Since there were many people on this forum who are interested in taking this route, I decided to post this...
I drove my Tesla Model S from SF Bay Area to Southern California over the MLK weekend (drove down Friday and back on Tuesday). I logged a total of 1,025 miles during this trip. I was quite aggressive in my driving, in fact, I’ve never driven an ICE car this aggressive – and I’m a typically aggressive driver (if you know what I mean and if you’ve ever been on I-5 in the California Central Valley). Let’s just say I felt like I was on the Autobahn. I also made sure everyone was comfortable keeping the cabin at the appropriate temperatures using the HVAC system. Four people were in the car (totaling about 560 pounds) and we had our luggage, laptops, etc that added another 80 pounds or so for a total of 640 pounds. Most of the gear was placed in the rear, but a small amount was in the frunk. Generally, weather was cold to cool between supercharger locations (50F to 60F) and it was not particularly windy and no rain (pavement was dry throughout the trip). [Edit on 1/29/13: added Wh/mile for each leg of the trip in parentheses and added average Wh/mile for complete trip as well as total energy used in the summary]
Below is a summary of my experiences during the drive as well as with the SuperChargers along the way. Note that all mileage readings that I mention are “rated miles” as read from my dashboard (unless otherwise noted).
Arrive at Gilroy Outlets with 157 miles of charge remaining (308Wh/mile), did a standard charge for 45 minutes and gained 85 miles of charge. Ending range was 242 miles.
Arrive at Harris Ranch with 93 miles of charge remaining (map shows 111 miles between outlets and Harris), (374Wh/mile). Standard charge for 56 minutes and gained 138 miles of range, unplugged at 231 miles of range. When we arrived at Harris Ranch, there was one MS charging and one more waiting before us. So, we ended up having a nice meal at Harris Ranch while waiting for the only Supercharger to free up. [At a future stop, I spoke to an electrician who is responsible for Tejon Ranch and Harris Ranch superchargers. He said they have plans to start on a 10-bay supercharger at Harris ranch “in a few weeks”. He said they expect this 10-bay supercharger to be functional by early May. He mentioned needing to get the power company to put in 2,000 amp service to the site – that may take a bit of time.]
Arrive at Tejon Ranch with 69 miles of charge remaining (map shows 116 miles between Harris and Tejon), (393Wh/mile). Standard charge for 36 minutes and gained 135 miles of charge to a range of 204 miles. I didn’t count the bays, but believe there are 6, with only 2 activated. When we were there, only the left most one was functional. The second from the left did not work. [on our return trip, the electrician that I mentioned above was out there fixing the second one and bringing on line a few more.]
Arrive at Hawthorne supercharger (near Space X) with 102 miles of charge remaining (map shows 92 miles between Tejon and Hawthorne), (313Wh/mile). Max Range charge for 59 minutes and gained 158 miles of range to 260 total miles of range. There are 5 charging bays at this location, only two were functional. The one on the right only charged at 55A, so I moved to the second one in from the right and got a high amp (>200 amps) charge.
Arrive at our destination in Corona for the night with 190 miles of charge remaining (397Wh/mile). Plugged into the 110V outlet at my friend’s home and got 40 miles of charge overnight (13hrs of 12A charging).
Drove around So Cal for the next few days (about 90 miles, 280Wh/mile) and charged using ChargePoint at the South Coast Plaza (north parking structure – located at the end of the right side aisle as you enter the structure, 1st floor). Got a full standard charge to 240 miles since I was there for 5 hours (dinner at a nice restaurant in the mall and concert at the Segerstrom Concert Hall).
Drove back to Corona for the night with 187 miles remaining (471Wh/mile), charged overnight and got another 36 miles of range added from the 110V outlet. Departing range was 223 miles.
The next few days (Sunday afternoon to Tuesday morning), we drove without charging to the following places:
- Corona hills to Best Buy and back = 16 miles
- Corona hills to DoubleTree hotel in Anaheim (about 3 miles south of Disneyland) = 30 miles
- DoubleTree hotel to D-land “Mickey and Friends parking structure (Sunday) and back = 6 miles
- Sunday night lost about 10 miles of charge overnight as the car was parked outside in 45F temp
- DoubleTree hotel to D-land “Mickey and Friends parking structure (Monday) and back = 6 miles)
- Monday night lost about 17 miles of charge overnight
- DoubleTree hotel to UC Irvine = 15 miles
- UC Irvine to Hawthorne Superchargers = 41 miles
Return journey on Tuesday:
Arrived at Hawthorne superchargers with 82 miles of range remaining (337Wh/mile). So, I consumed 141 miles of range between Sunday (in Corona) and Tuesday – just driving around So Cal. Did a standard charge in Hawthorne for 32 minutes and gained 129 miles of range to a final range of 211 miles.
Arrived Tejon Ranch with 88 miles of range remaining (map shows 92 miles between Hawthorne and Tejon), (373Wh/mile). Standard charge for 58 minutes and gained 155 miles of range to a final range of 243 miles. It’s interesting to note that my “projected range” indicator at the top of the Tejon pass (over 4000 ft elevation), just before going downhill to Tejon Ranch, read 88 miles. So, if you are planning to “cut it close” you’ll need to make sure you have enough projected range to get at least to the top of the pass (and add a bit for margin).
Arrived at Harris Ranch with 87 miles of range remaining (map shows 116 miles between Tejon and Harris), (381Wh/mile). Standard charge for 51 minutes and gained 156 miles of range to a final range of 243 miles. No other car was at this charge station so we were able to charge quickly and go. I did notice, however, that the Roadster charger was “out of service”. If that charger is working and there’s a line for the Supercharger, the Roadster charger can be used to charge a MS since it has the plug converter. It tops out at 70A though, so it will take much longer to charge.
Arrived at Gilroy Outlets with 83 miles of range remaining (map shows 111 miles between Harris and outlets), (397Wh/mile). Standard charge for 52 minutes and gained 160 miles of range to a final range of 243 miles.
One other thing….if you are planning to eat during charging at Hawthorne, make sure you are there during the daylight hours. We felt uncomfortable walking the quarter mile to the local eateries at night since that area is somewhat “industrial”. There were quite a few people working at SpaceX, but I just didn’t feel safe walking my family through that area at night. Daytime is perfectly fine. All other supercharger locations have food very close by.
Summary and averages:
Average Supercharger charge rate = 177 miles/hr
Average Supercharger charge time = 48 minutes
Average Supercharger miles added = 140 miles/charge
Overall power used during 1,025 mile trip = 378.4 KWHr
Average energy used during full trip = 369 Wh/Mile
Average driving inefficiency = 131% (rated miles versus map miles)
Worst driving inefficiency = 144% (from Harris Ranch to Gilroy Outlets)
Since I was not being conservative in driving style and HVAC was running, I was burning more charge than the “rated miles” reading after a supercharge. As an example, 240 miles of rated range would actually be 240 divided by 1.31 (131%) or 184 miles on a standard charge.
A safe estimate would be 1.4 or 171 miles on a standard charge since there are environmental affects that I haven’t addressed.
Another note: before embarking on your trip, call Tesla Customer Care to find out whether any of the Superchargers are not operating. Driving conservatively, it's possible to bypass one supercharger and get to the next one (but you'd want to know in advance otherwise you'll find yourself with not enough range to get to the second supercharger location.
Questions or comments, please post!
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