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2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,121
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.

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Comments

  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    Um... Where did all the comments go?
  • dgcamerodgcamero Posts: 148
    Doesn't the Tesla use Google Maps for navigation? Too bad Google has removed all of the nifty extra features such as elevation profiles from Maps when they switched Android's version to be identical to the crippled iOS version. Seems like it would have been an easy addition to Tesla's Maps firmware before the removal of the useful features.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    greenpony, I think probably the same person who was responsible for putting a lot of comments that should not be here has now taken away a bunch of comments that should be here.
  • nicadnicad Posts: 3
    Great that we are getting an unbiased review of someone who is discovering the Pros and Cons of living with an EV.
  • Yeah, when this entry was originally posted we experienced a technical snafu that carried the comments from an earlier entry over to this one. Any comments that were posted for the few hours before the fix was implemented were lost. Sorry about that, guys.
  • Good strategy, Jason. Superchargers change everything when it comes to cross-country driving in a Model S. In the bad old days (i.e., last summer) the strategy was to drive much more slowly than you'd normally do in a gas-powered car because arriving at the next charging station with more charge 'in the tank' reduces the amount of time you'll have to spend charging, by much more than the time you can save by driving faster.

    The rule of thumb for optimizing overall cross-country speed used to be, "Don't drive at a speed faster than the rate of charge at your next station." When the maximum rate of charge (at an RV park, say) is 30 miles of charge per hour, you'll actually get from A to D (with stops in B and C for charging) faster by driving really slowly. As a practical matter, nobody's going to drive 30mph on the Interstates, obviously, but 55-60mph was a good compromise between not being run over and getting where you're going in a reasonable time.

    Now, with Superchargers capable of charging rates up to 300 miles of range per hour (and more), the whole calculus has shifted. You can't drive fast enough, legally or practically, to optimize cross country speed using the old rule of thumb. So the new rule of thumb is, "Take on enough of a charge to get to the next Supercharger with a comfortable margin, given the speed you want to drive and the conditions." With experience, you can start shaving that margin, but adding some extra miles of range costs you so little in terms of time, it's not worth getting worked up over.

    By the way, there is an online app, EVTripPlanner.com, that does know how to factor in terrain and weather when planning trips, for a variety of EVs. Tesla has also said it's working on an app for the Model S that does the same thing; the good news is that, when it's ready, we owners will get that new software delivered, over the air, straight to the car.
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