Model 3 to Kirkwood or Heavenly for skiing

Model 3 to Kirkwood or Heavenly for skiing

I just reserved a AWD M3 last week and will use this for our weekly ski trips. I am living in pleasanton and researching more about where to get it charged along the way or how much range I'll be able to get in the winter months. Has anyone taken their Model 3 AWD to Kirkwood or Tahoe for skiing yet from the SF bay area? If so, can you share your info?

I am thinking if AWD has 310 miles, and from Pleasanton to Kirkwood is 150 miles, I should be able to get there without issue, but will probably have to charge there at KW during the day, or somewhere on the way back. I am wondering how much range would I have left if I am using the heater/radio/driving up mountains/speed, etc.

Kirkwood ski resort has 6 Tesla chargers and supposedly they are free for customers to use. Last time I went, I saw them next to the parking lot. My goal is to get there as early as possible to charge.

Heavenly ski resort, I read there is 1 tesla charger and 1 clipper creek ev plug. I am also reading there are now super chargers located in lake tahoe, but I'll have to find out more info on where they are located.

Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

lightlysaucedpenne | 25 oktober 2018

Yeah, with the cold, and the uphill, you can charge in Roseville once. Then you won't need anything on the way down..

CST | 25 oktober 2018

Expect up to 50% range loss if cold and snowing. That's a long haul from Pleasanton - I drove to Truckee from around Fairfield starting with 70% charge on nice day and took it easy. I ended up with 15% when I reached the Superchargers there. Plan on a pretty long SuperCharger stop in Roseville, and be ready to recharge again before bedtime. Battery maintenance on cold nights will eat more range.
Also, good luck fitting your equipment on the roof - you'll need to look at a suction-based rack or box. Verify it will keep suction in the cold.

kinman.chung | 25 oktober 2018

I go to South Tahoe a lot and I usually charge at Vacaville or Folsom on the way. There is a supercharger station in South Lake Tahoe, right at the parking garage of the Hard Rock Hotel, near the stateline. This is a nice place to charge in the winter, since it is covered and has 14 charging stations.

4barkie | 25 oktober 2018

I have not driven up to Tahoe but have driven to Reno and Wellington. I charge in Rocklin if I am stopping in Reno first. If I am going to Wellington first I charge in Folsom.
My 2 trips so far have been in July and October so not sure how the cold will effect my choices of superchargers.
The Whitney Peak Hotel in Reno has free tesla chargers in their garage which is nice.

qa_engnr | 25 oktober 2018

I've been reading that there are no roof racks available for the M3 yet, but hopefully they will come out with something in the future. But for now, I will be folding one seat down and storing the skis and stuff inside since most of the time, it would only be me and my son going. I was thinking to add a tow hitch and use a ski rack on the hitch, but not sure yet.

How long does it usually take to do the super charging to get to full 310 miles range?

sroh | 25 oktober 2018

We are planning on doing the same, but to Northstar or Squaw. We expect to hit up Roseville on the way up and then SC or destination charge as needed in/around Truckee.

We are also planning on keeping the skis inside with one of the rear seats folded down. Keep in mind any roof rack or tow hitch will hit your aerodynamics and decrease your range. It sounds like it's just two of you, so that shouldn't be a problem. If you start with a full charge, I would think you could easily do a quick stop near Sac and then again when you get to South Lake Tahoe.

You don't want to SC to get to the full charge. Takes too long.l SC to 80% and be on your way.

qa_engnr | 25 oktober 2018

I saw this link from another forum about a shop in Sacramento that can install roof racks for the model 3. I'll have to find out more about this after I get my M3.

spuzzz123 | 26 oktober 2018

@qa_engnr - superchargers output can vary by location, but most of the time, if I am not parked directly next to another charging vehicle, I can get above 400 miles per charging hour for the first 0% to 70% charge. Then things slow down after that. So if you are starting from near zero SOC, its probably 30 minutes to get you to 2/3rds full, then if you really want a 100% charge maybe another 30 minutes -- I've never actually gone wire-to-wire like that, but I believe that's about how long it would take at most superchargers.

SactoEVer | 26 oktober 2018

For a change of pace, go to Truckee .. & ski Sugar Bowl, Squaw or Northstar. Many of the home rentals in Tahoe Donner have 240 outlets for EV charging and a few have Tesla home chargers. Truckee has 2 superchargers with a third coming soon. You can charge on the way in Sacramento (Natomas) or Roseville.

Bighorn | 26 oktober 2018

Shared pairs are not always next to each other. You need to avoid using the same # as one in use. Numbering scheme varies by site. When they’re labeled 1A2A3A1B2B3B, it can get confusing with the bigger stations with 8+ pedestals.

Bighorn | 26 oktober 2018

And charging time unpaired is approx 40 min to 80% and another 40 min to full. That’s why you avoid the top end when traveling unless it jibes with a long meal or long leg to the next charger.

Tesla_User | 26 oktober 2018

Basic rule of thumb: Assume about a 25% degradation in range under the conditions you mention and plan accordingly.
Upon arrival at destination, give it a 90% charge, and prior to leaving see if another charge is needed. Play safe, I don't believe in artificially induced range anxiety.
No harm in playing safe and overcharging a bit.

CST | 26 oktober 2018

Keep in mind that driving with skis in the car is more than messyi, it can be deadly if you get into a crash.

Wimpy ti | 26 oktober 2018

This just makes me envious that you all get to drive your Tesla's when you go skiing. I frequent Lake Tahoe and the I-70 resorts outside of Denver, but am always stuck in a lame ICE rental car because I live in Houston and must fly in :\

qa_engnr | 26 oktober 2018

Yeah, I'll be using ski bags so it should be ok and better when driving with them inside. I will try to charge to 90% when up at the ski resorts as well. I want to be safe as possible and hopefully no issues. Still trying to find out where to charge from Kirkwood to Pleasanton on the way back.

tigerkc | 26 oktober 2018

Manteca has a 20-stall SC. You probably want to juice up on the way to Kirkwood make sure you can get back, assuming all chargers could be taken at Kirkwood.

sroh | 26 oktober 2018

On the way back, you will use very little energy due to regen as you come down in altitude. From other people's experience in Model S, I fully expect to make it back from Tahoe to San Jose without stopping if I start with 70-80% charge. Or start with lower charge and make a quick 10-15 stop in Roseville.

qa_engnr | 26 oktober 2018

Wow, from Tahoe to San Jose without needing to charge? man, thats really good! Long tiring drive though. And starting at only 70-80% charge?? I'm amazed!

So coming down in altitude uses little energy? I'll have to learn more about "regen".

happydad | 30 oktober 2018

M3 DM 19" from bay area peninsula to Northstar used 73kwh according to trip info. Decided to top up in Roseville just to be on the safe side vs. going down to 3-4%. On the return trip, same route, starting with 100% charge (310 miles), got home with 89 miles left. Each way is 218 miles.

curtis | 18 november 2018

Just drove my M3 AWD (nonP) to Kirkwood yesterday after picking someone up at SFO. From SFO I used 282 miles of reported range and 72kwh to drive 185 miles. I drove fast, 10-15 over speed limit including the twisties up from Jackson. We were fully loaded, 5 adults and their gear. The car is amazing on mountain roads. Outside temp was 28 when we arrived. Performance won't be as good in colder weather and with snow tires, but I'll also be driving slower when there's snow on the ground, and I'll usually be coming from Berkeley, so I'm confident I will make it consistently with range to spare as long as I leave fully charged.

FWIW: The Kirkwood destination charger (5 chargers, plus two J1772) at Kirkwood is currently down. Over the summer they moved them a little to make them more accessible and they blew the sub panel in the process. They are supposed to be repaired tomorrow. Also, Kirkwood is on the Tesla map for getting a SuperCharger in '2018'. No sign of it yet and word from the folks in the lodge (who host the existing chargers) is that it's scheduled for next summer.

Routing side topic: 580-205-5-4-88 is a far superior routing to Kirkwood than any of the routes that involve the 80 or 50 parking lots. If you're avoiding the crowds by going to Kirkwood in the first place why do battle with them on the way? The SuperCharger in Manteca adds about 3 miles to the route, is 114 miles from Kirkwood and has restaurants and shops right next door. On second thought, go on up 80, and head to Northstar or Squaw. We like skiing right up to the lifts...

jjgunn | 18 november 2018

Here's my trip to Tahoe in July.

When you leave Tahoe back to the Bay, you'll use a lot less battery than you think because it's all downhill. Enjoy your trip.

CST2 | 18 november 2018

A couple weeks ago, I drove from East Bay'ish region to Truckee to check out the ski swap (spoiler: don't), and stayed at Northstar Lodge overnight. They had nice 40-amp chargers, and I got to add them to PlugShare since they weren't in the system. My cost of energy for the trip was about $5 since destination charging helped out.
I used to hate coming down to Truckee from Donner Pass, but now with regen, it feels much more controlled. I'm going to miss that this winter when I'm taking the Volvo.

SUN 2 DRV | 18 november 2018

"So coming down in altitude uses little energy? I'll have to learn more about "regen"."

And even more important is that it's downhill. :-)

But going uphill is a Bxxxx...

Use one of the trip planners (EVtripplanner or ABetterRoutePLanner) to get a better idea of what you'll be facing before you go.

qa_engnr | 12 december 2018

@curtis ,

Thanks for your post, this really helps a lot. Were you able to charge somewhere else near Kirkwood since the chargers were down?

I am headed to KW this Saturday so hopefully the Tesla chargers will be usable. We mainly goto KW because it is so close to Pleasanton but we will definitely check out Northstar as well this season.

coleAK | 13 december 2018

On your way there more charge will be better. Going up the mountains in the cold and snow covered roads I’m using 50 to 70% more power. 600-900+ Wh/mi. Going back will be easy.

bgbythsea | 13 december 2018

One of my favorite boasts about my Model 3 is that I can drive it all the way from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe FAST without stopping to charge. But that was summer. In winter I may stop in Folsom for some extra charge to heat.

moabchick | 13 december 2018

I live in Denver and will say this about driving into the mountains-altitude-cold. I learned that you should charge when you get there while the battery is warm! Don't make the mistake I did, which was arrive at my destination, low on charge, tired, and go straight to bed. It took twice as long to supercharge to 80% the next morning (when it was 15 degrees), delaying my departure. Since you'll be going uphill to get there, charge it right back up when you arrive. You'll be good to go when you leave and will regen plenty when you lose altitude back down to the Bay area.

jjgunn | 14 december 2018

rooneyclan2 | December 13, 2018
I live in Denver and will say this about driving into the mountains-altitude-cold. I learned that you should charge when you get there while the battery is warm
Good tip. Thx for that.

qa_engnr | 17 december 2018

Update on my trip ski trip to KW this past saturday.

I went to KW this past saturday 12/15, with my model 3 with a full 100% charge of 310 miles from Pleasanton and made it there with 93 miles left and I didn't stop at the Manteca super charger first. Didn't use my heated seats or turn on the heater at all. When I arrived at exactly 8am, there was 4 other Tesla's already charging and I was able to get the last spot that can fit in the charging area, and very lucky! 2 Tesla chargers were not being used either, probably because of the small amount of space to be able to park 6 cars at once and to reach each charger. It was odd, the first charger I tried was only giving me 6-7 mph. After a few minutes, I switched to the other available charger and was able to get 30 mph! Most likely I'll have to try to leave home 1/2 hr earlier to be sure I can get a spot.

I did have to pay the $25 VIP parking fee. I didn't mind though, because I can use the charger as long as I needed and also parking there is so close to the stairs that leads to the cafe and easy. Since it was my first time driving a ev to Kirkwood, I didn't know what to expect, so I charged the car to 300 miles just before I left at 4pm. From Kirkwood to my house in Pleasanton, it showed 150 miles on navigation. But when I arrived home, it showed I had 200 miles left!! Regen didn't kick in until after 60 miles. It felt like a normal car at this point without the regen. During the drive up and drive back, I didn't use any of the heated seats, didn't turn on the heater, and I also turned off cabin overheat protection. Not sure if that mattered or affected the range, so I didn't use them just in case. So with 93 miles left, I actually think I may have made it back to Manteca in this case.

while charging, a few Kirkwood guys that handle the chargers, happened to be inspecting the Tesla destination chargers. I gave them the information I had experienced regarding the one charger that was only giving me 6mph and the one I used which was getting 30mph, and they were surprised. They will have it checked out to find out the reason. For people who see this post and go up to KW, do not use the Clipper Creek chargers. They are very slow. A model X owner was using it and he was only getting 5-6mph as well. I gave them my own feedback about the charging setup. I told them I thought the chargers were too close to one another and it prevented at least 2 Tesla cars to fit in that small charging area. M3 was fun to drive up and handled fine without any issues.

CST | 17 december 2018

No ski dents?

qa_engnr | 17 december 2018

Nope, none! Actually since you ask, I think the reason why only 5 cars could park in that area was because there was too much space in between each tesla. What KW should do that may help the charging cable to reach is to actually create 6 regular lined parking spots so people can park correctly with enough spacing in between.

CST | 17 december 2018

Yeah, but lines & snow don't mix :)

marc | 27 maart 2019

I was able to do the drive in one shot on M3 AWD LR from south bay to Kirkwood with 91% battery used and a snow storm at the top:
More details:

marc | 28 maart 2019

and to be clear about the last comment "I was able to do it" is not "anyone can do it under any weather conditions". I carefully planned that trip and the fact that I made it was fully dependent on the snowline. A lower snowline and lower temps would have caused me to not make it.

sroh | 28 maart 2019

We've done the trip from San Jose to Northstar several times this winter, including our last trip with the Tesla roof rack and Yakima FatCat 6 ski rack.

No way to make it up there without stopping once in Roseville or Rocklin. But on the way back, we can make it home easily starting with a 90% charge. That is to South San Jose, which is 10 miles further than downtown. We get home with 10-15% charge remaining.

However, with skis on the roof, we lose about 20% efficiency, which necessitates a quick stop on the way home.

Either way, it works out great as we like to stop for a meal along the way.

CST | 28 maart 2019

Hope your cars stay nice. My snow XC90 gets dented, scratched & nicked throughout the ski year by careless people. I'm up about 40 days.

qa_engnr | 30 september 2019

I'm looking forward to the upcoming season and ready to goto kirkwood for skiing. Had seen there was a plan to open up a new Target with superchargers in kirkwood, ca, but looks like that is not happening. That would've helped a lot for the many people who take their teslas to kirkwood.