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Wildly inaccurate range on long trips

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Michman, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. Michman

    Michman Member

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    Fishers, IN
    I’ve had my Model S for a few months and just took it on a couple trips outside the area I live in for the first time over the holidays. This meant using superchrgers for the first time. One trip was about 400 miles round trip, the other was 600.

    I’m shocked by the inaccuracy of the “tank level” miles remaining. I got FAR LESS range than it showed. I have a 75D with a 240 max range when charged to 100%. I was luckyto get 150 miles total. What gives?

    Here’s an example. On the last leg of my trip last night, I stopped at a supercharger and charged to 200 miles exactly. I was exactly 100 miles from home. When I got home, I had 60 mile reminding. A loss of 40%!!!

    During this time I set the cruise on exactly 70mph the whole way. Turned the display down, ambient lights off, no radio, no climate control, no heated seats, etc. The only wildcard here is that it was raining.

    I assume 70mph is a strain but I didn’t expect it to cost me 40%. That means the real max range of my car is only 144 miles!!! That’s absurd.

    One other weird note: The trip planner on the navigation seemed dead on. It projected the batter at 25% for the end of my trip right after it charged to 200 miles. 25% of my max 240 range is 60 miles...exactly where it ended.

    So why is there such a discrepancy in the Nav planner and range icon?

    Hopefully I’ll learn more as I take more trips but I have to say I’m highly disappointed in the outcome of these two and the overall range of my car.

    If anyone has advice, I’d be happy to take it.

    Thanks,
     
  2. brkaus

    brkaus Well-Known Member

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    Range (battery) icon is based in EPA rated range.
     
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  3. Michman

    Michman Member

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    So does that imply that I should expect a 150ish mile range in real life? Seems far fetched. I get that the EPA range is a pipe dream but this huge of a discrepancy seems criminal.

    Does anyone know what the parameters are that would get me to 240 miles?
     
  4. jmaddr

    jmaddr Member

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    What does the “energy” app say? That will give you an estimated range based on on you last X mileage so it takes into consideration temperature, wind, your foot, basically everything your car went through the past X miles. Much better estimation than the best case EPA.
     
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  5. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    What was your wh/m during the trip? That is the key factor. To get the EPA rated range you need to be averaging around 300 wh/m if I recall correctly for the S. You can see the rated number to aim for on the energy page: it is the dotted line labeled “rated”.

    Other things that are factors: temperature, tire size (the 21” have much worse efficiency), the rain would have been a pretty big hit, jackrabbit starts off of lights (many new Tesla owners are heavy on the pedal), etc.


    My guess based on your location is this is all weather related. In the summer you will do much better and in the winter worse. Our P85D is very seasonal and gets its worse efficiency this time of year even on dry roads. Always use the navigation on longer trips until you get a feel for it, and even then we still use the navigation because it is so much more accurate.
     
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  6. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    The rated range is estimated as a combination of city and highway driving in specific conditions and speeds - which usually don't represent actual driving.

    The onboard navigation estimates are usually more accurate than using rated range.

    When driving we usually try to avoid going below 10% charge - because we don't want to risk exhausting the battery pack, plus we want to have some battery charge left at out destination, just in case we need to drive somewhere else for charging in case our planned charger is unavailable.

    We usually estimate that we'll use between 10-30% more energy than what the rated range is showing (10% under normal conditions, 30% if we're anticipating strong winds, heavy traffic, or driving uphill).jj

    While it's possible to get rated range by slowing down and adjusting your driving habits to maximize range, for normal driving, it's unlikely you'll ever see the rated range - which is the same with the MPG ratings for ICEs.

    Since you typically want to keep the battery pack between 10-90% and highway driving (at least what we've seen) usually uses about 10% more power than the rated range - the practical range (what you're more likely to see) is likely to be 70-75% of the rated range (and worse if you have a single motor Tesla or towing a trailer).
     
  7. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Except when it isn't.
     
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  8. Tessaract

    Tessaract Member

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    Although I drive an M3, the battery range factors are the same: speed (anything above 60 m/h or 100 km/h uses more than EPA energy/mile), temperature (below about 10C efficiency drops a little, below 0C a lot), gradient (are you driving uphill?), lots of acceleration (more fun = more energy), weather (driving through rain reduces efficiency a bit, plowing through snow on the road reduces it a lot), accessories (heaters mainly).

    To get to the EPA-rated efficiency, do not exceed 100km/h (60mph), and drive with cruise control on, and in temperate dry weather. If I do this, I routinely can get EPA range from my battery.
     
  9. beatle

    beatle Member

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    As others have said, knowing your consumption is key to knowing what your range is. The projected range is an okay indicator, but is still optimistic in my experience. On my car (P85D) it believes 310wh/mi to be the reference to meet EPA range. In reality, I need 292wh/mi to meet it:

    P85D - 310 wh/mi not good enough to make rated any more?

    This means in the winter I will often only get 80% of my rated range - sometimes even less if there is a headwind. Using a service like TeslaFi can be very useful in determining your ongoing consumption beyond individual trips. They offer a free 2 week trial, or one month if you use a referral link. If you need one, my referral is: Sign Up
     
  10. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Well-Known Member

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    To determine the battery range on your trip, you should ONLY look at the 30 minute average range estimate on the energy graph. That's the only thing that is based on your current driving characteristics.

    In the winter, just assume that you will only get 30% of the range on the front panel in the best conditions (dry, <65 mph)
     
  11. Max*

    Max* Charging

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    As mentioned, it's EPA range. Also, in winter your range will be a lot less than in the summer.

    Instead of looking at that, you can view the range in "trips" and that's very accurate as you've noticed.

    All of those (minus the climate control) won't do much. The usage is minuscule.

    Yes, it can be done in the spring/fall. 75F outside, driving non-stop at highway speeds (70mph). No rain. No wind.
     
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  12. Max*

    Max* Charging

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    Typo -- 30 mile, not minute.
     
  13. Mweida

    Mweida Member

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  14. SSedan

    SSedan Active Member

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    Do you know to preheat the cabin while plugged in to avoid using pack capacity for initial warmup?

    The heat being straight from the battery as opposed to repurposed waste as in an ICE makes a big difference.
     
  15. Peter Lucas

    Peter Lucas Member

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    Two things. Many of us get much less range than advertised. My 2016 90D, when 6 months old, got 200-220 miles of full charge range. Even while the cars display of full charge range was 280-285 miles. So, some false advertising (note below).
    Second thing; many owners say that rain dramatically reduces range (increases energy consumption).
    As you observed, the trip planner, somehow, gets it right. Ignore the cars display of range (I switched mine to display battery percent, I got so irritated by the lying display of range that I will never get)

    Note. False advertising about range comes in two forms. First, the required driving efficiency to achieve the Rated Range is unobtainable with anything that resembles ordinary driving. Tesla techs told me that rated range (on my car) would be achievable if a drove using 277 Wh/mile. Working really hard in ideal conditions I can get my consumption down to 305 wh/mile. My average is 351 Wh/mi. Second; your battery may have degradation that your range display conceals. For example my "90 kWh" battery has only 72 kWh of usable capacity. Even though my range display continues to show a full charge range of 280 miles.
     
  16. Manitoba Keith

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    Weather & Wind - Big factors.
    On a recent trip from Ardmore OK to McAllen TX while driving 75-80 Mph my car "Average" was showing well below the "Rated" mileage line (Solid on the M3). Normally it would have been reversed, but that tail wind did wonders. Rain, Snow & especially Slush beat mileage down.
    As for mileage and battery, I feel that "It is what it is" and I have little control over it (other than speed & heater), so in the winter I plan to arrive with 20% minimum, watch the arrival % and slow down if it gets too scary :D
     
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  17. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    Rain is known range killer.
     
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  18. jerry33

    jerry33 (S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20

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    Rain kills range like Mswlogo says. So do headwinds, and cold air is denser than warm air. Also often when you are on a trip, you're loaded more than normal so it's a good idea to increase the tire pressure to compensate. ICE cars are just as affected but most don't have the instrumentation to let you know this. If you don't keep a log, you'll likely never know in an ICE.
     
    • Like x 3
  19. Michman

    Michman Member

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    I love the forum, you guys are the best! I appreciate the helpful feedback to a newbie who's still learning. You've all been so constructive.

    I've learned a couple of things and have a couple thoughts;

    First, looks like the rain was a big factor. It makes sense because I lost about 40% range on this trip but only about 20% on the one before in good weather.

    Second, there were a ton of comments about the range indicator being the EPA number. Many of you noted ICE's also have unrealistic EPA's. I have to disagree with this statement because my old ICE based my "range" on actual recent results to calculate my range. If an ICE used the EPA x gallons remaining, I would agree with you guys. Tesla should change their method of projecting range if we all know it's unrealistic.​

    Many of you referenced paying more attention to my energy app. I think I need to take that good advice and get to know it better.

    Nearly every comment focused on things that degrade mileage. Understandable. There were no comments refuting my assumption that I need to assume a lesser range going forward. I still think it's egregious that I should expect that car will only get 150-200 miles AT BEST on a charge with an advertised range of 240 miles under unattainable or unrealistic driving conditions.

    I've been bragging about my car to everyone I know, I would be embarrassed to tell anyone I only get 150 miles of range. No wonder range anxiety is such a popularly discussed topic. I get it now.
     
  20. Michman

    Michman Member

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    I do turn on the HVAC in the car from my app while plugged in prior to my trip. Are you referring to something different than that?
     

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