I had to be at the Holiday Inn in Clinton NJ for work this week and thrilled to take my Model S from Concord MA.
On the trip down, it was 10 degrees Fahrenheit the entire way (maybe a few degrees warmer near NYC). I was unsure if I would be able to get much if any charge at the hotel (they promised me a 110V plug but was told at the time it would only be on at night and shared the circuit with the parking lot lights - so I wasn't sure how much current I could really take without blowing the breaker). My plan was this: Drive to the Darien CT super charger and try to get enough miles for a round trip to Clinton, about 100 miles each way. Given the extremely cold temperature and strong winds, I found I needed to keep it slow - around 60mph - and sometimes drafting trucks (at a safe distance) to reduce drag. My contingency plans included the possible use of JFK supercharger or a public charger located at a restaurant about 5 miles from the hotel.
The hotel was great - they were renovating and had a construction trailer on the property - they dropped a heavy duty 110V extension cord out of the trailer and ran it to a parking spot I could use to plug in as much as I liked. So, I was able to get a 90% charge during my 48 hour stay, enough to make the return via Milford with plenty of energy and didn't hesitate to drive freely (I won't say how fast, but glad I didn't discover any speed traps), but there was a lot of stop-and-go getting through southern CT on I-95. I only needed 30 minutes of charge in Milford to make it home with comfortable margin. The way back was also warmer (17F when I left, 30F when I got to Milford) helping energy consumption.
This was my first experience using Super Chargers and it was really awesome - on the way down I had some lunch, caught up on some emails, and it was time to go. Pretty much the same on the way back.
Here's the data for the geeks:
S85 #18055. Software 5.8 (126.96.36.199). Range mode on. Tesla stock snow tires (Pirelli Winter 190s) on 19" rims.
Left Concord with 266 rated miles range (max charge just finished). Outside temp 10F.
Arrived Darien (169.1 actual miles) with 36 rated miles remaining. Still 10F. Charged to 250 miles in exactly one hour. Note I had max range charged at home but would have made it on a 90% charge.
Arrived Clinton (96.0 actual miles) with 123 rated miles remaining. Still 10F. My goal of having enough miles to return to Darien achieved, barely.
This first leg of the trip average speed including a quick rest stop in northern CT and crawling traffic for several miles on I-95 south of Darien was 48mph - I generally kept it around 60 on the highways, and as I said, often following closely behind large trucks to help reduce drag and wind. Kind of cool that you can hear the wind noise drop when you get into a good spot.
48 hours of charging on the 110 at the hotel back to 236 rated miles.
Left Clinton, temp 17F.
Drove hard (except stop-and-go traffic in Southern CT) 127.5 miles to Milford with 71 rated miles remaining.
Charged for 30 minutes to 200 rated miles. (A beautiful shiny and clean red Model S parked next to my filthy salt-covered gray car) Temp was now up to 30F and stayed there pretty much the rest of the way.
Traffic still heavy to I-91 and then drove hard home via I-84/I-90, 139.4 actual miles arriving with 20 rated miles remaining. Average return trip speed Clinton to Concord about 55mph but a considerable portion quite a bit higher, slow traffic in southern CT and 10 miles of back roads on the last leg home pulled the average lower.
Cold definitely plays a role here. I used 372 Wh/mi on the way down even though I was really going slow, coasting where I could, drafting trucks. On the return, I was really being pretty aggressive but averaged only 356 Wh/mi. That appears to be the difference between ~10F and ~25F.
Rated miles (as I have reported previously) appear (at least in v5) to be consumed at a rate of one rated mile per 276 Wh or so.
The car is awesome, super chargers are awesome. We still need a lot more in the North East to meet most of my road trip needs (like a gateway to the White Mountains and something near Hartford or Sturbridge).
Next road trip: Conway NH in February hoping my hand-built 10AWG dryer "extensions" will reach the rental's dryer plug, or I'm going to need to find a good contingency plan (options are slim. Did I mention the need for North East super chargers???)
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