Long range use on a very regular basis

Long range use on a very regular basis

Hi guys,

I'm on the verge of buying a Model S as my BMW 530D is now getting a little old, a little high mileage and frankly, I've been looking at EVs for around 4 years, but unable to find one in my budget with the appropriate range etc. I want a little advice/some opinions from those who already own and use their Model S daily.

I'm looking at buying a used Model S 70D from 2016. Will have less than 60k on the clock. What concerns me even now is the use that I'll be getting from it. I regularly commute (weekly) between Sunderland and Heathrow, a journey of 280 miles each way (give or take a few). I'd have a Type 2 charger at home so I'd be leaving with a full charge and I'd have supercharger use halfway there. When I arrive, I wouldn't be using my car for 3-4 days as I walk between my accommodation to the office. There is no fancy charger at that location and I'd be forced to use a 3-pin plug for the time I'm parked up. I'd then be returning home and stopping halfway to use a supercharger.

Would this kind of use have any detrimental effect on the battery or it's longevity?
Does anyone here use their car in a similar way, and how are you finding it?

I'm already thinking about the 30 minute stop to charge, as I currently don't stop if I don't have to in my ICE car so the other factors are important to me.

Also, how long will it hold a charge for when not used? If I park at a long stay car park while I go on holiday for 2 weeks, will the charge still be there when I return home?

Thanks in advance for any information you can give me. I'm looking forward to joining you on the road to cleaner driving.

b8schris | 10. Juli 2019

I would get the biggest battery that you can get. it's not really about the total range, it will be about the charging speed.. I have a p85 and take longer trips on regular basis.. with that mileage, you will rack up the miles on the battery quickly. Personally I rarely charge past 75% on long trips as the charging speed drops off significantly. it's better to stop one more time at a lower charge in your battery... like around 10%. so that may make you think that it is ok to have a smaller battery but now you will be getting the same range I get at 75 %but will need to charge to 85% and that will take more time. If I had that kind of commute, I would consider getting a model 3 long range, and just basic AP. on the other hand, it is nice to have free supercharging for life. just my 2 cents. Also, when I first got my car, I thought.. hey long trip.. charge to full, but I soon realized that arriving at the next charger with 30% is not a great idea.. it is much better to be below 15% when you charge.. that first 40% of battery added goes up in about 15 minutes. it's kind of confusing.. but someone described filling the battery like filling a bucket of water to completely full without spilling a drop.. at first you can pour the water in fast, but as you get to the top, you slow down, because you can't spill a drop. So... bigger battery.. look at what about 75-80% range as your true range. (keeping in mind that you won't use that bottom 5% either)

tom.j.robinson | 10. Juli 2019

Thanks for the information. I understand what you mean about the battery. I'm an IT technician and deal a lot with Laptops, iPads, phones etc. all the time. The only issue in the UK is the distance between superchargers is greater than in a lot of the US (based on some of what I've read in this forum). There are only 3 options of SC available on my route, 1 after approximately 120 miles, one after approximately 180 miles and another at 270 miles from the start of my journey. The Tesla website route planner recommends stopping halfway for a 30 minute charge.

I've looked at the Model 3, but the price I'm looking at for the used Model S is £35,800. The Cheapest Model 3 available to me is £10k more and the Model X is almost £20k more.

I can get a P85 for the same money, but as I'm highway most of the time I've heard that the Dual Motor makes a big difference to long distance range. I'd also appreciate any feedback about that claim from real this true?

Thanks again.

steveg1701 | 10. Juli 2019

If you're sensitive on price and range then you don't want a P, they cost more and have higher kwh/M. You should definitely look at getting at least an 85 for the longer range and faster charging

tes-s | 10. Juli 2019

My guess is a P85 will have slightly more range than a 70D. Either should make 180 miles on a full charge going 75mph on the highway.

No worry about the battery.

A new 3 would have more range and charge faster - making your trip take less time.

tom.j.robinson | 11. Juli 2019

Thanks for the replies. I'll keep my eyes open for other options then. I'm still not in a position to get a M3 yet as they're still too expensive here so Model S is my only affordable option.

It's good to know the battery should be fine on both and the only issue would be the charging time at the halfway point. I'll consider an 85, even if it's not a D and see what other options are within my grasp. Thanks for your help. I look forward to being a fully fledged member of the EV revolution soon :)

Bighorn | 11. Juli 2019

Dual motor doesn’t make a big difference, so don’t sweat a RWD.

NCC1701S | 11. Juli 2019

@ tom.j.robinson To address your concern while on holiday - my 85D loses about 4 miles of range per day in the warmer months and 6 per day in the winter months, when sitting in the garage. Charge it to 80-90% and unplug it before you leave, just in case of a thunderstorm. You'll be fine.

For what its worth, with a battery pack this large, charging on a 10-15 amp circuit is nearly a waste of time. Once with snow on the ground we plugged the car into a 15 amp hotel outlet just so the car would have external power available. The car calculated 14 hours to charge about 40 miles with the limit set to 8 amps (I did not want to overload the hotel's circuit). After 11 hours the breaker finally tripped.

Enjoy, it will be worth the wait.

RAR | 11. Juli 2019


As others have said, this would not be a "detrimental effect on the battery or it's longevity" as long as you don't charge to maximum and leave it at that level. Only charge to a high level just before starting your drive, and then only if you really need it. There is a differing opinion of what "high level" means, but it certainly is below 90%.

Dual motor vehicles were advertised as having better range than rear wheel drives. That is because on trips with relatively constant highway speeds the power is primarily provided by the front motor, slightly designed for better performance in this mode. But this isn't a big difference for vehicles before 2019 as @Bighorn has commented. Performance vehicles have a larger rear motor, which is somewhat less efficient for travel.

All of the comments about shorter charge times with larger batteries are accurate, and I won't add anything here.

Heathrow implies England, although you have carefully expressed units in miles. That means your office location has 240/220 volts, not the 120 common in the US. With even 10 amps that would allow significant charging there to cover local travel even though you say you don't do it.

In terms of leaving your car at the airport when on holiday, there is a simple change to the normal settings that will allow minimal loss of range. Rather than the 4 to 6 mile per day charge loss as described by @ncc1701S, change the setting Display/Energy Saving to ON. Do not check the Always Connected box. And do not query the car with the cell phone app to see how it is doing; you will just wake it up and consume more energy.

With this setting I lose about one mile a day, or 15 miles for two weeks. When you return to the car in the car park the fob will be detected as normal, and you can immediately put your luggage in the trunk. Then reset the Energy Saving to OFF, and your normal response will return.

I think you will find that the 30 minute stop for recharging will become a normal routine for relaxation, a comfort break, and possibly a coffee refill if you are so inclined. I like these breaks, and regularly do a 13 hour one day trip with multiple stops to do these activities and also eat meals when needed.


akikiki | 13. Juli 2019

@tom, Invest some time scrolling through the hundreds of pages on this forum and you will find questions like your and many answers. There's quite a bit of very useful info for you. Answers to questions that you've not thought of yet. Read, read, read. Good info from many experienced owners.