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How will having a Model S change your driving habits?

I was actually thinking about this after my visit to the Santana Row event and my cross country trip. I figure for my daily driving not much will change as I only have a 20 min commute so the electricity I burn going 75 MPH will easily be recovered every night. But on long trips I can definitely see my driving changing, especially because there will be a point where driving faster actually gets you there slower since you will have to recharge more often. I'm sure someone far better at math will be able to tell us what that tipping point will be. But I wonder does anyone else see their driving habits changing after they get their S?

Hi Liz,

I've never been much of a driver, but now I think that I'll be driving more and enjoying the sights along the way. I've never been a marathon driver, so I don't think that will change. I'll probably drive 3-4 hours and find a suitable hotel where I can charge overnight. Obviously I'll be doing a lot more preplanning of routes to locate chargers enroute as well as suitable hotels.

Here in Florida almost everyone drives at 10 mph over the posted speed limit on major highways. We have weird laws that require folks traveling the speed limit in the fast lane to move aside to make way for speeders. I am not making this stuff up! So, if I decide to take an interstate highway I'd better plan on driving fast.

I'm not even sure whether I'm capable of driving slow now anymore. ;-) The only way to go slow would be to select slower routes with lots of traffic signals. I might do that if the route were more scenic. I'll have to see how that plays out. I won't be traveling alone so my wife's driving preferences would also need to be factored into the equation of any trips we take.

Larry

I'll prolly floor it more, park it in the boonies. I've never parked a car in the boonies, but this might be my first like that.

Even on the highway I'll just go with the flow of traffic. Not going to push the 300 mile range at all -- 200 miles is longest planned trip so I simply charge a bit at the other end. Hmmm, I'll hafta plan on charging a lot on that trip but I imagine my parents can provide a cord at 5 amps for a weekend. =)

I'm not yet convinced I need to get a wall charger, but could be a good idea just for convenience.

I plan to use the remote climate control a lot. I look forward to never going to another gas station.

I'm going to accelerate quicker, pass more frequently, and corner harder... all without worrying about how much gas I'm using! I'm looking forward to worry free driving again. ;-)

Charging at hotels isn't as slam dunk as you might expect. Yes, they will all say you can, but the Honda EV+ that I had, required a grounded outlet. While the NEC code requires grounded outlets in commercial buildings, few hotels actually comply. No safety ground, and the charger won't work. Maintenance workers have said yard tools work more reliably without grounds. Expect the S to have the same safety protocol.

Sans a fast charger, you have a better chance looking for day use at KOA camp grounds, specifically those with the NEMA 14-50 service that campers like. The 14-50 provides 240Vac at 50A, but chargers usually derate this to a cooler running 40A. I know a student who took an EV+ from Los Angeles to Michigan this way and he only had 110 mile range. Mind you it took 3 weeks, but he did it. Day use is often at a nominal fee because most campers only stay overnight.

However, with TM planning a fast charger network, one can half charge in 30 minutes instead of 4+ hrs on NEMA 14-50. The question we are all waiting to hear on, is where these fast chargers will be.

I will most likely drive happier. I love that my transportation dollars are staying in the States.

And we'll drive more, as right now we really give thought to the things we do as travel can be $20 in gas even around Puget Sound. I'd bet we'll end up spending more money as we travel more and venture farther out more often like campgrounds, eating out and motel/hotels.

And I agree with phb; with a CoG around hub height and instant full torque how could you not flaunt it a bit.

Instead of driving 55, or taking the corporate bus to work, I will drive, and drive FAST!
But when not going to work, or not in a rush, I plan on driving the curvier, hillier roads around here and enjoying the ride.

I don't plan on changing a thing, except for maybe parking farther away from other cars so my baby Model S doesn't get a ding... man, that first ding always upsets me to no end and I will be livid the first time it happens to my Model S... :(

Please, don't let us be mistaken for Audi drivers. The Passing Agressive attitude is difficult enough here. Me, I'll park in the boonies till the first dents, manuver a lot more carefully, lock cruse on stated limit, and safeguard my investment. Lest I appear too stodgy, I will give new passengers a thrill, and for the ice fanatics and electric doubters, terror.

I will find myself offering rides to those I normally wouldn't ... and then proselytizing shamelessly.

I will wave and grin broadly, as I pass each gas station I'll never frequent again.

I will smile a quiet, contented smile ... all by myself ... as I just skip that next article abut the Strait of Hormuz.

And I will look in my rear-view mirror, exhale a deep sigh, and just zoom off ... bidding farewell to those ludicrous troubles we used to accept, as they gently recede into history.

This is about the point where we hear Mel Blanc's Looney Toons voice-over chirping:

"So long ...Sssuuuckkerrrs!"

I will definitely drive happier, and a LOT more. Locally, I'll be the first up the on ramp and up to highway speed. Most of my highway driving is at or just above the speed limit. My only speeding ticket was in 1982. I'd like to keep it that way, but I expect there is at least one more in my future.

I particularly look forward to maintaining effortless highway speed going over the mountain passes while the cars around me are straining and downshifting. Sucks to be them.

My main route home after leaving the expressway has a traffic signal at the bottom of a mile long steep upgrade posted at 40 mph. I intend to be well in front of the rest of the cars by the time I hit 40 going up that grade.

I will probably search for the limits of the car, like I always do. I am particulary curious about the range at higher speed. In Belgium the speed limit on the highway is 120km/h. When you go with the traffic, that can be 130-140 km/h. In Germany there is no limit on the autobahn. I guess I will have to learn to restrain myself.

For day to day work there will be no issue. For day trips there might be some preparation to find places to load the battery. And I guess the charging stations are not close in the surroundings of the place you were planning to stay...

I won't be looking for the lowest price on gas when I'm driving around, trying to fill full tank when it's less expensive, and trying to avoid filling when it's really expensive. So much easier to just plug it in when it suits me, at home or a public charging point. The only times I'll visit a gas station is when I need to borrow the toilet, or buy a snack.
I'll be looking for roads with bus lane so I can pass the ICEs in rush hour. I'won't drive a detour to avoid the road taxes anymore, since I won't need to pay for passing the toll station anyway:-)
If I'm going on a long trip, I'll most likely try to keep the speed limit, since going fast can give a significant penalty on range. Would be nice to have a cruise control that, connected with the navigation system, will automatically keep me at speed limit unless I set it to something else. If I'm going on a car vacation it will need a different kind of planning. Need to stop in the right places for a charge, but the fuel budget will be a lot lower.
I might be annoyed by the other noisy smelly cars, in fact I already am when I'm a pedestrian.
I'll enjoy the silence in the Model S, and the music not disturbed by all that rattling from an ICE.

Larry's right. In Florida, most highways have a posted speed of 70, and it seems that many drivers are routinely 10mph over that. So, here's your choice: 1. drive with the speeders in the fast lane, or 2. drive with the truckers in the other lanes and risk a cracked windshield by following a semi.

It probably won't all sink in until I have been driving the Model S for 2 months, and I realize I haven't been to a gas station. I've been going to gas stations for 37 years (that's longer than the average age of a Tesla employee - ha!).

Also, no more oil change stickers on my windshield! I'm preparing myself to give lots of rides to curious friends, and to answer tons of questions. It will be a lot of fun. Kinda like being a kid again, on Christmas day -> but it'll be everyday.

Side note - Several times now, I've seen young people post the following: "When I graduate, I want to work for Tesla Motors".
That just blows my mind, and makes me proud to be supporting an innovative company that wants to change the world for the better.

In hilly areas, speed limits seem to be enforced on the downhill - where people tend to go faster and the penalty higher.

I might just go fast on the uphill and allow regen to take me back to normal as I crest.

I expect the Model S will have the same lack of a true coast that the Roadster has. Thus, I think I'm going to have to learn to manage that the same way I learned to maximize coasting in my hybrid. Also, I tend to use the engine brake to slow and charge in the hybrid (75k miles on the original brakes still).

In this case, I expect the car will automatically hit the regen gears, this slowing down to some extent sans brakes being engaged.

Also, I need to adjust timing of things, as people will invariably stop me to ask about the car, making me late for things...

I won't be stopping by gas stations any longer, unless they have a DC fast charger.

I will listen to the sound system more because I will actually be able to hear it without the distraction of engine noise.

I will have a big grin on my face :)

Smile. And drive guilt-free :)

~ Prash.

Unfortunately, my driving habits won’t change- my wife has laid claim to the “S.” I will seek revenge by selling her toy (2003 baby blue, Thunderbird).

I drive a 1992 Alfa Romeo Spider. The top is always down, it’s noisy, bumpy, can’t hear the radio, uses 91 octane, slow (4 cylinder, 125 hp) and it is a joy to drive. I expect the “S” will also be a joy: fast, smooth, quiet, and all the things the Alfa isn’t. I always try and take the longer, winding, scenic route. To me, the journey is more important than 4.4 seconds. Driving alone in the HOA lane will be a nice perk.

Yesterday we visited the Newport Beach TM showroom. We looked at the color and interior samples. In Fremont we liked the Brown but the ‘new brown’ is not exciting to us. We are going solid black, a big yes for the pano sun roof, tech package, black leather, and banana wood. We will consider the upgrade suspension during the test drive phase.

A few observation. Yesterday I sat in a Sig Beta (#23?). I was very impressed with the stark, simplicity of the interior. No clutter, it was almost too simple – I really liked it. The empty space in the middle was not a deal breaker. The visibility is restricted and I prefer backup sensors over a camera.

Unless you have a bicycle pump, you will still stop by gas stations for their free air!

Once, I stopped by a gas station to plug in, being open at 7 AM. For some reason :) people are more serious about grounding outlets at gas station than at hotels. I only needed a little to get home.

I have an electric pump in my garage, the stations near my home all charge so I don't need ANYTHING from them after I get my S.

The only thing that will change for me is... I will avoid parking at curbs with my Model S.

Unfortunately, as it appears currently, with the larger wheels (as per what is on the current showroom betas), the wheel sits further out than the tire, thus if you rub your tire on a curb by accident, you WILL have also scrape the outer edge rim of your wheels.

If you go for the smaller wheels (19"), this might not be a problem.

I will go back to taking long drives in the country on weekends. I used to love doing that now I don't want to burn the $50 to $100 in two days on gas.

I'll stop being so annoyed sitting at stop lights on my way to work as the gas just burns away.

I'll still be annoyed that I'm sitting at a stop light but you are right, it will not bother me that the engine is running and burning the dollars away and killing the environment at the same time.

I will probably start driving "for fun" again. You know, local tourism. No anxious watching of gas prices which swing wildly even through the day here in Sydney. And, at $1.50 a LITRE at present, i am NOT happy. That is approx $6 US dollars a gallon!!!

@dborn - I use 98 and paid $1.70 for the privilege yesterday. Easter long weekend price hikes. Interesting to see NRMA calling for an enquiry since the wholesale difference between 92 and 95 is 2c, but the average charge is 11c. 98 is even worse, but makes a difference in the performance. My car has a 96 min sticker...

Looking forward to ignoring the weekly fluctuations in price.

Mark E

@Mark E- the price of diesel is even worse, most other places it is significantly lower than petrol. New Zealand for instance, and Europe. That makes sense since the majority of a barrel of oil is oil not petrol which makes up about 10 - 20% of crude. Pity we have to wait at least another whole year for the S. I really hope our cars will come out with European delivery.

@dborn - re European Delivery. It'd be great, but unlikely. I remember European delivery for bikes but have never seen cars done that way.

@Mark E - what i meant was that release of right hand drive would be concurrent with European Left drive release.

@dborn
We can only hope! Although the original European delivery could be fun too!

For those who don't know you used to be able to pick up a new BMW bike in Germany, ride it around Europe and ship it home for the same price as buying it here - so you got your holiday close to free..

Im looking forward to ignoring he weekly fluctuations in prices.


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