The trek from Williams Lake to Prince George began as I stowed the charging cables with enough juice in the battery to give us about a 25 mile reserve at the end of the 150 mile trip. Our ETA at Prince George was expected to be about 5:00 am, due to the slow driving speed I would use in order to maximize range. Off we went into the night, with temperatures below 50 degrees F now. I left the heat off, mostly, and wore my North Face jacket while Iceman snuggled comfortably on the back seat. Soon, though, the twists and turns of the road prompted Ice to move into the secure space on the floor between the two seats. That dog is no dummy.
This was deer country and I kept us at between 45 mph and 50 mph. My speedometer read in kilometers/hr., though, because I had switched the units after crossing the border. Some electricity was needed from time to time to defrost the rear window and keep the windshield clear. We cruised through patches of fog and then emerged again. The Tesla’s auto high-beams worked well to illuminate the road when no other vehicles were near. At this speed and with high beams on, there wasn’t much chance of hitting an animal. Mostly, the traffic was truckers in semis, and I would sometimes speed up until reaching a passing zone where they could get by. What bothered me was that at this lower speed we weren’t seeing the range improvements I had expected.
To make matters worse, Tesla’s navigation software is not yet optimized for off-network drives, and instead of giving me an estimate of electrical reserve on the Williams Lake to Prince George route, it insisted in routing me back to Kamloops for a charging top off. As I neared the point where not enough range remained to make Kamloops, I received the following message.
Not long afterwards, the Tesla alerted me with an even more dire warning. These messages that I was about to enter the charging twilight zone did not improve my state of mind.
Closer to Prince George now, and two semis were behind and I sped up to nearly 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) until the next passing lane. Coming around a curve I saw the carcass of a newly-killed deer in the other lane. Yep, speeding up this much was a bad idea in these conditions. I arrived at my destination in Prince George with only 20 miles of reserve and a warning from the Tesla that with temps now at 40 degrees F, any further decrease in temperature would noticeably degrade battery performance.