North East Driving questions/help before I place my order

North East Driving questions/help before I place my order

Hello, I’m in the process of selling my current weekend car to get a P85, I’m looking forward to using as a daily driver. Looking at getting a well optioned p85 with 21”

I drive a lot on a daily basis and it often to varying locations on any given day (30-40k annually). I don’t usually drive more than 200 miles per day without having to plan a trip so I’m covered there with supercharging etc.

Originally I was very excited about the car and confident the 265 mi rating was enough to get me though the day without charging (I often am called to drop what I’m doing and go to an account quickly), so im not in a position to stop and charge somewhere often from a time stand point if needed.
After reading the forums it looks like a lot of the fun is being taken out of the car when it comes to practicality?

I.e. I’m being strongly advised not to go with the 21” and stay with 19” ( I’m in NY and travel the north east) I think that kills the look of the car but ok , I’ll get the 21 for summer and 19 for winter while the roads are destroyed (big compromise for me), does anyone really regret getting the 21” in the northeast ? Would love to know

With respect to range from what I understand the 265 turns into 225mi without a range charge and with driving normal (70ish) with heat, 21” and driving comfortably like an normal ICE it sounds like 170mi in the summer and winter (15F-35F) sounds like as low as 130mi? is this correct?

If so, does this sound like a lot of compromise for driving an awesome car? If I want to just drive the car like an ICE and be comfortable am I expecting to much out of the range number?

I truly appreciate any constructive input as I want to make this work; I’ve never spent this much for a car but am willing to and look forward to positively helping the tesla community if/when I get one


spasam | 1 januar 2014

Last week I met a signature owner at JFK charger. He replaced his 21" with 19". Not because of winter or range. He said on NYC roads, he had flat tires 3 times in short span. He was using one of the 21 as spare. He said pot holes and 21 don't go together well.

For my driving style in winter, I am not comfortable going beyond 175 miles when max charged. I found that range depends a lot of your speed. I drive @75 mph.

robert_ferrara | 1 januar 2014

Spasam, thanks!, quick follow up Q, was the 21" spare able it fit in his Frunk that you saw?

tes-s | 1 januar 2014

I'm glad I have my 19" wheels. Never had a really nice car before, so even with the 19s it is the sexiest ride I've ever had. I also hear the 19s soften the ride a bit, which I'm glad for too.

I'm driving 200 miles round trip tonight from CT to NJ across the GWB. It will be about 20 degrees out. I will do a range charge (265 miles for me) and expect to get home with about 20 miles left. If I'm running low, my contingency is to drive to Darien to supercharge which is about 10 miles shorter. Greenwich CT will be even better contingency in the future.

But I will pre-heat the car before leaving. If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving in the cold, then with a "standard" charge (about 234 miles for me) your safe driving distance of 130 miles is probably about right. When I run errands in the cold I use a lot of kWh.

Summer I get about 10% below rated miles in the Northeast driving speed of traffic. So a "regular" charge of 234 miles is comfortable for 200 miles.

robert_ferrara | 1 januar 2014

tes-s, thanks, i think the superchargers are a great safety net, i just hope they open enough in the nyc, nj, long island area to match their commitment to CT, its a big relieve knowing that they are there for a fast solution for on the go people, I think they are more a necessity than a leisurely road trip when its winter time here

many thanks

tes-s | 1 januar 2014

The reason there are so many in CT so soon is they were rebuilding the rest areas, and put in the superchargers while the whole place was torn up.

If your normal daily driving (when not on trips) exceeds the range of the MS, I think you may need a different solution. 100 miles in a day would be an unusual amount of driving for me when not on a trip - I don't even charge every night, and have never had any range issues or concens when not on a trip.

Xenoilphobe | 1 januar 2014

Get 19s.

Go with the red calipers instead

Dress warm and use the seat heaters in winter. Also preheat your car while plugged in using the app.

Dress cooler and tint the windows with Spectra Photosync for uv and heat protection ( I would have paid for this as an option at the factory). Same as above pre cool car while plugged in using the iPhone app.

Finally install the 100 amp circuit for speed charging at home. I get a mile a minute at 240vac and 79 amps with the HPWC.

2200 miles in the last 15 days. All options on P85 but 21's, rear seats, and performance suspension. Get one!

spasam | 1 januar 2014

No, he had it in the trunk. May be other owners who carry it around can answer. It might fit in frunk!

J.T. | 1 januar 2014

From what I hear the 21s on rim are the same diameter as 19s on rim. If that is true, the tire and rim fit in the frunk slightly tilted.

tes-s | 1 januar 2014

@Robert - I agree with @Xeno. I have a 100amp HPWC at home, though I don't really need it. Could be very handy for you if on your busy travel days you are at home at some point - could get another 60 miles in an hour.

JonathanL | 1 januar 2014

I have Aero rims with 21" Pirelli snow tires on now. This afternoon I did an 88-mile round trip in low 30's, overcast, no wind, mostly highway, 70 mph, little elevation, range mode, and I used 131 range miles. I ordered the Aero wheels because they were free at the time and I didn't like the look of the stock rims. Yesterday, I ordered my 2nd Tesla, exactly 1-year from the date that I ordered my current Tesla. This time I chose the 19" Cyclone wheels hoping to gain a little more range without changing the look.

JonathanL | 1 januar 2014

Correction - 123 range miles, 379 wh/mile Over the past 650 miles I have averaged 390 wh/mile which included a lot of wet and cold weather driving. My average over the past 13k miles starting in March 2013 was 350 wh/mile.

robert_ferrara | 1 januar 2014

thanks all this is great info, keep it coming.

i definitely will be getting the HPWC in fact im trying to see if a couple of key client will allow me to put one in at there shop to help with my unexpected trips

anyone have any luck getting chargepoint target a place they go frequently?

also i find that plug share doesn't always show the "emergency spots"

for example i find it hard to believe that the long island city service center does not have a carge port for tesla but its not listed on plugshare

Jonathan, 2 follow up questions, have you had any trouble with you 21" such as flats, pot holes, etc

and, why drive in range mode if you are going under 100 miles?

its encouraging to hear your getting under 400wh/mile in cold weather, in my test drives i was burning closer to 500

thanks again

JstACarGuy | 1 januar 2014

I have my P85 for 4 weeks and have 4,000 plus miles on it. Drive daily from central NJ into city. Round trip 140 miles. I usually get home with 40 - 60 miles rated range. I drive it like my ICE, fast (75-85 on GSP and NJT) and smooth. Wearing 19 inch Blizzaks for the winter on Tesla wheels.

My ICE is a CTS-V, modified, and I am enjoying my Tesla immensely from a driving perspective, and from not paying for gas. Luckily, the lot where I park in the city has a chargepoint, so if I think I have a detour, i ask them to plug it in.

Going to Islandia next week, so planning on a stop in JFK at the SC for a quick fill.

I'm debating about switching back to 21s during the summer.

I really, really, can't believe how much enjoyment I'm getting out of the car. Coolest part is, the guys in the CTS-V club asked me to bring the Tesla at our next get together. They universally think its cool, although i do get the "hopped up golf cart" ribbing.

Hope you enjoy your purchase.

tes-s | 1 januar 2014

Did my CT/NJ trip. Started with 265 miles, drove 199, ended with 30. About 30 degrees.

negarholger | 1 januar 2014

@robert - you are funny 500 Wh/mile... your right foot controls it all. Punching it is a lot of fun, but on the other hand the zen like gliding with a steady right right foot is also a lot of fun. I can do the same run from 400+ Wh/mile to 280 Wh/mile - not going slower at all, simply just more steady. Driving an electric car is very different then a gasoline car - you do not have to push the car to rev up the engine, the EV just goes there in an instant.
Creating your own personal charging network in key places is a good idea - it doesn't have to be HPWC even 14-50 will help ( you don't need always a full charge, just some filling up ). How to compensate your filling station - here is just an idea how I did it with my in-laws: I replaced all their standard and CFL light bulbs with LED bulbs - cost me about $200, but saves them 150-200 kWh a month in electricity and that is way more then I will ever charge in a month at their place... be creative, don't expect gifts.

kenj | 2 januar 2014

@tes-s - what was your average speed?

tes-s | 2 januar 2014

Driving about 75 on the NJTP and Deagan (about 40 miles) about 65 on the Merritt and Cross County (about 35 miles) and 50 on Route 1 in NJ (about 25 miles).

odellj | 2 januar 2014

I just returned from a 400 mi trip from Washington DC to central Mass. Stopped at the SCs in Newark, DE and Darien, CT. If I would have fully charged the battery, I could have made the trip without any consideration to driving/comfort. But, I wanted to learn how to manage these factors including the cold temperatures (18F). I arrived at my destination with 35miles of rated range remaining and it was warning me about losing energy at low temps--very helpful.

All in all, it was a beautiful thing.

JonathanL | 2 januar 2014


I have been very happy with the 21" tires except for tire wear and range reduction. The anecdotal evidence is that the 19" tires are better on both accounts. I burned through my first set of rear tires at 7400 miles and after rotating what look liked brand new fronts to the rear, they started wearing unevenly after another 2000 miles. Service did adjust my camber with the new part when they put my snows on but I have yet so see if that has made a difference in the wear. I hit a monster pothole on the approach to the GWB recently and no flats and not a scratch on the rims. That pothole would have destroyed two BMW run flats. I don't know if my summer tires would have fared as well though.

I like to use range mode for the heater/AC (which is different than a range charge) because I find it does a better job of keeping the temp just right without me having to constantly mess around with the blower speed.

Except in really cold, rainy or snowy weather, I am pretty comfortable going 200 miles round trip with a range charge here in the Northeast. And for 99% of my driving, range is never an issue. If you ever find yourself in range trouble, you can always employ the range saving tricks.

I recently drove from Northern NJ to the Boston Suburbs and used a total of 311 miles for a trip of 257 actually miles and an average wh/mile of 321. Temps started in low 50's and reached low 30's by the time we arrived. I like to take the inland route, but we had to stop in Darien (which is definitely a slower charger) to pick up 50 miles of range to comfortably make it to our destination. We still had 20 miles of range by the time we arrived. Greenwich will be much more convenient for that trip once operational. Not a shocker, but I found that drafting makes a huge difference in range. There is a section on the Merritt (the traffic on 95 after Darien was bad, so we took back roads back to the Merritt) where there is long uphill to the approach of an inland tunnel. I don't recall the town, but I bet tes-s knows it. We were cruising at 55 mph and we were surrounded by a jersey barrier on the right and cars front, left and behind, so basically in the middle of a peloton and we were being sucked up the hill. I would accelerate for a few seconds and pull back to 0 wh/mile for a few seconds and I watched wh/mile drop from 300 to 250 from the bottom of the hill to the top.

Given that you will often be pushing the range envelop in the winter time with your driving needs, you might be better off with 19" tires. Regardless of tire size, you will love the car.

portia | 2 januar 2014

@JonathanL, I always thought of drafting as scary, how far away are the cars in front of you to make this work?

JonathanL | 2 januar 2014

In the scenario on the Merritt we were all pretty close to each either, say 1.5 car lengths front to back - which for the Merritt during rush hour on a Friday is normal. At 55 mph it was not that bad. Frankly it was a like a forced draft because if you did not stay that close or keep your speed you would be passed. Everyone in my lane was getting pulled up the hill. As we made it to the big hills on 84 near the MA border I tried drafting again as the wh/mile started increasing, but I was less successful because it was not that crowded, so there was less of a vacuum effect and traffic was going much faster and I don't like getting too close to anyone at that speed. As an alternative, I began slowing down as I reached the top of the hill and let momentum take over on the downhill, keeping the orange line as close to 0 as possible without going into regen. I tried drafting again on the MA Pike behind some big trucks and that worked well even at 3+ car lengths. I was comfortable doing it because the trucks I got behind were only doing 55-60 mph and the conditions were dry. The downside was the fumes, so I abandoned the truck drafting once I was comfortable we would make it to our destination.

On our return trip, drafting was not an option because it was freezing rain when we left and then just pouring rain CT onwards. I believe it was the same storm that flooded jtoddman's car. We stopped at Milford which is a fast charger, and we got a good charge while the kids ate their nutritious happy meals.

Bighorn | 2 januar 2014

No question that drafting helps--years ago, I would draft semis driving to and from college. I wouldn't do it now because of the safety factor, but other things such as the gravel wake that a truck kicks up is bound to hit home eventually. If someone behind you decides to join the train, you'd better hope their brakes are as good as yours (they probably aren't.) You rightly point out that these short following distances are almost inevitable because someone will fill in a void if you choose to follow at a safe distance. Unless, you're in a major traffic jam, traffic tends to travel in clumps and I've found that it's often possible to travel between clumps with open road in front and behind. Doesn't really work if you're trying to be efficient because it usually involves passing and breaking away from a group.

tommylpalmer | 2 januar 2014


The problem is not the car, the problem is you. As you drive your ICE next week, count every A8, M3, S500 etc you see. Each one that comes up behind you will cast you 10 range miles and another 5 to wipe the Tesla smile off your face.

williamweiss21 | 2 januar 2014

I have found that 55mph on cruise control is the sweet spot for long distance range in an S-85 performance.
In temps between 37 - 58d or so, you can get 2-5% more than the rated range indicated - discovered this on a trip from Saddle River to Boston last month. Stopped in Milford, Ct for a boost and at the Seaport Hotel garage had 110 left on the dial. The climate was on "Auto".
It takes much, much mental discipline, however, to cruise at 55. But it is the key to extending the range to the max regardless of the weather.

JonathanL | 2 januar 2014

I have to admit that this was my first deliberate attempt to draft in a long time. The "forced" draft is tough to avoid in congested Northeast rush hour traffic. I usually speed up just to pass semi's, but given the ever decreasing margin of range to remaining distance to travel with lots of hilly miles to go, I decided to do it until I had a comfortable margin. I now know that it was not necessary in this instance. I did consider going slower, but my wife threatened to throw me out of the driver seat if I let another old lady in a Camry pass me. I decided I did not have the mental discipline to ignore her threats, so I pushed a little harder on the thruster to keep those old ladies behind me.

Driving an ICE was never this much fun.

kenj | 2 januar 2014

Thanks for the clarification @tes-s

I was out on 287 this evening from White Plains the down to the Sprain south. No plowed roads, no salt down - so basically ice.

19s all weather - I felt some pull to the left in places - I will check the cold tire pressure in the AM. Topped out at 30mph max.

portia | 2 januar 2014

I guess I never want to be behind a semi or trucks for fear of debris or pebbles kicking up and denting the car or cracking the windshield. But thanks for the info.

noel.smyth | 2 januar 2014

I have an standard 85 with 19" tires. 22k miles in the north east. I have driven round trip from philly to NY in a day several times, but i always top off while parked in NY as there are plenty of options. even at 30 amps you can get enough to not have to worry. the killer is the stop and start daily short trips as the start up process takes more energy especially in the cold. Driving in range mode helps. drafting reduces energy by about 15 to 20%. get the car, plug in when you can. I would suggest the 19" tires for both wear and tear and mileage. i am still on the original tires and suspect i will pass inspection in january as there is ample thread life still.

robert_ferrara | 3 januar 2014

thanks so much everyone, sounds like topping off will be key for me as the frequent stops sounds like is going to eat alot of energy, the only good news it sounds like is for the first time in my long commutes that the slow speeds of bumper to bumper traffic is going to work to my range advantage

question about charging at a general stopped location, do you always try and find a 110v outlet to charge from if you are stopping somewhere for a few hours (assuming they dont have a charging station) if so do you carry a long, low gauge extention cord with you? or does all of this become to much of a hassle / unnecessary?


tes-s | 3 januar 2014

I never charge at 110 - I don't think it is worth the bother. At basically 1kWh per hour, it is so little benefit for the hassle of pulling out the cord - especially if it requires and extension cord. If you are going to be there at leat 4 hours and are desperate for charge, maybe.

Bighorn | 3 januar 2014

I agree that plugging into 110V isn't going to add much mileage, but it may help keep the battery warmer making your initial miles more efficient. So for winter in particular, probably not a bad idea--kind of like a block warmer.

ajaymalhotra_1 | 3 januar 2014

I have a MS-85 and I commute daily from Greenwich, CT to Hartford, CT. Basically a 170 mile round trip commute, have done it for 3 weeks now. I average about 370KWH and do a speed between 60 MPH and 70 MPH and keep temp at 70 degrees. I stop once in the AM at Milford SC and once in the evening at Darien SC, for about 20 minutes each, adds about 90-100 mi range each time. Never charge at home, basically commute for free everyday :)

I did make a 165 Mi one way trip to Atlantic City, left at 211 range and had 30 Mi range left. Most of the trip was at 55 MPH and the car had 4 people in it (2 adults and 2 kids). Turned on the heat very occassionally and the de-frost every few minutes. Made it back after charging up at a Chargepoint location for about 7 hours to get 150 mi range back.

dramingly | 3 januar 2014

Hey Rob, it's me. If I get to work early and can park near one of the 120 outlets, I charge. It adds 3 to 4 miles an hour. Unlike you, I'm there for at least 10 hours and I have a short commute, so it adds up and can obviate me having to move my wife's car out of the garage that night. For you, if you're only there for a couple of hours, it might be such a drop in the bucket that it's not worth it.

tes-s | 3 januar 2014

@ajay - not free. Costs you 40 minutes a day vs $10 at home. :)

You might consider stopping at Darien on the way home. With less charge you would charge faster.