Model S: 1, Range Anxiety: 0

Model S: 1, Range Anxiety: 0

So, I took my 5-day old S85 out for its first big road trip - a 220 loop from Sacramento to San Jose and back - I do this at least once a week for work--if the car stumbled on this, my wife would shoot me.

I left this morning with a 270 mile range charge and rolled back into my garage this evening with 44 miles left. I did a bit of everything -- freeways, city driving, went through the Altamont Pass twice and crawled in god-awful Bay Area rush hour traffic with temps between the 80s and low 100s.

For you old hands, this might not seem like a big deal, but it was huge for me in terms of confidence in planning trips. Two things were really helpful: 1) the energy app was immensely useful in making sense of how I was doing, and 2) cruise control protected me from a happy right foot. :)

On the first outing, I was conservative and kept the cruise control at 60 (which was hard since I am usually doing 80mph on this loop) but next time I know I can go a bit faster based on how this first trip went.

Kudos to Tesla for building a car with this kind of range and providing accurate tools to help make the best use of that capacity.


negarholger | July 26, 2013

Yes, you have to slowly learn what the car can in terms of range. Sometime in the future there will be a SC around Tracy, then this trip will be a piece of cake. | July 26, 2013

Yup--baby steps. :)

I emailed Tesla a while ago lobbying for a SC in Tracy or Livermore--will certainly make life easier.


negarholger | July 26, 2013

I have a similar regular trip - from South San Jose to the Petaluma area ( in laws 200 m RT ) and it is doable without any problems with the 85 kWh and burns about 65-70 kWh. But before the first trip I was testing out my escape point on the 280 - Tesla HQ - 35 rated range: slow down, 30 rated range go charge. On our last trip we we had an unforseen event as we got stuck for 2+ hours in a traffic jam, because of an accident and we burned an extra 12 kWh... so going home it was getting close. On the way back we just stopped for 15 min at TM HQ to get the missing miles to make it home safely...

nickjhowe | July 27, 2013

@omar - just be careful if it ever gets windy, especially if you are speeding. A 20mph headwind driving when at 60 mph will see your range decrease by as much as 30%. | July 27, 2013

Thanks for the heads-up, Nick...

Bob W | July 27, 2013

@Kleist or anyone else who has been to Tesla HQ on Deer Creek Rd. lately:

What types chargers are available there and how many of each? Recargo indicates there are only 8 Roadster Chargers (which is out of date it seems). PlugShare says there are one or two 14-50s (conflicting reports), a J1772 (70A), at least one HPWC (Model S), and the rest Roadster? It's very confusing. I could update Recargo with more accurate info if someone can tell me exactly what's there (or else I'll have to make a road trip there myself).

negarholger | July 27, 2013

I should have taken a picture... besides a bundle of 110 V outlets
- one HPWC at 60 A... the plug is in a SC housing
- four 14-50 on the wall.
We were there 2 weeks ago on a Sunday evening and no one charged at the above ( some Leafs were plugged into the 110 V outlets ). So we got the HPWC and it charged at 45 miles per hour. It is on the back side of the building and according to other reports and my experience the gates are open on weekends.
Looking at the parking lot a substantial number of folks were working on Sunday evening.

negarholger | July 27, 2013

Sorry - I don't recall if there was a roadster charger and I didn't look for it. Certainly there would not cut off the roadster owners. I need to a better scouting job next time.

Bob W | July 28, 2013

Inspired by @Kleist, I drove to Tesla HQ in Palo Alto today to check it out. Still lots of employee cars in HQ parking lot on a beautiful Sunday; those guys are really working hard!

Didn't find any 120V outlets there.

Found eight parking spots in front (for the public), all available at 1:15 pm:

Two 14-50 240V outlets
One Tesla Model S HPWC (203V, 70A or 80A, couldn't verify as loaner P85 didn't have twin charger option)
Four Telsa Roadster 70A chargers
One very rare 70A J1772 (tested to 40A, 203V)

Found (in back, intended for employees):

One "SuperCharger" (but it only provided 40A AC at 203V, no SuperCharging, yet)
Four 14-50 outlets (with two employee cars charging, one roadster, one Model S)

negarholger | July 28, 2013

Oh, I didn't see the ones in front, only the ones in the back. Need to check it out next time I am in the area. Thanks for the info.