Cable News
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Roadtrip to SLC
in our Model 3

Mark D Larsen
August 9-11, 2018

We took yet another roadtrip in our Tesla Model 3, this time up north to Salt Lake City. Tamara’s newlywed niece, Haley, has been accepted into medical school at my alma mater, the University of Utah, so we wanted to attend the initiation ceremony where she and her new classmates would receive their white coats and stethoscopes. We supercharged the car in Beaver and Nephi en route, both coming and going, and I have posted annotated photos of the trip below.

NOTE: You can click on the following photos to enlarge them, and the movies to play them.

I charged Correcaminos to 90% for the first leg of the journey, and then lowered the limit to my usual 80% for faster charging en route. The Tesla app estimated that this would give us 283 miles of range.

I reset the trip odometer at the outset. You can see that, when we left, we had now driven our Model 3 more than 5K miles.

Here I give an introductory narration about where we are headed and comment on the smoke that was blanketing Utah from all the wildfires.

In this clip I wanted to show how the Model 3’s Autopilot can easily change lanes when on the interstate to go around slower vehicles.

We arrived at the Beaver superchargers after climbing more than 2,800 feet in elevation, which raised our energy efficiency for the trip to 281 Wh/mi = 3.56 miles-per-kWh. At the top of the page is a photo at this supercharger.

When we arrived, the battery had about 140 miles of range left, so we had used 143 since departing, even though we'd only driven 113, due to the elevation change. I took this photo of the display a few minutes after plugging in at the supercharger.

And here is the display after charging had finished at 80%, estimating 248 miles of range. If you compare the time in these two displays, you’ll see that the supercharge took only 18 minutes, rather than the 30 predicted.

We arrived at the next superchargers in Nephi with 229 miles on the trip odometer, having driven 116 more.

The speed of Tesla’s superchargers never ceases to amaze me. As you can see in this screenshot, with the battery slightly more than half full, it was recharging at an astounding rate of 477 miles-per-hour.

I understand that the rate was so optimal because Correcaminos was the only Tesla there that afternoon, gulping down all the electrons available.

‘Tisa was glad to take a break —and so were we.

My condolences went out to the huge, unfortunate, kamikazi insect that had tried to duplicate a Tesla logo on Correcaminos’ nose. Thank goodness the paint has a ceramic coating to help protect it from such acid!

Here you can see that the smoke from the wildfires is as bad as ever.

Within just a few minutes, the battery was again charged to 80%, ready to continue on the last leg of the roadtrip.

I wanted to show in this clip how Autopilot handles congested, stop-and-go traffic on the freeway. I am now convinced that, if one drives in such conditions on a daily basis, Autopilot is a absolute necessity —rather than a frill or luxury.

We checked into our motel, which offered Destination Charging, so we could keep Correcaminos topped up for free during our stay. We then met with Haley and her parents to go to dinner.

The next morning, we parked near the campus building where I used to teach classes. I found it curious that the University of Utah now struck me as familiar, yet different. The saplings that had been planted when I was a student were now large, tall trees!

Here you can see all the first-year medical students in their white coats on the steps of Kingsbury Hall where the initiation ceremony took place.

Here are Haley and her husband, Charlie, with her roommate and her husband.

Time for refreshments on the Quad, where we were joined by Charlie’s folks and Haley’s parents (Tamara’s sister and brother-in-law, Lisa and Dean).

Here is another shot of the two blonde cousins after the ceremony.

We then all went out to dinner that evening. We really enjoyed attending the initiation and getting together with family.

The next day, we decided to visit Park City, Heber City, and Sundance with Lisa and Dean before heading home. Unfortunately, the skies were still so smokey that we could barely see the mountains.

Here are Dean, Lisa, and Tamara at Sundance. It’s just too bad that the view of Mount Timpanogos was so hazy.

And here is the threesome on the bridge over Sundance creek.

When we arrived back at the Nephi superchargers, we had now driven nearly 476 miles on the trip, averaging 246 Wh/mi = 4.06 miles-per-kWh. Not bad for freeway driving!

Supercharging at a whopping 472 miles-per-hour, the display estimated 30 minutes to again reach 80%.

However, as with previous sessions, it only took 18 minutes to finish charging. You can’t beat that!

As you’ve probably noticed, the charging screen displays in the bottom right corner how much a supercharging session costs. Note, however, that this total doesn’t include the sales tax, which later appears on one’s “My Tesla” web page (see below).

While driving from Nephi to Beaver, I made a point of stopping in Fillmore, simply to take a photo of the J1772 charger and dual DCFC that Chargepoint had installed there. I had to smile upon seeing that two Chevy Bolts were using them. According to Plugshare, it costs $5.00 to plug in at the DCFC, plus 25¢ per kWh, plus sales tax. Ergo, charging 30 kWh from the DCFC would cost $13.24, compared to $6.60 at a Tesla supercharger in Utah (see below) —twice as much!

We faced strong headwinds on the way to Beaver, which raised our energy efficiency to 257 Wh/mi = 3.89 miles-per-kWh.

‘Tisa was a patient Pom during the entire roadtrip, and appreciated that we would stop every couple of hours to stretch her legs and... empty her tank.

In Beaver, we discovered that the 1B unit was not working and only caused our “T” LED to blink yellow. We then plugged into the 1A charger, even though the button on its handle wouldn’t open our charging port. A white Model S pulled in while we were recharging, and later a white Model X also showed up, right before we left.

After plugging in, I saw that the display predicted 40 more minutes to finish recharging to 80%.

However, once again it took fewer minutes than the prediction, in this instance only 27.

In fact, out of curiosity I had decided to time the entire session, and thus started the stop watch on my iPhone right after plugging in. When the charge finished, this is how long it took to put an estimated 150 miles back into the battery. I’ll take it!

In reality, however, we had only driven 116 miles, so the strong headwinds had taken its toll on our energy efficiency. Indeed, this proved to be the most expensive charge of the trip, since we had used more kWh than usual.

We pulled back into our garage with nearly 705 miles on the trip odometer. Our lifetime energy efficiency had risen 2 Wh/mi more than when we left because of all the freeway driving.

We had used about half of the charge since Beaver. Home again!

As I indicated earlier, the supercharging fees displayed en route didn’t include sales tax, so below are the total results from “My Tesla” page. It’s not as if we bought our Model 3 just to “save money,” but it is worth noting that, if we’d kept our previous gas car, the fuel cost for this trip would have been $120.20. The total cost for supercharging was only... $26.62! What’s not to like?

Yet another roadtrip behind us, and I am more thrilled with Correcaminos than ever. What a wonderful, quiet, comfortable, responsive, nimble, clean, green, mean machine! Why in the world anyone would want to keep driving a gas car is beyond me. Thanks, Tesla!