Not a lot has been written on the forums about taking a Model S from the Bay Area to Yosemite. There's just the pre-super-charger 2009 Roadster trip http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/roadster-road-trip-silicon-valley-yosemite Here's some new info.
We went to Yosemite/Wawona 4/19/2013 - 4/22, renting a house with some friends from http://www.redwoodsinyosemite.com/ in Wawona. It's not in Yosemite valley, but it's still beautiful, and a short drive over to the valley. It's an easily do-able trip with a Model S from our house near Portola Valley in the Bay Area.
OK, OK. So that picture is photoshopped. The rest of this article is accurate!
Our route to Yosemite/Wawona from Gilroy was this 158 mile, 3 hour trip: http://goo.gl/E7zlJ which is along the quickest route to Yosemite from our house on the peninsula.
The elevation gain for the trip is: up and down 400m (1250 feet) for the Pacheco Pass, and then up another 1600m (5000') and down 1000' arriving in Wawona. For details on that, and to see how to get elevation profiles for your own trips, do this:
and click on "Clear Points" below the map, then enter gilroy in the Address box and hit enter, then type wawona in the address box and hit enter. You'll see the elevation profile below the address box.
We put the Model S in Range Mode, and drove the 50 miles from our house to the Gilroy supercharger. We filled up the car at the supercharger, with range showing about 260 rated miles. I then drove the speed limit to Wawona (i.e. cruise control on 65mph for much of the trip), and had the air conditioning on most of the way, as it was a hot day both ways, probably around 85F in the valley.
We arrived at our rental house with 68 rated miles left and the "since last charge" trip counter saying: 162.9mi, 56.0kWh, 344 Wh/mi. This goes along pretty well with the "subtract 8 miles for each 1000' of elevation gain and add back 4 miles for each 1000' of elevation loss" theory: 260 - 163 - 6*8 + 2*4 = 57.
The folks at Redwoods at Yosemite had previously told us there would be a 110v outlet outside the house we could use to charge the car (for $10/night extra). Since we were with friends, our plan was to just keep the Model S parked the whole 3 days charging, and to use our friends' cars while in Yosemite. BTW, one can take a bus in the morning from Wawona to Yosemite Valley, and a bus back to Wawona in the evening.
We planned to drive back starting with a "full tank". We started our charge around 4pm on Friday (didn't need an extension cord), and unplugged it around 11am on Monday. I checked in on the car every now and then, and in fact noticed on Sunday evening that it wasn't charging. It probably lost 12 hours of charging due to a tripped GFI that I reset (no idea why). When we were ready to leave the house Monday morning we had 247 rated miles on the car. 247 - 68 = 179, 179 / 55hours = 3.25mi/hour, which is about right for 110v charging.
After we unplugged on Monday, we drove over to the Mariposa grove, hiked there, and then drove back to Gilroy. Leaving Mariposa we had 228 rated miles, (8.6 mi, 5.3kWh, 622 Wh/mi) and arriving back at the supercharger we had 94 rated miles (167.4mi, 43.3kWh, 259 wH/mi). Our driving style back on Monday was similar to that in the way out on Friday--probably a little faster, still with A/C, as, of course, the drive west uses less energy.
We charged 70 minutes in Gilroy, there were several free spots, and raised the rated miles to 227. Therefore, we charged at (227-94)/(70/60) = 114mi/hour, or about 35kW on average. In fact, my experience in Gilroy has been typically 40kW to 50kW (no where near 90kW) even when the car is fairly empty and there are no other cars charging.
As an extra bonus, here are some recommended hikes if you stay in Wawona:
- Chilnualna Falls. Tough hike, 8 miles round trip, plus an elevation gain of about 1000' up, and down 1000' on the way back. Tough but really nice. You can do this without a car, walking from the rentals in Wawona.
- Mariposa Grove. Short drive to Mariposa Grove--see the one-way "8.6 mi, 5.3kWh, 622 Wh/mi" above. We hiked to the top (to the fallen "drive through" tree) which a 7.5 mile round trip. Not nearly as tough as Chilnualna, and really nice. You can always stop and turn back down anywhere.
- Take a day in Yosemite Valley, and do any one of a number of great hikes. E.g. The Mist Trail, or Upper Yosemite Falls (just to Columbia Rock) http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/valleyhikes.htm These are tough but rewarding.
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