Updated: OUT OF BATTERY on the I5 high way at mid-night from San Francisco down to SoCal

Updated: OUT OF BATTERY on the I5 high way at mid-night from San Francisco down to SoCal

I hate manufactory uses pretty spec to sell their products, TESLA doesnt tell the real mileage under regular use, I mean with AC and lights, and speakers.

I drove my model X 90D(only 5.5k mileage) down to SoCal, it showed 196 miles range left, and the supercharger was only 138miles away, then I planed to stop by at that station.

I drove on high way I5, speed was about 72MPH, some how the range of battery left dropped so fast, only can drive 98miles, 20 miles short to reach the planed stop. then I have to selected a closed station, I turned off AC and speakers and screen as well, at end, I was short of 3.8miles to reach closer station, the car was totally shutdown.

call for the help, waited for 2.5hours the truck came to save me, out of battery not even able to turn on computer to switch to toll model. it took another 2hours to load the model X up, and sent me to the station, it was almost 5:30AM.

very very bad experience, first time of my life being tolled by a truck to save my car.

Update: I'm ashamed of some of the posters here. I told my experience, that's no reason for the invective.
I know TESLA might be the first and most expensive car in their life, but it's not a baby, it is a car.
Compare to other more expensive car owners's club or forums, they are much more decent and friendly, they help each other.

some of posters here might can not even afford to own a house.

Some of posters here might drive a decent car, but they are not a decent man.

Troelshin | 18. Dezember 2017

NOT Real!

SO | 18. Dezember 2017

How can you turn off the screen?

Which location was closed?

lilbean | 18. Dezember 2017

Yeah, not a good idea to ignore the warning that says to decrease your speed.

Tesla-David | 18. Dezember 2017

Unbelievable that OP did not think to slow down, turn off heater, etc. as he saw his range diminishing. We encountered high winds on our cross country trip, and made the necessary adjustments to make the next SC, as we looked at our range dropping precipitously. | 18. Dezember 2017

Range should be assumed for 65 mph, 70 degree no wind. Anything off that will reduce the range.

Lights, screen and radio have almost zero effect to range. AC will have some effect, but not that much. Heat will consume more power, as those in cold climates know. There is no way to turn off the screen - setting it to cleaning mode (black) does not reduce the screen power and it still has almost zero effect to range.

Not sure why using AC at midnight - usually in California it's cold enough at night to need heat.

SamO | 18. Dezember 2017

There are dozens of warnings, maybe hundreds that would have to be ignored to run out of range on the 5.

User-error is a helluva drug.

Should_I | 18. Dezember 2017

Use the navigation, if it knows where you are going it will coach you to slow down.

No car gets rated mileage at 72mph. With an EV though you can if you have self control and time greatly exceed rated range by going slow. Had you dropped to 65mph you would have been fine. Your fault not the car.

KP in NPT | 18. Dezember 2017

Only 5.5K mileage? Sounds like a rookie mistake. You screwed up - own it and don't blame Tesla.

J.T. | 18. Dezember 2017

As always, Tesla is a thinking person’s car. Some are I’ll-equipped for ownership.

Sleepydoc1 | 18. Dezember 2017

I've done that drive more than a dozen times + in my 2016 X90D. The worst I've ever had was a 20% below rated mileage doing 80mph in a head wind in summer with AC blasting. If you had 196 miles rated and - 40 miles for 20% you should of been fine to 150's, not 138 out with continued high use driving. Any change in those behaviors would of significantly improved your mileage.

Assuming you came across at Los Banos and Pea soups, you could charge there, 70 mi south is Harris Range, 30 mi south is the new 40 stall Kettleman, 60 miles more is Buttonwillow, 5 more miles is Bakersfield and another 40 miles is the base of the grapevine. Which one was closed and there was plenty of opportunity for otherwise.

NoMoPetrol | 18. Dezember 2017

Something smells overripe in the OP. Though he doesn't indicate at what point during the trip he came up 3.8 miles short, he's only got two choices - the first leg or the last leg.

1. He/she started a trip from N Calif to S Calif without a full charge (or at least 85-90%). It's 400+ miles. That's like starting the same trip in an ICE with less than 3/4 of a tank of gas and getting mad because you run out of gas in the middle of the night on some desolate, wind-swept section of I-5 where the nearest towing company is an hour away. As already pointed out in other responses, he/she could not possibly have been using NAV. It would have been directing him to one of several SC locations along the route.

2. If he/she charged at Buttonwillow and headed off from there, that would give him the 138 miles reported in the OP. Again, even with no knowledge of the geography between destinations, NAV would have given some indication for another charge at Ft. Tejon in anticipation of the Grapevine.

3. Using NAV would have warned him of the "closed" SC location, though that is the smelliest of the reported facts. Out of order, maybe. And for every single charging stall to be non-functioning, there would need to be a power outage in the area. But closed? Hardly likely.

blue adept | 18. Dezember 2017

If true, user error, clearly.

NKYTA | 18. Dezember 2017

This might be real. Some folks have more $$ than sense.

In my first year I met a guy that drove past zero twice, and was so happy with RA.

He couldn’t wonder if he was the problem. He was.

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

Why I did that, because I wanted get home asap, I hate to stop so many times on the trip, I wanted to only stop once.

This trip I have been drove for over 30 times by my BMW750, usually it took me 4to 5hours, I wont even stop for adding gas at all, might took 3mins for restroom, I have tried once without a stop from BAY AREA to Orange by one tank of gas.

Driving Model X took me 8.5hours same trip. i might wont drive TESLA for a long distance trip until there is 500miles range EV.

TESLA is just a car.

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

@NKYTA make money better than others needs good sense, money doesnt come from no where.

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

I share this experience, wants to tell,
1.the range drops so fast.
2. It's more difficult for asking help.
3. Took more time on the trip.
for 390miles trip, I only want to stop once.

lilbean | 18. Dezember 2017

So much for wanting to get home ASAP. Reminds me of when I got my first speeding ticket. I wanted to save time but then ended up spending eight hours in traffic school. So much for trying to save time.

carlk | 18. Dezember 2017

It's an user error and pretty dumb one if true. There are plenty of aids on the screen to avoid this kind of things to happen. Not sure what's the point of publicizing one's stupidity on the forum though.

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

@lilbean still legally drive, but doesnt want to spend too much time at supercharging...

Safety is always the most important, we need to responsible for our family, our colleagues who works for the company, a lot of people counts on you too. be a responsible guy

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

@carlk I took the risk to see if I could make it, it was so close to the closer supercharger. unfortunately, the temperature is below ZERO

lilbean | 18. Dezember 2017


I’m a responsible guy now. That was when I was 18, before I was a parent. I’m a much smarter and wiser guy now. :)

Captain_Zap | 18. Dezember 2017

The temperature is below zero in So. California? You bought a BEV and you don't want to charge it?
Safety is the most important so you choose to take a risk? This is getting more and more nuts all the time.

SCCRENDO | 18. Dezember 2017

OP is the same idiot who wants a supercharger in Irvine outside his house

Earl and Nagin ... | 18. Dezember 2017

The old adage "can't stop for gas, I'm late already" applies for EVs just the same as ICE.

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

@SCCRENDO You are idiot, wants a supercharger in the city, what is wrong? We can easily charge the car while shopping. Irvine has a lot of TESLA, much more than other place, the safest city in the US, should install supercharger station for owners at least. we bought the tesla, we paid for the Superchargers.

What's wrong with you, iDiot!

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

@Captain_Zap if you live in California, you would know at evening is below ZERO.

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

fast is the key point, charged at home is so slow, it took almost whole night but just got a little juice. I saw Bay area, people buying tesla, they dont even have a house, TESLA even hires people to keep the waiting line under control(they have 30 cars wait for supercharger.). A lot young professional they cannot afford a house.

Especially when model3 release to mass market users, you will see those people desire more superchargers. TESLA cares about those owner who cannot charge at home for sure.

GHammer | 18. Dezember 2017

This idiot must think we just fell off a turnip truck. What a moron.

veryuse4 | 18. Dezember 2017

@hammer @OR-US

SO | 19. Dezember 2017

@veryuse4 - I think you may not have been ready/willing for an EV at this time. An EV does take a bit more time for road trips. No question. Since it seems you value fast road trips so much, you may have made a mistake with your Tesla purchase. Now the question is, are you going to do something about it?

reed_lewis | 19. Dezember 2017

I do not doubt this happened, but this is all user error and nothing more. @veryuse4 tried to treat his EV like he would treat an ICE.

But the correct way to do a long trip is this (assuming you have in home charging):

1. Charge the car to 90% (however you can) the night before you are leaving. You can use Super Chargers, or some other method.
2. On the morning you are leaving, 1.5 hours before you leave (or when you get up or whatever) set the charge limit to 100%.
3. When you leave your house, you will have a full battery.

When travelling, I use Super Chargers to give me enough power to get where I am going so that I will be almost empty when I get there. There is absolutely no need to charge to 90% if you are only 50 miles from your destination. Considering that if the battery is almost depleted, you will get ~100kW of power into the battery, in 15 minutes, you should be able to get 50 miles of range.

For example if I do a long trip where I have charging at my destination, why arrive with more than 10% in the battery. Most home chargers will charge the battery in about 9 hours, which is a typical overnight time.

...And has been said above, the Tesla will warn you over and over again that you will not be able to make it to your destination using the current driving style/accessories. As has also been said, lights, stereo, screen consume a VERY small percentage of the power consumed for movement and heat.

NoMoPetrol | 19. Dezember 2017

@ veryused4 "...if you live in California, you would know at evening is below ZERO..."

Perhaps you are confusing the humor of Mark Twain with the reality of a thermometer. He was a Connecticut resident (where they actually experience ZERO degree weather on occasion, and had this to say about a vacation to the Bay Area:

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." It was all about his perception of the temperature, which he willingly turned into a self-deprecating joke.

BTW, do you come from a Celsius part of the world? If so, the temperature is known as 32 degrees Fahrenheit in our technologically advanced country and is indicated as such on the HUD of your MX.

veryuse4 | 19. Dezember 2017

@SO nope, I already purchased 2 TESLA, this is first time for long trip by a tesla. new Model3 might deliver this month before 2018.

veryuse4 | 19. Dezember 2017

@NoMoPetrol People would be offended by your words, it's not your technologically advanced country, other country has a lot better technologies, but they use Celsius and you couldn't see. You didn't make the technologies advanced, lawful immigrant make our country great!

Normally, only loser is narrow mind and arrogant, our construction is so old like third world countries.

veryuse4 | 19. Dezember 2017

@reed_lewis thanks for your helpful suggestion base on your experience, they are really useful tips.
I'd like to say you are right, I took the risk and don't want to reduce speed to below 50MPH, but at last 30mins, I reduced speed and followed truck try to go further.

I noticed the battery issue before the trip and even scheduled appointment. I always charge to 100%, never stop at 90%, I thought the battery I want to use is 100%.

Next time, I would drive gas car for long distance trip.

reed_lewis | 19. Dezember 2017

One bit of advice regarding charging to 100%. You should never leave the 100% in the battery without immediately driving it. If you are not doing a long trip, charge it to 80% or 90%. And then use the trick above to charge to 100% so the 100% does not stay that way for long.

The worst things for Li-Ion batteries is to be charged to 100% and left at 100% for a period of time. The other bad thing is to go to 0% on a regular basis.

As to driving a gas car, I prefer driving my Tesla for a long trip simply because it is quieter, smoother, and the auto pilot makes the trip more relaxing. Plus stopping every 3-4 hours for 30 minutes makes my life more relaxing.

carlk | 19. Dezember 2017

"@Captain_Zap if you live in California, you would know at evening is below ZERO."

Hmm you really know what zero means in California? I didn't think you're native English speaker but I started to doubt that you're even located here.

NoMoPetrol | 19. Dezember 2017

@veryuse4 "...People would be offended by your words, it's not your technologically advanced country, other country has a lot better technologies, but they use Celsius and you couldn't see..."

My apologies. I forgot to put my tongue into my cheek.

Our technologically advanced country refuses to adopt a very practical decimal system of measurement and would rather be tied emotionally to the country from which we revolted in 1776. I'm surprised that my annual physical does not include my weight in stones.

As for Celsius, why would we want to adopt a temperature measurement system that is tethered to the most common substance on earth (water) when we can calibrate the temperature of everything by comparing it to the freezing and boiling points of alcohol? One could argue that our country's drug dependence is integrated with our insistence on remaining on this archaic measurement system.

In short, veryuse4, I was poking fun at our technologically "advanced' society for being so backward in certain key areas - not at you or your cultural background.

DTsea | 19. Dezember 2017

Actually Fahrenheit is linked to sea water (at zero) and body temperature (100 is above body temp). Idea being that minus sign is freeze to death range and 3 digits is heat stroke risk.

Very practical. Personally i dont need to calibrate my own thermometers very often, nor do i want to drive to sea level and wait for a standard day with standard temp and pressure to do it. Seems like a lot of hassle. But to each their own!

GHammer | 19. Dezember 2017

The "looser" is the idiot who buys an electric car and blames said car for his own ineptness.

NoMoPetrol | 19. Dezember 2017

@DTsea "...Fahrenheit is linked to sea water (at zero)..."

Either I was only half paying attention 50 years ago in my high school chemistry class, or my instructor was blowing smoke. Thanks for the correction.

Actually, and I quote, "In (Fahrenheit's) initial scale, the zero point was determined by placing the thermometer in an equal mix of ice, water, and salt (ammonium chloride)." In any event, there goes my druggie argument.

It's rather amazing that a little salt (ammonium chloride) increases the boiling point from 100 to 212.

Frank99 | 19. Dezember 2017

I'm ashamed of some of the posters here. veryuse4 told a story that doesn't ring true, but he's also not a native English speaker and there can be misunderstandings as a result. But that's no reason for the invective. The abuse reflects poorly on those who used it, and reflects more poorly on Tesla than the OP, even if the OP was pure troll FUD.

For shame.

sabbia | 19. Dezember 2017

NoMoPetrol. Fabulous post!

GHammer | 19. Dezember 2017

It's owners like the OP that give all BEV's a bad reputation. Tesla has done a remarkable job to change this perception and the OP didnt use any of the tools given him to avoid this situation. I stand by my assesment. Running out of charge on the most heavily traveled Tesla route in the world to save 10 minutes is inexcusable.

carlk | 19. Dezember 2017

@Frank99 What abuse?

blue adept | 19. Dezember 2017


You are your own worst enemy in this instance, YOU, not the car.

KP in NPT | 19. Dezember 2017

he just didn't want to stop? He turned off his nav? he didn't want to slow down?

OP, I get that you didn't want to stop. Maybe you learned a valuable lesson on this first road trip. But don't blame Tesla or the car - you could have done many things differently and avoided the hassle. Even a 5 minute stop would have added all the miles you needed, it sounds like, to get to you to the charger you didn't make. Would that 5 minutes really have been that big of a deal?

blue adept | 19. Dezember 2017

@KP in NPT

Don't bother yourself with questioning their idiocy, they're just the sort of person who likes to cast aspersions even if they have to go out of their way to create an issue to cast aspersions about.

rxlawdude | 19. Dezember 2017


veryuse4 | 19. Dezember 2017

@hammer @OR-US Such a fool owner, purchased car then wants to defend it against everyone who said it's bad, force other owner said it is perfect. I was invited to visit TESLA manufactory many years ago, authorized to took pictures freely during the factory tour. it's bad then it's bad, good part is good. Fact wont change.

It's just a car, not your baby.