First all-electric out-of-town trip

First all-electric out-of-town trip

I have had my Model S for a week and a half, and just drove out of town in an all-electric vehicle for the first time. It was cold, rainy, and night, so between lights, heater, radio, and the extra drag from the rain I averaged a bit under 400 Wh/mi. This was with cruise set on 75mph most of the way, and there was moderate elevation change (Atlanta to Chattanooga; Appalachian foothills). I started off with a max-range charge (so in case the hotel I was staying at had a problem with their chargers and I was unable to charge anywhere, I would be able to make it back home (though slowly), and it showed 271 rated miles. I drove 111mi, and it showed 130 rated miles when I stopped, so I used slightly over half of the battery capacity. So, I think I would get about 210mi under similar conditions if I drove until empty. That is pretty much in-line with my expectations before hand.

The charger at the hotel is Blink, and the hotel web site said it was complimentary to guests. However, the guy on duty in the middle of the night didn't know anything about that (in fact, he said it was the first time anyone had asked about them in the 2 years they had been there). So, I am charging as a Blink guest at $2/hr -- even if I can't get it straightened out with the hotel, it will take about 7 hours to recharge and cost me $14, less than gas would have cost for the same distance. (I signed up for Blink Basic now [no annual fee] which will make it $1.50/hr once I get the card). One annoying thing is that you are charged per hour connected, not per hour charging -- so I have to set an alarm to go unplug the car to stop getting billed for it.

No problems with the car, though cabin temperature regulation isn't very stable as others have reported. I don't like the way the defroster works either -- it forces AC on, heat on max, and fan on max when that wasn't necessary to keep it from fogging up. I wound up basically taking everything off auto and setting the temperature and fan where it needed to be to keep the windshield clear while not getting too hot or wasting a lot of energy.

nav66 | 17 janvier 2013

Your comment about the Blink network is interesting. While you were charged per hour connected, we experienced something different when we were connected to Blink stations at the San Diego Bayfront Hilton. For three consecutive nights of plugging-in, an e-mail was sent to my iPhone when the charge stopped, and we were only charge for the time the battery was charging. I think we spent $26 total in "fuel" costs while we were in SD.

ChasF | 18 janvier 2013

That IS interesting. If it were my station, I would charge for every hour connected because it wouldn't be available for someone else to charge. Sort of like not charging someone for a hotel room during the day (while theyre out) just because their not sleeping there.

noel.smyth | 18 janvier 2013

I made my first trip from Philly to NYC and back on Sunday. It is a 240 mile round trip, I started with 240 rated miles. (I know I should have charged to max but I didn't ). I arrived in the Bronx with 101 miles and added 53 miles at the charge point station at the Botanical Gardens. I was dropping off my daughter at Fordham and we spent about 3 hours there including dinner on Arthur Ave while the Tesla added miles. I drove an average of 68 mph on the way there. We left NYC with 154 miles rated range and my destination was about 120 miles, a 30 mile buffer. temperature in the upper 40s. I set cruise at 62 for the outset and that was running right at rated usage, meaning I maintained the 30 mile buffer. about 2/3 the way into the trip I knew I would be fine and upped my speed to 67. I made it home with 22 rated miles. note I was running in range mode to reduce the usage of the climate system.
Overall - a great experience for a novice on the car - it was really my first use of the car as I got the paperwork the day before (temp tags and such). I learned alot about how the range works and am very comfortable with it at the moment. I loved the drive of course - just amazing. The navigation I actually like how it shows the touch screen view with north to the top and then the dashboard view as forward looking like a gps. Sound was great, love the slacker radio options. I got many looks, double takes, several fist pumps, cars that were passing me, slowing down to get behind again to get a look then passing again. A woman in a MB at the garage in NY asked me how I liked it and said she has to get one.
While at the charging station in the garage in NY there were ICE cars parked in the two spots when I got there. I asked the manager to move the cars which he was very hesitant to do, but in the process one of the drivers came back and moved his car... this clearly has to improve and I will be calling the parking authority to discuss.
good experience overall, could use more options for charging at destination points (ie Fordham university should have stations in their garage)
I will likely try Philly to DC next which should be easy with many charging points there.. then Philly to State College which will be more challenging at the moment (big hills, lack of charging stations)

gregv64 | 18 janvier 2013

As far as the defroster, the last two cars I've owned worked the same way (a BMW and an Audi). The defroster button is for max defrost, and I rarely use it except for a short period when I need quick defrosting. Normally you just use the vent direction buttons to redirect air to the windscreen.

Superliner | 18 janvier 2013


"ALL" Modern vehicle defrosters operate this way including domestic cars "which never seem to get mentioned here much" if equipped with auto climate control. Front w/s defrost will command A/C compressor on (in ambient temps above approx 40 deg) Heat to Max and blower to high speed. I have never seen a system foreign or domestic that would not allow blower speed override.

A/C compressor on "to remove moisture from the air"
Heat on high " to maximize water vapor evaporation off of the glass"
Blower on High "move as much hot and dry air across the glass as possible"

And a little known perhaps fact (It is a federal requirement that they operate this way)

Brian H | 18 janvier 2013

Heat on high does more than warm the glass, of course. Hot air has a much higher moisture capacity; the RH for the same amount of water and air is much lower. As everyone in a centrally heated home in winter knows! (My ex destroyed numerous kettles boiling them dry in winter to try and fight this, to little effect.)