Fall Getaway 2022 - Day 1 - Dallas to Albuquerque

The first leg of our trip was from our home just north of Dallas, TX to a friends house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we would spend a couple of nights. As part of my trip planning I again used the "A Better Route Planner" app (ABRP) which suggested it would take 11 hours and 14 minutes to cover the 653 miles, requiring 5 charging sessions totaling 2 hours and 13 minutes. While it's not really necessary to bother with advanced planning like this, it does allow me to figure out where we will be at lunch or dinner time and figure out what food options are need whichever charging stop that is, after all, if there isn't much there, I know to hit a drive-through on the way. Once I've figured that out I extend the relevant charging stop to 45 minutes or so and get ABRP to re-calculate.

ABRP is quite useful for trip planning but it's not as accurate as Tesla's own built-in nav system. It wanted us to make an additional charging stop in Tucumcari (between Amarillo and Santa Rosa) for just 5 minutes but the Tesla knew better and skipped that one, and as a result we arrived 15 minutes quicker than the ABRP estimate. But in both cases, Amarillo was clearly going to be the lunch stop.

We left around 7:45am, skipping breakfast, but took some pastries with us to eat at the first charging stop. When we took this trip to Albuquerque earlier this year we faced a lot of headwinds so I was charging a little extra, but since then Tesla have updated the Nav to take wind conditions and the higher energy use into account so we just followed the charging recommendations which turned out to be pretty much bang on.

We arrived in Amarillo around 2pm and after wasting 10 minutes on a failed attempt to get a table at a Sushi spot we knew we were in danger of running out of time to eat before the car completed charging. This is an issue the media and general public doesn't get when it comes to EV charging, you're not waiting around for the car, for the most part the car ends up waiting around for you, and most will happily go from 10% to full in well under an hour making a sit down meal tricky to pull off before you start getting hit with idle fees of a $1 per minute for blocking the charger after the battery has filled up... So we went with fast food at a chicken spot which turned out to be pretty decent and walked out of the restaurant with full stomachs to a notice from the car saying it had reached the charging limit of 95% that I had set.

The rest of the run was uneventful, covering distance in a Tesla is a pretty straightforward thing, we just had a single restroom stop to make before arriving in downtown Albuquerque at 5:45pm, exactly when the nav had predicted we would when we left home this morning...

Day 1 Trip Summary
DescriptionDistanceTime TakenBattery
Drive to Henrietta, TX116 miles1 h 48 min39% on arrival
Charging / Restroom stop0 miles26 min86% on departure
Drive to Childress, TX129 miles1 h 46 min15% on arrival
Charging / Restroom stop0 miles28 min80% on departure
Drive to Amarillo TX121 miles1 h 46 min36% on arrival
Charging / Lunch stop0 miles49 min95% on departure
Drive to Santa Rosa, NM163 miles2 h 4 min20% on arrival
Charging / Restroom stop0 miles23 min77% on departure
Drive to Albuquerque, NM115 miles1 h 29 min23% on arrival
TOTAL644 miles10 h 59 min$67.91 charging costs

In terms of a comparison to a gas car, yes the trip took longer, but not by much when you look into it... On a previous trip in our gas SUV a restroom and drink refill stop would typically take 15 minutes so a quick look at the table shows we spent an extra 32 minutes across those 3 stops. However, at the speeds we were doing we would need to make 2 gas stops at at least 5 minutes each, so all-in I'd estimate a gas car being at most only 25 minutes faster than the Tesla experience. Not very noticeable on a 10.5 to 11 hour trip...

As our friends don't have an EV and thus don't have a proper high power connection for us to use we decided to charge up at the 250kW v3 Superchargers in downtown Albuquerque while we grabbed dinner from a California Pizza Kitchen in the adjacent shopping area. Once again it was a race back to the car which hit 100% just as we walked back to the parking lot, which cost us $25.37. By the time we arrived at our final stop in Rio Rancho in the north west of the city we would park up with 94% battery remaining.

Driving across Texas can be fairly dull, but here is a video of one of the numerous windfarms we saw on the way:


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