Check Out This EV Trip / Range Maximization Data From Tesla Owners

Tesla Model S

JUL 13 2018 BY EVANNEX 12


A Better Routeplanner, a blog that discusses EV trip planning and ways to maximize range, has amassed an impressive database of driving data from Tesla owners (you can donate data too, by logging in to MyTesla in ABRP and checking “Share Data with ABRP”).

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla’s Model S (Twitter: Tesla)

Published specs are all very well, but it’s always valuable to be able to compare these to real-world data from vehicles that are actually on the road around the world, and that’s what ABRP has set out to do. ABRP’s database currently includes 805 Teslas, which have logged some 2.6 million data points to date, representing about 217,000 miles of driving. Data guru Bo has crunched the numbers to generate some interesting charts that correlate range with speed and temperature.

In an earlier blog post, ABRP correlated power consumption with speed. As the chart shows, individual data points are all over the map, but the overall trend is just what you’d expect: higher power consumption at higher speeds. At 65 mph on a flat road, the median Model S consumes about 20 kW. That’s a lot of power – the large and powerful Model S is not the most efficient of EVs – but it’s far less than any fossil vehicle would burn. ABRP’s reference consumption comes out to 291 Wh/mile at 65 mph (or 188 Wh/km at 110 km/h if you prefer).

Above: A look at Tesla Model S power consumption vs. speed (Source: A Better Routeplanner)

A more recent post addressed the question of how range is affected by outside temperatures. ABRP has now collected data all through the (northern hemisphere) winter and the beginning of the summer, so there’s enough data to compare the energy consumption of the Model S and Model X in different temperature ranges (Model 3 owners have not provided enough data yet).

Above: Consumed Power, Range, Speed, and Temperature data from 805 Teslas (Source: A Better Routeplanner)

Analytical minds will want to go to the ABRP site to get the details of Bo’s methodology, but the charts tell the story: cold-weather driving generally consumes a lot more power. The main reason for this is surely cabin heating, which appears to consume around 5-6 kW at very low temperatures. However, there are probably also other factors at work: battery capacity is known to be affected by extreme temperatures, and cold weather also means snow, rain and ice on the road.

ABRP found that “while it is unclear exactly what the source of higher consumption at lower temperatures is…it is very clear that on average, lower temperatures lead to significantly higher power consumption and therefore also less range.”

According to ABRP’s real-world data, the maximum range of a Model S at temperatures below freezing is about 22% less than at temperatures above 20° C (68° F), and almost exactly the same range reduction was found for the Model X. Stay tuned to ABRP to find out how cold temperatures affect Model 3.


Written by: Charles Morris; Source: A Better Routeplanner

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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12 Comments on "Check Out This EV Trip / Range Maximization Data From Tesla Owners"

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“ABRP found that “while it is unclear exactly what the source of higher consumption at lower temperatures is…”

— Cold air is more dense, .. therefore more drag. ABRP could develop features as to how you heat (i.e. cabin temp, just seat heater, etc.. if they want to get down into the range details.
Also, they could pull the route forecast winds and temperatures from outside sources.

/it’s a neat program, but could be developed further

Yes, but that’s not the full explanation, or you would not see higher consumption at the very low speeds. See how the first part of the graph is nearly linear? That’s because at low speeds rolling resistance dominates, and that is proportional to speed. (Which is to say the energy used to overcome rolling resistance is independent of speed and proportional to distance traveled.) At higher speeds air resistance dominates, and then air density of course matters.

Can Tesla release Data on many trips do its owners make that the need of Supercharger is necessary? This whole Tesla has a network is confusing me

I think the reason is not because they think every owner is traveling hundreds of miles per day every day. The reason the Tesla Supercharger is necessary is so that on the occasion that a Tesla owner has to go longer than the range of the car, it is easy to do. Lastly, but also the most important reason, is because Tesla wants to transition the world to electric transportation. In order for people to switch to electric cars, they have to see them as being just as convenient as a gasoline vehicle for any use case, without the Supercharger, they are not as convenient to just get in the car and drive somewhere.

With all due respect, Teslas are far from “equally convenient as gasoline vehicles for all use cases”. Try to attach a caravan and go on a camping holiday the same way you’d do with any fossil-burner, and the matter will be clarified for you very quickly indeed. They’re making it as convenient as they can within reason. But for now, that’s very far from exactly as convenient as ICE in some use cases. We can ignore those use cases however, because they are so few, and because, contrary to what you seem to be indicating, people can and will adapt a bit IF they have a good reason for doing so. Look at some of Tesla-Bjørn’s trip videos at YouTube if you really imagine supercharging is equivalent to filing a tank. His trip from Oslo to Bodø, about 1300 km each way, with a fairly small boat on tow on the northbound leg, is instructive. But Bjørn clearly is willing to adapt, and he takes many long trips in Optimus Prime, his Model X. That may have something to do with fuel costing $9 per gallon in oil-exporting Norway. And EVs, for the time being, not having to pay to… Read more »
The towing a trailer or small boat may be over emphasized. Yes, you do see them on the interstates, and I know some take them to warmer climates each winter such as the snowbirds to Florida or Arizona, but most travel only a short distance. If I may use myself as an example. I own a small pop-up, 1500 pounds loaded. We have had it for 9 years. We have taken one trip of 600 miles each way, another 5 of 200 – 400 miles in those 9 years. That is less than one long trip per year. The vast majority (50+) have been 7 – 50 miles to nearby lakes easily doable by an EV rated to tow. And, free charging at the campground, although it may be 110. You are right that EV’s are not as convenient as gasoline cars at this moment. They may never fill up a tank in three minutes as you can today with “pay at pump”. My requirement is can I go 625 miles in one day. I make that trip twice a year to visit family. With a Tesla or Volt, I could. With a Bolt or Leaf, no. There is no… Read more »


Above 80 degrees range also tanks, due to A/C. It’s a side effect of all of that glass.

A/C uses almost no energy at ALL compared to what’s required to push the car through the air at 70 mph. On long trips at highway speeds it’s irrelevant, or at least only a couple percent of total consumption. If you are driving around at 40 mph or less for many hours, A/C starts to become a noticeable component. But I doubt a lot of people are driving this slowly and still need supercharging. At least there will be so many hours of driving before supercharging is needed that you may need a break sufficiently long for a meal, a trip to the loo, and a coffee. Of course if you park repeatedly in the sun on a 105-degree day and drive many short trips, a much larger share of energy use will go to the initial cooling of the cabin. And if you use the “keep cool” feature the car will spend some energy on cooling even while parked. Consumption would go up markedly. But again, that’s NOT a range issue. (In my book at least, high consumption and not range would be the problem in a scenario like this, because although high consumption means less range, it is… Read more »

AC consumption is also offset by the improved aero of having your windows rolled up.

This looks comparable to Chevy Bolt range with speed and temperature factors at the Bolt forum.

Essentially, plan for 30% reduction on EPA range on highway trips (assuming around 65-75mph).

At low temperatures, there is a significant energy drain to heat the battery to optimal operational temperature – I see this in my model S when I first set off in the winter. Battery heating uses a lot more energy than heating the air in the cabin. Power expenditure is limited for about the first 30miles while the battery is brought up to optimal temp. Once I can use full power, kWh/mile drops off again. On a long run, the battery stays at optimal.

One consequence of this effect is that power expenditure per mile varies a lot by trip length in the cold. If you’re only making short trips, the battery never gets up to temperature and you’re all ways heating it. On long runs, most of the time you are at optimal.