Over the past few days, my wife and I (and our little dog) drove from Seattle down to the San Francisco Bay Area and back without incident. We left on Friday, Feb. 15 and returned last night, Feb. 20. We followed a plan laid out by ChadS over at TMC with respect to charging and overnight accommodations. This involved stopping the first day at Bergerville in Centralia, WA, Tesla Washington Square in Tigard, OR, and Sequential Biofuels in Eugene, OR, before stopping for the night at Seven Feathers Resort & Casino in Canyonville, OR. The second day we stopped at the Comfort Inn in Yreka, CA and the Berry Patch Restaurant in Orland, CA, before arriving at my brother's house in Novato, CA. At every charge stop except my brother's, we used 70 ampere power sources originally installed to support Tesla Roadsters. Our 85 kWh Model S Performance has twin chargers, and we borrowed a Roadster-to-S adapter.
Our biggest anxiety was the weather, which would have been a concern no matter what car we drove. The weather was beautiful on the way down, but there was a forecast of up to 8 inches of snow in the mountains of northern California and southern Oregon for the return trip. We decided to start our return trip around midnight Monday night so as to hit the mountains in early daylight, and perhaps get ahead of the storm. We were carrying chains, but I haven't put chains on a car in about 40 years, and I didn't relish the prospect. As it turns out, the snow wasn't that bad. There was an inch or two on the highway around Mt. Shasta, but chains were not required, and the roads were bare going over the Siskiyous (our biggest worry).
The car performed beautifully. What amazed me was how comfortable it was. The lack of engine noise and vibration for hours on end meant that the driving experience left me much less fatigued than I expected (I did this same trip last October in my Ford Escape Hybrid, and it was pretty tiring). Chad's advice about when, where, and how much to charge eliminated any range anxiety. We did have to get used to longer days and a certain amount of boredom sitting around waiting for the car to charge. I probably should have given more thought to how I would spend that time -- for example, on the return trip, we visited a friend in Portland.
Most days, we spent about 13-14 hours between driving and charging. This number was not affected much by how fast we drove, where we charged, or how long we charged: drive faster, and we had to charge longer at the next stop; charge a shorter time in one location, and we had to charge a longer time in the next location. Only on the first day of the return trip did we put in a longer day, as we wanted to keep an extra charge cushion while going over the mountains in snowy conditions. That was a 16 hour day!
Our energy consumption generally varied between 300-350 watt-hours/mile. This was much better than I expected. When at home, the car is not driven very much (I am retired, so no commuting). I also live on a hill. So the car often sits, losing charge, and when it is driven, it does a lot of climbing. As a result, my average energy consumption at home has been just under 400 watt-hours/mile. On this road trip of 1834 miles (including driving around while in the Bay Area), using 601 kWh, with average consumption of 328 watt-hours/mile.
Here are the data, unfortunately not in tabular form:
Feb. 15, 7:40 a.m., left Seattle
Charged to 268 rated miles
9:40 a.m., arrived at Burgerville, Centralia WA (breakfast)
177 rated miles displayed
86.0 actual miles traveled
26.2 kWh consumed
305 watt-hours/mile average consumption
10:45 a.m., left Centralia
218 rated miles displayed
1:30, arrived Tesla Washington Square, Tigard OR
110 rated miles displayed
102.7 actual miles traveled
31.7 kWh consumed
307 watt-hours/mile average consumption
5:00 p.m., leave Tigard
272 rated miles displayed
7:30 p.m., arrive Sequential Biofuels, Eugene OR
147 rated miles displayed
106.4 actual miles traveled
31.6 kWh consumed
339 watt-hours/mile average consumption
8:30 p.m., leave Eugene
185 rated miles displayed
10:30 p.m., arrive Seven Feathers, Canyonville OR
68 rated miles displayed
96.3 actual miles traveled
33.3 kWh consumed
346 watt-hours/mile average consumption
Feb. 16, 7:15 a.m., leave Canyonville
270 rated miles displayed
10 a.m., arrive Comfort Inn, Yreka CA
112 rated miles displayed
126.2 actual miles traveled
45.5 kWh consumed
361 watt-hours/mile average consumption
1:06 p.m., leave Yreka
237 rated miles displayed
4:30 p.m., arrive Berry Patch Restaurant, Orland CA
85 rated miles displayed
155.4 actual miles traveled
43.7 kWh consumed
281 watt-hours/mile average consumption
7:00 p.m., leave Orland
210 rated miles displayed
9:40 p.m., arrive Novato CA
40-50 rated miles displayed (forgot to write it down)
143 actual miles traveled
46.4 kWh consumed
324 watt-hours/mile average consumption
On the return trip, I did not keep detailed records.
Obviously, all of this will be much easier once the superchargers are installed. But it would have taken three long days, not two, if I did not have twin chargers and Roadster-to-S adapter. It will also be easier in the summer. The main thing is that I learned a lot about taking this car on road trips. I believe it is a great way to go if you have the time.
I will try to return to this thread and post other bits of information as I can, but this is already too long.
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