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West Virginia to Florida - A Thanksgiving Road Trip

Wvapoker

Member
Oct 21, 2019
71
73
Charleston, WV
Prior to this trip I searched the forums and the internet for information about the east coast superchargers and Thanksgiving travel and while there was some data I couldn’t find specifics on supercharger demand during the holidays. The fact is that not much pressure have been applied to the network on the East Coast. This post just documents my experience traveling Saturday to Sunday using the superchargers along I-77, I-26, I-95, and I-4.

Saturday, 11/23/2019 - I planned every stop using "A Better Route Planner" and when it started raining 50 minutes into the drive I quickly threw the plan out the window. I should say I prefer superchargers that are attached to a gas station instead of a hotel and I'm willing to drive six miles one way to accommodate that preference. (I asked my wife her thoughts and hotel Superchargers are not her preference either)

Left the house with 97% SOC on my M3 LR DM.

Stop 1 - Mount Hope, WV (I-77/I-64) Stopped for coffee and 10 minutes of charge at the Sheetz so we could skip the Wytheville supercharger. 7 of 8 stalls available.

Stop 2 - Mount Airy, NC (I-74, 6 miles from I-77) Stopped for 25 minutes of charge at the Sheetz. 8 of 8 stalls available.

Stop 3 - Charlotte, NC (I-485, 4 miles from I-77) stopped for lunch and 50 minutes of charge. 0 of 8 stalls available. Waited 2-3 minutes for another M3 to leave. Initial the pedestal didn’t work until the partner pedestal unplugged a few minutes later.

Stop 4 - Santee, SC (I-95) Stopped for 35 minutes of charge. 6 of 8 stalls available.

Stop 5 - Savannah, GA (I-95) Charged to 90%. 7 of 8 stalls available but the one stall taken was by an unplugged M3 with the driver taking a nap. It was after 10pm. The app still showed the spot as taken even thought he was unplugged.

Sunday, 11/24/2019

Left the hotel with 90% SOC. My hotel didn’t have a destination charger.

Stop 1 - Jacksonville, FL (I-95) stopped for 35 minutes of charge so we would arrived at our destination with at least 40% SOC. 4 of 8 stalls available.

Sunday, 12/1/2929 - I decided to let the car determine where to stop on the way home except I wanted to get some miles in before the first stop. I skipped St. Augustine and went to GA.

Stop 1 - Kinglands, GA (I-95) stopped for 15 minutes of charge. 4 of 6 stalls available.

Stop 2 - Savannah, GA (I-95) stopped of 30 minutes of charge. 5 of 8 stalls available. It filled while we were here but no one waited. My pedestal was sick and didn’t charge too fast.

Stop 3 - Columbia, SC (I-77) stopped for 50 minutes of charge. 5 of 8 stalls available. Had 19% SOC (instead of 10%) when we arrived because Waze suggested a small diversion and I used SC-321 to go from Hardeeville to Columbia. Traffic on I-95 was awful. This is the type of Supercharger I dislike. You must walk down a busy divided highway without sidewalk to get a bite to eat.

Stop 4 - Mount Airy, NC (I-77) stopped for 25 minutes to get to 90% SOC. 7 of 8 stalls available. It started raining (46 degrees) and traffic had cleared so I drove the speed limit to 5mph over and made it home to Charleston, WV with 17% SOC.

Additional Superchargers used.

Florida:
West Sand Lake Road at Wawa. 6 of 8 available.
Altamonte Springs at a Whole Foods. 5 of 8 available.
Port Orange (x2). 5 of 8 and 7 of 8 available.

14 supercharging sessions. Waited only once.

Hopefully an upgrade to V3 supercharging will continue to maintain supercharger access as the number of Tesla owners grow in 2020.
 

AC-2-DC

Member
Nov 26, 2019
11
4
North Carolina
Nice post and great information about your stops. I travel this same route NC to Fl and this helps me plan my stops. Will be a new Tesla owner when the truck comes out.

If in the Mt Airy area you need to stop at 13 Bones that’s about 5 miles from the Mt Airy Sheetz on hw52. Best ribs ever.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
3,732
Buford, GA
Good report.
I haven't done the calculations, but it seems as if there were some stops that you could have skipped.
The one leg that you went slow on and then arrive at 17%, is an example of range anxiety. You will learn that even when the car suggests slowing, you will have a lot of battery left.
 

Wvapoker

Member
Oct 21, 2019
71
73
Charleston, WV
Good report.
I haven't done the calculations, but it seems as if there were some stops that you could have skipped.
The one leg that you went slow on and then arrive at 17%, is an example of range anxiety. You will learn that even when the car suggests slowing, you will have a lot of battery left.

I agree with the range anxiety. Abetterrouteplanner wouldn’t plan a mt airy to charleston leg. Going south the plan was to charge for shorter times less often but with possible holiday traffic I was always adding a few more percent.

trust the car.
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
3,732
Buford, GA
Holiday traffic slows you down. Being slowed down can dramatically increase your range. I remember in my 88 mile Leaf sometime hoping for slower traffic so that I wouldn't have to charge.

It takes a few trips to mediate the range anxiety, but
  • The Model 3 LR can generally skip every other Supercharger with ease.
  • If the car is routing you to the next Supercharger, it will tell you when you need to slow down
  • If the car is telling you to slow down, listen.
  • If the car is telling you to slow down, take it with a grain of salt, it's a conservative estimate
  • If the car is telling you to stop at a specific Supercharger, but you think that you can make it to the next, route to the next and then resume trip navigation after charging.
  • Try not to make a stop unless you are going to charge.
  • Don't charge to 100% at a Supercharger unless you absolutely can not make it to the next Supercharger (wastes time)
  • ALWAYS look at Supercharger labeling (not the position) and make sure that you plug into an unpaired pedestal when possible. If not possible, try to figure out who is has been there the longest and charge next to them.
  • Don't be afraid of charging to 100% anywhere but Superchargers
  • Take more trips
  • Get off the Interstates and enjoy America (also extends range)
 

Wvapoker

Member
Oct 21, 2019
71
73
Charleston, WV
If the car is telling you to stop at a specific Supercharger, but you think that you can make it to the next, route to the next and then resume trip navigation after charging.

What do you mean by this? I think you are saying. Point the navigation to the preferred SC. Travel there. Insert final destination into navigation. Charge for the suggested amount. Continue your trip.
 

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