100 kWh Battery...Is It Really Necessary?

Dan Detweiler

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#1
I have been reading and watching everything EV, Tesla and Model 3 for the last year. Like everyone else I have been prioritizing my options on my Model 3 reservation based on perceived need and speculated cost. For the longest time the biggest battery pack was number 1 on my priority list. I held onto this belief even after driving a Chevy Volt for the past 4 years that gets 30-40 miles per charge and using 80% of my driving all electric. I justified this with the need to travel anywhere without the concern of running out of juice. Then two things happened that made me change my number 1 on my list.

First, the full autonomy was announced. After thinking about this long and hard I realized just how momentous this technology will be in the automotive industry. Even if I never see full autonomy sanctioned in my lifetime for nationwide use the technology of the enhanced autopilot and sensor suite will have a huge impact on my person ability to safely maintain my independence as I grow older, let alone the safety to the general public.

Second, I started to think about why I all of the sudden think I need 300 or 350 miles of range when I have been doing just fine with a car that gets around 35 miles of useful range. Every week I look at supercharge.info and see new Superchargers being built all over the country. I look at typical trip locations for me and see that I would not even have to bat an eye to get anywhere I might want to go (including visiting my mother in Maine from here in Atlanta) with the 215 miles of range promised on the smallest pack size. The few areas of the country that are still sparse (west Texas, North Dakota, etc.) are becoming fewer and fewer by the month.

Battery size has gone from being number one on my list to somewhere around 5 or 6 and falling fast. If it comes in a package with other options I feel have a higher value, so be it but I am certainly not going to spend thousands of dollars just for a bigger battery anymore. I think it was just another form of range anxiety. This time not founded or supported with any relevant facts for me. Just my thoughts and I am sure others will disagree. I would be curious if others have had a similar change of heart though.

Dan
 

Dan Detweiler

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#3
Hi @Dan Detweiler
though you might be right for American scenario, that is not the case here in Southern Europe.
If you zoom into Portugal and Spain on
SuperCharge.info
you'll see that battery anxiety is totally legitimate.

And Tesla cars are going to be world wide, not just nation (USA) wide.
I totally understand...and sympathize. Hopefully with time it will no longer be a concern for you either.

Dan
 

garsh

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#4
I'm getting the largest battery available. I've had too many episodes where my Leaf doesn't have enough range for a trip. I've managed to flat-line it three times. When the battery is low enough that the range indicator "gives up" and just shows dashes, and you've got several more miles to go before reaching your destination, it's a very stressful situation.

Superchargers are nice for making long trips possible, but the performance is poor compared to a gas station. Electric cars are still worth it because home charging is so much better than visiting gas stations. I'm willing to rely on superchargers for the occasional road trip, but I do not want to have to visit one just to complete a long day's errands.
 

Dan Detweiler

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#5
I'm getting the largest battery available. I've had too many episodes where my Leaf doesn't have enough range for a trip. I've managed to flat-line it three times. When the battery is low enough that the range indicator "gives up" and just shows dashes, and you've got several more miles to go before reaching your destination, it's a very stressful situation.

Superchargers are nice for making long trips possible, but the performance is poor compared to a gas station. Electric cars are still worth it because home charging is so much better than visiting gas stations. I'm willing to rely on superchargers for the occasional road trip, but I do not want to have to visit one just to complete a long day's errands.
You bring up an interesting point. We all have different needs and wants. I wonder what percentage of drivers log over 200 miles in a typical day (not including trips, vacations or the like)? That would be over 60,000 miles per year. That would certainly make a difference in one's perceptions!

Dan
 

BigBri

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#6
I very much agree with you. I get why it's enticing to some but I think range anxiety is constantly coming down as more and more places get connected with various charging options. My car will get around 420km per tank and usually I fill up maybe twice a month if that. The only reason I may get a larger battery is if it's part of an overall package like Trevor has suggested may be their route or if it's not too cost prohibitive with the other options. My thought is a bigger battery would give the car a longer lifespan before range got to be annoying. Losing 15% of a 215mile range would be a bit annoying for sure.
 

garsh

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#7
Don't fall for the "typical day" line of thought. The problem is that the outlier days happen more often than you think.

During my typical day, I drive a 60 mile round trip to work and back. But every now and then I need to run an errand on the way home from work. Some days, I need to drive the kids somewhere for an after-school activity. If there's a large snowfall, you'll find that those 60 miles can end up using twice as much kWh as it does during the typical day.

I want the extra range so that I can go back to just doing things, instead of planning every trip out to decide if I have enough juice to make it.
 

Dan Detweiler

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#8
Don't fall for the "typical day" line of thought. The problem is that the outlier days happen more often than you think.

During my typical day, I drive a 60 mile round trip to work and back. But every now and then I need to run an errand on the way home from work. Some days, I need to drive the kids somewhere for an after-school activity. If there's a large snowfall, you'll find that those 60 miles can end up using twice as much kWh as it does during the typical day.

I want the extra range so that I can go back to just doing things, instead of planning every trip out to decide if I have enough juice to make it.
I totally get all of that. Really, I've been in a Volt for 4 years! ;) Totally understand the impact of weather. For me, and I understand that it's just me, I have never had to go 200 miles in a day that wasn't a business or family trip where I would utilize the Supercharger network anyway. I wonder how many people would fall into that category.

Dan
 

Topher

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#9
The hardest trips I currently take are day trips. 100 miles out and back business trips, in directions other than the few nearby superchargers are nervous making. The number of Superchargers that would make this easy is probably not likely in the next five years.

Thank you kindly.
 

pjfw8

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#10
I totally get all of that. Really, I've been in a Volt for 4 years! ;) Totally understand the impact of weather. For me, and I understand that it's just me, I have never had to go 200 miles in a day that wasn't a business or family trip where I would utilize the Supercharger network anyway. I wonder how many people would fall into that category.

Dan
My 3 times per year trip from Hendersonville, NC to Michigan and Wisconsin would not be possible during the winter in an S60 or 75. IN summer my trip would take 2 days rather than 12 Hours. A 90 would be marginal. 100 plus would be a great relief. Also, I simply desire the luxury of long range. This reminds me of my neighbor buying a Camaro. his wife said the V6 was fine. He got the V8. It is extra fine!
 

Dan Detweiler

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#11
My 3 times per year trip from Hendersonville, NC to Michigan and Wisconsin would not be possible during the winter in an S60 or 75. IN summer my trip would take 2 days rather than 12 Hours. A 90 would be marginal. 100 plus would be a great relief. Also, I simply desire the luxury of long range. This reminds me of my neighbor buying a Camaro. his wife said the V6 was fine. He got the V8. It is extra fine!
When I plug in your trip on evtripplanner.com using very cold outside temperatures and a 600 lb. payload using an S60 with 19 inch wheels it has no problem routing the trip through Superchargers along the route. This with a charge buffer of 90% down to 15%. I have heard that this site is very accurate in it's predictions. Curious as to what would cause you to feel it was not doable.
 

Michael Russo

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#12
You bring up an interesting point. We all have different needs and wants. I wonder what percentage of drivers log over 200 miles in a typical day (not including trips, vacations or the like)? That would be over 60,000 miles per year. That would certainly make a difference in one's perceptions!

Dan
Exactly, different needs & wants... as well as different budgets... :) at the end of the day, If money was not an issue, I think that most of us would go for the 'Best' package, if this is the way T≡SLA goes, whether it is for the car to drive 'ludicrously', for possible full self driving capability, for the longest range... or all of the above...

However, since I also imagine that most (certainly me... :)) don't have unlimited funds, choices will have to be made... as for range, if you are going to take the car on a hike across country (whichever that country is, except for Monaco... :p) you are going to appreciate the ability to go a little longer and not have to stop every 2-2.5 hours for up to 45-60' supercharging... that is why I am still hoping that Model ≡ will have at least 240-250 miles of range in the base case (a psychological win over GM's electric box) and.... that I can convince my personal CEO @ home that a 'Better' 75D represents the best value for money!!

Great evening/day to all!
 

MelindaV

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#13
for me, I'd rather spend the money on other options than a larger battery. 200ish miles is fine for me.
Yesterday I filled up my car, 229 miles since the prior fill-up 8 days earlier. There are obviously weeks I have many more miles than this, but more times than not, I fill up no more than once a week. and days where I drive a total of 200 miles in a day are in directions with superchargers.
 

Michael Russo

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#15
for me, I'd rather spend the money on other options than a larger battery. 200ish miles is fine for me.
Yesterday I filled up my car, 229 miles since the prior fill-up 8 days earlier. There are obviously weeks I have many more miles than this, but more times than not, I fill up no more than once a week. and days where I drive a total of 200 miles in a day are in directions with superchargers.
@MelindaV , well, there you go, sounds like one this one, you've got it covered... I know, coming from driving almost 40k miles/year in recent times and expecting to maintain at least half of that when I retire (betting on at least 3-4 round trips of min. 1,500 miles/year, that my range autonomy & SC needs will put be in a slightly place... :)
Diversity, diversity in the Model ≡ family... :)
 
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#16
I like to attempt to plan for the unexpected. Anything could happen. Job distance can change. If you have to move, family visit distances change. An emergency that takes you off the beaten path could occur. Then, add the different weather effects to battery range and you could end up in trouble. Therefore, max range is what I'm going for. It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
 

pjfw8

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#17
When I plug in your trip on evtripplanner.com using very cold outside temperatures and a 600 lb. payload using an S60 with 19 inch wheels it has no problem routing the trip through Superchargers along the route. This with a charge buffer of 90% down to 15%. I have heard that this site is very accurate in it's predictions. Curious as to what would cause you to feel it was not doable.
What range are you estimating for a cold winter day? Have you reviewed the experience of Canadian owners? it looks like 150 would be a reliable number for an S 60. Stopping at every supercharger along the road might work but that would add many hours to a trip which I could easily complete in 12 hours now. With an S 90 I would stop in London Kentucky, Louisville and Lafayette Indiana. That requires more than 200 miles of reliable winter range. That is well beyond the capability of any thing other than a 90d on a cold winter day. I have driven this road a dozen times in my imaginary Tesla. Even with a 90 on a 10° day with wind this could be very very nerve-racking. I am also curious. How many hours do you anticipate taking to travel from Hendersonville to Milwaukee?
 

Dan Detweiler

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#18
What range are you estimating for a cold winter day? Have you reviewed the experience of Canadian owners? it looks like 150 would be a reliable number for an S 60. Stopping at every supercharger along the road might work but that would add many hours to a trip which I could easily complete in 12 hours now. With an S 90 I would stop in London Kentucky, Louisville and Lafayette Indiana. That requires more than 200 miles of reliable winter range. That is well beyond the capability of any thing other than a 90d on a cold winter day. I have driven this road a dozen times in my imaginary Tesla. Even with a 90 on a 10° day with wind this could be very very nerve-racking. I am also curious. How many hours do you anticipate taking to travel from Hendersonville to Milwaukee?
Evtripplanner shows 23 hours. That includes charging.
 

pjfw8

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#19
Evtripplanner shows 23 hours. That includes charging.
In my Ford fusion energy it takes 12 hours. A little longer if we take a long lunch. 13 hours would be a typical leisurely pace for us. I appreciate your interest in this. I certainly agree that many people over buy their battery.