jenjc
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:06 pm

70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:28 pm

Hello everyone,

I've rummaged around this helpful forum and learned the following with respect to extending range:

- Cold is bad, especially if you run the heater to keep warm.
- Bursts of speed and high speed is bad.
- Heavy traffic is good!
- Battery degradation is not really an issue.

So, my question is this.... Living in Atlanta with a 70 mile, NO-charge-at-work commute, am I expecting too much of the FFE to get to work and home again without turning more of my hair grey? The commute is 50/50 time-wise highway vs. surface streets. There is traffic.

The monetary incentives here in Georgia are so significant. But, I have a sinking feeling my commute is at the bleeding edge of realistic functionality at this point for current battery capability.

Your experienced thoughts?

Thanks!
2014 Ice Blue Metallic
Delivery October 2014

WattsUp
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:58 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:53 pm

jenjc wrote:So, my question is this.... Living in Atlanta with a 70 mile, NO-charge-at-work commute, am I expecting too much of the FFE to get to work and home again without turning more of my hair grey? The commute is 50/50 time-wise highway vs. surface streets. There is traffic.
Great job in digesting the basic considerations. You've got a pretty good picture of things.

I think you could make a 70-mile commute, provided you don't need to use heat very much (at all, probably), and are very careful with your driving patterns. (Using A/C should not eat into much the range, so you can be comfortable in the summer... but the winter may be a very different story.)

However, you will probably be routinely arriving at the end of your round-trip with single-digit range estimates remaining. It is possible you could get comfortable with this, once you get used to "making it" with only 5 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile (?!?) of range remaining all the time, but there may be very little margin of error (in case you need to take a little extra side trip certain days).

In short, I wouldn't "recommend" the FFE for your situation, but I don't necessarily want to outright discourage you... the FFE is a great car, and you might be able to make it work. I would be more eager to recommend if you had only a 50-, maybe even 60-, mile round-trip commute.

And now the inevitable questions and "what ifs".... So, are you definitely not able to charge at work? Even at Level 1 on a regular wall outlet? If you could (on a routine basis), then I would say definitely go for it.
2013 FFE, Platinum White, Delivered January 2013
2017 MS, Midnight Silver Metallic, Delivered February 2017
Use my referral code (http://ts.la/matt4377) to save $1000 on your next Tesla AND get free unlimited Supercharging!

Bill
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:51 pm

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:05 pm

{Post deleted by User}
Last edited by Bill on Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

EVA
Posts: 874
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: Chicago Area

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:00 pm

You really did digest the site rather well!

Agree with others have said. The strange thing driving an electric car does to you - you start to notice things you'd never see. It is entirely possible there is a 110V outlet in your parking garage, or somewhere nearby, or one maintenance for your building might have. They are around in a lot of hidden places. And 110V charging while at work would give you plenty of range.

Just in case you can't find Plugshare:
http://www.plugshare.com/

Just enter Atlanta, GA in the search - there are 85 at first quick glance. No need to register at the site - you won't need to look up home addresses (that's about all registering gives you).

I'm thinking you have figured out we love the car.

One other thing the car does - it changes the way you do things. You might find a charging station at a library or someplace really interesting. Instead of hurrying home, you'll take your time and enjoy some quiet time for yourself. It could be a quality of life changer.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

WattsUp
Posts: 2113
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:58 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:18 pm

EVA wrote:It is entirely possible there is a 110V outlet in your parking garage, or somewhere nearby, or one maintenance for your building might have. They are around in a lot of hidden places. And 110V charging while at work would give you plenty of range.
Just be sure it is okay to use such a "found" outlet. Don't buy the FFE "counting" on usage of such outlets, only to find out later that it rubs somebody the wrong way, or gets you in trouble. Those outlets belong to somebody who presumably pays the bill.

It never hurts to go through proper channels and ask, and you might find your employer is pro-EV or maybe at least intrigued. Call it a "trail program" and point out the positive, forward-looking impression it gives to employees and the community. If they are pro-EV, you might even suggest they install a special outlet (even just a regular 120V, or 240V if you're feeling ambitious) in a convenient and prominent (a painted "reserved for EV charging" spot) location for employees to use.
2013 FFE, Platinum White, Delivered January 2013
2017 MS, Midnight Silver Metallic, Delivered February 2017
Use my referral code (http://ts.la/matt4377) to save $1000 on your next Tesla AND get free unlimited Supercharging!

Richmond72
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:52 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:08 am

I think you can do it. But, I would take a test drive to prove it (let the windows down and run the heat for part of the drive to see what happens). Before I leased mine, I took a test drive and drove my work route to get a real idea of what the car can do. Here are my recommendations:

1. In winter, pre-heat before leaving. This will allow you to minimize heat use.
2. Park in the sun in the winter, this will minimize heater use in the afternoon.
3. Leave 5 mins early in the morning and go 5 MPH slower than you normally do (in the right lanes).
4. Summer will be fine, park in shade.
5. Find a charger nearby to your work or on the way home for emergency charges.

Good luck! Which area of the city are you coming from/going to for work?

jenjc
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:06 pm

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:14 am

Thank you everyone for some good input!

110V possiblities: It was the answer to that question that drove me to this forum. It was "No" for safety reasons.

PlugShare: EVA, thanks for the link. This is very helpful information. There are plently of plugs on the way home.

Richmond: Nice summary of strategies. Pre-warming is possible. But on cold days it may be better if I leave the EV at home. We won't be getting rid of the car the EV would be replacing.

On the subject of cold... what is considered "cold" with respect to EV performance? Any time you want to run the defroster or heater?

For those with Atlanta geography knowledge, I live in East Cobb (north) and work near the airport.
2014 Ice Blue Metallic
Delivery October 2014

ElSupreme
Posts: 89
Joined: Sat May 03, 2014 7:31 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:29 am

I'm in Atlanta as well. My round trip is 60 miles. And about ~60% clear interstate. Driving ~65mph maximum and I easily make the 60 miles with ~1/3 battery to spare.

I have a surface street route that cuts interstate to ~40% and cuts ~10 miles off my round trip. I can do this and still have 45 miles left when I make it home. Check some surface streets and see if you could cut some miles out of your commute. If you can on the really cold days you could take the shorter route.

But this is the summer. I know with the Model S winter brings out ~20% more energy usage. You won't be able to run heat, you could probably just deal with the seat heater. This isn't that bad if your car is garaged. If you are doing any stretches at 65mph you'll probably have to slow down. And you might want to look for a place (120VAC is more than fine) to plug in and get ~10 extra miles on those dozen or so sub-freezing commute days we get in Atlanta.

I have not done a winter in the FFE yet, but do have experience in the Model S. As for getting used to going to zero. It happens pretty easily over time. Here I am with less than 1% buffer on a 255 mile trip to my brother's house.
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Think with dispassion; Speak with equanimity; Act in calm.

2012 Tesla Model S 85, Green
2014 Ford Focus Electric, Ice Storm

hybridbear
Posts: 1425
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:46 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:34 am

jenjc wrote:Hello everyone,

I've rummaged around this helpful forum and learned the following with respect to extending range:

- Cold is bad, especially if you run the heater to keep warm.
- Bursts of speed and high speed is bad.
- Heavy traffic is good!
- Battery degradation is not really an issue.

So, my question is this.... Living in Atlanta with a 70 mile, NO-charge-at-work commute, am I expecting too much of the FFE to get to work and home again without turning more of my hair grey? The commute is 50/50 time-wise highway vs. surface streets. There is traffic.

The monetary incentives here in Georgia are so significant. But, I have a sinking feeling my commute is at the bleeding edge of realistic functionality at this point for current battery capability.

Your experienced thoughts?

Thanks!
Have you considered other EVs with a slightly longer range? The i3 and Mercedes B-Class Electric both have slightly longer ranges (and higher price tags) which would probably alleviate any range anxiety you'd have.

I've done an 80 mile highway trip in the Focus with about 10 miles of range to spare. This was in the summer with no climate control use and speeds of 55-65 MPH. Someone on the Forum you can find my results.
2013 Ford Focus Electric - Ice Storm - leased through 8/15/16
Replaced by a 2016 Tesla Model S 60D

jenjc
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:06 pm

Re: 70 mile round trip commute... On the edge?

Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:07 am

I would consider the Mercades if my pocket was deeper. They seem to be estimating close to a 100 mile range. The BMW range is similar to the FFE without the range extender. For me, part of the joy of an EV will be freedom from the burdens of a combustion engine. I wouldn't be interested in a range extender.

The FFE is right in my sweetspot partially because the price is right. Ford is offering some serious incentives which combined with the tax credits make it quite affordable. Plus, it's a very nice car.

Thanks for all your insight and suggestions. I'll pop back and let you know what we decide.

Range happy!
2014 Ice Blue Metallic
Delivery October 2014

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