Trip: 4,000 miles LA - MN - LA

Trip: 4,000 miles LA - MN - LA

I am renting a Model X 100D with 19" tires from a Tesla forum friend (thanks JJ!). I will be driving 2,000 miles from LA to Minnesota in a few days. I am expecting to average 350-400 Wh/mile for flat driving at 70 mph. Is this reasonable? Any advice on picking superchargers along my route? I plan to target 20% SOC arrival at each charge.

Here are the cities I plan to sleep in:
Leave LA
Las Vegas, Nevada
Grand Junction, Colorado (or Denver)
Grand Island, Nebraska (or Omaha)
Des Moines, Iowa
Arrive in St Paul, Minnesota

On the way back from St Paul:
Rapid City, South Dakota (to see the Black Hills)
Denver, Colorado
Richfield, Utah (to see Zion)
St. George, Utah
LA | 12. juni 2019

I'm too lazy to look up your chargers, sorry. The mileage you list is probably good numbers at 70 mph. I think I on occasion see as low as 333 Wh/m if there are no bursts of power, etc that use more juice.

I don't focus on having 20% on reaching the charger. I try to set my stops as far apart as possible so I can make every charging stop a meal stop. So I like to travel at least 200 miles before charging. But even with a 100 kWh battery, you can't expect to go much further without charging and they don't always cooperate with where they put the chargers.

Tesla would have to stop every 150 miles or so which keeps you in the fast charging rate range keeping the chargers running at best capacity. Considering that they will fine you for leaving your car on the charger after the charging is done means you won't have time to get a proper meal anywhere without leaving the restaurant and moving the car.

Trips are simply not optimal at all in an EV. Give them another 10 years and the range will be longer and the chargers more plentiful to allow you to do pretty much the same trips in an EV that you do in your ICE.

beaver | 12. juni 2019
Thanks I am planning to do 2 hour legs between charging and rest/eat/sleep. Charging is fast below 50% SOC, so will charge 20-80% normally which will give me about 180 miles.

alvin | 12. juni 2019

Why does my 2019 Tesla x show 90% after a full charge?

deemo | 12. juni 2019

The vehicle will plan your stops for you but you can change it by selecting different supercharger. 20% left as a rule is a little much, the car will normally plan for 10-15% range left when arrive and I normally follow that suggestion. I have never been short although did cut it kind of close once when hit a very bad storm with 40+ MPH head winds on way back from Vegas. I routinely end up with a little more (2-3 %) than what it says it will be when I get to the charger. Best way to preplan is use or - I like the first better, much more flexibility.

deemo | 12. juni 2019

Almost forgot - is also pretty good.

beaver | 14. juni 2019

@deemo thanks, I have looked at Tesla’s route planner, EV, and better route planner. They vary between 8-14 supercharger stops. I think that better route planner optimizes for fastest trip, which means more shorter charges. My plan is to drive in 3 hour increments so we can rest and charge.

gaspi101 | 14. juni 2019

Just use use whatever customized options you want (20% is what I use too because it allows me to drive at 85mph and still make it with about 15% which is enough to go elsewhere in most cases if there’s a problem with that supercharger for some unknown reason. Have a good time! I’ve done three 1500+ mile trips in my X and 3 and I use ABRP for the route and in car nag for navigating to a specific charger. Cheers!

gaspi101 | 14. juni 2019

Just use use whatever customized options you want (20% is what I use too because it allows me to drive at 85mph and still make it with about 15% which is enough to go elsewhere in most cases if there’s a problem with that supercharger for some unknown reason. Have a good time! I’ve done three 1500+ mile trips in my X and 3 and I use ABRP for the route and in car nag for navigating to a specific charger. Cheers!

deemo | 15. juni 2019

With ABRP, you can kind of force whatever you are looking for by changing some of the assumptions. For instance you want 20% left but 3 hrs between. A couple of ways to force it, after put 20% as goal arriving charge, reset length to open charge port to like 30 min, forcing less charge cycles or just pick a charger every 200 miles or so and add as waypoint or select taka a long break here. Lots of options.

bob | 15. juni 2019

+1 gasp101
I've done long trips in our MS60 - that takes planning. Our MX100 is way less stress with lots of charging options. We haven't done 2,000 in one trip, but we have done 1,500 and typically the car is ready to get back on the road before we are. The exception to that rule has only been when we've done 12 or 14 hour marathon days. On occasions like that we like to make our last stop at Kettleman so I get a nap in the lounge area.

There will be mandatory Superchargers on your route. Places where there isn't another charger for 150 or more miles. One that I dislike is Quartzsite - I'm not a fan of Carl's Jr. and typically it's too damn hot to walk anywhere else in town.

Enjoy the ride. I bet once you get beyond the 2nd or 3rd charger any range anxiety will wane.

beaver | 15. juni 2019

Good tips, I have spent hours playing around with ABRP, I had to put in a 20 mph headwind to get the target Wh/mile so my 70 mph drive efficiency is accurate.

I am thankful for the 100 kWh battery, it would take much longer in a 60 or 75 kWh battery, and could get stressful climbing the mountains.

jjgunn | 15. juni 2019

I climbed the mountain from Roseville, CA to Tahoe EAP at 69 MPH, temp about 80F with AC cranking away -- 85 actual miles & used about 50% battery. (~145 miles of range)

jjgunn | 15. juni 2019

......and so it begins. ;-)

beaver | 15. juni 2019

Swap complete! Thanks JJ the X is floating on air

beaver | 16. juni 2019

First day finished, left LA late due to packing so stopped for the night in Vegas (fathers day!)

Model X 100D, 20" tires
261 miles
3:59 driving
0:40 supercharging in Baker, CA at max of 132 kW
Charging overnight at Aria hotel, which has 4 Chargepoint chargers on level 2 of self-park (6 kW = 17 mph)

372 Wh/ mile total from LA to Vegas. It was hot (108 F in Baker) and had strong winds.
350 Wh/mi from LA to Baker (172 miles)
414 Wh/mi from Baker to Vegas (89 miles)

gguinto | 17. juni 2019

Good luck with your road trip @beaver! Your MX is the same configuration as ours.

Like @bob, I also have an MS60D that we've done long trips up and down the east coast with. The longest was from NY to Key West. With only about 200 miles of range with our MS60D, we made the trip to key west and forgot about range anxiety all together. 90% of all the s/c stops were at decent places with good restaurants, etc.

Road trip on a Tesla are awesome, especially if you have unlimited supercharging. Good luck!

beaver | 17. juni 2019

Day 2 report: Vegas, Nevada to Green River, Utah

I had issues with all 3 Utah supercharge locations (see below for detail)
Biggest surprise: beautiful view at Salt Wash Viewing Area in Utah

423 miles total
5:39 driving (averaged 74.5 mph)
403 Wh/ mile total

Supercharged for total of 2:45 (one of the chargers was slow)
Stayed overnight at First Choice Inns ($145), had dinner at Tamarisk (excellent)

Supercharger issues:
St. George, Utah
A/4B have issues (started at 120 kW but quickly dropped to 25 kW for me and another guy)

Richfield, Utah
Charged slowly at 70 kW max for most of the charge, tried switching but no difference

Green River, Utah
2B started charging at 137 kW but within 2 min tripped out (gave an error, asked me to replug), I tried 3 times but it kept stopping. I switched to 1A and it worked great (139 kW max and stayed above 100 kW for most of the charge)

Next major stop: Denver, Colorado

jimglas | 18. juni 2019

Use airport road SC in Denver, much less likely to be full

bob | 18. juni 2019

@beaver - assume you know about the A/B priority? Simple rule of thumb is if there is another vehicle in a pair - say someone is in 3B and 3A is open look to see if another pair is available, both A&B. You'll only get 1/2 speed charging rate if half a pair is occupied up until that user leaves. It's a lot more complex than that, and there is a chart somewhere in the bowels of these forums that lays out an entire matrix of which position is optimal based on which stalls are in use. But the simple A/B trick and really speed things up. Happy Trails!

jjgunn | 18. juni 2019

Trip tip -- avoid v1 SuCh'ing if you can. They're so slow at 103 kW

beaver | 18. juni 2019

@bob - yes all the chargers were open, so no one was robbing my power (unless they tapped into the shed :)
I have had no problems with Colorado chargers today, Utah was a little weak

beaver | 18. juni 2019

Day 3 report: Green River, Utah to Fort Morgan, Colorado

Longest day yet and most tiring. Heavy rain in the mountains of Utah and Colorado made for more stressful driving. There was a lot of water on the freeways. Most fun: seeing the snow near Vail. We wanted to stay the night in Denver but there were no good rooms available, must have been a convention going on or something. So we pushed on another 1:20 to Fort Morgan.

427 miles total
6:02 driving (averaged 71 mph)
349 Wh/ mile total

Supercharged for 3:01, 103-137 kW, no charging issues. I calculated that so far on this trip I have averaged 71 mph, but only 50 mph when I add in charging time. Charging represents 29% of my trip time. It doesn't bother me because my baby needs the break, but if I was going alone and fast i would stop to charge more frequently but for shorter time. I have been skipping some SC while the baby sleeps.

sbeggs | 19. juni 2019

Thanks for the excellent detailed reports.

beaver | 19. juni 2019

Day 4 report: Fort Morgan, Colorado to Omaha, Nebraska

It was a good smooth day, fast driving and charging. Not a lot to see except the fields, beautiful sunset. We had trouble finding a hotel room in Omaha (or Lincoln) due to the College World Series.

483 miles total
6:12 driving (averaged 78 mph)
325 Wh/ mile total (gentle down slope)

Supercharged for 2:28, max of 146 kW in Council Bluffs, Iowa (screaming fast maybe due to the 20.1.2 update today). I had no charging issues, nice meeting other Tesla owners from Seattle and Denver.

Supercharged: Ogalla, NE; Grand Island, NE; Council Bluffs, IA (just across the river). Nice food options at all the charging locations.

beaver | 29. juni 2019

Day 5 report: Omaha, Nebraska to St Paul, MN

Final day of our Los Angeles to Minnesota trip

383 miles total
5:28 driving (averaged 70 mph)
334 Wh/ mile total

Supercharged for 2:25, max of 142 kW in Des Moines, Iowa

Supercharged: Des Moines, Iowa (HyVee is HUGE!), Albert Lee, MN (throttled to 40 kW until other owner left.

Total for Pasadena, CA - St Paul, MN trip:
1,978 miles
27:15 driving
11:15 charging (would have been faster but we were not in a hurry and had to wait for the baby to be ready)
727 kWh
355 Wh/miles
In the Model X 100D with 20" wheels

Weston X90D | 02. juli 2019

Dam... that's a lot of driving.

jjgunn | 02. juli 2019

Haha. He ain't done yet!

beaver | 07. juli 2019

Day 6: St Paul, MN to Worthington, MN

Short first day on the trip back home, we didn't leave until 8pm.

180 miles
3:10 driving
324 Wh/ mile

Supercharged at the Holiday Inn Express we stayed at (so awesome especially when you have 3 sleeping kids in the Tesla) for 60 minutes, max of 116 kW.

beaver | 07. juli 2019

Day 7: Worthington, MN to Rapid City, South Dakota (Black Hills!)

Pretty smooth, we dodged some thunderstorms (and apparently a tornado we only found out about the next morning). SD superchargers were rock solid, people were friendly, and the roads were wide open...except they shut down one direction every 30 miles or so for road construction (dangerous and annoying!). You know, in the midwest there are actually only two seasons...winter and road construction :)

416 miles
5:10 driving
421 Wh/ mile (hauling ass in South Dakota is normal)

We stopped to charge X 100D in Oacoma and Murdo. Oacama is a small town across the river from Chamberlain, we loved the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center, and had dinner at Upper Crust. Actually, my family had dinner and I got stuck at the Supercharger because there are no ride services in SD (who knew). Not even a Bird scooter arghhhh

Murdo SCer has a nice little playground next to it, and the motel people were friendly and let me fill up my water bottle.

beaver | 07. juli 2019

Vacation day (no distance driving!). We stayed 2 nights in Rapid City to see the Black Hills, I went when I was younger and had just as much fun this time with my kids.

I highly recommend Bear Country (40 bears including 10 bear cubs!), Storybook Island (amazing park with themed playgrounds from childhood stories like the three little pigs), and of course Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore has 6 destination chargers all Tesla Wall Chargers, I charged at 16 kW (72A @ 210V good for 41 mph on the X 100D).

We tried to visit Jewel Cave, but had to settle for a short hike and ranger activities since they tours sell out daily by 11am.

beaver | 07. juli 2019

Day 8: Rapid City, SD to Cheyenne, Wyoming (the capital)

We got a late start (2pm) so only arrived at the hotel at 1:45am, I had to drive slow the last 50 miles because of an unexpected (and not on Tesla NAV!) detour onto rural roads. Speed limit was 70 but I was driving 55 mph and getting passed like a dead turtle. I turned off the AC, disconnected all my electronics from charging, dimmed the display, and set the suspension to "very low". I doubt these helped much (maybe bought me a half a mile if I am lucky). I was limping towards the hotel when I realized I should just NAV to the SuCharger in Cheyenne to gain some range back (from 3 to 10 miles). Once I did that I was able to drive the speed limit and arrived at 1:10am.

297 miles
4:42 driving
300 Wh/ mile (due to driving slowly, it's amazing what the air can do to your range)

We charged in Custer, SD and had a nice pizza dinner nearby. Since the kids were tired, I charged to 95% and theb drove 255 miles straight without stopping, just had to slow down to make it to the destination due to the detour (I stupidly stopped watching WAZE, I usually have it running for exactly this reason because Tesla NAV and google maps are not as up to date with road closures.

No issues charging in South Dakota, they were all as fast as they should be (120 or 150 kW), I saw very few Teslas. Many many people stopped me to ask questions, especially with the FWD. Too bad the referrals are not that great, but I happily educate people and show them how awesome the vehicle is. I got a few "does it fly?"

beaver | 07. juli 2019

Day 9: Cheyenne, WY to Salt Lake City, Utah

Great day, smooth driving and fast charging. We stopped to charge at Rawins (ate at Burger King the only close option) and Rock Springs, WY (dinner at Applebees). I wanted to charge only once today but couldn't due to strong head winds (15-30 mph). Also the speed limit is 80 mph.

445 miles
5:54 driving
367 Wh/ mile (went up and down but ended up dropping 2,000 feet)

The last hour descent into Salt Lake was at night, which is a bummer since I wanted to see the beautiful scenary and mountains. I will check out the city and lake tomorrow and probably head to Liberty Park for fireworks. Happy 4th everyone!

beaver | 07. juli 2019

Day 10: Salt Lake City to St. George, Utah

Easier day, downhill and downwind meant pretty high efficiency considering the 80 mph speed limit. When I left SLC with a 90% charge 257 miles range the NAV said I should stop in Nephi, but it is only 85 miles from SLC. With the grade, some intelligent (safe) half drafting behind a van, and a decent tailwind I was able to make it to Beaver 200 miles away. My satisfaction turned to sorrow as the Supercharging royally sucked in Beaver. I posted the issues in TMC so others are warned, but the summary is that the feed likely had problems and when all SC slots were occupied (as they were most of the day), everyone was basically capped at 20 to 50 kW. I charged at 24 kW for an hour before it increased to 50 kW when my neighbor left. It took me 2 hours to charge from 10% to 90%. It was OK since I have a baby who needs a longer stop, and the restaurant in Beaver is decent with great pie. A few people got frustrated with the "destination charging" speeds and left for St George as soon as they had enough range.

beaver | 07. juli 2019

307 miles
3:50 driving
2:00 charging Beaver does not like Beaver Supercharger
337 Wh/ mile pretty good for the X going 80 mph

We were going to drive home in Pasadena the following day, but extended 2 more days to see if the earthquakes settle down. There was a M 7.1 the night we arrived in St George, I was actually on the ferris wheel with my sons when I got the alerts.

While in St. George we went to the 4th carnival. And Zion was amazing! I didn't get to hike with the kids but we dipped our toes in the river and took the shuttle bus a few stops. Dinosaur Discovery is highly recommended for the kids.

The Hampton Inn and Suites in south St George has 4 free 6kW chargers, so I didn't have to visit the supercharger even once. Tomorrow we will push off through Vegas to LA, assuming there is not another earthquake tonight. Safe travels everyone.

bonhari03 | 09. juli 2019

Great! Now I’ve got travel fever again!
We have a MX 75 with 22” wheels. It’s a good fit for us because we are ready to stop when the car is. That’s about every hour to hour and a half. I disagree with an earlier post that travel by electric car isn’t there yet. Clearly it is from your thread and my experience. Keep it coming!

beaver | 10. juli 2019

Day 11: St George, Utah to Pasadena, CA (last leg of my trip in the X 100D)

After extending our stay in St George by 2 days to see if the earthquakes died down (which they did thankfully), we drove back home with two charging stops in Primm (SC problems) and Baker. We really enjoyed St George, which surprised me and I can recommend it to anyone who wants to visit Zion or Bryce Canyon national parks. St George is one of the (if not the) fastest growing metro areas in the country. It has a nice historical downtown, dinosaur discovery center, and good restaurants (I tried Peppers Mexican Grill and of course George's on the Corner both excellent). We spent a day at Zion, I wish we had time to visit Bryce. We stayed at a hotel with free 6 kW charging, never had to go to the supercharger.

378 miles
5:19 driving
3:10 charging (Primm was slow running at only 60 kW)
401 Wh/ mile due to strong headwinds

The Primm SC was having issues, I talked to a few people also having issues. It started charging at 130 kW but dropped quickly to 60 kW and never went higher, I switched SCers once and the same thing happened. My advice is to skip Primm, the outlet sucks it more than half empty, only one bathroom open, bad food options. Just do your outlet shopping in Vegas, and stop in Baker for much better food options. Barstow has the best superchargers in terms of consistent speed.

The day after I met up with JJ to swap back into my 3 (thanks JJ you rock!). It's amazing how I got used to the X, the 3 is so low, agile, and surprisingly the screen seems so small! Kind of like picking up my old nokia phone.

beaver | 10. juli 2019

CA-MN-CA trip totals in X100D:
5,394 miles
1,935 kWh (so close to 2 megawatt hours MWh)
26 supercharger stations
359 Wh/mile (119%)
11 days driving, 22 days total
72 mph average
55 hours driving, 24 hours supercharging (optimized for fewest stops, 30% of travel time was supercharging)
9 states outside California
Longest drives: 484 miles, 6:12

beaver | 10. juli 2019

My observations of first trip in an X:
- so much space! I had no trouble fitting 5 people (including 3 car seats in a single row) and all our stuff for a 3 week road trip
- love the dual screen, now that I am back in my model 3 the screen feels so small!
- love the air suspension, soaks up the bumps really well, adjustable ride height
- bummer that you cannot have a roof rack
- AutoPilots works more smoothly on the model 3, the X swayed back and forth often on lane changes and curves
- too many phantom brake incidents! nearly daily, my wife asked me to turn off AP like 5 times
- Tesla clearly studied the Acrura mdx, best selling 3 row SUV, I know because I have one and there are a lot of similarities e.g. the rear compartment handle
- middle bench does not tilt forward enough to get someone in and out of 3rd row easily
- loved it! now to save my money and buy a used model x in a few years,...but Raven arghhhhh might need to wait longer

jjgunn | 10. juli 2019

"359 Wh/mile (119%)"
What does "119%" mean?

Driving a Tesla & using AP is unbelievably helpful for long drives. AP really relieves stress while driving long distances. It's amazing. Now if Tesla can solve the occasional phantom braking, we'll all be much happier.

Agree about 3rd row. It's really just for the kids or smaller humans back there.

No log on how many questions you answered about the X? Haha!

Joules Winnfield -- he's a bad mf'er. Super happy you didn't need to use the tire repair kit

Thx for the cool pics. I felt like I was on vacation with you & the fam. Helluva trip.

beaver | 10. juli 2019

@jjgunn 119% is compares to rated range (EPA?), basically just Wh of range used divided by actual miles driven. Another way to show it is 84% efficiency.

I got so many questions, jaw drops, complements, and curious looks. Especially east and north of Colorado. Interestingly there were multiple times when entire families came up to see it and the kids were explaining how Tesla’s work to their parents! Gives me hope for the next generation.

Sribash | 11. juli 2019

Excellent trip report with travel insights added. I am now thinking or Bryce and Zion trip from San Jose, CA once the schools open and the summer rush is over

sbeggs | 12. juli 2019

Excellent descriptions, useful data and nice trip. Thanks for writing!

beaver | 12. juli 2019

@Sribash and sbeggs@ thanks for reading and I am happy you found it useful. I want to make my next long roadtrip up to Yellowstone and maybe even into Canada. We really got into a travel groove, unpacking and packing got very efficient. I miss waking up in a new city or state every few days.

mbp11 | 16. juli 2019

Thanks for the travelogue. My girlfriend and I (and her dog) are driving to Springdale, UT in late August to visit her sister from the San Francisco Bay Area and I was interested in your travel and charging reports along the way. I am hoping that she will let me take the MX 100D on our first long trip to see how the charging works. She is not enamored by the charging stops (even though we also have to stop for gas if we are driving a gas car). I am going to try to persuade her. Springdale is right outside Zion National Park. We might bring along our charger but I suspect we will be spending some quality time in St George.

jjgunn | 17. juli 2019

@beaver forgot to tell you the story of software updating the MX 100D while in Nebraska or Iowa.

Updates while on the road. Now that's fun!!

beaver | 19. juli 2019

@mbp11 great to hear I say go for it and get the 100D, it made traveling so much faster than it would have been with a 75D. I was passing S 85 and P90D who had a slower charge rate or less range or both.
Utah is underrated, so gorgeous and so many great National Parks. You can easily spend 3-5 days in St George and not get bored. Let me know if you have any questions!

bob | 20. juli 2019

@mbp11 we've done SF Bay to UT a couple of times in our MX 100D. Once you do it you'll wonder if you'll ever do long distance travel in an ICE again. The TACC or AutoPilot while driving coupled with the extra 5 minutes to stretch your legs while charging really lowers the stress of a long drive. The 100D can easily live in the 20-80% charge range for most trips in the western states. Staying in that range really speeds up the charging times. I tend to do all the driving when my wife and I travel. It's not uncommon for me to do 18 hours of driving in a single day. Typically we'll do that when coming home. If we've been on the road for a week we are just ready to get home. The MX is the only vehicle I've ever owned that after doing a marathon day - when I wake up the next morning the thought of getting back into the car and doing it again is OK.