Weekend Trip to Houston and back, 1900 miles

tencate

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#1
Last weekend I drove to Houston TX and back, 1904 miles, at highway speeds around 75+ mph. Or perhaps I should say the car and I drove to Houston and back :) A few of you asked how the trip went. I’m not the first “long trip” report here but perhaps my experience might be interesting anyway. So here goes.

Some stats: overall efficiency of the car for the entire trip was 268 Wh/mile. I tried to stop at every possible Supercharger between Santa Fe, NM and Houston, so I never really tried to stretch a charge much more than a couple of hundred miles. The best I got was 230 Wh/mile and the worst was a short windy 380 Wh/mi! You might know there are parts of New Mexico I-40 that say “Dangerous Crosswinds”? Well, it was so bad trucks were pulling over. Even my poor Model 3 (Max) had to fight hard to stay pointed in the right direction. EAP was better at keeping it pointed the right way than I was in those winds by the way. Interesting!

Navigation: In general, the M3 Navigation is really good at predicting how much charge you need. However, when it tells you that you have sufficient charge to get to your next stop? That’s if you don’t run into gusty winds or nasty cold temperatures, or Houston “Loop” traffic which insists on moving in packs at 90 mph. The car’s heater does suck lots of juice for example, but I needed it, temps were near freezing in West Texas. Moral of the story: at the end of the trip, I always charged above and beyond what the car suggested. You never know when you’ll need a little more “headroom”. I’m thinking that without the long range battery, this trip would have been more challenging and I might have stressed more about getting to the next Supercharger. But I got over stressing about charging after the 2nd stop. Having driven a Leaf before, it took me a while to relax about that. I never got below about 35 miles of range left but I did have to make an unplanned stop in Santa Fe on my way home though, those NM winds were killer and I really was worried I might not make it home.

Display? I need reading glasses. At times I found I had to work hard navigating around Houston when I wanted a quick glance at the display, I finally perched my reading glasses on the tip of my nose so I could better see the display when I needed to. Wonder how folks with bifocals will manage? Navigation instructions and the map display were generally clear any time of day. Did I rely on it? Yes, 100%. It’s just fine and glancing over at it was no more distracting than looking at my Garmin display for other trips I’ve taken in other cars. Plus the Navigation zooms in when you’re near a destination, seamlessly and the big display is huge. In addition, the audio instructions that accompany the map navigation graphics were generally clear and easy to follow. And it’s a vastly better experience than having my phone running Google maps stuck to the windshield which I’ve done in a pinch. ;)

EAP worked well. Lane changes were much better than last time I took a long trip with this car (several software updates ago) and exit lane markings never fooled the car. Ramps coming onto the interstate were another story. They interrupt the right line marking and the car’s sensors then looked WAY to the right, saw the outside edge of the road, and tended to nudge the car over a bit until the normal lane markings resumed. EAP went crazy just twice on the trip, no idea why, it just launched itself to the left and I grabbed the wheel to bring it back in line. It pays to heed the warning to keep your hands on the wheel when using it still. But generally, the software drove us most of the way. The latest update I got the other day will likely improve on this even more, can’t wait to try the latest version. The screen also became unresponsive once and there was a message on the screen that I needed to reset it. Otherwise all other systems behaved “nominally” :rolleyes:

I did have some interesting things happen with collision avoidance worth sharing. Once the car saw an ambulance on the other side of the highway, emergency lights flashing, and I got a loud screeching tone and a “Take over driving immediately” or some such warning. Another time a caravan of three cars pulled in front of me and then suddenly decided to pull off into a rest area, three sets of brake lights came on, and Max again audibly screeched at me, started braking and insisted I take over driving. Finally, the same thing happened when a truck started drifting into my lane (I was passing it). The car warned me of it before I’d noticed. I mashed the GO pedal and got us by the truck quickly and smiled at the programmers who’d put that bit of code in there.

Finally, how many other Tesli did I see? Zero Model 3s. The most Tesli I saw were 5 plugged into the Santa Rosa Supercharger. That’s in NM where Tesla isn’t allowed in. Just a couple more in all of Texas. Generally, the Model 3 was completely ignored too, no one had a clue what a revolution I was driving. I got a lot of curious glances from Model S owners at Superchargers but generally they were trying to ignore me too I think. Kinda curious response. Total trip cost of supercharging was a bit less than $50. Some of the Superchargers in hotel parking lots came up “No charge” which made me smile, no idea why though. And I had overnight destination charging at my hotel (free) which helped.

Would I take another road trip in Max? Yes, in an instant, no fears at all. I take a lot of long trips to car shows around the country. This was by far the most comfortable and relaxing and fun road trip I’ve ever been on, hands down. Plus, the alternative was about 8 hours of driving to an airport, flying to Houston, then renting an unfamiliar car, dealing with all that and then returning the same way at a cost of about $1000+. I suspect Max and I will be taking lots more trips! Time to do his first scheduled maintenance, rotate the tires! And we’ve only had him since mid-January!
 

Spiffywerks

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#3
Thanks for sharing. I remember driving across Texas (Los Angeles to Houston)... Day 1 - California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (El Paso) stop for the night. Day 2 - Texas... nothing but Texas! 10 hours driving through Texas! Texas is freaking huge! Haha
 

Bokonon

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#4
Great writeup, @tencate!

Very impressed with your overall efficiency despite the high speeds and terrifying winds. I think someone here estimated in another thread that a Model 3 with aero wheels should be able to drive about 10 mph faster at highway speeds than a Model 3 with sport wheels consuming the same amount of power. On a pure numbers basis, comparing your 268 Wh/mi average at 75+ with the 262 Wh/mi that @SoFlaModel3 achieved at an overall average speed of ~65 mph on his Disney road trip, that estimate seems pretty accurate!
 

LUXMAN

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#5
Great writeup, @tencate!

Very impressed with your overall efficiency despite the high speeds and terrifying winds. I think someone here estimated in another thread that a Model 3 with aero wheels should be able to drive about 10 mph faster at highway speeds than a Model 3 with sport wheels consuming the same amount of power. On a pure numbers basis, comparing your 268 Wh/mi average at 75+ with the 262 Wh/mi that @SoFlaModel3 achieved at an overall average speed of ~65 mph on his Disney road trip, that estimate seems pretty accurate!
Funny, what @SoFlaModel3 is getting is what I got on my day trip to Waco....262Wh/mi
IMG_0098.JPG
 

LUXMAN

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#6
Last weekend I drove to Houston TX and back, 1904 miles, at highway speeds around 75+ mph. Or perhaps I should say the car and I drove to Houston and back :) A few of you asked how the trip went. I’m not the first “long trip” report here but perhaps my experience might be interesting anyway. So here goes.

Some stats: overall efficiency of the car for the entire trip was 268 Wh/mile. I tried to stop at every possible Supercharger between Santa Fe, NM and Houston, so I never really tried to stretch a charge much more than a couple of hundred miles. The best I got was 230 Wh/mile and the worst was a short windy 380 Wh/mi! You might know there are parts of New Mexico I-40 that say “Dangerous Crosswinds”? Well, it was so bad trucks were pulling over. Even my poor Model 3 (Max) had to fight hard to stay pointed in the right direction. EAP was better at keeping it pointed the right way than I was in those winds by the way. Interesting!

Navigation: In general, the M3 Navigation is really good at predicting how much charge you need. However, when it tells you that you have sufficient charge to get to your next stop? That’s if you don’t run into gusty winds or nasty cold temperatures, or Houston “Loop” traffic which insists on moving in packs at 90 mph. The car’s heater does suck lots of juice for example, but I needed it, temps were near freezing in West Texas. Moral of the story: at the end of the trip, I always charged above and beyond what the car suggested. You never know when you’ll need a little more “headroom”. I’m thinking that without the long range battery, this trip would have been more challenging and I might have stressed more about getting to the next Supercharger. But I got over stressing about charging after the 2nd stop. Having driven a Leaf before, it took me a while to relax about that. I never got below about 35 miles of range left but I did have to make an unplanned stop in Santa Fe on my way home though, those NM winds were killer and I really was worried I might not make it home.

Display? I need reading glasses. At times I found I had to work hard navigating around Houston when I wanted a quick glance at the display, I finally perched my reading glasses on the tip of my nose so I could better see the display when I needed to. Wonder how folks with bifocals will manage? Navigation instructions and the map display were generally clear any time of day. Did I rely on it? Yes, 100%. It’s just fine and glancing over at it was no more distracting than looking at my Garmin display for other trips I’ve taken in other cars. Plus the Navigation zooms in when you’re near a destination, seamlessly and the big display is huge. In addition, the audio instructions that accompany the map navigation graphics were generally clear and easy to follow. And it’s a vastly better experience than having my phone running Google maps stuck to the windshield which I’ve done in a pinch. ;)

EAP worked well. Lane changes were much better than last time I took a long trip with this car (several software updates ago) and exit lane markings never fooled the car. Ramps coming onto the interstate were another story. They interrupt the right line marking and the car’s sensors then looked WAY to the right, saw the outside edge of the road, and tended to nudge the car over a bit until the normal lane markings resumed. EAP went crazy just twice on the trip, no idea why, it just launched itself to the left and I grabbed the wheel to bring it back in line. It pays to heed the warning to keep your hands on the wheel when using it still. But generally, the software drove us most of the way. The latest update I got the other day will likely improve on this even more, can’t wait to try the latest version. The screen also became unresponsive once and there was a message on the screen that I needed to reset it. Otherwise all other systems behaved “nominally” :rolleyes:

I did have some interesting things happen with collision avoidance worth sharing. Once the car saw an ambulance on the other side of the highway, emergency lights flashing, and I got a loud screeching tone and a “Take over driving immediately” or some such warning. Another time a caravan of three cars pulled in front of me and then suddenly decided to pull off into a rest area, three sets of brake lights came on, and Max again audibly screeched at me, started braking and insisted I take over driving. Finally, the same thing happened when a truck started drifting into my lane (I was passing it). The car warned me of it before I’d noticed. I mashed the GO pedal and got us by the truck quickly and smiled at the programmers who’d put that bit of code in there.

Finally, how many other Tesli did I see? Zero Model 3s. The most Tesli I saw were 5 plugged into the Santa Rosa Supercharger. That’s in NM where Tesla isn’t allowed in. Just a couple more in all of Texas. Generally, the Model 3 was completely ignored too, no one had a clue what a revolution I was driving. I got a lot of curious glances from Model S owners at Superchargers but generally they were trying to ignore me too I think. Kinda curious response. Total trip cost of supercharging was a bit less than $50. Some of the Superchargers in hotel parking lots came up “No charge” which made me smile, no idea why though. And I had overnight destination charging at my hotel (free) which helped.

Would I take another road trip in Max? Yes, in an instant, no fears at all. I take a lot of long trips to car shows around the country. This was by far the most comfortable and relaxing and fun road trip I’ve ever been on, hands down. Plus, the alternative was about 8 hours of driving to an airport, flying to Houston, then renting an unfamiliar car, dealing with all that and then returning the same way at a cost of about $1000+. I suspect Max and I will be taking lots more trips! Time to do his first scheduled maintenance, rotate the tires! And we’ve only had him since mid-January!
Great write up. I was gonna comment on the Nav. I have found they are a bit far away on the right side when I am in traffic and need to watch the road. It would be nice if they would move them to the left (option maybe) or put some directions directly in front of the car on the min-car display. Kinda like what they put in the S for the upcoming maneuver.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#7
Last weekend I drove to Houston TX and back, 1904 miles, at highway speeds around 75+ mph. Or perhaps I should say the car and I drove to Houston and back :) A few of you asked how the trip went. I’m not the first “long trip” report here but perhaps my experience might be interesting anyway. So here goes.

Some stats: overall efficiency of the car for the entire trip was 268 Wh/mile. I tried to stop at every possible Supercharger between Santa Fe, NM and Houston, so I never really tried to stretch a charge much more than a couple of hundred miles. The best I got was 230 Wh/mile and the worst was a short windy 380 Wh/mi! You might know there are parts of New Mexico I-40 that say “Dangerous Crosswinds”? Well, it was so bad trucks were pulling over. Even my poor Model 3 (Max) had to fight hard to stay pointed in the right direction. EAP was better at keeping it pointed the right way than I was in those winds by the way. Interesting!

Navigation: In general, the M3 Navigation is really good at predicting how much charge you need. However, when it tells you that you have sufficient charge to get to your next stop? That’s if you don’t run into gusty winds or nasty cold temperatures, or Houston “Loop” traffic which insists on moving in packs at 90 mph. The car’s heater does suck lots of juice for example, but I needed it, temps were near freezing in West Texas. Moral of the story: at the end of the trip, I always charged above and beyond what the car suggested. You never know when you’ll need a little more “headroom”. I’m thinking that without the long range battery, this trip would have been more challenging and I might have stressed more about getting to the next Supercharger. But I got over stressing about charging after the 2nd stop. Having driven a Leaf before, it took me a while to relax about that. I never got below about 35 miles of range left but I did have to make an unplanned stop in Santa Fe on my way home though, those NM winds were killer and I really was worried I might not make it home.

Display? I need reading glasses. At times I found I had to work hard navigating around Houston when I wanted a quick glance at the display, I finally perched my reading glasses on the tip of my nose so I could better see the display when I needed to. Wonder how folks with bifocals will manage? Navigation instructions and the map display were generally clear any time of day. Did I rely on it? Yes, 100%. It’s just fine and glancing over at it was no more distracting than looking at my Garmin display for other trips I’ve taken in other cars. Plus the Navigation zooms in when you’re near a destination, seamlessly and the big display is huge. In addition, the audio instructions that accompany the map navigation graphics were generally clear and easy to follow. And it’s a vastly better experience than having my phone running Google maps stuck to the windshield which I’ve done in a pinch. ;)

EAP worked well. Lane changes were much better than last time I took a long trip with this car (several software updates ago) and exit lane markings never fooled the car. Ramps coming onto the interstate were another story. They interrupt the right line marking and the car’s sensors then looked WAY to the right, saw the outside edge of the road, and tended to nudge the car over a bit until the normal lane markings resumed. EAP went crazy just twice on the trip, no idea why, it just launched itself to the left and I grabbed the wheel to bring it back in line. It pays to heed the warning to keep your hands on the wheel when using it still. But generally, the software drove us most of the way. The latest update I got the other day will likely improve on this even more, can’t wait to try the latest version. The screen also became unresponsive once and there was a message on the screen that I needed to reset it. Otherwise all other systems behaved “nominally” :rolleyes:

I did have some interesting things happen with collision avoidance worth sharing. Once the car saw an ambulance on the other side of the highway, emergency lights flashing, and I got a loud screeching tone and a “Take over driving immediately” or some such warning. Another time a caravan of three cars pulled in front of me and then suddenly decided to pull off into a rest area, three sets of brake lights came on, and Max again audibly screeched at me, started braking and insisted I take over driving. Finally, the same thing happened when a truck started drifting into my lane (I was passing it). The car warned me of it before I’d noticed. I mashed the GO pedal and got us by the truck quickly and smiled at the programmers who’d put that bit of code in there.

Finally, how many other Tesli did I see? Zero Model 3s. The most Tesli I saw were 5 plugged into the Santa Rosa Supercharger. That’s in NM where Tesla isn’t allowed in. Just a couple more in all of Texas. Generally, the Model 3 was completely ignored too, no one had a clue what a revolution I was driving. I got a lot of curious glances from Model S owners at Superchargers but generally they were trying to ignore me too I think. Kinda curious response. Total trip cost of supercharging was a bit less than $50. Some of the Superchargers in hotel parking lots came up “No charge” which made me smile, no idea why though. And I had overnight destination charging at my hotel (free) which helped.

Would I take another road trip in Max? Yes, in an instant, no fears at all. I take a lot of long trips to car shows around the country. This was by far the most comfortable and relaxing and fun road trip I’ve ever been on, hands down. Plus, the alternative was about 8 hours of driving to an airport, flying to Houston, then renting an unfamiliar car, dealing with all that and then returning the same way at a cost of about $1000+. I suspect Max and I will be taking lots more trips! Time to do his first scheduled maintenance, rotate the tires! And we’ve only had him since mid-January!
I am right there with you! While your trip far surpassed mine in distance, I plan on more trips and further trips for sure, but it has to make sense. If I take Atlanta as a for instance, that’s a 2 hour flight. Though you do have to account for getting to the airport 1.5 hours early and then renting a car upon arrival. Let’s call it 4 hours of travel. Of course there is cost associated as well for 4 plane tickets and the rental car.

The drive is 8 hours and 42 minutes plus stops for charging / food / bathroom (ideally timed with each other) so let’s say 10 hours.

Tough call on 4 hours versus 10 hours!
 

tencate

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#10
It's all relative. ;) Someone pointed out to me that Paris---France, not Texas---to Moscow (one way) is 1800 miles and I drove 1900 miles last weekend. BTW, I drove all the way to Houston in one stretch, straight, 16 hours, only supercharger/food/nature stops, no naps. And drove back the same way a day or so later. I doubt I could do that in any of my other ICE cars. I DO love this car! :D
 

Watts4me

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#11
I love 90 mph packs! I wish we could of met up. I want to see a white M3
 

GDN

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#12
Probably deserving of a thread/topic of it's own, but do we have much doco or what is known about what EAP is doing with cameras vs other sensors. Speaking specifically about the report here in post 1. The truck coming over into the M3's lane, the 3 cars slowing down ahead with brake lights, etc. Is the visual being observed, "a brake light" or the relative distance between the car ahead and the M3? Maybe all discussed before, I've got lots of time on these forums, but maybe not enough time in the tech one just yet.