Range with AC on for trips

Range with AC on for trips

We have relatives all over Texas but from what I can see there are not really the fast Tesla charging station on roads we normally take on visits.

Also if I was to try and detour via a road that had one it would add a lot of miles and time to the trip. That seems counter productive.

Here is an example and would this vehicle work without the range issue.

We are outside Austin Texas
Going to Houston about a 200-210 mile trip
There are no fast charging stations on HWY 290 which is a major road actually between these cities.

Being in Texas and around 100 degrees all summer we would need the AC on all trip and maybe the radio/CD player if it has one.

Could we do it without being nervous and what happens if there is an accident for some reason and we have to go slow. How does that drain the range.

This car also would be a all around car as we could not afford to drive it only on short trips.

Or is my thinking to wait for a 400+ range car better.

Thanks for responding

PhillyGal | July 30, 2017

They are more likely to bring in more super chargers than make a 400 mile range Model 3. You need to stop to pee anyway. As a rule, AC eats up less range than heat. Also, flat ground eats up less range than mountainous regions. Check out the supercharger map before you decide. Texas has been slow with the supercharger additions but I expect that to change.

Jstephan1 | July 30, 2017

Yes we do a stop to break up the trip but that is usually in a semi small top dinner for a bite to eat. Not a place to plug in.

So I guess the choice since it will be a bit before I could even get one is they may have better range by then or as you said more Super Chargers in Texas.

Thank you for the reply.

Tropopause | July 30, 2017

With the Long Range Battery, no problem! The biggest drain on your battery is speed and heating. A/C is barely noticeable and I live in 100+F weather.

Bluesday Afternoon | July 30, 2017


I used EV Trip Planner (EVT) to layout a route from Burnet, TX, to Central Houston, TX, to try to gauge the Model 3's range. EVT showed a 207 mile trip using the Model S60 with rated range of 220 traveling to Houston and 239 rated range returning to Burnet. Using the larger battery (310 range) in the Model 3 the trip is easily within range with outside temp at 100 degrees and inside temp at 72. It's important to understand the Model 3 is lighter than the Model S60 thus allowing more range up to 310.

For comparison, I loaded my Model S85D info into EV Trip Planner and set the trip from Houston to Burnet, which is the leg using the most energy, and I had about 12% of my battery remaining when reaching Burnet. The Model 3 with the larger battery (310 range) should have over 25% of battery remaining after reaching Burnet.

Using my Model S85D

The bottom line is the larger battery available for the Model 3 is more than sufficient for the trip you describe. I would not be anxious taking this trip. Hope this helps.

Bighorn | July 30, 2017

AC can draw up to 2kW, but I agree it's usually not obvious in your efficiency data.

Robocheme | July 30, 2017

It looks like they are opening a SC in Brenham, TX soon. That seems to be on 290

moorelin | July 30, 2017

Depends on details of where you are in Austin/Houston, of course, but 71 and I-10 is generally faster than 290 and has the Columbus supercharger. Have done this easily in my Model S85.

The TX problem is not A/C but the higher speeds (many driving at 85 on I-10), which really affects range. No way that the small battery could make 200 miles at >75, but as S R says no problem with the larger one. And no worries about going slower, which increases range.

diegoPasadena | July 30, 2017

You *do* have to prepare yourself to think a little differently - for now anyway. Texas is a BIG state, and you probably will be using more of your range than most of us non-Texans. That being said: Range will not be an issue you struggle with much. I drive a Model S 60 and drove it across the country and then some - including Texas. No problem. All it took is not being stupid (tough enough for me sometimes, but, hey, even I succeeded :^)

AC has less of an effect on the cars's range than driving with an open window - with the Model S anyway. I'm assuming that the Model 3 has similarly low drag coefficient, so the effect would be similar. You do notice it, but it would only matter if you're already cutting it way too close. The same is true with an ICE car, BTW.

I tell my friends, who are considering getting a Tesla: If you want nothing to change from the way it is now, change nothing. The Tesla will change things, mostly for the better and occasionally for the worse (for now). When figuring out the balance, take into account how often the negatives come into play. If you drive to your relatives every week end, the impact will be more significant and the negatives will weigh more heavily. But if you drive 150 miles or less for most if the year and occasionally go an a longer trip, then I'd say: Don't deprive yourself of this experience, which you'll enjoy 99% of the time for the 1% of inconvenience which will decrease over time.

vp09 | July 30, 2017

We drove Southern California to Dallas Forth Worth and back last summer and did not pay one cent for fuel. We had to go to Oklahoma City then south, but now you can stay in Texas-- Childress SC is new. Also new SCs (since last summer) at Midland and Sweetwater. And San Angelo. More on the way! Go Tesla!

CraigW | July 30, 2017

First is the upcoming supercharger(s) in Austin, then you can go down 71 to Columbus.

I drove from Columbus to Waco, through Taylor, in my S60 in 2014 with no real problems.

Having driven around the country several times, you will have many more worries until you actually try long-distance driving in a Tesla. There is simply no way someone can allay your fears if you haven't driven one of these things.

P.S. In 2014, driving from Elk City, OK to Amarillo, TX (there were no superchargers on this route then) my S60 got down to 0 RM as we arrived in Amarillo. I still was able to drive to the Tesla owner's house to recharge without a problem. The car is really amazing.

janendan | July 30, 2017

It doesn't matter if it is an EV or an ICE car. It is mostly about speed. One glance at the charts for efficiency shows that 70mph uses 50% more fuel than 50mph. There is a strong inflection around 50mph. Now the choice is whether you like to ride in the car or sit at the Superchargers.

diegoPasadena | July 30, 2017

Actually, there is one little mentioned phenomenon that comes into play: Due to the EV's efficiency, hypermiling has a relatively larger effect than with an ICE:

Of course, you never want to find yourself in this position, but let's say you have 50 miles to go, and it shows 45 miles of rated range, dropping your speed substantially does reduce its consumption distinctly more than an ICE. Driving light footed and slowly, you can reduce the Wh/mile from what might be 310-350 under "unencumbered" driving (which yields about 20% or 25% less than rated range) to below the "nominal" 275 (where you pretty much achieve the rated range), down to 240 or even lower if need be. That would get you to your target. With an ICE, you can of course save, too, but in the above scenario, you'd probably be out of luck.

NKYTA | July 30, 2017

@diego, all bets are off with 32F and 4" of slush on the roads.

Faster speeds, less resistance. Wildly counterintuitive for a Tesla...