesota to Massachusetts) this fall. I've been playing with 3 trip planners (Tesla online, A Better Route Planner, EV Trip Planner). All 3 appear to me to have you make unnecessary stops; i.e. stopping at a supercharger when the next supercharger is within range without a stop.

    Where details are provided, these trip planners have me charging to 7x%. I realize that charge rate slows down past 80% charge, but there is significant overhead in visiting a supercharger (off freeway, on freeway).

    For my planning (as a complete novice), I was assuming charging to 95% and not going below 20%. Is this not wise? For local travel, I'm planning to charge to 80% and not go below 20%.

    Any other thoughts on road trip "best practice" are welcome.
     
  2. terrywhite

    terrywhite Member

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    When I did my 1st road trip, which you can see here:
    I tried all the same trip planners you did and all of them had me making an extra stop that the car didn’t have me make. The bottom line is that the car knows best. It will tell you how long you need to charyat each stop before continuing. You charge a little longer as a safety net, but charging all the way to 80-90% at each stop is probably just not necessary. Trust the car. Add 5-10% more and enjoy your trip.
     
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  3. garrett5688

    garrett5688 Member

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    Some of the 3rd party trip planners attempt to minimize total travel time, while the car will minimize number of stops. The car planner is pretty bare bones. You have to decide for yourself which you want to do. Just takes experience and planning. Some super chargers are super easy to access, close to highway exits, etc., while some are more out of the way. Restaurants/amenities vary wildly, so that should be considered also.

    It's good to be conservative your first few trips, but to minimize travel time, many will keep the battery in the 10%-60% range for fastest charging.
     
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  4. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

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    First, for long trips, move the line to 100%, that's what the car is designed for.

    As to Superchargers, first, don't use the auto-calculate apps, do it yourself. And don't just try to calculate time between stops, include biology in the picture.
    • Look to optimize your meal stops.
    • Look to find stops with interesting things to do.
    • Go ahead and charge to 100% during the trip.
    • Don't plan on arriving with an empty battery.
    • Look for places to charge near your destination for the time that you are there.
    This does a couple of things.
    • It keeps you away from focusing on charging as determining your route.
    • It helps you understand where alternatives are along your route
    • If you decide to take some side trips along the way, you have better understanding of what that means to your range
    Don't be a slave to charging when travelling, enjoy the trip first. And then understand those few situations where you may have to go out of your way, or spend a little time charging.

    In a recent 1800 mile trip over a few days, we never sat in the car while charging, except for one morning when I decided it was easy enough to go across the street and top off for a little while everyone else was waking up. All of the other stops lined up with meals and other stops. (and the entire trip cost $36 in charging). Little things like having hotels with destination of J-1772 charging can make a big difference.
     
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  5. hmgolds

    hmgolds Member

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    Thanks for the advice.

    This first trip is from central Minnesota to Boston area. Most of the route is on highways with good supercharger access so I'm comfortable letting the car guide me. And it will be easy to combine stops.

    But the first leg of the trip is a bit tricky as it involves going through the upper peninsula of Michigan. No supercharger from Duluth, MN to Gaylord MI. I'm planning an overnight stop at a hotel in between with (per plugshare) a Tesla connector, but will still need to "top off" prior to the hotel. There is a J-1772 and also a 14-50 location we can use (again per plugshare) to top off. (Both where we can walk to have an early dinner.)

    We'll be traveling with a pretty loaded car (2 adults, 50lb dog, full trunk) in early November (avg highs around 50 deg F and lows around 35). So I've deducted 10% from my range.

    I hope I'm not being too ambitious for that first leg. I'll have had my 3 for 1-2 months, so will have some experience with it. But the alternative is I-90/94 just south of Chicago. It's far, far from scenic and we've always had big traffic backups there.
     
  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    With 175k miles on my car and about 100k of those on road trips I have learned a few things. Evtrpplanner.com is by far my favorite tool to plan and turns out to be very close to reality. It allows you to try different supercharger stops quickly to see how it affects total time. It sometimes seems counterintuitive but adding a charge stop reduces time overall. Stretching out legs requires charging to high levels which is much slower and costs more time. The car’s trip planner does not optimize for time but currently seems to prefer longer legs and longer stops.

    Having said that, sometimes you want to take longer stops to eat or relax or see something. Some superchargers have good food options, other have nothing. I definitely Plan longer stops at my favorite places and avoid others. Check out comments on PlugShare.com to get an idea what’s good around chargers.

    When planning trips it’s a good idea to at least briefly look for alternatives and ‘plan B’. I sometimes took routes that were cutting it close or bad weather ate up range. Always good to know if and where alternatives are to charge should it get tight.

    Bring your UMC! Support hotels with EV chargers, move your car when done charging. If you take a longer break, let the car continue to charge! On road trips you leave the slider at 100%. If the car is waiting for you, keep charging it even if you have enough to make it to the next stop.
     
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  7. hmgolds

    hmgolds Member

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    Will bring the UMC and a 120v ext cord. And have a Plan B. Perusing plugshare, it appears not uncommon to have a charger that, for whatever reason, is not usable.

    It was also suggested that if traveling in rural areas a 6-50 adapter might come in handy in a pinch. 6-50 is commonly used for welders, which would be easy to find in the boonies.
     
  8. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure This All Out

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    You can try EVTO. It has a setting to allow you to adjust the supercharger overhead time and if you have a subscription, you can optimize by least time, minimum stops, least energy and shortest route.

    tesla_to | Digital Auto Guides
     
  9. animorph

    animorph Active Member

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    Look at the EVTripPlanner or ABetterRoutePlanner (or EVTO) optimum charging strategy. It should include the extra driving to reach Superchargers, and I believe all add 5 minutes per stop to account for starting and stopping charging.

    Then, modify the "optimum" route by removing or adding Supercharger stops and see what that does to your total travel time. That'll let you know if there is a significant time penalty for your preferred charging stops. Also consider that you can charge longer without delaying your trip if you will be eating dinner, or any other activity, at a Supercharger location. That might allow you to skip a Supercharger without having to wait in the car for charging to complete.

    I like the shorter drives, so I follow the planner-optimized charging stops. I guarantee you don't want to charge to 100% at each Supercharger if you will just be sitting around waiting for the car to charge. But I don't have a good feeling for how the Tesla nav charge stops compare to the planner optimized stops for total trip time.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  10. Gulfbear

    Gulfbear Member

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    FL
    I made a recent trip (Christmas time) from Tallahassee to Sarasota. On the way down I followed the in-car system which recommended i-10 and I-75 plus a 25 minute stop at the Ocala supercharger. This route is 25 miles longer and a h*** of a lot more white knuckle driving on packed I-75 than I like. For the drive back, I played with EVTripPlanner and ABetterRoutePlanner in addition to the in-car system. ABRP was the only one to recommend driving to the Pinellas Park supercharger and charging to 95% then taking the Suncoast parkway and us 19/27 back to Tallahassee- the other two said I wouldn’t make it, I would have to detour back to Ocala or Lake City or Live Oak Superchargers. I decided to chance it (after playing with all 3 systems and adjusting parameters over and over) but to add insurance I decided to go strictly us 19/27 from Pinellas Park and not the parkway. Lots of stop and go but I made it back to Tallahassee with 60 miles plus to spare! Plus I didn’t have to pay tolls! Conclusion - software favors interstates and Superchargers - if you have time and don’t mind a slower pace why not explore less stressful routes that require less energy? Programmers of the routing software should provide the less stress longer time option?
     
  11. Knightshade

    Knightshade Active Member

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    My experience (limited though it's been so far) is that it'll come down to what type of stops you want/need to make.

    Generally the 5-10 minutes to get on/off the highway to supercharge is less "wasted" time than spending 30 extra minutes AT the supercharger because you're wanting to charge up to 90-100% and avoid an "extra" stop.... so this favors making 2 shorter stops than 1 longer one.... or generally just charging up to 70-80% or whatever you need to get easily to the next SC stop.

    But if you're going to stop for a sit down meal anyway, or some nearby attraction or something, you're not "losing" anything to the extra time spent getting to a higher charge level, so in that case sure charge to 100% (being mindful of potential idle fees) and make fewer overall stops.

    (and obviously the math changes further if you're traveling less common routes where chargers are more than just a few minutes off the highway)
     
  12. JBare

    JBare Member

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    I'm taking the MR on its first 400 mile trip this weekend from Northern VA to Wilmington NC. Plenty of chargers along the way, just need to figure out my route. Is there a grid out there to show when the charge speed changes? I used an SC this weekend and it was crazy fast from 100mi to 190ish but then took quite a bit to get up to to 250. No big deal as I was eating dinner.

    I must've come across something here with the hours browsing TMC but can't recall now.
     
  13. Knightshade

    Knightshade Active Member

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    You'd want the chart in post 1 here-
    Supercharger speed: 116kW

    Note that's not for an MR, but the general principles should be roughly similar
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. JBare

    JBare Member

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    Thank you!
     
  15. Sw0rdf1sh

    Sw0rdf1sh Member

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    I travel from VA to ILM all the time and by using Rocky Mount briefly, Wallace (there is one in Warsaw that only shows up in Plugshare), and then getting to WIlmington Supercharger you should be great. I always charge about 20-30 depending on what I'm doing and it works so much better than going 100%. At least if you are in a situation where you don't want to wait around as stated earlier.
     
  16. JBare

    JBare Member

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    Just did the trip last weekend and Warrenton to Rocky Mount would've been too close for me, so I stopped for a breakfast sandwich in Glen Allen for 35 min (54% to 83%) then RM for 40 (19%-80%) and pulled up to Wilm at 13%. I'm assuming if the avg temp was warmer than 45° maybe that would've helped.

    I don't mind stopping after 90 min (home to GA) so next time I might start off at 80% vs the 96% to get a bit quicker recharge.
     
  17. puckpurnell

    puckpurnell Member

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    Best advice here is DON’T ARRIVE WITH ZERO BATTERY unless you have charging at your destination.
     
  18. puckpurnell

    puckpurnell Member

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    Excellent advice. Thanks.
     
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