Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: First Road Trip - Houston to Austin and back

  1. #1
    VIN S00219 stephenpace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    421

    First Road Trip - Houston to Austin and back

    I took my first Model S road trip this Thanksgiving, and I thought I would provide a few comments and suggestions.

    1) Houston to Austin is about the perfect distance with the 85 kWh pack. You can drive fairly normally, arrive with some miles to spare, charge overnight, and easily make it home. However, I would go for a range charge to be safe. Being the day before Thanksgiving, there was lots of traffic on the way out, so that helped with the range given the stop and go traffic and overall lower speeds. I arrived at the hotel with 84 miles to go. However, on the return I had driven around Austin a bit before leaving (using up 30 miles or so), and the roads were open sailing. With a 75 mph speed limit on a chunk of the way home, I pretty much set the cruise on 80 mph and forgot about it. Once I knew I had enough juice to get home, I may have done a bit more on I-10 accelerating around a few trucks. Bottom line, when I got home, I had only 27 miles left. Enough that I wasn't worried (I would have slowed down if I was), but it was the first time I saw the bar turn yellow.

    2) I refuse to carry any charging station cards that have a monthly fee given that 95% of the time I will be charging at home. However, I don't mind spending a few bucks to get a card from a network and pay higher 'pay as you go' rates if it gives me the option to charge on the road. I already had a Blink Network card (they have lots of stations in Houston and Dallas), but had not yet gotten a ChargePoint card. Before I left I noticed they had a large presence in Austin, and that they had a special running where you pay $25 and get two cards free (and then get to spend the balance on charging), so I did that. Unfortunately the card did not arrive before I left, but I'll be prepared for next time. It is worth noting that at most ChargePoints you can call +1-888-758-4389 and pay by credit card. However, even if you have an account, without the card you don't get the app benefits of notifying you when charging stops, etc. Note that ChargePoint charges $2/hr for a 30A charge, which came to $26.23 for me. I think that is a bit high--I think Blink charges $1.50.

    3) EVs are still very new, and few places seamlessly accommodate them. What I mean by that is, expect that most employees will not know anything about the chargers, if or how they work, where they are, or how much they might cost. Despite verifying with the hotel I was staying at that they had working chargers, when I arrived they did not. Details at link below if you are interested.

    Hotels in Texas with Charging Stations - Page 2

    Until the world evolves a bit more, I would currently plan A) where you will charge if everything works as it should and B) one or two alternates if things do not work well. For me I plan to ask A) what network the charging station is on and B) what the station identifier is. Asking that question will require employees to do a bit of research. For example, for ChargePoint, the identifier is a 4 digit alphanumeric code. The charger at the Hilton Austin says it is "FA7B", but does not show up in the ChargePoint directory. That would have given me a clue that there might have been an issue ahead of time.

    4) It is annoying that Tesla doesn't yet have the adapters like they do for Roadsters for standard dryer plugs. I could have charged overnight at my brother's house if they did. Hopefully those will come out soon. I'm also eagerly awaiting the Tesla app so we can be notified about charging interruptions which is a real concern with these third-party J1772 chargers.

    5) Overall, the car handled wonderfully. Slacker held up great with only a few brief interruptions. Navigation seemed to take traffic into account--at least it directed me I-10 to 77 instead of I-10 to 71 which I thought was unusual. Especially since it it chose 71 to I-10 for the return trip. One navigation glitch--it said my next planned turn to 77 was an 'unknown road' for the entire time I was on I-10. It was also my first real use of the cruise control. If you barely push the lever you can increment 1 mile, but if you push it a lot it seems to move 5 miles. Fine-grain control is nice, but I think if you just boost 1 mile, I don't think it should jump as much as it does. It seems to want to quickly accelerate to the new speed, and you can really see the energy usage spike even with the small increment. Otherwise, great roadtrip car, especially putting the bags in the frunk while I wait on the parcel shelf to arrive. I also got a lot of "what kind of car is that, looks great!" as we were stuck in traffic on I-10 on the way out, and a "that car is the future" once I got to Austin.

    Overall, great first trip, and I look forward to many more, especially once the SuperChargers come online!

    Name:  DSC06802 - Start Houston.jpg
Views: 623
Size:  1.39 MBName:  DSC06804 - Arrive Hotel Austin.jpg
Views: 596
Size:  1.28 MBName:  DSC06818 - Overnight Charge.jpg
Views: 599
Size:  1.26 MBName:  DSC06820 - Charging Bill.jpg
Views: 552
Size:  123.2 KBName:  DSC06821 - Return Home.jpg
Views: 5850
Size:  1.20 MB
    Last edited by stephenpace; 2012-11-23 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Add photos

  2. #2
    Power12 Babylonfive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cedar Park (Austin), Texas
    Posts
    721
    Quote Originally Posted by stephenpace View Post
    I took my first Model S road trip this Thanksgiving, and I thought I would provide a few comments and suggestions.

    1) Houston to Austin is about the perfect distance with the 85 kWh pack. You can drive fairly normally, arrive with some miles to spare, charge overnight, and easily make it home. However, I would go for a range charge to be safe. Being the day before Thanksgiving, there was lots of traffic on the way out, so that helped with the range ... <snip>
    Maybe on another trip you can come join our little Austin contingent for lunch or something.

    Glad your trip was good.

    david
    [/B][/URL] Sweet Silver Sixty: 60KWH, Silver ext/Black int, Pano, Tech, 21" Silver wheels

  3. #3
    mod squad bonnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    9,616
    Blog Entries
    4
    Great write up. One note, though - the rates for Chargepoint and Blink are set by the location owner. I've used both providers and have yet to pay for a charge.

    It's a great feeling to take a roadtrip away from your home base and find out that electric really does work. Congrats!
    PLEASE NOTE: Posts are the copyrighted intellectual property of the author, and are intended as part of a conversation within this forum. My words may NOT be quoted outside this forum, without my expressed consent.
    __________________
    Moderator: Model S, Model X, EVents, California, Pacific/Northwest, and Media -- Follow me on twitter and and follow TMC, too!

  4. #4
    Model S S280 VIN 168 kvietor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Lithia, FL
    Posts
    289
    Wow that was an expensive charge. Most of the ChargePoint stations around the Tampa area are free and the highest I've seen was $1 per hour for a max of 24 hrs.

    I thought the NEMA 14-50 plug on the end of the charge cord was for a standard dryer outlet. At least it's the same as what my dryer is plugged into.
    Last edited by kvietor; 2012-11-23 at 09:14 PM.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Singapore (for next 2 years) previously Chicago, IL
    Posts
    247
    Quote Originally Posted by Babylonfive View Post
    Maybe on another trip you can come join our little Austin contingent for lunch or something.

    Glad your trip was good.

    david
    I'll take a roadtrip down to Austin at some point when I get Pac Blue. It's always nice to see my EV friends down there.

    I took a trip across TX using my converted EV (Elec Bug) and there were plenty of charging stations in Austin. I ended up using one overnight that was at a location for the local utility. I think it cost me $10 or something like that.

  6. #6
    Roadster #1144 + Sig 114 dsm363's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    13,796
    I'm thinking about getting BBQ in Lockhart tomorrow for lunch. Anyone interested?
    Moderator - Model S, Mountain/Southwest, Texas, Northwest, Off Topic forums
    PLEASE NOTE: Posts are the copyrighted intellectual property of the author, and are intended as part of a conversation within this forum. My words may NOT be quoted outside this forum, without my expressed consent.

  7. #7
    Senior Member strider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    2,522
    Quote Originally Posted by kvietor View Post
    I thought the NEMA 14-50 plug on the end of the charge cord was for a standard dryer outlet. At least it's the same as what my dryer is plugged into.
    A lot of homes have a 10-30 plug and apparently that adapter is not yet available.
    Twilight Blue Roadster 2.5 - #1098 / Grey Model S Performance - #1459

  8. #8
    VIN S00219 stephenpace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    421
    @B5: For sure!

    @kvietor: Yes, most dryers are NEMA 10-30 where I am. In fact, I've never seen a NEMA 14-50 outside of a campground (other than my garage), though you could probably swap the dryer cord to fit if you wanted.

  9. #9
    Sig #1278 STxTesla's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Posts
    263
    Thanks for the write up Stephen...very good info.

    It would be nice to eventually have a list of the best chargers in Texas...(the ones with the most charge).
    I guess that the apps have that kind of info...I just haven't thoroughly checked any of the apps yet.
    "These go to eleven..."

  10. #10
    S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13 jerry33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    8,238
    Quote Originally Posted by kvietor View Post
    I thought the NEMA 14-50 plug on the end of the charge cord was for a standard dryer outlet. At least it's the same as what my dryer is plugged into.
    A 14-50 is an RV plug with four pins. A dryer typically only has three pins--unless that's changed since I last purchased a dryer.
    1. Do not copy anything that I post outside of the TMC forum without permission.
    2. Any advice or opinions posted here are to be taken as my personal opinions only. There is no implied warranty, fitness for purpose, or official statements from any company I may have been or am affiliated with.
    3. Even the best recommendations are wrong when used inappropriately.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. My road trip
    By franklandfield in forum Introductions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 2012-06-25, 11:04 AM
  2. Road trips - feed back please.
    By teslaspotter in forum Roadster: Performance
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 2011-02-21, 02:38 PM
  3. Alpine Road Trip
    By Alfred in forum Roadster
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 2010-07-08, 10:25 AM
  4. DPeilow: Tesla Road Trip
    By TEG in forum Roadster
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 2010-06-06, 10:03 AM
  5. ReGeneration Road Trip
    By TEG in forum Video
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2008-10-04, 03:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •