Seems to be the day for sharing SR+ road trips. Last week we took a road trip from Irvine to Incline Village, NV (Lake Tahoe). We have done the trip several times, most recently in my previous car, a Porsche Macan S (which was a blast).
First off cargo space. We had myself, wife and two adult daughters, who all seem to pack for a month long Europe trip, even though we were headed up for just 3 nights. The Model 3 seems to have more cargo area than our Macan did and was able to fit us and all our stuff comfortably.
On the trip up, ABRP estimated 11:49 with charging stops for our chosen route. For comparison, Google maps estimated 8:37 but of course that does not include any stops.
We left early in the morning and hit our first stop just under an hour later in Fontana, where we grabbed some Starbucks. Even with all the research and assurance from others I was still overly cautious and made sure we were set to arrive with over 20% on all stops, so we made it back to the car and waited another 5 minutes and proceeded. Next was Inyokern, which is much less sketchy than I thought it would be based on what I had read. Of course this was at 9:30am, I’m sure it maybe a little more dicey after 10:00pm, but it was fine. Then Lone Pine (which never showed up on my Supercharger history) which is right next to the Museum of Western Film History. After a 20 minute stop we were off to Mammoth where we stopped for lunch. Really cool restaurant and market with a good beer and wine selection called Bleu Handcrafted Foods. The car was ready to continue before our food arrived so I let it keep charging and it ended up at 99% when we were ready to go. This allowed us to bypass the ABRP suggested stop in Gardnerville and we arrived at our hotel with 80 miles of range. Enough to head out for a local dinner then to the valet for destination charging.
All told we made it up in 10:57 minutes (note sure why the ABRP estimate was so much more) and that was including an approximate 40 minute delay between Mammoth and Tahoe where the road was limited to one lane, having to wait for a pilot truck to lead a caravan of cars while the other side waited. Add that delay to the Google Maps estimate and we are at 9:17. We typically made 4 stops in our ICE car as well between coffee, restroom breaks, gas, lunch, etc. guessing a total of 1:10 which takes Google estimate to 10:27 so in the end not a big difference at all. And we could have made it up quicker now that I have some real-life experience under my belt. Meaning didn’t need to charge as long as I did, and could have driven faster. In a LR, I’m guessing it is very comparable to time in an ICE car. Supercharger network is indeed the secret sauce. I bought my car primarily for my 4 mile commute never thinking I’d take a long road trip in it. But this trip was very enjoyable and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. If you’re on the fence about taking yours on a long trip, don’t be, just go for it. It’ll take you a little longer but autopilot minimizes fatigue and let’s you take in more of the scenery.
One thing I’d recommend for “partial premium” owners, is making sure you have a playlist on USB or a streaming service through Bluetooth. I made a playlist downloaded locally to my device so I didn’t need to worry about coverage or data usage. I used Amazon music and loaded 7.5 hours of “road trip” music.
I will say on a 2 lane or even 4 lane highway I found Autopilot was not very useful as there was a lot of lane changes to pass Or be passed which cancels auto-steer. I found myself using TACC most of the time on those roads. The car nearly drives itself and since with auto-steer you have to keep your hand on the wheel anyway, not that much of a difference. TACC seems to eliminate most of the driver fatigue. Manual steering also allowed me to hug the left side of the lane when passing Semi-trucks that also seemed to hug the left. My better half was always nervous when auto-steer had us dead center in our lane passing a big truck. So that was another reason to take control of the wheel. That said it’s easy to forget you’re not using auto-steer, which is a good reason to leave Lane Departure Avoidance on ;). Lane passing power even in chill mode is effortless. No turbo-lag either haha.
Finally it was a hot day about 95-100 all the way up. Made sure I left the air conditioning on while plugged in at the supercharger which helped keep the cabin cool without making the HVAC work too hard after we left. Both the wife and my daughters have told me I need to tint the windows, and they won’t need to tell me twice.
On the way home took the I-5 and was able to hit the Kettleman Supercharger, which is worth visiting if you get the chance. I recommend the Ludicrous Mode Americano at the coffee bar.
Not having to gas-up the night before a road trip or the next morning after you get home is the icing (no pun intended) on the cake. Loved my Macan, but I’m not missing it at all anymore.