Submitted by kidheme on October 20, 2013
Took my Model S from St. Louis area to Chicago area (Elgin) and back this weekend and used the Normal, IL supercharger. Overall, a great experience. I felt that I was experiencing the future of long-distance travel. A couple of finger points on the display screen got me flawless directions from home to the SC -- 175 miles. Located in a public garage in an area populated by Illinois State Univ students, there were plenty of restaurants within a couple of blocks. Beats the usual stops at fast food right off of the highway when you gas up. So for the trip north to Chicago, it was daylight, temp in the high 50s or so and mostly went 65- 70 mph consuming 212 miles of rated range with 57 estimated miles remaining when we stopped to charge. No problem. Supercharging is as advertised -- by the time we sat down for a meal in what seemed just a few minutes, my Tesla-apped iphone reported that we were already back to 139 miles.
The return was a little more concerning. Supercharged again and were there a little over an hour (got caught up in the ND-USC game 2nd half!). Set on max trip, it reached 259 miles rated range. Drove home in the dark, near traffic-free conditions, on almost perfectly flat terrain setting cruise control at 72 for at least 3/4th of the trip. (TM can check my speed to be sure) Temp was in the mid 40s. My concern is that I used 232 miles of rated range. We did have the heat on low, and the radio on, and obviously the lights. While I did not have range anxiety-- it was clear I was going to make it --I am concerned about similar upcoming trips later this fall and winter. Do others with long-distance travel experience think the cabin heater/battery heater was the main culprit? Or do i need to watch my speed more carefully? It didn't seem excessive to me. Or something else I'm missing? I am worried about winter travel and I am sure glad I purchased the 85 kwH battery. If cold is the issue, hopefully placement of the future upper midwest superchargers will take this into account.