In Glenwood Springs we obtained a full range charge (254 miles) because we planned a side trip into the resorts at Aspen and Snowmass Village for some R&R and snowshoeing. After two days of fun in the snow (pictures below), we returned to Glenwood Springs, recharged, and turned east toward Denver.
At Denver we had a decision to make. Tesla is working on four Supercharger routes across the U.S., but so far has completed one, which includes a bit of serpentine routing. Apparently this is because Elon Musk wanted to re-create his college-age tour of the U.S. Although the Superchargers on the mid-U.S. route are mostly in place along I-70, there is a major gap in Missouri. This is supposed to be complete in 2015, but for our trip, we would be required to span the gap using slow private chargers, or turn north and stay on the Supercharger route through South Dakota and across the northern states. Despite sub-zero temperatures and drifting snow, we decided that would be the faster route, so turned north at Denver, picked up charges in Cheyenne and Lusk, Wyoming, and ended the day at Rapid City, South Dakota, near Mt. Rushmore.
Mt. Rushmore is one of our favorite spots in the U.S., and even though it was dark by the time we arrived at Custer State Park below the monument, decided we had enough range to take the twisty 16A to see the lit-up monument on our way to Rapid City. Unfortunately I had forgotten how tall the mountain is and the twisty road's added mileage. Although the drive is nice (I think 16 A in South Dakota is one of the top two motorcycle routes in the country), our range dropped precipitously and we had to reduce speed to 25 mph up the hills in order to align battery range and remaining distance. We arrived at the Rapid City Best Western with only 2 miles range remaining! In hindsight we should either have taken the straighter route, or range charged in Lusk, Wyoming (we left there with 214 rated miles with about 150 to go to Rapid City - should have been enough except for our detour and added mountains - a 254-mile full charge would have made it simple).
Today (Jan 6), we left Rapid City early and hit the Superchargers along I-80 eastbound in Murdo, Mitchell, Worthington, Albert Lea, and ended this evening in Onalaska, WI. Our goal tomorrow is Maumee, Ohio, after which we will head northeast toward our next major stop in Brunswick, Maine this coming Friday, Jan 9. Although we are doing about 550-700 miles per day, it is a fairly light distance, caused by spending a few hours per day at Superchargers. Although Superchargers are quite fast, it still means stopping for 45 minutes to an hour several times per day, extending the travel time and reducing daily range, which is often a couple hundred miles longer when we travel by motorcycle. This is the price for long distance electric vehicle travel. The offsetting benefit is that we are forced to stop every two or three hours and stretch, sit for meal rather than eating in the car, etc.
We have covered 3,466 miles since picking the car on December 29, just over a week ago. We have taken two days off out of the eight on this trip, and are now averaging 407 wh/mi for the entire trip. Two of the days we "hyper-miled", driving below the limit, never over 65. That was a test to see what we could achieve in terms of maximum range and lowest electrical use. However, given that it is the coldest part of winter on our route, we still burned up the watts, getting down to a steady state around 380 wh/mi, but only driving blow the limit and being passed by most other traffic. This compares to 325 lifetime average over 31,000 miles on our prior Tesla S85. For the past two days we have reverted to "normal" driving - never accelerating hard, but carefully getting up to the limit or 5 mph over the limit - the way we would drive in any other vehicle or on a motorcycle - attempting to increase daily distance by trading off electricity usage. This is made possible by the fairly close spacing of stations along the completed Supercharger route.
Although Tesla has promised new software that should increase range by 10% or so, at this point we conclude that the car is a 400+ wh/mi beast, with a true real-world range around 180 miles in winter and driving at normal highway speeds (80 in a 75 limit), rather than the 254 that Tesla would have us believe. Perhaps 254 is achievable, but only with a light load, in 65-degree weather, on flat land, no headwind. We find that evtripplanner.com has a dead-on estimate of range and electricity usage given our car's specific format and accounting for elevation changes and low temperatures. It's estimates for each stage are always within a few miles of our actual usage, so confirms that we are not doing anything wrong in terms of driving style, and that the car's performance is truly reflective of what to expect from the P85D in the real world.
The bottom of the post is the spreadsheet of our charging distance and range statistics for each charging leg since leaving Portland , OR. It is slightly off-kilter due to cut and paste limitations, but the Tesla folks and fanbios following this blog will be able to decipher it.
Following are pictures taken since leaving Arches NP on Jan 2:
|DAVID & LEE-ANN FICK's P85D CHARGING/RANGE RECORD|
|Date||Starting Odometer||Starting Rated Range||Cumulative Average wh/mi||Cumulative Total kWh||Charging Location||Miles Since Last Charge||kWh Since Last Charge||Avg WH/Mi. Since Last Charge||Rated Miles Before Charge||Notes|
|28-Dec||12||159||Tesla Tigard Service Center||New car delivery|
|28-Dec||12||134||410||8.2||Woodburn, OR Supercharger||20.0||8.2||411|
|28-Dec||32||184||413||40.8||Springfield, OR Supercharger||78.8||32.6||413||78|
|28-Dec||111||223||410||98.3||Grant's Pass OR Supercharger||141.0||57.6||408||34|
|28-Dec||252||221||417||149.6||Mt. Shasta CA Supercharger||118.8||51.3||432||53|
|28-Dec||370||223||398||186.4||Corning, CA Supercharger||109.3||36.7||336||103|
|28-Dec||480||202||402||234.1||Vacaville, CA Supercharger||114.1||47.8||419||46|
|28-Dec||594||200||402||267.3||Fremont, CA S/C (factory)||82.8||33.2||401||81|
|30-Dec||671||114||401||295.4||Gilroy, CA Supercharger||71.5||28.1||392||17|
|30-Dec||748||242||396||336.6||Harris Ranch, CA Supercharger||113.3||41.2||364||112|
|30-Dec||862||225||393||380.5||Tejon, CA Supercharger||117.6||43.9||373||83|
|30-Dec||979||208||400||442.0||Barstow, CA Supercharger||137.5||61.4||447||7|
|30-Dec||1,117||245||403||509.6||Trump International, Las Vegas||160.8||67.7||421||31||Car garaged 2 days|
|1-Jan||1,279||244||400||559.4||St. George, UT Supercharger||131.0||49.0||374||87|
|1-Jan||1,409||247||399||625.5||Beaver, UT Supercharger||170.5||66.1||388||26|
|1-Jan||1,580||250||394||692.1||Green River, UT Supercharger||189.6||66.6||351||27||Skipped Richfield S/C - major mistake - range ran negative, maintained 35 mph up mountains in 75 mph zone|
|1-Jan||1,769||154||395||715.2||Moab, UT Supercharger||53.7||23.0||429||79||Best Western Moab - great base camp for hiking|
|2-Jan||1,823||225||395||747.5||Moab, UT Supercharger||80.0||32.3||404||112|
|3-Jan||1,903||239||397||789.6||Grand Junction, CO Supercharger||98.8||42.1||425||97|
|3-Jan||2,002||201||398||828.1||Glenwood Springs, CO Supercharger||93.3||38.6||413||72|
|5-Jan||2,095||254||399||881.0||Glenwood Springs, CO Supercharger||126.2||52.9||419||63||Drove to Aspen, Snowmass (overnight twice), Ashcroft, backtracked to Glenwood Springs for charge & proceeded east|
|5-Jan||2,221||222||401||922.0||Silverthorne, CO Supercharger||93.5||41.6||444||81|
|5-Jan||2,315||134||395||942.2||Denver, CO Supercharger||80.4||19.6||243||67||Downhills are great!|
|5-Jan||2,395||222||396||987.9||Cheyene, WY Supercharger||112.9||45.7||405||69|
|5-Jan||2,508||251||397||1,047.4||Lusk, WY Supercharger||140.0||59.5||425||51||Should have range charged here|
|5-Jan||2,648||214||396||1,110.3||Rapid City, SD Supercharger||165.7||62.9||380||2||Failure to range charge at Lusk - Second major error - had to go 25 mph over mountain before Rapid City|
|6-Jan||2,814||249||399||1,171.8||Murdo, SD Supercharger||136.3||61.6||452||41||Easy cruising at 80 (75 mph limit), single digit temps|
|6-Jan||2,950||216||400||1,231.9||Mitchell, SD Supercharger||141.5||60.1||425||15||Easy cruising at 80 (75 mph limit), single digit temps|
|6-Jan||3,092||229||402||1,291.0||Worthington, MN Supercharger||130.2||59.0||453||31||Easy cruising at 80 (75 mph limit), single digit temps|
|6-Jan||3,222||204||404||1,344.5||Albert Lea, MN Supercharger||116.1||53.5||460||24||Easy cruising at 80 (75 mph limit), single digit temps|
|6-Jan||3,338||228||407||1,406.5||Onalaska, WI Supercharger||127.9||62.1||485||19||2 degrees on arrival, blowing snow|