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400 miles on one charge... done!

Dave Metcalf and his son drove for roughly 16 hours today in Florida, trying to travel 400 miles on a single charge in their Model S. I believe they drove at a steady 25 mph to get maximum range.

A few minutes ago, they crossed the 400-mile mark, successfully setting a new record. From the photos Dave posted, it seems his Model S still had 18 miles left in it at that time. :-)

um. wow.

photos please.


Hopefully this should help to get the point across to anybody who still worries about range anxiety... it's a non-issue!

If you're worried about whether or not you will make a certain distance with a given level of charge, then leave early, drive 10% slower for an extra 10% in range and peace of mind.

Driving speed has a MUCH bigger effect on range when compared to ICE vehicles... probably why it's taking a while for this point to sink in for some people.

If you're already on the road and it looks like you may have a range issue, then you have two options:
a) Drive slower and arrive a little later.
b) Risk running out of juice and arrive very much later.

But at least you have the choice!

Good job Dave and son :)

That's spot on the graph too.

Graph says 450 miles at 25 mph, but that's on flat ground with constant speed, no wind, no heating or A/C...

Final tweet showed 423.5 miles.

Two lane country roads Dave?

Great job!!! what was the average speed? seems to be little bit over 25 mph.

OK, now that is awesone! How great. Did you have a backup team?

I believe there was no back up team, just a precautionary tow standing by as they got close to destination. There was some rain and wind which affected them so it's possible they would have gone even a little further. Full story via Twitter and summarized with pics on TMC.

Last we heard Dave was receiving a congratulatory phone call from George B. Cool!

Wasn't Elon saying something at one point about a special recognition for the first persons to exceed 400 miles on a single charge?

wow, it is done, congrats, takes a ton of control to drive that slow!

I do not believe it would be possible for me to drive 400 miles at 25mph--- not with all that power available for higher speeds. Congratulations!

Because there are apparently gazillion Dave or David Metcalfs in Twitter this is I believe the right one:

Saves you trouble of searching.

I've read on this board a couple of times that a Tesla's range is more affected by speed than an ICE. But it makes me wonder: does anyone have any data (or even a good theory) to back that up?

The Tesla uses more energy at speed because of wind resistance, which goes up as a square of the velocity (F = 1/2 * p * v2 * Cd * A) - however, that equation is the same regardless of the type of engine in the car, right?

Seems to me that the Tesla shouldn't suffer any more than any ICE car. It is probably true that people worry about it more with an EV because A) the overall range is lower, and B) "filling stations" are few and far between.

(Of course, my tag didn't work -- that was supposed to be a v-squared)

Same thing in TMC:!-Incredible

He did that with 21" tires and numbers from "Go Electric" page shows that you should be able to get 6-8% more range with 19" tires (maybe even more than that because air drag plays much smaller role in that speed), so 450 mile trip should be possible, maybe even 500 miles if you use absolutely everything and get benefit of perfect conditions.

(his numbers say 423.5 +8% is 457.38, and he used 80.3kWh and car was still going, so there was some reserve)

Oaktowner, the reason is that the ICE is so inefficient in the first place. At lower speeds, the engine's inefficiencies far outweigh any effects from aero drag or rolling resistance. When the engine runs at its sweet spot in terms of RPM and load (most cars are designed to arrive at their engine's sweet spot at around 55 mph) it is so much more efficient than running at slower speeds, that the internal efficiency gain outweighs the additional aero drag and rolling resistance. It is only at even higher speeds that aero drag builds up very quickly and starts dominating all other factors.

Since the electric motor does not have any significant inefficiencies inherent with RPM or load (for a very wide range of those parameters -- there are some upper limits, of course), the external factors like rolling resistance and aero drag dominate from the start. In other words, only with an electric motor can you leverage the efficiency gains that are inherent with very low speeds. The ICE is so inefficient to begin with, and it's deliberately designed to be particularly inefficient at low speeds as a compromise to allow acceptable mileage at medium to high speeds, that it wouldn't let you tap into those energy savings that lower speeds offer.

+1 Volker.Berlin. Nicely explained. EVs have entirely different operating considerations than ICE that we are just beginning to 'internalize' into what our new normal is for driving.

Not so easy at speed or with mountains...

sdietz11 | DECEMBER 8, 2012
I thought it would be nice to share delivery and first week driving experience / learnings.

I am currently driving home to LA from factory delivery! Writing from the Tejon Ranch charging station.

Loved the tour and the car is great. They were out of 21" wheels so I have 19" until they get 21's in stock. Only other punch list item, like many, is the rear carbon spoiler.

What have I learned in my first 200 miles of highway driving? I left Fremont with a full charge and drove from to the Harris Ranch supercharging station via 198 (GREAT ROAD!) Arrived Harris Ranch with 17 miles range remaining and the realization that I use juice faster than the computer models it. Charged with 160 miles range for the 118 mile drive to Tejon Ranch and thought "No Problem"

Arrived Tejon with 0 miles and car flashing message to "Charge Immediately" The charging station has no sign, was hard to find and the Nav system lost it about 500 yards away. Power was so low that we parked and my son and I separated and walked around to find the station. When I shut the car off, it warned that it "may not restart" We found the charging station and the car did make the final 300 yard ride to juice. I'm planning to sit here for 40 minutes to get at least 200 miles of range for the 100 mile drive home over Tejon Pass. I do not need that stress again.

Car is comfortable, fast and fun. Replacing a Cayenne Turbo and it corners better and accelerates faster (sub 100mph anyways). Lack of engine weight in front means it understeers lightly through fast corners. Feels very stable.

At >80mph, range is reduced pretty significantly. More than a gas vehicle I think. It would be nice if the range estimate accommodated my actual driving behaviors a little better... or I could slow down. Actually, I started drafting a semi ablout 30 miles from Tejon Ranch when I relaized it was going to be really tight.

The charging stations only have one active space so do not plan a caravan with another Tesla.

I'm looking forward to driving in LA but have to say that this is not really a roadtrip car, even with the superchargers.

If I were advising a friend, I would say
1. There is a reason for the Gilroy supercharging station - use it
2. Start each segment with 50% more range than you need - expect to spend 1.5 hours charging on drive from LA to SF
3. Speed impact range more than in a gas vehicle.

Enjoy the acceleration. It's a blast

+1 Volker.

Just what I was trying to say, but more concise.

@ Oaktowner

I would say this is more than just a theory... it is quite soundly founded in the various laws of thermodynamics, aerodynamics and motion.

And there's plenty of supporting data too. Just compare the Model S Speed Efficiency Graph to similar graphs for ICE vehicles (see "Wiki/Fuel_economy_in_automobiles" for example).

A short answer (still think VB's is better) - it isn't a question of how much energy the cars use to move forward, but rather of how efficiently the engine/power-train converts stored energy into mechanical. ICEs do this very inefficiently at low RPM, while EV power-trains achieve high conversion efficiency over a wide range of RPM.

Even shorter: EVs have mo' go when slow.

How is it even possible to drive 25mph for 400 miles anywhere and not get shot by an angry mob ? ;)
I think this on its own deserves a Guinness record.

VB & Carl Barlev -

Both great explanations. Thanks!

Cruise Control and a 17" screen!

I keep thinking that this is social engineering by Elon.

Think about it: the majority of people that drive do so at high(er) speed (relatively speaking). The Model S rewards slower driving with more range, and punishes higher speed driving with reduced range.

Carrot and stick motivations?

Elon's a bright and influential guy, but I don't think even he is up to manipulating the laws of physics! Exploiting and exploring is about as far as he can go.

Brian H, using, not manipulating. There is no manipulating laws of physics in that social engineering job, but using them absolutely.

What pleases me (as a soon 2b performance owner)is there is no mileage cost associated with having the performance available. ICE performance cars penalize you with premium gas and lower gas mileage. No surcharge on my daily commute with the S. Power and performance when I choose...Still don't think I could do 400 miles at 25 mph, that sounds like work.

Hats off to Dave and his son on a remarkable trip!
As many others have stated so far, driving at 25 mph for 400 miles is painful for most of us on this forum, but the greater issue is the "advertised" range by Tesla motor throughout the ramp up campaign, and still currently on the vehicle web site.
For the new owner or the reservation holder, the issue is that if you bought a Model S with an 85KW battery, and ponied up for that cost, you'd think that by reading the site, asking questions of the staff in local storefronts, and even those in the plant, that the car will go 300 miles on a single Maximum charge at 55 mph, or average driving speeds.
In reality, it seems that 27 mph is the sweet spot, which is way off the advertised mark. For those of us that bought into the idea of getting on board to use this car for real life purposes, and not have to factor in recharging times to make a 200+ mile trip with ease with the 85KW battery pack, spend an extra 20K to get that additional power, and find that your distance is way short of the "advertised" range with very conservative driving is disappointing at best. I love driving this car, have 1700 miles logged in, and find the acceleration and performance terrific. But the loss of range with even moderate driving speeds is problematic for anyone thinking of taking this car on even a short road trip until rapid charging stations are way more plentiful and accessible. Finding a charging station that has a J-1772 plug, which is much more realistic at this point via ChargePoint, will get you only 26 mile per hour recharge. Not a great solution at this point.
I wish these numbers had been more forthcoming before I accepted delivery. I would have paused, despite the performance thrills, saving the environment, etc. Driving at 27 mph is not practical on most roads today.

It will be very helpful if somebody could try to calculate the same on a 32 - 35 mph speed. That sounds like an average city/hwy usage. I drive about 15 minutes to a hwy - it's about 4 miles then 16 miles on a hwy, average 60-65 mph and another 15 minutes to my office - another 4 miles. It took about 45 minutes and 24 miles. Average 32 mph. I wonder if anybody can give an estimate on this kind of a route. Thanks.

25mph is for 400 miles. Did TMC ever advertise that? Strawman argument.

"400 miles at 25mph! Or ½ that far at 3X the speed." Would that have confused you?