My grandfather purchased a white Telsa P85D a few months ago and so far he has been enjoying the car immensely. He loves the way it drives and handles the joys of electric car ownership. However i still don’t think he’s figured it out quite yet. Let me explain. Yesterday afternoon I got a call from my grandfather asking me if “I would call up Tesla and ask them to find him the nearest charging station”. Thinking he must have been close to home I named off a few that were close by. Apparently that wasn’t the case. He had driven his Telsa to Greenville, South Carolina and didn’t think he had enough range to make it home. (Don’t ask me why he was up there. The man likes to drive I guess.) I pulled up his car on the tesla app and saw that yes he only had 3o miles left and yep he was in Greenville, South Carolina. A solid 150 miles away from his home in Atlanta. For a man that drives one of the most technically advanced cars on the planet the man isn’t very tech savvy. He doesn’t have Plugshare and doesn’t know how to use the mapping feature in his car. After a few minutes of back and forth I found him a charge station at a local hotel and the charge would take a little over 8 hours to completely fill up the car.
Since I had nothing better to do that afternoon and I had been itching to drive the Telsa I decided to drive up to Greenville and trade out cars. He would drive my car home and I would wait for the Tesla to finish charging. On my drive up I pulled up the plugshare app and found a local campground that had a 50amp plug and they agreed to let me use a 50 amp plug for the evening.
Even with the higher amp rate I was still in for long wait. It was 150 miles back to Atlanta and I estimated the car needed at least 3-4 hours of charging before I would even attempt to drive back. So I settled in at the campground and made quick friends with the residents who were quick to strike up a conversation about my interesting situation. After a few lovely hours of chatting and swapping stories I felt confident enough that I would at least be able to make it a quick charge point at an outlet mall 80 miles away. The car said I had enough range for 120 miles but I felt best not to risk it. Before I started I plugged in my address into the car and the car mapped a route for me and told me whether or not I could make it. It wasn’t a good sign. According to the car I would need 5% more battery than what i had in order to make it home. Not a huge deal because I planned on stopping anyway. To maximize range I turned off the AC and all the non essentials and drove back a steady 60 mph with nothing but the sunroof open. I had driven the Telsa before but this was my first time really spending time behind the wheel. Let me say the Telsa really is unlike anything I have driven before. Its extremely comfortable and eerily quite. Driving back I had adaptive cruise on and a truck stopped quickly in front of me. The car slowed itself completely down without me touching a thing and when the truck sped up so did the Tesla. When another car would approach from the back the car would warn me of their presence and again when they passed. It really is some cool stuff.
As i continued my journey I noticed the cars range was steady climbing. When I had began the car said I would be 5% short to make it home. This number was dropping and my range was climbing. I figured out later that the Tesla predicts your driving style and adjusts the range accordingly. I guess since I was on a hyper mile run the car was adjusting to my style. I decided against stopping at the outlet mall and continued on my journey home. The car said I would be close but I decided to give it a shot.
As I reached closer to my destination I began to worry less about running out of battery. The car was claiming I had over 5% of what I needed to make it home. When i entered the garage that night I still had 10% of my battery left and enough to drive 26 more miles. This car really is amazing.