Real world experience - is this possible?

Real world experience - is this possible?

80 mile trip, overnight stay inside a garage without charging, 80 mile return trip, driving mostly highway at 70-80 mph. Upper midwest weather (could be cold/hot) with climate control on.

I make this trip regularly and want to know if it is realistic.

timmsteiner | March 6, 2013

Forgot to add, car would be P85.

Peter7 | March 6, 2013


Yes, I would say that this trip should not be an issue. I would recommend that the first few times you try it, range charge first just to give yourself extra margin, and look around the garage for a 120V plug that they wouldn't mind you plugging into, I've found that almost all garages have them once you figure out where to look. After those first couple of trips you will get a better feel for exactly how you like driving the car and how much margin you have, and you can look at dropping those things like the range charge, or even 120V plug.


DouglasR | March 6, 2013

Yes, you should be fine. Better once TM re-implements "sleep mode," reportedly in software version 4.3, coming soon.

shop | March 6, 2013

even a 120v plug will help.

bfranks273 | March 6, 2013

Yes, I drive from DC to Richmond, about 110 miles, on I-95. In the winter my numbers indicate I can have about 220 miles. Thats on the edge, I do charge. this includes up to 75 mph in some sections. You should be fine.

bfranks273 | March 6, 2013


GoTeslaChicago | March 6, 2013

Most of the time, easily done. Very cold weather and no overnight plug, could be borderline.

Opinion based on my trips Chicago to Milwaukee and back.

Captain_Zap | March 6, 2013

I did it with temperatures below 20F at night, below freezing by day but stayed between 60-70 mph and had little elevation change and dry pavement with 21" tires.

Wet pavement makes a big difference with the 21" tires. Not sure what the difference would have been.

rd2 | March 6, 2013

Should be easy to do.

I just did a two-day trip last week that was almost identical. But mine was even longer, probably close to 180 total miles of driving between charges. Got back to my garage with 45 miles of range left. Drove at least 65mph the whole way, and averaged 70-73mph. Started with 240miles of 'rated' range.

Temperature was low 50s at night, 60s during the daytime.

jd3tm | March 6, 2013

make sure you consider vertical distances as well...80 miles on flatland is not the same as 80 miles in the Rockies!!!


kenliles | March 6, 2013

sounds like you're good-to-go @timmsteiner

jat | March 6, 2013

I would say when it is really cold, you probably won't want to drive 80 or else you might be cutting it close, but drive a bit slower and it won't be any issue.

dqb | March 6, 2013

80 + 80 with single overnight is no problem with a P85.

noel.smyth | March 6, 2013

sounds like you should be ok but still have a backup plan, somewhere you can add a few miles in a pinch, whether it be a public charging station or even another EV owner's house. continue to look for somewhere to plug in overnight, eventually it will be available.

village33 | March 8, 2013

Not to be a naysayer, but 80 + 80 is no problem, 80 + 80 + 80mph in the cold and no overnight charge is asking for trouble. I don't know the accuracy of the below link, but it shows you'll be 34 miles short vs having a 20mi prudent cushion for the parameters you gave if you assume 80mph and 24mi/day regular loss when not plugged in. 70mph in range mode with max charge with preheated car both ways while plugged in and overnight 12 hr 110V charge you should be fine. The Model S is magic in the right hands, but generally you'll have choose between driving very fast (80mph and over *sustained*) and driving very far (150mi+) without recharge. Either one or the other is easy though. Great of you to ask the questions first. You may want to check with Tesla if these numbers are accurate for the speed you want as this is not a link to Tesla.

EVTripPlanner | March 8, 2013

I've been working on an EV Trip Planner at Currently it has reference sheets and spreadsheets to help estimate, but next week we'll start beta of the online planner which will estimate energy for specific routes and conditions. Mobile app to follow, of course!

If you provide start and end addresses I can give a better estimate than this...

160 miles @ 80 mph (406 Wh/mi) = 64960 Wh
15% worst case HVAC load (and is should be less) = 9744 Wh
12 hours overnight @ 180W (should be less after SW 4.3) = 1800 Wh
TOTAL 76.5 kWh

So, should be OK but not much room for issues like headwind, climbs, extra losses due to cold overnight. Cut the speed to 70-75 and you should be OK.

Here is a sample of the type of output you'll get from the trip planner that accounts for speed, climb/descent, HVAC (not made pretty yet):

jat | March 8, 2013

@village33 - NNT has been tossing that table around for a long time. One problem - it is dated months before the first Model S shipped, so at best it is based on theoretical calculations and not real world data, and since it is of unknown provenance it might just be completely made up.

However, I agree with you, planning on driving 80mph when it is cold is going to pushing the edge, but if you slow down a little in colder conditions you should be fine.

Captain_Zap | March 8, 2013

Have you taken a look at Green Race Jurassic Test?