The annual road trip with my Model S is done. Over 2000km and 10 supercharging stops – this roadtrip covered only two countries this time – Belgium and France:
Some notes along the way:
- for the first time since I bough my Model S, I noticed a queue at one supercharger. A good sign, I suppose (Tesla fleet increasing), but also a worrying one – the supercharging network must be expanded quicker so that it doesn’t become a victim of its own success
- charging tip: if you use a power extender, make sure you unroll the cord. Leaving it rolled while you charge will make the extender’s thermal protection kick in, especially under the Provence summer heat (the extender will also have a restart button which you can use after it cools down).
- another charging tip: while supercharging I started to turn the cabin climate off. Walk away from the car, let it supercharge, and then, a few minutes before I go, stop charging and then cool the car. This way I avoid putting pressure on the cooling system; as I learned the hard way last year, there are parts of it that cool both the battery and the cabin.
- uphill roads will eat up the range pretty quickly. For instance, an elevation difference of 1200m over 21km ate up about 90km of range. Doing the same trip with an empty car doesn’t change things too much.
- the increase in speed will eat up the range in a non-linear way. An average of 110-115km/h will keep the ‘consumption’ under 180 Wh/km, even with a full car. Going up to 130-135km will take that up to over 220 Wh/km. Non-linear, as I said: the speed goes only 17% up, but the consumption increases by 22%
- the only incident during this road trip: the driver’s door handle is now stuck half-open and I can no longer open the door from the outside. The problem is not uncommon apparently:
Tesla Model S doors, in fact all Tesla doors, are opened electro-mechanically. When you pull the door handle to unlock the door you are not mechanically releasing the door, you are actually making the door handle close a micro-switch which then triggers an electronic component to release the door. What can happen is one of the microswitches (highlighted on the picture) or the wiring coming out of it can fail and the signal either doesn’t get created or doesn’t get transmitted to where its needed.https://tesla-info.com/blog/tesla-model-s-door-handle-repair.html