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The first long range test of the Tesla is complete and a success. Rolled in with 3 miles of charge left...

The good:
Portland is doable from Seattle (techniCally WoodInvIlle). lWhich means so is Vancouver, Leavenworth, the Gorge, and more. But you have to go point to point without distraction. That's without paying attention to speed, climate control, use of accessories, etc.
The car is really comfortable for long range drives.
The cruise control is really impressive.
The performance tires do extremely well in sloppy wet conditions. Unexpectedly so.
The projected range is pretty accurate on long, flat stretches, but has trouble with predicting in hilly terrain.
Charging stations are often primo parking spots.
Total cost for Portland and back with a few side trips: $40.50 (our Odyssey would have been $90-100). Half price travel: not bad!
Blink Network charging $1.50/hour at most sites. Cheap. Chargepoint stations are generally more--so far Blink is the dominant network where we've been (Bell Square is Chargepoint).
Love the HD camera--great for blind spots!
Really love the auto-dimming side and rear view mirrors: so cool!
Tons of storage space for luggage, gifts, trips to Ikea, etc.
Interior lighting (reading lights) not annoying to the driver.

The bad:
Salem (where my famIle lives) is not reachable with a loaded car at typical freeway speeds without a stop to recharge even with a max range charge. Salem is 220 miles from Seattle, 240 from our house. Might be doable with a single person, no luggage, driving slow. It's the hills--it's not a flat drive. Lots of energy consumption.
There are lots of places to charge, but not always right where you are going.
You have to plan extra time. Sometimes lots of extra time: flexible travel plans are best.
We don't have the right connector to use the rapid charger at Burgerville in Chehalis.
The navigation software first estimates as the crow flies--you have to activate the navigation to see how far it really is...annoying if you need every mile.

All in all: way more positives than negatives. 

Happy driving!

Nice feedback.

Can you please explain what makes the cruise control really impressive?

It's like the car: smopoth. There's no gunning of the engine up the hill, no overshoot on the downhill--at all. It stays on the speed you choose and governs the power use very tightly. It's easy to increase or decrease speeds in 1 or 5 mile per hour increments. The visual display is easy to read and tells you at a glance what you need to know.

One more thing to add--the windshield wipers need a faster setting...

@epley Cool, thanks

I agree with "smooth" - it stays right on the number through a combination of power applied and regen braking.

I think i noticed that after the 15.14 software update (the silent update to prepare for 4.0), that it's +/- 1 and +/- 4 MPH rather than +/- 5 MPH. Which i actually like better.

Yeah, what's this 4.0 update? My car says 1.15.14 and has from day 1.

Just made a round trip from Seattle to Bellingham, including a test drive for friends. 220 miles total, had 13 miles range left when we pulled into the garage. Drove the speed limit or above with climate control and seat heaters running all the way. Charged to max charge before leaving Seattle.

We did a Woodinville to Portland trip a couple weeks ago. Full charge. Rolled into the hotel with 17 miles left. Drove speed limit, full climate controls, etc. Was hoping the car would make it to Salem, but not gonna happen--too hilly!

Over Christmas we did a trip from Port Angeles to a small town south of Chehalis via Tacoma Narrows. Part of it was through the snow and ice or slush. We had about 30 miles left at the end of the trip.

It looks like Chehalis/Centralia would be an ideal Supercharger location. Northbound travellers could get all the way to Victoria, BC via the Coho Ferry by topping off their charge there.

We are looking at getting a Roadster charger adapter for the Centralia Burgerville. It is expensive though. I wish that there was a way that we could share an adapter there. I'm just worried about it getting lost if we left it there.

@Captain_Zap - maybe several of us (I would go in) could share the purchase price and buy a combo lock that BV would let us lock up somewhere in their restaurant. Only share the combo with those that chip in, and we all agree to lock it up again after we finish charging?

I'm up for that!

I'm also up for that as well, so count me in as a contributor if you do it!

If I went in, could I use it at BV and then check it out to use down to Folsom? I would mail it back to BV from there. Total use about tell days.

Use about two days...

cerjor. I'm planning a similar drive Seattle -> Folsom. Unfortunately only a single charger onboard for me so I'm going to have to limp along using J-1772 or RV hookups. I'm allowing at least three days. Any suggestions for overnight stops/charges would be appreciated.

When I was thinking about a trip to the Bay Area (which I never took), I figured I could probably make it by the first night to the Motel 6 in Oakland, Or., which has a level 2 J1772. Then the second night, I was shooting for the Mt. Shasta City KoA. They have cabins (you need your own sleeping bag) and NEMA 14-50 outlets. I talked to the manager there, and she seemed very accommodating.

Seattle to Oakland Oregon is 337 miles, so you would definitely need to charge in between. Oakland to Mt. Shasta City is about 200 miles, but lots of mountains. Then Mt. Shasta City to Folsom is 245 miles.

Remember, I didn't actually do this, so I can't vouch for the chargers at these stops. But they have a few comments on the Recargo app, so they look promising.

Let us know how you make out.

RE: Burgerville, Centralia

Maybe we could get permission to install a lock box to store a Roadster/Model S adapter by the Roadster outlet at Burgerville in Centralia. We could give a key to everyone who pitches in on the adapter. That way we wouldn't have to burden Burgerville employees and access wouldn't be limited to business hours.

On the other hand, Chad at TMC has also mentioned that there has been talk about modifying the roadster outlet so that both Model S and Roadster owners can use it without the need to invest in an expensive adapter. We should see if he is aware of any momentum associated with that idea. It may be a more viable approach.

If we did decide to go in on an adapter it sounds like the adapter would be busy enough that we wouldn't want to have it transported to another Roadster outlet. It would be a bummer to get there and find that the adapter was on the road somewhere. I know for sure I would have used it 5 or 6 times in the past month or so. I may have done more discretionary trips instead of just the essential trips if I knew that I could top off in Centralia.

My greatest cause for hesitation is the fact that Tesla said that we should have Superchargers in the vicinity in 2013. I wonder if that truly is the case since there is construction going on right now for new access roads that will run parallel to I-5. Perhaps it is time to inquire? Thoughts?

It's a good idea, Captain. I'm still trying to get a twin charger added, so until that happens the adapter would not be of much benefit to me. The other problem is that the Roadster/Model S adapters have not been available. I was told they would be made available only to Roadster owners. If they were available, however, storing them at the site of Roadster HPCs might be a cheaper/better solution than converting the HPCs into 70 amp J1772s. As I understand it, there is some issue with the Roadster using any J1772 ESVE that delivers power at more than 70 amps (e.g., the Sun Country/Clipper Creek CS-100 would need to be derated to 70 amps in order for a Roadster to use it). In addition, converting HPCs to J1772 raises the delicate issue of opening these Roadster chargers to Leafs and other slow-charging cars, which will make them less accessible to the Roadster owners who donated them in the first place.

Of course, the best solution is the quick expansion of the supercharger network. I wish we had more information about when we will see those chargers up here.

Once the supply/demand issues on the adapters are resolved, they should be available to anyone willing to drop $650. As a non-Roadster owner who briefly owned one, then returned it because of the cost/benefit factor, I know it is possible.

I posted this as a new thread, but it fits here too:

It looks like the fast chargers on this public network won't work for us, so we'll have to wait for the Tesla Superchargers.

I'll talk to James in Seattle when I pick up my car today or tomorrow about getting an adapter for all of us in Centralia--maybe they can make it work, but I'm definitely up for a share of the $650.

I have found the range to be less than expected here in the hilly northwest, so I would plan conservatively. (That's at full freeway speed with climate controls in winter--will be better if you drive 55, but who the heck can do that in this car?)

Epley, I already reserved one.


I'd contribute to the Centralia adapter, too.

I will contribute to a Centralia adapter as well, but only if the Service Center will upgrade my Model S with twin chargers.

@DouglasR; good luck!

I saw the adapter yesterday at the Seattle Service Center. It's about 4 feet long. Connects to the Roadster outlet on one end with our standard Model S plug at the other and a bright orange cord in between. We'll have to find a lock box or something to store it in. If anyone is going by the Burgerville anytime soon, stop and talk with the manager/owner about our options.

The Wendy's across the street has a Chademo/J1772 charger, but I'd rather use the Tesla rapid charger. (Just as a point of information--I know we can't connect to chademo, but will the J1772 connectors at these West Coast Green Highway stops allow rapid charging? I think the answer is no).

Someone in the NW Tesla Owners Club (google groups) reported that there is a Roadster HPC at Harris Ranch, and it has a Roadster-to-S adapter padlocked to the station. That is also a good solution because there is no need to have a lock box with keys or a combination. So long as there is a way to secure the adapter and to set it up so that the station can be used either with or without the adapter, this should work.

The J1772 connectors currently allow charging up to 75 amps continuous (Clipper Creek CS100), although they need to be derated down to 70 amps for the Roadsters to use them. Most of the J1772 stations are only 32 amps, however. So in either case, J1772 is not as fast as a CHAdeMO DC charger. It is my understanding, however, that SAE is working on a revision to the J1772 standard that would support rapid DC charging. I believe that Tesla is all over that. Tesla is apparently the company that lobbied SAE to upgrade the standard from 32 amps to 75 amps.

Good ideas. Maybe we should rendezvous once I get word that an adapter is in.

Epley: Do you make trips north to Mount Vernon by any chance?
We have an MS coming Mar/Apr...

Rod & Nannette.

Rod and Nannette--good for you! We should talk! I've only been up once with the new car, but next Friday... :D


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