180 mile trip in 60kwh

180 mile trip in 60kwh

I have a trip that is 180miles one way with a full overnight stay. I can get a 240v charge overnight at the hotel which is helpful. My concern is that I've been averaging 320w/mile in the car's young history without using the climate control much. There are no charging options along the route. Is this a trip to orget about using the S? If it were 30miles shorter, I'd have no qualms at all, but my usage history is implying a range of about 190miles and not 230. This seems pretty tight. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

riceuguy | June 3, 2013

Very simply, if you want to take the MS, you'll need to drive slower. They biggest impact by far on wh/mile is speed. At 55 mph you can easily make the trip; at 60 mph it's a pretty good bet; at 70 mph you'll likely use "Broder" as a verb.

michael1800 | June 3, 2013

Too close imo. Others have suggested having 25% more charge than you need to avoid problems (for planned distance routes). Your history may or may not be relevant--how close is it to the type of drive you'll be taking (hwy/city, roads, elevation/elevation changes, etc).

In the end, you wouldn't be making with plenty left over. You would likely have a stressful trip even if you did make it, and an expensive *and* stressful one if you didn't. If it absolutely had to be done, range charge for departure and stop along the way with a long 2-hour lunch at a 120V20A plug. A bit much since it's just a 180mi trip. :(

Discoducky | June 3, 2013

Depends on temp, elevation gain, wind, cargo load and driving style. So we'll need more details....

Koz | June 4, 2013

You should look at your average energy consumption under similar highway driving conditions. Steady cruise on level ground at 65mph and little climate control is about 280 WH/mile in the 60kwh model. Pay attention to your consumption and you slow down as needed but I doubt you will need to unless you drive 70+. A strong headwind and rain can make a difference, that's why you want to pay attention to energy consumption and slow down if needed.

I just drove 115 miles in my 40kwh this weekend with a spirited 15 mile test drive for my brother included and still had 20 miles when I got home. Knew my distance, paid attention to my draw, never had anxiety. Made it home with 20 miles left.

Koz | June 4, 2013

...and I drove 65mph on the highway for the most part, only slower when forced to by traffic which was very little. Also rained about 2/3 of the drive and AC was working softly.

riceuguy | June 4, 2013

A range charge gives you 210 at 300 wh/mile...leave the energy graph up, start at 60 mph, and if your average climbs over 300, slow down!

chicago.ev | June 4, 2013

Thanks for the insight. It will be flat driving with no cargo. I've driven a Leaf for 18mo so I am used to driving efficiently- it's just that the Leaf had max efficiency around 35mph. I'm assuming the S is around 60mph for max. Many times I got 100mi out of the car that was rated for 85. I will try a highway test drive in the next few days and keep it around 60-65mph. I'll report back with results. I'm driving to the Quad Cities and they have a small airport there with a complimentary EV charging station- I'll probably be the first person this year to charge at it. Thanks

cgiGuy | June 4, 2013

Drove 180 from San Antonio to Corpus Christi (which does have a slight elevation drop). Kept it at 65 the whole way with A/C on comfortable setting. Got there with 40+ miles to spare.

On the way home, bumped the speed up to 75. Had to stop at a charger about 10 miles from my house for a bit.

As others have said, speed makes quite a difference.

Assuming the only Quad Cities is the one that includes Davenport, IA, there seem to be quite a few public chargers within 50 miles of the city on PlugShare that you could use in a pinch.

Flaninacupboard | June 4, 2013

" it's just that the Leaf had max efficiency around 35mph. I'm assuming the S is around 60mph for max."

Why would you assume this? The Model S is the same, peak efficiency around 30mph. Someone took an 85kwh over FOUR hundred miles travelling at speeds that low.

RyanMN | June 4, 2013

I made a 165 mi trip with 40 miles to spare into a head wind (almost no elevation change) and returned with tail wind with about 60 mile range on a range charge (210 miles) on my 60. I wouldn't cut it any closer personally. Even with 40 miles I had a bit of range anxiety.

If you a determined to try it, I would start at 55mph for first hour and slowly ramp up speed. Also make sure you are equipped with the correct adapter for you destination.

Brian H | June 4, 2013

For a more thrilling ride, try to arrive home with 0 miles remaining.

According to the graphs, max efficiency is about 27 mph. The original 2-cycles EPA tests equated to 300 miles at 55 mph. Cutting that speed in half adds about 120 miles.

DTsea | June 4, 2013

Use ev trip planner

put in temps, wind, start and end points and it will tell you how much power. play with speed to figure out how to drive.

Driving in Puget Sound at 65 mph I get about 310 Wh/mi average in my 60. Starting with a range charge, will go about 200 miles max. So if your trip is not too hilly, too cold, or big headwind, you should be able to do it.

chicago.ev | June 4, 2013

I'm saving that link. Thanks. Given the high efficiency at lower speeds you can moderate your speed in a headwind and really compensate for the drag. The only problem is that the car drives so well on the highway that driving sub-55 on an interstate will be a torture of sorts, if you have to do it to extend the range.
But no doubt, there is no need for range anxiety if you're willing to sacrifice speed for range. On my prior EV I went down to 4miles a number of times on the range indicator without really worrying. That's roughly the equivalent of 16oz of gasoline left in an ICE car- which would make any ICE driver anxious.

chicago.ev | June 4, 2013

Someone has posted in the forums the idea of having a battery filled trailer for EV's on long range trips. It does make sense. If you could supercharge a trailer and an S at the same time, you really could travel long distances with a lot of freedom.

TeslaOR | June 4, 2013

I do it all of the time. No worries. Just keep an average of 65mph and don't drive crazy like we all normally do in our Model S' and you will have 40+mile remaining. Don't forget to max range charge.

But like others say, know where your charge stations are and have your charge network memberships verified and working.

8508BlueS | June 4, 2013


What is a charge Network membership?

Brian H | June 4, 2013

Trailers are no-go, for many reasons. Search the term for discussions.

Some have discovered the joys of secondary roads, where lower speeds are more appropriate. Sometimes they are even more direct routes.

CC | June 4, 2013


With max range charge (208 miles in a 60kwh MS), you will be fine going 180 miles. Make sure your tire pressures are correct, put the car in range mode (can be found under controls > settings) which will make the A/C system use less energy but still keep you comfortable. Expect 3-5 miles lost by using A/C during the trip.

I am a MS 60 owner, and have done 188mi trip without issue with max range charge.

Also met a couple who drove from Connecticut supercharger to Delaware supercharger (201 miles) with a 60wkh max charge, they made it with 3 miles to spare :) And this was in middle of March, i think the temp was around 55-60F. They set cruise to 65mph.

jonesxander | June 4, 2013


Do you have any facts re: the 400 miles driving real slow? Just give me something I can google to see. What institute, or person? What state?

This I gotta see!

herkimer | June 4, 2013

Record Model S range by Florida College Professor:

Sudre_ | June 4, 2013

I've made several 180 mile trips with my 60kWh battery. Highway speeds between 65-70 MPH. I started out with a few 80-100 mile trips first to get a feel for the car.

I made a 180 mile round trip in winter and arrived home with 9 miles to spare. That trip required a 1 hour top up at an RV camp ground at the destination.

There are always charge spots, you'r just not thinking outside the box.... and some charging spots are not what we prefer (120volt). Gas stations and repair facilities will usually let you charge if the price is right. Don't forget to look for RV camp grounds along the route.
All those are good backup emergency charging options.

I don't use range mode. My wife wants her temp control but it's a good idea if you can get away with it.

GeekEV | June 4, 2013

FWIW, I had a 145 mile trip back from the factory in my S60 and got home with 55 miles on the rated range. I drove mostly freeway at 65-70 the whole way. So I think it's doable. Particularly if you don't need the heater and are driving mostly flat. Just be sure to do a max range (or 100%, depending on your firmware) charge and watch your speed.

ravi411 | June 4, 2013


There are 2 major public charging networks that I am aware of that every EV owner should become a member of. These networks are in public (city offices, parks, libraries) and private locations (hotels, commercial buildings..).

RanjitC | June 4, 2013


RanjitC | June 4, 2013

And ,plugshare best people I know

Brian H | June 4, 2013

If you read the detail at the end, I think they actually made 426 before they "died".

jbunn | June 4, 2013

Use cruise control. You will be surprised how efficient the car is at 65 on cruise. And range charge. Youll be fine.

jbunn | June 4, 2013

Almost forgot. Use navi to tell you the distance. Use rated range display to measure "fuel". So long as range is about 20 miles more than distance youll be fine. Youll probably find the 20 mile buffer remains constant. If not, drive more conservatley.

chicago.ev | June 5, 2013

Yes. Cruise control will be essential. It will also help me avoid a $150 speeding ticket

ssarker | June 5, 2013

Cruise control at 60 or even 65 on the highways right outside of Chicago was difficult, too slow for middle or left lanes, canceled out in right lanes as cars kept slowing down quickly to exit. As long as you don't make any side-trips, 180 miles in the 60kwh SHOULD be OK. My <80 mile each way from western suburbs of Chicago to Rockford turned into a 196 mile trip. I ended up having enough as I left with a 208 mile rated range but definitely was not a fun drive.

EVTripPlanner | June 5, 2013

One other thing to think about: if there is a long climb near the end of the trip, you could have "enough energy" total (when including downhill regen), but still go to zero before the top of the hill!

chicago.ev | June 24, 2013

The trip was a breeze. The info from the posts was definitely a big help. There were 20mph+ headwinds forecasted for some of the drive out, so I took it real easy at 57mph. I'm glad I did. After getting around 260w/m for the first 90 miles, I hit some good headwinds for 40mi where it was averaging about 320w/m. I got there on 48kw with plenty of mileage to spare.
I ended up using the free charger at the Quad Cities Airport parking lot- you do have to pay for the parking, which was $15/day. The voltage there was only running about 195v so at 30a it took about 9hrs to charge up. I believe I was the first person to use the charger there.
When you're approaching a trip like this and are planning on going in a highly efficient way, I recommend using the ideal rating and also using the Control screen a lot. I liked seeing exactly how many kw you've drawn out of the battery.
It's hard not driving the way one likes to drive the car, but it really gets you concentrating on how to use energy most efficiently. It's a good experience.