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What I Learned from My First Road Trip

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Francis Lau, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    #1 Francis Lau, Dec 25, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
    I took my first road trip yesterday through some wintery roads and here are some stats and what I learned.

    Overview



    Total Trip


    255 miles round trip
    TripMap.png
    Ready to Go!
    IMG_3545A.jpg

    Outbound (I-90 E and US-97 N, 129 miles)


    • Bellevue to Hyak Sno Park - 45 miles
    • Sno Park to Leavenworth - 84 miles

    Return (US-97 S and I-90 W, 127 miles)


    • Leavenworth to Bellevue

    Timeline


    • 12:45 pm: Departed with range charge of 303 miles
    • 1:30 pm: Arrived at Hyak
    • 4:10 pm: Arrived at Leavenworth
    • 4:20 pm: Started charging at Leavenworth
    • 7 pm: Finished charging
    • 7:10 pm: Departed Leavenworth
    • 9:50 pm: Arrived home

    Key Findings



    Cabin Heating and Defrosting


    • Range Drive option where it limits the climate system does not work for winter conditions in terms of heating the cabin and defrosting
    • Even with regular mode, my MS fogs up badly on driver side. Something is wrong here and I have seen other TMC reports of this. See pics below
    • I could not figure out a way to get heat out the rear vents - tried all permutations of settings. Anyone getting heated air out the rear vents?
    IMG_3551A.jpg IMG_3552A.jpg IMG_3554A.jpg

    Maps


    • Google Map and Nav worked well
    • Losing 3G loses Google Maps but Nav still works
    IMG_3561A.jpg

    Cold Temperature Handling


    • MS handles well in icy roads and temperatures - even on trip back where Blewett Pass had 18F temperatures; I was going at 45-50 MPH. However, roads were dry and bare.
    • On this trip, I did not have to drive in snow
    IMG_3562A.jpg


    Key Power Stats



    Arrived at Leavenworth


    • Drove 128 miles
    • Consumed 48.7 kWh
    • Averaged 380 Wh/mile
    • Rated range of 98 miles left
    • Average projected range 156 miles left. Last 15 miles were largely downhill
    IMG_3574A.jpg IMG_3578A.jpg

    Started Charging


    Started charging with 30A Aerovironment charger; sad that a commercial charger is slower than my home. Switched to standard charge for faster charging
    IMG_3572A.jpg IMG_3579A.jpg IMG_3580A.jpg

    Finished Charging


    Completed Charging. Charged from 98 to 151 miles in 2 hours 40 minutes. Charge rate was 20 miles per hour
    IMG_3582A.jpg IMG_3583A.jpg

    Return Trip


    • Got home with 4 miles rated range left. Power bar on speedometer turns yellow at 50 miles rated and then to red at 10 miles rated
    • In last hour of driving, I was on cruise control set at 50 miles per hour and I was confident I get home because: triangulation between Nav showing distance left and both rated and projected numbers being higher. For example, a dozen or so miles after clearing the Snoqualmie summit - I had Nav showing 20 miles to home, 26 miles projected, 22 miles rated. in hindsight, I just had a lot of faith in these 3 numbers and it panned out as expected because I got home with 4 miles left!!
    IMG_3586A.jpg IMG_3588A.jpg

    Total Trip Stats


    • Drove 255 miles
    • Consumed 91.2 kWh
    • Averaged 358 Wh/mile. 380 Wh/mile outbound, 336 Wh/mile return. Difference is careful driving with return trip with 50 MPH cruise control
    • Got home with both rated range and average projected range of 4 miles left. Regen down Blewett Pass and Snoqualmie Pass saved me!

    My MS stallion drinking heartily!


    IMG_3590A.jpg

    You can send movie sound from iPad to Sound System


    Family was watching Mission Impossible on the iPad with sound sent to MS sound system via Bluetooth - the sound surround worked well and added extra suspense to the drive home as the car power supply dwindled down!


    Miscellaneous Tips


    • Get all your charging network fobs and charge cards handy - Blink, Aerovironment and Chargepoint. Install their smart phone apps too. Have a co-pilot that knows how to use these apps. Some of the charging stations are not accessible to the public
    • Don't forget to turn off your AC system when parked and have your doors and trunk opened. We were hanging out around the car drinking hot chocolate at the sledding hill with doors and trunk opened and I did not realize that the climate system was blaring away until I got back in the driver's seat. It a waste of precious energy.
    • Creating an "easy to access" trip wiki page is extremely helpful. Know your route and where you can charge
      IMG_3594A.jpg


    Miscellaneous Pics



    Fahrvergnügen
    IMG_3564A.jpg

    More Tesla Grins
    IMG_3565A.jpg

    Beautiful Leavenworth
    IMG_7007A.jpg

    A Hearty German Platter for Dinner
    IMG_7008A.jpg

    Hopefully this is helpful for folks and not the modern day equivalent of making your neighbors watch the slideshow of your vacation!
     
  2. setritt

    setritt p6652

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    #2 setritt, Dec 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2012
    the fogging to me is a big issue. they need to fix that and soon.
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Nice write up. I do hope the fogging is addressed somehow, haven't had a long trip yet, but it is noticeable and annoying even on short trips. That platter of German food looks outstanding!
     
  4. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Thanks for posting that nice summary of your trip. You have some great tips as well.

    It is unfortunate that the driver side fogs up so much. I definitely view this as something that Tesla needs to investigate further. This strikes me as another one of those issues with the car that results (possibly) from having designers who live in California year round.

    Sent via Tapatalk.
     
  5. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Really nice writeup for the EV community, Francis.
     
  6. ModelX

    ModelX Member

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    Very nice!
     
  7. Raven

    Raven Member

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    Was defrost on high or a lesser setting to preserve power? Maybe it's been mentioned, but if the pano roof is as cold as some say, it may be causing a lot of the fogging. Did you try holding your breath for a few minutes? Kidding.
     
  8. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

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    Thank you for that excellent summary Francis.

    For quite a while, potential fogging / ventilation / climate control / defrosting issues (including the windshield wipers) have been my main concern about buying an (otherwise amazing) vehicle designed in California for use in areas with real winters... Even vehicles by established automakers often struggle with one or more of them. This concern is now unfortunately being proven accurate.

    As well, this inadequate airflow to the main cabin does nothing to reassure me about the eventual comfort of my two kids sitting in the trunk with their heads relatively close to a glass surface.

    As noted above, this has to be fixed ASAP, fogged up or frozen windows can have major safety implications, even in relatively clement weather.
     
  9. Wattson

    Wattson Member

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    Absolutely amazing write up of your road trip!!! So useful to have such a practical example of road tripping. This is also great data for those driving over hills and having a full compliment of passengers.

    Thanks for taking the time to provide all the details and photos.

    Cheers, David
     
  10. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    If found setting cabin temp to around 80 reduces the fogging. Actually, I noticed that I can set an Audi to about 72-74 and be comfy/toasty (same with my home), but I tend to have to go 6-8 degrees higher to get similar results (granted the S temp gauge actually goes higher as well with 90 being HI).

    Thanks for this though Francis. Good write up.
     
  11. patp

    patp Member

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    #11 patp, Dec 25, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
    I live in Quebec, Canada. My first trip was during a snowstorm. I experienced *the EXACT same fogging issues* on the driver side. This is really dangerous and I had to put full heating on the windshield which drained my battery. I would never have my wife or other people drive the car alone in such a context. I arrived home with only 14km (instead of 100 km...). My Roadster never had this issue.

    Also, the car is so powerful that it's a little bit too much power (even with excellent traction control). I think Tesla should implement a cold climate drive mode with less torque / power.

    I will say something not really popular, but I'm telling my friend to wait for these issues to be fixed before ordering their Model S if they intend to drive in the winter. Tesla should have a full time team in Canada (or any extreme weather) just to make sure the cars are well tuned for these climates.
     
  12. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I noticed that you had the Climate set to a custom setting. Did you have the A/C turned off? This reduces the moisture in the cabin when turned on, or in the Auto mode. This would explain the increased fogging.

    "Get all your charging network fobs and charge cards handy - Blink, Aerovironment and Chargepoint. Install their smart phone apps too. Have a co-pilot that knows how to use these apps."

    Where to you get an Aerovironment card? I looked all over their site and could not find a link.
     
  13. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Great post Francis. You should start a blog on TMC too with the way you organize yours posts and the detail you provide.
     
  14. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    Lovely write up, this is a trip we plan to take as well (starting from Portland). Merry Christmas!
     
  15. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    It is not easy to find and they only have stations in Oregon and Washington State right now anyway:
    AV Subscriber Network : EV Solutions
     
  16. patp

    patp Member

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    On my side, I tried every possible settings. AC on/off, manual, auto. I'm pretty sure it's a design flaw.
     
  17. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

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    Pat,

    I read about your trip in La Presse or Roulez Electrique, and was shocked to see how much juice you used. The max ventilation certainly explains a good bit of it.

    I am sad to say it, but if this issue is not addressed promptly, for me it is one of the very few deal-breakers, since I intend the S to be my daily driver and road-trip car year-round.

    I assume you have or will report this to Tesla? Any feedback you get would be greatly appreciated.
     
  18. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    In the beginning, I used the Range Driving mode that limits the climate control and it did not work in the cold weather at all. It really fogged up. Then, I switched to normal mode and then tried different climate settings. It was better in general but the driver side issue could not be resolved but I did not try to heat the cabin to over 70F since I wanted to conserve power. I will try on a different trip where I have more power to spare and post the results.

    I filled in the form and created an account at the same link @efusco provided. However, I did not get the FOB in time and @ChadS was kind enough to loan me his. A BIG thanks to @ChadS as he loaned me all 3 system charge cards/fobs - Aerovironment, Blink and Chargepoint. I signed up on all 3 sites but did not get any in time.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Maybe stating the obvious but I took the trip with a full load - 4 adults and a tween. And extra winter clothing, 2 sleds, supply of water, hot chocolate and snacks. It seems like the weight did not affect range that much since I was able to meet the rated and projected range estimates on my way back. I felt that the 50 mph cruise control and when climbing mountains, keeping the power consumption low (< 40 wh/hr) while moving at a decent speed were the biggest power conservation factors.
     
  19. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    I hope you folks with fogging issues have contacted Tesla about them. What little fogging I've seen in the Bay Area has been easily handled by the standard defog mode. Since that also makes the cabin pretty hot, I've also just directed the regular cabin heat to the windshield with good success, but I would guess this wouldn't be enough in a really cold climate.

    It's really a pity that Tesla didn't do a heated windshield. I don't like to be hot and stuffy while driving, especially my head, and one of the nice features of the old RAV4-EV was being able to defog the glass without having to heat the cabin up.
     
  20. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    Thanks for the info and tips!

    Regarding the fogging, that sounds like a pain. Cracking the window can help, but then the HVAC just has to work harder to keep the temp up. ;-(

    I haven't read enough about how the Nav works. It knows where you are and gives directions, but the only maps are via Google, online? I guess that's better than I feared (no turn-by-turn without 3G), but not as good as I'd hoped. It seems silly that it essentially knows the map (else how could it tell where you are/where to go) but has NO rendering capability. Oh well, as long as it can direct me, I'll just trust its accuracy. ;-)

    I'm not sure why you recommend opening the doors while parked and charging. Especially in winter! Why not turn off the HVAC (as you say) but keep the doors close, so the cabin doesn't get quite as cold? Leaving it open seems like it would exacerbate fogging when you got back in.

    Interesting idea about a web page for the trip. I usually print a page or two of info and/or put details on my phone and/or iPad. The only downside of a web page is if you lose 3G and need some detail from the web page; I wonder how big/good the browser's cache is.

    Anyway, thanks again! Great write-up!
     

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