2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,130
edited September 2014 in Tesla

image2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds conducts a Long-Term Test of the 2013 Tesla Model S and describes the recharging strategy to use on road trips.

Read the full story here



  • agentorangeagentorange Posts: 893
    Gosh, electric cars actually cost money to run? Who knew.
  • quadricyclequadricycle Posts: 827
    I might be missing something here but.... Your rain cover and outlet are not one and the same. Look in the middle of the outlet and follow downwards towards what is indeed a screw. Unscrew it. I'm sure there's another on just like it at the top. Take the rain cover off and utilize your device.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    So much wrong here...first, you're going to LOOK for another receptacle in your garage? You don't know where the receptacles in your garage are? Second, you just go to the hardware store (big place, lots of guys going in and out, usually has lawn mowers on display out front...), get a 12/3 extension cord, probably keep it under 25 feet, plug that into your outlet and plug the Kill-A-Watt into that, and the charger cord into that. Third, do what quadricycle suggested. This is just precious - sounds like one of the coming generation of men who have one tool in the toolbox...an iPhone, that they use to call up another man, probably of the previous generation, who have toolboxes with tools in them.
  • duck87duck87 Posts: 649
    I make fun of Montoya for not really being a DIY person sometimes but this is a bit much even by those standards ;)
  • robs8robs8 Posts: 8
    I don't understand why an aftermarket power meter not fitting in a power receptacle scores an entry in a Tesla long term test blog. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Tesla or its use. However someone less familiar with the Tesla may think that you were noble to charge your Tesla as a result, a completely false perception. It starts to look like you are trying to find problems where none exists.
  • robs8robs8 Posts: 8
  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    robs8, it's on the blog because edmunds uses a power meter for all the electric cars they test, so then tell us how much electricty they used over the course of the test. They also keep track of how much gas they use during the tests of gas powered cars. Those of us who read the blog are car guys, we are more than capable of discerning this is not a Tesla issue.
  • markinnaples_markinnaples_ Posts: 251
    I don't mind the article since it shows just what an average consumer would encounter when owning a similar car.

    On a side note, I still think it's funny that so many eco-centrist people tout the ownership of electric or hybrid cars and how "pollution free" they are, without considering that the electricity comes from most likely either a coal burning or nuclear power plant without considering the pollution generated by either of those.
  • tokyorushtokyorush Posts: 24
    Mark - many of us with Tesla's use Solar to power our cars. Also, even coal burning plants are MUCH more efficient than automobiles in terms of pollution.

    I'm not really an eco-centrist kind of guy - just love a good fast car and hate supporting oil companies.
  • tokyorushtokyorush Posts: 24
    AgentOrange - I just drove from my house in CT to southern NJ and back yesterday for 0$ in cost. Charged from my house (solar and we get paid by the electric company), drove to my customer's office (where they have a free type 2 charger) and drove back by way of the Meriden Supercharger (fully charged the car in 45 minutes) while I had dinner. 420 miles == 0$. In my old MB at 19MPG and 3.85$ gas that would have cost $85. Plus no oil changes for me compared with that synthetic stuff MB demands every 5000 miles.
  • markinnaples_markinnaples_ Posts: 251
    tokyorush, I get your point, and I really like the looks of the Tesla, and would love to maybe get one when the infrastructure is improved.

    And I am right there with you on the oil company issue as well.

    I am curious to see how natural gas evolves as a potential vehicle fuel source.
  • noburgersnoburgers Posts: 500
    short ext cord, as suggested takes care of the issue. you guys need to think for just a minute
  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    tokyorush, you mean 0$ in fuel cost, which is definitely nice. But I'm sure Ct, NY and NJ charged you for the priviledge of using their roads.
  • duck87duck87 Posts: 649
    @tokyorush: Actually, on the topic of coal plants, that is simply untrue. In terms of emissions not including CO2 and H20, the emissions out of a car is sometimes cleaner than what goes in- this is especially true in California.

    Meanwhile, the majority o
  • mayhemmmayhemm Posts: 6
    @duckman: Okay, say for a second that I believe car exhaust can be cleaner than air (if I'm understanding you correctly) and that your power plants have been ignoring every emissions mandate since the 1950s and thus have no filters, heat reclamation capa
  • cobrysoncobryson Posts: 110
    Why are all the comments from 6+ months ago? Bizarre.
  • vvkvvk Posts: 196
    This is lunacy. I will take a big Mercedes diesel with 1200 mile range over this any time. Electric cars are good for local driving, especially in congested areas where you are not going anywhere fast. But for long trips range is king because it saves TIME.
  • throwbackthrowback Posts: 445
    EV fans remind me of the folks who complain about slow 0-60 or quarter mile times. "You can't drive" you didn't do it right" etc.
  • How odd...
  • noburgersnoburgers Posts: 500
    This long term test has certainly been an education. I call that a success, plus all the comments generated probably exceed almost al the other long term cars. I very much agree with JK that if elevation was accounted for in the distance calculations between superchargers, that the comfort level/range anxiety would improve. And that sounds like a software upgrade so it is possible that will happen in the future.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    On one hand, I agree that charging to 80% makes more sense due to the battery chemistry considerations, but on the flip side, as illustrated in the last post on this trip, there is the consideration that the next supercharger you get to won't have an open bay when you get there, and having say, 60 miles in hand rather than like 10, when that happens, is where I want to be. I agree absolutely about the route topography - when you plug in a route on the nav that includes a lot of elevation gain or change, then look at the DTE display, why does it act as though you're going to be traveling on the flat? I want the DTE algorithm to be talking to the nav database, or real-time Google Maps, or whatever the hell it's using, and give me a real idea of the actual DTE on the route I've just TOLD it I'm going to take. And then I can have the smartphone app alert me when my car gets to 80% charge (or whatever % I set it to) what the real DTE will be, and I can decide, while sitting in the restaurant, whether or not to leave now, or have another cup of coffee and let it charge more. In fact, whenever I have a route plugged into the nav, the in-car display AND the app should be telling me if I don't have enough juice to make it, and suggesting I either keep charging (if I am presently charging) or stop at the next supercharger, located at mile #X on my route. And I don't see why it should not do that in all cars, EV or not.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Oh - and I get the frustration jkav is expressing here. And when you're traveling, and you look at the time, the traffic, the sky and the miles you have to go before you sleep, and that little voice tells you you'd better get your [non-permissible content removed] on the road like, NOW, it's more than just frustration.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    So the moral of the story is... only take the Model S on your road trip if you're not in a hurry, or the car is on a trailer.
  • I still don’t understand why people think that a Tesla Model S is a road trip car. It’s not. And I own one.

    I can tell you the last time I took a 2000 mile road trip...it was 1981.

    I have a 4 wheel drive pickup and it has 15,000 miles on it after 5 years of ownership. Why? Because I don’t use it as a daily driver. It’s an off road vehicle and I only use it when I go off road.

    Likewise, we use the Tesla for the 99% of the driving we do. Right now I’m 150 miles from my home in a remote part of the California north coast and my Tesla is about 30 feet from me in the driveway of the rental house we’re at. We got here with 95 miles of range left and the car, hooked up to a regular power outlet (not a NEMA 14-50) now has 180 miles of range. It will get us back home without a problem. And the car was a total blast to drive up Highway 1.

    Yet, it would be a pain the butt to take on a road trip to Portland.

    So what? If you really are into road trips, buy a Jetta diesel. It won’t be very fun, but you’ll get there with minimal pit stops and high relative efficiency.

    I, for one, will never argue with those who knock the Tesla for being a poor road trip car. I agree.

    But seriously, how often do people go on 2000 mile road trips?

    As an every day car, from commutes to normal trips of under 200 miles, it’s spectacular.

    I’ll be the first to say it: If you’re a long range road tripper, don’t buy a Tesla. Likewise, if you are a serious off roader, don’t buy a VW Jetta diesel.
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