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It's 209 miles from the parking lot of a Chili's in Barstow, California, where we are, to the parking lot of a Carl's Jr. in Kingman, Arizona, where we need to go. I'm in a rented Tesla Model S, a sleek, battery-powered electric vehicle, with a travel companion. We're just about fully charged, and the car estimates it can travel 247 miles before we need more juice. That's a buffer of 38 miles, which should be more than enough to reach Kingman. We'll soon realize it isn't.

http://m.theatlanticcities.com/technology/2014/04/what-running-out-power-tesla-side-highway-taught-me-about-road-trip-tomorrow/8978/

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I can't help feeling that running flat was actually what this journalist wanted to do - otherwise he wouldn't have a story to sell.

Whether this was his goal or not, renting an EV and doing a long-distance trip through the desert without understanding much about EVs was not a wise move. It looks like he wasn't even considering the range v. distance until near the end of the trip, even though there was less than 20% margin at the start. When he did discover he was likely to run short he slowed down (good, though I wonder how fast he was going before), turned off the stereo (not much point) and dimmed the screen (pretty pointless again). I wonder if he still had heat or aircon running - almost certainly. Also, this is a good time to consider stopping off almost anywhere to get even a 110V charge. With no experience of the car it would have been worth finding a motel at this point too rather then risking running out of power at a random spot in the middle of nowhere at midnight, possibly without even mobile coverage!
 

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in my entire driving life, both EV and ICE I have never run out of fuel, not once, not ever. The reason is, I dont assume it will go forever and make sure it has sufficient range to get me where I am going. Why would anyone not do the same unless they wanted to make a point of running out ?
 

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Why would anyone not do the same unless they wanted to make a point of running out ?
As a novice driver I once ran out of petrol late at night on a lonely country road. It was a learning experience and I never did it again :)

Personally I think this could easily have been a mishap when using new and unfamiliar technology. The challenge for EVs is that when thing go wrong the end result can be dramatic...

 

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It seems to me that a simple solution to this would be to have gone to a local hire company and hired a small generator which would have supplied enough power for the three miles.
 

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Geoff that's not a bad idea once it got to the point of abandoning the car on the hard shoulder overnight. A couple of hours on a generator would have made more sense.

Maybe tesla could configure their DC charging as bi directional. Another tesla could pull up and donate some charge in a few mins.
 

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They should put a sticker on the dash of all new EVs with the EV driver's 'Rule No 1' - "If your range remaining (RR) is less than your distance to go (DTG), then SLOW DOWN!"... and then in small print "Always ensure you drive at a speed such that RR is less than DTG and you will always arrive with charge to spare." - all else being equal, of course! MW
 

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"I filled my ICE car up and the estimated range was 238 miles. I soon learned it wasn't going to make it all the way and so rather than stop at a gas station I drove it till the fuel ran out and I was stranded"
 

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