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Worst Case Scenario?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by arremgee, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. arremgee

    arremgee Member

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  2. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Wow. Seems like you hit every one of the gotchas in one trip.
     
  3. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    That does sound painful, but I wouldn't say they hit ALL of the gotchas...on my first EV road trip (driving a Roadster from Seattle to San Diego and back 3 years ago) in addition to finding 110V "charging stations" and campgrounds confused about what kind of outlets they had (hint: ask for "50 amp service"; that is the terminology they are used to) I hit a power outage, a freak snowstorm that closed the pass, my third-party charging cable melted, Tesla didn't have replacement cables, and when Tesla finally got me a replacement cable that they said they had tested...it didn't work when I tried it, which of course was in a campground in Shingletown, CA with about 6 miles of range left at midnight in light snow.

    But I've taken 5 long trips since then and never had any of those issues...thank goodness.
     
  4. William13

    William13 Member

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    Sad story. I have not been and won't be this ambitious for a while. I have checked out all my future charging sites carefully before I go far away and have checked out two other options as well.

    I also await superchargers and more level two chargers.
     
  5. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    Wow, tough trip and glad for you that it's over and you still (I think?) love your car. My lesson learned is I'm going to get additional adapters.
     
  6. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Yikes. Good job on persevering through it all though. Life's an adventure, and it sounds like that was quite the adventure indeed.

    One tip on heating and range - the cabin air heater uses upwards of 3000 watts. The seat heaters use less than 100. Next time you're in a range bind in cold weather definitely kill the HVAC, but by all means feel free to use the seat heaters. After 3 hours of driving with them on you'll lose only 1 mile at most.
     
  7. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    This trip sounded very frustrating, but there's a lot of good info from it.

    I was surprised that so many places had installed only 110V outlets in their EV charging stations. There definitely needs to be more education about this for hotel and rest stop operators and others so that EV motorists aren't stuck with 2 MPH or worse when they arrive.
     
  8. walla2

    walla2 Member

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    Arremgee. Sorry for the tough trip. I think you should try out some of the multiple apps available for smartphones that allow you to see charging locations and details about the stations. Chargepoint, plugshare, the website: openchargemap.org, and many others give great details about what is available at these "EV sites." That would've saved you from driving over to a site with 110's several times and possibly would have let you know about NEMA 10-30's and amps available at sites you can actually use (chevy/nissan, etc.).

    I would also recommend dressing extremely warmly and getting some toasty gloves if you plan on driving distances in the cold. Double socks, base layers, and a warm hat are nice too. My first drive from my delivery was 171 miles in some fairly cold weather. I had layers and gloves, used the seat heaters only, and while I felt silly going 65 in a 70, I made my planned 171 miles through some hill covered terrain with a ton of miles left.
     
  9. Sigma4Life

    Sigma4Life Member

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    Agreed, I think nearly all of the issues would have been avoided with better planning via the various apps available.

    AllStays is a very good RV finder app which tells you which parks have 50 amp connections. All you have to do is call ahead do those locations to verify they have a 14-50 plug available and they are EV friendly.


    For the EV charging stations any of the above apps would have informed you about which locations have compatible chargers. Blindly driving to various charger locations without an ounce of recon is a recipe for trouble.
     
  10. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    110 V plugs are good for airports, but not really much else.
     
  11. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    It appears you may have one of the older J1772 adapters, like mine it is a very tough fit and I've had to nearly ram the connector into the adapter to make it work, and put the J1772 connector between my feet and tug on my adapter to get it loose. I saw one that shipped with a recent production car, with glossy black finish, that fit much, much better. Glad you were able to make it work!
     
  12. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Yeah, I've got one of the older adapters too that I can barely get on and off. Fortunately I've only had to use it at one charger (in Davis CA), though multiple times. I'm going to ask for one of the new ones.
     
  13. arremgee

    arremgee Member

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    For clarification -- I used Recargo, PlugShare and ChargePoint. The problem was I was driving between Dixon, IL and Rochester, MN and there were very few plugs. Some of the plugs I found were not on those apps, because there were only 1-2 plugs on the apps which did not work for various reasons, as I outlined in my blog. The J1772's I found were not fitting the Tesla Adapter, because of the extreme cold (which has been resolved with the new replacement adapter they have started sending out). Also, I did use the seat warmers the entire time and turned the heat off. Thanks for the suggestions, but I had already done all of those things. AllStays is a good suggestion though.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah, the adapter was working fine for us when it was 30 degrees out... but I have heard there have been some issues with them, so perhaps it wasn't related to the cold. We'll get the glossy one next week.
     
  14. eelton

    eelton Member

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    The efforts you went to to try to make the trip work are commendable.

    Sadly, this cements my plan to never take my Model S more than 40 miles from Chicago.
     
  15. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Member

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    That sucks, but seriously what were you expecting? As great as the Model S is, doing long distance roadtrips at freezing temperatures planning to use charging points that are totally unknown to you in an electric vehicle is just asking for it. I'll bet you wouldn't buy an F-350 and then bitch about how difficult it is to drive on a gokart track and how hard it is to find a suitable place in a parking garage ...
     
  16. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Whoa! Getting harsh here. I appreciate everyone sharing their Model S experience, both good and bad, because ALL OF US benefit from the shared learning.

    There are some 'lessons learned' in this for everyone. Know where you're going to charge, know your car in diff environments, etc. Overreacting either way (never taking the car more than 40 miles from home vs. what did you expect) are over the top for the situation.

    arremgee, thanks for sharing what happened. You've helped other people not repeat the same. As I've mentioned before, a favorite column in FLYING Magazine is 'I Learned About Flying From That', where pilots share the mistakes they made so that others can learn. Thanks so much for putting it out there. :)

    Peace, everyone.
     
  17. arremgee

    arremgee Member

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    eelton -- I encourage you to push it at least a little further than that. I work 45 miles from home. On a regular basis, I go to and from work, visit friends and run errands all in the same day without even thinking about my range or charging outside of my garage. Of course, this will be easier when there are more chargers. The Chicagoland area is moving quickly. There's even a Walgreens in Palatine that has a CHAdeMO.
     
  18. eelton

    eelton Member

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    Yes, I will at some point, certainly if they put Superchargers in the Midwest. Really, though, Chicago is such an island that I'm either going somewhere in the city or suburbs, or I'm driving hundreds of miles to get someplace else--not much in between. Since I have another [ICE] car, it's just simpler to take that if I'm making a long trip. But 99+ percent of what I do is within a comfortable one-charge Tesla range, so that's not a big deal for me.

     
  19. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    Thanks for posting this arremgee. This is really useful information for people that plan to take plenty of road trips in their Model S.

    Between your story and the recent NY times article, it sounds like cold weather road trips in a Model S are still really challenging. Perhaps Tesla can develop a cold weather package that might include things like better insulation on the battery pack and some sort of auxiliary heater. If I did the math correctly, a standard BBQ propane tank packs about 128 kWh worth of energy and would easily fit in the frunk. Just add a catalytic propane heater to the electric heater currently used to heat the cabin and warm the battery and I imagine most of the cold weather issues would go away.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The correct fix would be building up the Supercharger network.
     

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