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Range: How much is enough?

Range: How much is enough?

I have had my Model 3 for nearly a year. In the summer, I can get up to 330 miles on a single charge, on relatively flat highway, at 65 mph. In the winter, it’s a different story: 0 degrees Fahrenheit drops that range to an even 200 miles (with the cabin heat off).

This is more than enough for almost all local driving, but I make regular cross country trips of 670-720 miles each way. In the summer the Model 3 cross country driving experience is almost as good as in my wife’s minivan, which goes >450 miles on a tank of gas. Almost. In the winter, forget it. I would much rather drive the minivan when the temperature drops below 40 degrees F.

For the Model 3 cross country experience to compare favorably with ICE, I would like to see a 600 mile summer range (360 miles winter). I would be willing to pay for it, too, provided that the extra battery capacity didn’t carry an exorbitant “premium” surcharge.

What do other people think?

jimglas | 04. Oktober 2019

600 would be nice

andy.connor.e | 04. Oktober 2019

I am a rational realistic individual. I want 1000 miles of range, but understand why i cant.

Realistically, have driven 5 hours without stopping many times. Put that into perspective, over 350 miles between stopping, went to the bathroom, filled the tank and continued going.

That being said, Model Y AWD range is estimating on their site to be 280 miles. Thats really quite small. Gives you about a 3 hour driving window without accounting for environmental variance. Wish it was closer to 350 so i could take a 4 hour drive by myself. So to conclude, 300 miles is fine. Always want more though.

jordanrichard | 04. Oktober 2019

For the general public, it is purely psychological. So when the range equals a gasoline car that will be the first step towards acceptance. The other part, charging up an empty battery to full in 5 minutes will be the next step. I know that without a major break through, that will never happen. People are so conditioned to starting out with a full tank of gas and then not returning to a gas station until near empty and then filling up in 5 minutes. It is going to take a change in the way people think to make them realize that plugging in everyday over the course of entire month only takes 5 minutes.

SO | 04. Oktober 2019

That range drop to 200 seems excessive. Do you preheat your car before unplugging and driving?

bruce.x | 04. Oktober 2019

Hi SO. The drop to 200 miles seems excessive to me, too, but that's what it is. It's consistent with measurements I've made at other cold temperatures. Fortunately I don't see 0 degrees F very often. On the day that I measured, the car started out garaged, above freezing, for the first 100 miles, then got good and cold for the 2nd 100. No preheating.

PrescottRichard | 04. Oktober 2019

This is how I see it, these are my considerations-

I don’t like to go below 20% because I’m weird like that. Something can always come up, particularly on the freeways here in AZ where all of the sudden you gotta go a different way.

Everything except ‘perfect’ weather impacts range in a bad way.

Charging over 80% takes substantially longer than up to 80%

Capacity degrades over time, so starting off with more is desirable.

My driving is not typical, it’s either under 30 miles a day or 200+ miles with some days of no driving/.

SO, a battery that has 400 miles of range between 20 and 80% would be more than enough to kill range anxiety. In real world usage that might be 300 mile with weather, hills, etc.

That’s a battery with 600 miles rated if my quick math is correct. Perhaps one with 500 miles that charges quickly up to 90% would also be ‘As good’ in the real world.

That kind of capacity is a ways off for a mass produced car! We’re someone to give me a Raven S I’d probably be more than happy for the next 10 years :)

Do most people NEED that much range? Nope. But perceptions are reality for most out there. I often point out to people that if I plug my car in every day I have a ‘full’ tank every morning. There is no analogy in the ICE world to that. .

That’s just me, but whatever your typical usage is I think it would be best to have that max number be in between 20% and 80% so you can skip charging anywhere else beside home.

If I lived in Europe somewhere I would prolly only want 1/2 of that capacity.

TranzNDance | 04. Oktober 2019

I think with gas cars, people do not want to refuel in the middle of the trip since gas prices could be really high. They would still need to take restroom and eating breaks, and generally split the tasks of refuelling and taking care of bio needs. Might as well charge a long range EV during bio stops. The cost to produce and drive around with a bigger gas tank is small compared to making and driving around with a bigger battery, so the current economics don't support the latter. It also doesn't seem to be scalable if there were to be more EVs on the road.

Maxxer | 04. Oktober 2019

300 miles is perfect

Stops are fun

bgbythsea | 04. Oktober 2019

Would it be blasphemous to consider putting a diesel cabin heater in a Tesla?

DanFoster1 | 05. Oktober 2019

Tesla could achieve infinite range and the shorts and their oil shills in the wholly owned media would find a way to spin it as bad news. No amount is enough.

Darthamerica | 05. Oktober 2019

As a rule EV range is about 50% of advertised on the low end and ~70% of advertised on average. This is to account for all the variables. This assumes you want to use the EV the way you use an ICEV and only “gas up” or charge every 2 or 3 days and leave ~25% in reserve. Anything above that is idealistic and really only achieved on long road trips in good weather on good terrain. This is hidden if you charge every night. You won’t notice the vampire drain and inefficiency build up over a few days charging nightly. I find that my P90D gets 150 to 180 miles from a 90% charge. Advertised was 265 then revised down to 256 due to my wheel and tire configuration. Most of the time depending on weather I can drive from Los Angeles to San Diego and back if I charge to 90% and take it easy. My car now has high mileage and some battery degradation so I charge to 100% when I take this trip and use range mode for some additional margin.

Darthamerica | 05. Oktober 2019

400 miles would be the sweet spot based on the way today’s batteries perform. This way you know you can do 200 or so miles between charges to 90%.

jimglas | 05. Oktober 2019

Darth! where you been?
We miseed your FUD
(not)

andy.connor.e | 05. Oktober 2019

apparently only 50% usable capacity.

Darthamerica | 05. Oktober 2019

Sup @Jimglas

blue adept | 05. Oktober 2019

The 2020 Roadster is spec'd at 620 miles of range, which should squash any range anxiety issues or those interested only in denigrating Tesla or EV's in general, though there are rumors of a battery with a 1,000,000 mile capacity being in the works:

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/298907-new-study-details-teslas-mill...

https://www.wired.com/story/tesla-may-soon-have-a-battery-that-can-last-...

bruce.x | 06. Oktober 2019

Uh, @blue_adept, that's a million mile lifespan, not range.

SamO | 06. Oktober 2019

No extra range is needed. It’s much cheaper and easier to double Supercharger density from every 80 miles to every 40 miles.

Would take fewer than 300 additional Superchargers.

At $250,000 per station, that’s an insignificant $75M dollars.

Less than Porsche spent on “journalists” for the Taycan junkets.

Uncle Paul | 06. Oktober 2019

Range acceptability depends a lot on your perspective.

My previous car was a Grand Cherokee, with 26 gallon tank. Would usually be good for over 450 miles. Liked the idea of the long range until I used it. Biologically I was not able to keep up with the car and needed to drive miles of uncomfortability with a full bladder, and felt worn out after driving so long without a break.

Traded in for a 75X. Largest Tesla, with the smallest available battery. Got quickly used to stopping from time to time on longer trips. It charged slowly and gave me plenty of time for bathroom, meal or grabbing a Dairy Queen :)

Now I have a Raven 100 Long Range. It seems to glide forever, with plenty of range. It also charges MUCH faster per mile than the 75X ever could.

Now I actually feel a bit rushed to get in my duties while stopped for charging. Usually get prompted to return to my car earlier than I wish, because it is "almost full".

Have adapted well to long distance EV travel. Would never want to go back to smelly gas stations and the horror of paying $80.00 to fill the tank with polluting and toxic gasoline.

I understand that many people have an aversion to change, and will look for justification to avoid giving up their gassers. But the world has indeed changed, and it is no longer acceptable to continue buying gasoline and burning it as a way to move around the Earth.

There is a reason that no ICE vehicles exhaust-pipes run out of the front of their cars. They do not want to breath their own toxins. They, however, happily spew it into the face of the driver behind them :(

jordanrichard | 06. Oktober 2019

“Now I actually feel a bit rushed to get in my duties while stopped for charging. Usually get prompted to return to my car earlier than I wish, because it is "almost full".”

This is exactly what I have been saying about those wishing for even faster charging. On a trip to FL recently, I stopped to charge in Port Orange, FL. It was dinner time and the car said I needed 30 mins to charge to continue my trip. By the time I ordered my food, I was down to 15 mins. Now I wasn’t too concerned about the 15 mins because I had my actual SOC level set to 90%. When I got back to my car, I got hit with $5.50 idling fees because the site per the message was one of those that Tesla caps out at 80% SOC because it was a high usage site and only 6 stalls.

So wait until the V3 sites come on line for those with the newer cars..... What I wish Tesla would do, is when you plug in, a pop up window would ask if you plan on eating, this way it can throttle back the charging. In all of my travels using the supercharging network, never has it been even remotely practical for me to leave a restaurant to hike it back to the car to move it to avoid fees. This is especially true when traveling on your own.

Darthamerica | 06. Oktober 2019

There is no proof Earth is warming because of gas cars. BEVs need to get at least 200 miles range between charges every 2-3 days.

Darthamerica | 06. Oktober 2019

We aren’t quite there yet at reasonable cost.

SamO | 06. Oktober 2019

This is why everyone knows you are a frickin’ joke. Please remember this guy believes the earth is flat.

https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/hidden-c...

Darthamerica | 06. Oktober 2019

SamO the joke is on you! I’m not the one who thinks what kind of car people drive will “save the earth”!

SamO | 06. Oktober 2019

Uhhh. No dumbass. The joke is always on the idiot who doesn’t understand science.

Darthamerica | 06. Oktober 2019

Uh no the joke is on the one who loses at the ballot box! Americans have rejected extremists BS climate policy so there’s that! Who’s laughing now? Lol. Believe what you want, I won’t care or even bother to debate it until you get in position to matter... so back to talking range and laughing at AGW losers.

SamO | 06. Oktober 2019

The GOP is a death cult.

Darthamerica | 06. Oktober 2019

As long as it keeps blocking the AGW climate change extremists legislation I don’t care what people call it.

bruce.x | 06. Oktober 2019

Well, it looks like this thread is trashed.
Next time, could you two please take it outside?

NKYTA | 06. Oktober 2019

@bruce,

110k on Model S 2012.

We are waiting to hear what point Darth has been making, besides hand waving since late 2013.

Everything aniti-tesla, aka Big Oil. Let’s add some more CO2, for the hell of it.

None of it matters to him, likely no descendants that might have to, like live.

The latest is the Taycant.

Now it is track time! And already beat.

In your OP, you said “This is more than enough for almost all local driving, but I make regular cross country trips of 670-720 miles each way.”

And I take that as said. But I have taken 18k, 13k and some other k trips in my old car.

620 miles is a short day on the SC network nowadays

#DriveFree

bp | 07. Oktober 2019

We're likely going to see most EVs with rated range between 200-400 miles. Less than 200 miles risks requiring recharging in the middle of local daily driving. Greater than 400 isn't needed for most long distance driving, and only unnecessarily increases the cost, weight and charging times for the vehicles.

Roadster 2.0 needs larger battery packs, with 600+ miles of rated range for sustained driving at very high speeds. Model X and the future pickup could benefit from larger packs when the vehicles will be used for towing or hauling.

So far, no competing EV is providing range greater than a 2012 Model S - and Tesla appears to have a lead not only in battery capacity but in energy efficiency, making it difficult for competitors to match Tesla's range at a competitive cost.

Techy James | 07. Oktober 2019

To me the ideal range for any vehicle would be about 280 miles usable range. Since the ideal for of typical Lithium battery is keeping the battery between the 20% to 80%. That would work out to a battery pack rated for about 470 Miles. Now if we modify that to say usable range of 15% (point where you get performance warning on cold day) and Elon's 90% is fine for Model 3. That would reduce the ideal point to 375 to have our target of 280 usable miles. My bases for the 280 usable range, is that allows for 4 hours of driving at average of 70 MPH between stops. So the Model S Raven Long Range is closes we have for the ideal target of 75% usable range of about 277.5 keeping the battery between the 15% and 90% SOC.
While I doubt there will be any updates to the M3 or MY to get them closer to the 375 Miles Rated range in the near future. Although one can only guess what the Maxwell Battery Packs will do to the future possibilities. So here is hoping that when Model Y comes out there is a break through with Maxwell Batteries that can get the MY to hit 375 Rate Miles of Range. Until then, I will stay with my Model 3 LR RWD for it's 325 Rated range or 244 Optimal SOC Range.

flickroll | 07. Oktober 2019

The advertised 370 range for my Raven MS is more than adequate for me. The day after I took delivery I took it on a 500 road trip to check car performance and comfort, and to test out the Supercharger network, and also so I would be within the return window it if I didn’t like the car. It took 2 charging stops of about 20 minutes each, and I was driving near 80 mph for the entire trip. For me, I was waiting on Tesla to do 2 things before I would consider buying the car: get the price down and the range up which they accomplished with the Raven. Sure, more range is always better, but this car works for 97-98% of my driving needs (doesn’t work well in remote areas). For the times it doesn’t work we have my wife’s X3.

Obviously I have not driven the car in the winter so I can’t comment on that, but using A Better Route Planner, I have planned our Thanksgiving trip, and using 68* air temperature and max speed 78 mph, the total estimated charge time is 0:55. Changing just one parameter, temperature, to 20* (it won’t be that cold, but I used that temp after coming upon this thread), the total charge time is estimated to be 1:13, which is fine with me. So unless I’m missing something, I don’t know why OP’s range reduction is so great.

Uncle Paul | 07. Oktober 2019

Just read a magazine review of the Civic Model R. They complained that it only had a 220 mile range. Had to stop a lot to add 8 gallons or so at a fill up because of the relatively small gas tank.

They did not have the electric advantage of starting out fully charged every morning.

Had a similar issue with my Viper GTS. Often needed to drive off the track to a gas station during lunch break. At treck speeds I was getting about 2.2 MPG :( Big engine, combined with a small tank = lots of expensive fill ups.

Mileage aside, those Vipers were the funnest cars I ever owned...until Tesla.

SamO | 07. Oktober 2019

1300 miles per day is my max in the LR3. Buy my iron butt travel isn’t for everyone.

SamO | 07. Oktober 2019

But

Yodrak. | 07. Oktober 2019

"I make regular cross country trips of 670-720 miles each way."

What country are you traveling across? Somewhere in Europe?

blue adept | 08. Oktober 2019

@bruce.x

Damn it, don't ruin it for me.

;-)

Darren_78 | 16. Oktober 2019

Currently, below is what I think would be a good battery range for people who travel regularly out of town.

Mostly warm weather driving: battery range of 400-550 miles.
Mostly cold weather driving: battery range of 550-700 miles.

In the past, I enjoyed taking daily round trips to other cities without having to stop to fuel. (Most recently, I was in a running competition out of town where having more driving range would have helped me to go straight to the competition and then be able to head back home without having to re-charge at all. So, it will be nice to have the ability to not need to charge again on a single day road trip. A Tesla Roadster is an option coming next year but a Model S/X/Y or pickup is something more practical for me.

egonzo21 | 17. Oktober 2019
AlphaInfinity | 17. Oktober 2019

I think the number needs to be 500 miles range at 0 degrees F. Once that happens then big OIL and the ICE are pretty much done.

David N | 17. Oktober 2019

Compared to Tesla’s first Model S from 2012, they have improved charging and range.
They’re getting close to that magic number.

blue adept | 17. Oktober 2019

@AlphaInfinity

It's coming!

Afterall, the Roadster 2.0 has a rated range of 620 mis.:

https://www.tesla.com/roadster

noleaf4me | 26. Oktober 2019

What PrescottRichard saidis perfect. A really usable 300 miles of range at highway speeds of 70++ even when it's cold. So maybe 600 advertised optimal case.

TabascoGuy | 26. Oktober 2019

I also think 600 is the magic number for any type of EV used for daily driving. I'm hoping the pickup gets close to that.

BuffaloBillsFan | 26. Oktober 2019

Range is fine at 310 miles/charge, but I don’t ever get that. What we need is more superchargers. I think Tesla will ultimately get there, but superchargers need to be as ubiquitous as the soon-to-be extinct gas stations are now. Faster SCs wouldn’t hurt either.

NKYTA | 27. Oktober 2019

@BBF, Range is fine at 250 in my 2012 S.

Just missing a few states. ND, AK and Hawaii. I’ll get the first, but the latter two might take a while. :-)

bp | 28. Oktober 2019

There is a point of diminishing benefits for increasing vehicle range - since almost all driving is less than 150 miles per day, and in most circumstances current battery packs provide at least 3 hours of driving at highway speeds - with superchargers spaced to support high speed charging.

Roadster 2.0 will have the larger battery pack to provide reasonable range when driving at ultra high speeds, at this high vehicle cost, unlikely very many will purchase those vehicles so they can get 600 miles of driving at normal highway speeds (will Roadster 2.0 have to stop at the same chargers used by the upcoming Tesla Semi?).

There are a few cases where the current range is not enough - such as cold weather driving or Model X towing - and for those cases, rated range of 400+ miles would be needed. But is there enough of a market for those battery packs to justify the higher vehicle cost and development/manufacturing cost to bring those packs to the market?

So far, other manufacturers are releasing vehicles with ranges competing with Tesla's standard range models - not yet exceeding the rated range for the 2012 Model S 85. That could change in the next few years, though it seems likely for the foreseeable future, for EV customers looking for longer ranges, Tesla may be the only option.

TranzNDance | 28. Oktober 2019

Adding greater battery capacity isn't like putting in a bigger gas tank. It would take more material to make the cells, and increase power used to haul the battery. While having longer range gives choices in which stops, it's better to take the Supercharger stops to give everyone a chance to take a break and stretch. Maybe there would be less impatience.

PrescottRichard | 28. Oktober 2019

How about looking at it like this- at what point (estimate range wise) would the priority shift from ‘getting more range’ to other improvements?

No doubt there will have to be a leap in battery tech, or whatever comes next, to make 400+ miles a standard range vehicle. What happens though after that tech is available? I guess charging rate would go also be something of concern.

I think once cars are rated at 450 or so miles we’ll stop talking about range and something else.

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