What Kind of Driver are you?

What Kind of Driver are you?

As i drive to work in the morning, i find myself daydreaming about the time when I'll be driving my TMS to work everyday. I look down and the speedo and I'm doing 80. This got me to wondering.... what kind of drivers are most of you? are you kind of aggressive? I don't consider myself a bad driver but i do drive fast. Since you've gotten a tesla do you still drive the same way? Has power usage concerns caused you to change the way you drive? even if your commute, like mine is only 18 or 20 miles or so. Sorry if there was a thread about this but i'm new here.

svoelpel2 | 25 July, 2013

I tend to drive conservatively trying to see how low I can keep the Wh/Mile but still have to occasionally "show what it can do". My current aveage after 2500 miles is 265. I also1 do not do any high speed interstate commuting.

Mathew98 | 25 July, 2013

I can't drive over 65 for more than 5 seconds at a time. Most of the time I'm travelling in stop and go traffic in NYC. At least I'm not sweating up a storm with the ICE engine burning gas in every gridlock condition.

On the off change that I'm on the highway, I set the cruise control less than 10 mph over the speed limit. This definitely curb my urge to fly past every car on the road.

alohasara | 25 July, 2013

Interesting question. I have a long commute, 85 freeway miles each way per day. When I first got the Tesla, I drove very conservatively as I was concerned about having enough energy to make it both ways. I had read on the forums that using the cruise control helps, so I gingerly brought her up to speed and then set the cruise.

As a bit of time went by and I learned that I have a little "extra" juice to play with, I started driving a bit more like I would in the ICE. Not necessarily aggressively, but definitely over 65. Interestingly, the energy usage seems to be pretty similar to what it was when I was bring ultra conservative which I'm thrilled with. I love the car and love driving it and being able to drive it without thinking too much about my lead foot is fabulous.

ir | 25 July, 2013

4,000 miles, 326 Wh/mile lifetime, 295 recently.

Driving has been somewhat bipolar, always conservative with wife & kid. First few months found myself accidentally hitting 90-109 on several occasions. Now, much more mellow, just flooring to merge on the highway.

stsanford | 25 July, 2013

I'm a (hmm, sort-of) ex-Porsche driver, which means that in 55MPH speed limit NY, I do 75-80 on average. When I got my Model S 60 a few thousand miles ago, I was concerned, but decided to drive normally, as I had. Didn't suffer so much of a hit on range, so I've been driving all throughout the spectrum, and have found the following:

My new "cruising speed" has dropped to 70-73 MPH.
My passing has changed from a 5-10 MPH differential to a 10-20 MPH differential just because the car goes so damn fast!

a couple of things I've learned:

Stop-and-go isn't as energy efficient as I thought, actually cruising from 65-73 or so is better from my estimates using the dash energy meter. Drafting behind an SUV or truck (and not tailgating, mind you, just in what we would call defensive driving in NY) will save you some Wh/mi

The car really drives well, and as "normally" as you could possibly imagine...

christurbeville | 25 July, 2013

I was a 400wh/mi type guy but I don't think I've changed any habits and its trending down. I think the car at 5000mi is getting broken in and even more efficient. I'm around 340wh/mi lifetime and headed down. Anyone else notice the first mile out of the garage and it can say as high as 700wh/mi!

RedShift | 25 July, 2013

Usually, 280 wh/mi. Sometimes, racing others at close to 90, always on the freeway, and always 'safely ' :-)

Today, raced a red Tesla roadster and it was great! We both took the right most lane change from leftmost, and high speed ramp like synchronized athletes.
Both of us gave thumbs up smiled, and resumed a sedate 70 mph cruise for next 5 miles.

RedShift | 25 July, 2013

Oh, my front tires were squealing. :-) thanks, traction control.

SCCRENDO | 25 July, 2013

Drive normally. With carpool privileges can actually go much faster in am traffic. Usually averaging over 80 mph. Uphill to work is 360-380 wh/mi. Dowhill home does drop below 300 wh/mi. Averaging 348 wh/mi over the 7500 mile life of the car. Have always had more than enough spare electrons so no range anxiety yet. I suppose when I am on a trip where range anxiety may creep in will start driving like the old man I am.

RZippel | 25 July, 2013

Drive an RS5 now, live close enough to be found on the Nürburg Ring Nordschleife on Sonday Mornings. Or street tires with limited wear driving profile mid 8 min. lap times bridge to gantry. Will maybe take the MS round once or twice but not more, to heavy for the breaks at 2.2 tons. Let's see if it earns the sticker for the ring (<9 min., personal rule).

Drive conservatively on the Autobahn, rarely more then 250 kph and only if at least two lanes are free, otherwise limit myself to 40-50 more than the next lane. Else too dangerous. Mostly cruise control at 180 if there is no speed limit. Even 20 kph more needs so much more attention that it wears me out in half the time...

Will let you know how/if driving habits change with the MS...

RZippel | 25 July, 2013

On street tires and Sunday... Hate not to be able to edit. Need to revert to "think before sending" ;-)

nickjhowe | 25 July, 2013

340+ Wh/m - dead flat roads. I think that says it all.

NKYTA | 25 July, 2013

Exactly 360 Wh/m just shy of 6K miles. I'm wondering if the gauge is stuck - it hasn't budged in weeks. ;-)
Though I'm at 356 Wh/m for the last 2800, so it is plausible.
Mostly on flat roads, but a fair share of hills - also two long trips, one to Vegas (one high pass, one low pass), one to Newport Beach from the Bay Area.

moorelin | 25 July, 2013

On the MS range/speed chart, S85 range at 180 kph is about 200 km (125 mi). But you won't have to worry about the range at 250 kph, since that is about 40 kph above MS top speed.

carlk | 25 July, 2013

I dive mostly in the fast lane and set the speed alarm on my Porsche at 85 (note it's an alarm not a limit :-) ). I have passed a few MS on the freeway but never had one pass me so far.

On the other hand I saw a white MS on Almaden Expy a couple weeks ago cutting in and out of lanes so fast I don't think even I would drive so aggressively when I got my MS.

MarkV | 25 July, 2013

12,000 miles, 300 wh/mile average, 1000 ft climb followed by 2000 ft decent to work and reverse going home. Lowest to work usage 204 wh/mile, lowest round trip 262 wh/mile. Half is open two lane road other half fairly light traffic with lights. Set cruise at 62 otherwise find myself going much faster. Winter to summer some cold weather effect on wh/mile. Summer in Arizona is hot but no adverse effect on wh/mile as yet. Occasional show-off acceleration for passengers or when needed to put certain other drivers in the rear view mirror (which happens incredibly fast). Do not accelerate going around a tight corner, do not accelerate on wet surfaces, do not accelerate to pass until you are out from behind the car in front of you. Enjoy the one pedal experience.

syddent | 25 July, 2013

We are both conservative and the traffic on our commutes doesn't allow real aggressive driving. I think we are averaging 275 to 290 wh/m

blaquito | 25 July, 2013

Good info all... keep it coming. seems like for the most part you dont change the way you drive.

What about on a longer trip? Keep the cruise set or drive how you feel?

RZippel | 25 July, 2013


Won't have to worry about that anyway, even at 7am Sundays I never had more than maybe one minute at 250. Other cars are the problem. But 200km would already be a great range. I really suspect that range of the MS is about the same as my RS5 when driven the same way. Just much cheaper.

I am interested to find out what the MS can do in fast corners, and how much the consumption will be on a fast lap, maybe I'll try one without using the brakes, just re-gen deceleration.

However, happy not to race the MS and limit myself to 180 on public roads. And out-accelerate a few M3s and 911s. If that still gives my 300km of range that is almost a miracle in itself. But just in case I will keep the RS5 for the "break in" period. Mine, not the MS's ;-)

I am a gadget guy and admit it, and this is the ultimate gadget car. Already the (successful) hunt for a decent 22kW mobile charger for regular CEE32 outlets (Tesla only has a CEE16 version for 22kW) was worth buying the MS. That's the kind of driver I am ;-)

mdtaylor69 | 25 July, 2013

I tend to have two modes of driving depending on whether or not anyone is in front of me. When stuck behind a slow car on long windy two lane road, I slip into max watts/mi mode.

moorelin | 25 July, 2013

Sounds like you will definitely have fun with it!

And I am at about 340 Wh/m at 2000 mi.

wcalvin | 25 July, 2013

Unlike the more vocal fans of fast cars, there is likely a proportion of Tesla MS owners who will never floor the accelerator just to check it out. Many of us probably think that, like most other cars, the MS has twice the horsepower that it needs.

Apropos cruising speeds, my own philosophy is to drive whatever speed it takes to space myself out from other cars and to minimize overtaking/overtaken episodes. If there is no one behind or in front of me, I set the cruise control to the posted speed limit or 10% above if clear and dry.

I drive in either the inside or outside lane to minimize the number of directions from which trouble can arrive (middle lanes are worse). I take freeways in town even when surface streets are faster; on freeways, if you get hit, the speed difference is usually no more than 15mph, it is rarely head-on or t-bone and there are no surprise appearances from blind driveways and children darting between parked cars.

One's lifetime risk of being in a serious injury car accident is about 50%, so such routine precautions are often effective--much like routinely brushing your teeth.

Brian H | 25 July, 2013

Seems like you're on track to the "range complacency/confidence" condition most owners arrive at.

michael1800 | 25 July, 2013

I used to drive very conservatively. Now, I drive very conservatively with occasional bouts of accelerated normalcy.

inverts | 25 July, 2013

At 9K mi 299 W/mi lifetime average, though charge average is about 283 W/mi. Have a 72 mi 1-way FW commute, a bit of a hill where it goes up to 900 W/mi for a couple of miles. Usually set cruise at 68-69 mi/h and enjoy the entertainment amenities. Not shy of flooring it, use climate now here in SoCal.

I'm not worried about range (MS85), just am a more relaxed driver. Unless there are curvy roads up a hill, then I still drive speed limit, but also in tight corners till the tires crunch and squeek. Loads of fun. | 25 July, 2013

After years of hyper-mileage driving patterns with hybrids I am still enjoying the acceleration off the line that the S gives me. I admit that I am wasting electricity & tire life when I do this. Zero to speed limit in "OMG that's awesome!" works for me.

There is no change for me average daily commute with rush hour traffic. (except I'm listening to Slacker tunes and enjoying the quiet)

About 290 Wh/mi at 8K

simplesolarinc | 25 July, 2013

75-80mph. avg 345kw/mi. Drive the same speed as before.

thomas2V | 25 July, 2013

Its funny that you put this out there, as I have been thinking about writing a blog about how myTesla, contrary to what I believed , has actually tamed me! With my BMW I used to be quite an aggressive driver. However whether it is the constant feedback on your Wh/Mi or it is the range concern on long drives, I don't know. Other than the occasional take off " electrifying" some corvettes, porches etc, I tend to more often than not use the "avoid highway " option taking backroads (which incidentally have been quite a nice experience ) or drafting behind 18 wheelers on long trips to conserve the Wh/mi ! To the extent that my last weeks trip of 215 miles one way and back was done on a single charge each way on my 60 and on an average of 272 Wh/mi and my overall Wh/Mi has dropped to 311 Wh/Mi for the 3250 odd miles done so far ! ( compared to the 355 to 360Wh/Mi initially ) !

sxross | 25 July, 2013

Ok, I give up. What's the difference that puts some of us at < 300kw/mi and others in the 340 range (like I am)? Is it the 85, or specifically, the P85? Is it hill driving? Is it technique? There has to be a common thread that doesn't come out to "all of the above."

blaquito | 25 July, 2013

@wcal that's a vet cerebral approach to driving.... I like it!! But does staying in the outer lanes protect you from the lookie-loos.

@thomas what you say is sort of how I see myself driving. Maybe just a hit tamer but still out to have fun or see how little I can use on a trip.

cerjor | 25 July, 2013

9000 miles with average of 306 watts/mile.

How would ICE drivers drive if they had an orange meter that went up and down with their instantaneous mpg?

AreBeeAZ | 25 July, 2013

I find I drive a bit slower, enjoying the ride! That being said, entering a highway behind other cars I activate the rear camera, hang back a bit, and when I can, GO GO GO, only problem is doing 80 or so very quickly.


Mathew98 | 26 July, 2013

@sxross - I tend to sit in the car with AC blasting and wait for the my kids quite a bit. Add gridlock traffic to the condition and I see 450 Wh/m quite often.

Contrary to popular opinion, HVAC does take up quite a bit of battery when the MS is stationary.

However, If I drive 60 miles round trip on the highway going 65 mph with cruise control then it drops down to 300 Wh/m.

In a nutshell terrain, speed, and level of acceleration affect battery usage.

Drive the MS anyway that you like and you'll still get your Tesla grin.