Posted on December 15, 2014 by Matt Pressman
Guest Post: Cliff Hannel runs EVTripPlanner along with his family (Ben, Jord, and Tess). Cliff is an Engineer by training, general technologist by nature and an enthusiastic Model S driver. He is contributing this article to help Model S owners avoid the pitfalls of Rated Miles and Average Wh/mi.
Range Anxiety: in the real-world, will I have enough energy in my battery to get where I’m trying to go?
Unfortunately, Tesla and other EV manufacturers don’t really give us the tools to answer this question. They only know about historical energy usage, long-term averages, EPA ratings and “ideal” numbers. But “Rated Miles” (the average that Tesla uses) and historical usage might have little to do with where you are about to go – up a mountain or into the heat of the desert or variable traffic conditions. The Navigation system knows about your route, but there is no integration with estimated energy usage to drive that route!
This is where EVTripPlanner comes in. It provides the information that Tesla doesn’t. You simply enter your route (like in Google Maps) and it:
1. Automatically routes through Superchargers from our frequently-updated database of chargers
2. Shows conventional chargers along the way and at your destination
3. Accounts for real-world conditions to estimate energy use (in kWh and Rated Miles) for each segment of your trip:
For the more engineering-inclined, EVTripPlanner provides more detailed information in tables and a downloadable CSV (Excel) format. The chart below shows how many rated miles to get to each waypoint/charger (color-coded green/yellow/red to show how close you’re cutting things – so you know if you should slow down or get a charge between stations).
You can visit EVTripPlanner.com to see more of what it can do and perform your own what-if experiments. The site also has downloadable reference sheets and links to other useful resources. We have thousands of users reporting accurate results with the Planner – had they just used averages and historical data they would have made bad predictions and potentially be saddled with Range Anxiety.
Coming in early 2015: EVTripPlanner will release an in-car companion application that runs in the browser alongside the Nav screen. It will show real-time Rated-Miles-to-Next-Charger, chargers (conventional and super) along the route and other useful real-time information that Tesla does NOT provide in either the Nav or Energy apps.