Route Planning: Simple Multi-Segment Trip with Vampire Drain
How to use EVTO to plan a multi-day trip that are made up of individual daily trip segments. One segment has a multi-day stopover, uncharged, with significant vampire drain.
The Big Picture
EVTO is an effective tool for planning long trips due to the fact that it has individual energy consumption modeling for each step of the trip with weather calculations, unique start times, speed adjustments, power factors, minimum state of charge (SoC) and reserved energy for local travel for each trip segment. Each day of your trip can present unique characteristics that have significant impact on that days travel so your planning tool needs to take that into consideration.
In addition, with the small form factors of a mobile device you will utilize on the trip, it is important that only the information pertinent to your active trip segment takes precedent, while the rest of the trip information is active from a simple touch. A trip with dozens of waypoints would be impossible to display effectively on mobile phones. Using a different trip segment for each day allows EVTO to not only be more accurate in depicting your trips characteristics for planning, but also allows you an effective user experiencing on your mobile device. While larger form factors are great for planning, they simply won’t work effectively on smaller mobile devices. EVTO’s unique set of features and user design allows for both situations; planning and en route reference.
In this tutorial we will explain how to quickly use EVTO to plan for an extended multi-day road trip using the segment approach unique to EVTO. In addition we will be demonstrating the feature within EVTO to calculate and adjust charging estimates for multi-day vampire drain, when the car is not plugged in a charger.
More information on EVTO’s use of trip segments can be found at All About Trips, Routes and Segments.
Note: This tutorial assumes you have installed at least EVTO Version 5 and have a subscription active in order to utilize all of EVTO’s services and capabilities.
My Cars dialog with the Other tab selected
Step 1: Configuring EVTO
Driving an electric vehicle long distances is not difficult but does require additional planning. This is obviously one of the major reasons you have elected to use EVTO for your EV trip planning purposes. Not only do longer multi-day trips require overnight stays, but with an EV, you have to understand how charging will affect your travel times. By using EVTO you will not only understand the various impacts common with EV road trips, but EVTO will attempt to insure these impacts are at a minimum while providing you information that will be invaluable as you take your trip.
When planning multi-day trips there are a few features that you may want to configure in EVTO to help you during your planning exercise:
- The maximum amount of time you wish to drive between charging stops
- The maximum amount of time you wish to travel each day
- The amount of energy per day your car consumes when not plugged in a charger (vampire drain)
EVTO can take all of these attributes into its planning process and are unique to each of your car profiles. For example you could have one car profile set for daily commuting and another set for long road trips. Each with a different set of these attributes.
- Select My Cars from the main menu
- Choose or configure the car profile you will be using for multi-day road trips
- Select the Other tab from the top of the popup panel
- Choose Infinity in the Max Drive Time from the drop down selector
- Choose 7:00 in the Max Day Time from the drop down selector
- Verify or change the kWh per day your car consumes with vampire drain (default is 2)
- Check the Vampire Drain checkbox
- Select Save to capture these values
The choice of Infinity in the Max Drive Time will mean that for this tutorial EVTO will only define it’s charger selection based on the optimization model you have selected. Choosing a time value would force EVTO to look for chargers that can be accessed at or before that time, even though a more distant charger could make the overall trip time more optimal.
Note a setting other than Infinity could result in no chargers being available within that travel time and thus having EVTO not finding a suitable route. Be careful when using a setting other than Infinity.
The choice of 7:00 in the Max Day Time will inform EVTO that you do not wish to travel for longer than seven hours in any given day. EVTO will utilize this in any feature that plans your days overall travel times including driving, charging and additional waypoint stop times.
The default setting of 2 kWh per day vampire drain loss should be verified with your own car but is a good starting point. This represents the energy loss your car has for each day it is not plugged in a charger. This will be used when the car sits unused and not plugged in for one or more days. It will include fractional hours between charging times.
New Trip dialog showing origin, destination and manual waypoint charger selection
Step 2: Input your start and end locations
For this trip we will be taking a multi-day trip to Banff, AB from Seattle, WA. We are going to take an exciting four day sea kayak adventure along the way where the Tesla will sit unplugged for over five days. We will also include two ferry rides to and from our takeoff point at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, WA. After this we will proceed to Banff with one overnight stop along the way. Altogether this will represent three segments in EVTO.
- In EVTO, select Plan a Trip from the Main menu.
- Origin: type seattle. From the list of results, select Seattle, WA, USA.
- Destination: type banff From the list of results, select Banff, AB, Canada.
- Since we’re planning a multi-day road trip leave Plan as a round trip unchecked.
- Waypoint Charger Selection: Manual. We’ll let EVTO automatically select the optimal charging points after we’ve laid in our mandatory stop.
- Touch Calculate.
In a few seconds EVTO will display a map with our trip routed without any charging stops. Notice the red destination pushpin indicating we don’t have sufficient charge to make it to Banff without charging along the way. You will also notice it is not going anywhere near our sea kayak trip in the San Juan Islands. We will fix that in the next step.
The route to Banff from Seattle without going to San Juan Island
Step 3: Adding stop at Friday Harbor
As was pointed out above we are going to go on a four day kayak trip in the San Juan Islands leaving from Friday Harbor. We are also going to do some sightseeing on the island one day before our trip, but using the local shuttle service. This will involve a ferry ride each way to/from the island and our car will be parked for over five days while we are out on the water paddling and looking for orcas. Our kayak trip starts early the 3rd morning and does not get back until late on the 6th day. There are no Tesla chargers on the island and the car will experience vampire drain while not plugged in so we need to plan our charging accordingly. EVTO will help us with this situation.
Adding Friday Harbor as a Segmented Waypoint
We are going to use the EVTO Add Waypoint dialog to not only select our stopover for these six days but also indicate to EVTO that this will be a separate segment of the trip with it’s own unique planning requirements from the other segments we will define. This is important because over the six days the weather could dramatically change en route which could significantly alter our energy consumption, charging stops and even where we might want to spend an additional night en route to Banff.
- From the menu choose Add Waypoint, the Add Waypoint dialog will appear
- Enter Location: type friday. Select Friday Harbor, WA, USA
- Check the Segment trip here checkbox.
- Touch Save.
After a few seconds EVTO will a add stop at Friday Harbor along with the ferry ride and also segment the trip here too. You will notice the routing to Banff now goes northward (shown in gray because it is not the active segment).
First Two Segments of Trip
As you can see from the image our routing now goes through San Juan Island and Friday Harbor for our kayak trip. You can also see that we are expected to arrive with 57% of the battery remaining, but some of this will be lost to vampire drain during our stay. We will let EVTO know how to calculate that next.
The First Segment Settings
Step 4: Modify Second Segment Departure Date
We need to make a small change to the second segment to indicate how long (six days) will we be stopped on San Juan Island. But before we do that I need to show you the current date for the first segment so you can see the change. Notice the date of 7/22/2019 for this example in the image above, the starting date for our trip.
This is also where you could override your default settings for such items as the original state of charge, what the minimum arrival state of charge is for waypoints in this segment, speed adjustment and power factor and other items. Clearly you do not want to select Avoid Ferries or we will never make it to the island!
Second Segment Edit Dialog
We need to make a small change to the second segment. The departure date by default is set to the following day but we are going to depart six days later, the 28th of July.
- From the map select the gray route from San Juan Island to Banff. This will make the second segment the active segment
- From the menu choose Edit Segment Details, the Edit Segment Details dialog will appear
- Change the Date to be six additional days, the 28th in this case
- Touch Save.
Do not alter the Org SoC % as EVTO will determine this for us. It will change based on the number of days we are staying and the effect of vampire drain on the cars battery. All the other settings should be left alone but you could change any of these as needed in your particular case.
Second Segment to Banff
Step 5: Filling in Chargers and Optimizing the Route
Now that we have our mandatory stop done for the kayak trip to Friday Harbor, we are ready to complete our trip to Banff. We don’t have any more mandatory stops identified so we will let EVTO plot the ideal course from here.
This is easily realized with one simple action. Just select Refresh Auto Chargers from the menu and in a few moments EVTO will have plotted the entire trip to Banff with the ideal charging stops along the way.
Second Segment Drive Day
Step 6: Determine Overnight Stop
After we leave Friday Harbor and take the ferry back to the mainland we will need to continue our trip to Banff. This will be too long to travel in one day so we will need to stop overnight somewhere.
EVTO has a feature to help us decide where to stop for the night. Remember when we set the days maximum travel time to seven hours in the first step? We are going to use that now.
On the map you will find an icon of a bed. Press that icon and the screen will show two concentric circles around the location EVTO estimates that you will be after seven hours of travel. The inner circle has a 30 minute travel radius and the outer circle a one hour travel radius.
Notice that the circles are centered near the Kamloops, BC supercharger. This sounds like an ideal place to stop for the night and we can charge the car to 90% while we have dinner.
Kamloops, BC Supercharger Waypoint Inspector
Step 7: Final Segment Creation
A simple way to create a new segment when you are stopping near a supercharger site for the night is the following:
- Select the Kamloops supercharger icon on the map. The Kamloops, BC Supercharger waypoint inspector will appear.
- Notice the pushpin icon on the waypoint inspector. This icon converts an auto assigned supercharger to a manually assigned supercharger.
- Select the icon. You will notice the little (A) symbol disappears from the map supercharger icon.
Now the charger is mandatory and we can also control all of the charging and stop times at this location. If we decide to do a Refresh Auto Chargers again for any reason, this charger will always be in the route unless we either delete it or convert it back to an auto charger.
The Kamloops Supercharger as a Manual Waypoint
Now to simply segment the trip here select the map supercharger icon again. When the Waypoint Inspector appears select the scissors icon. The trip will now be segmented at this location for our last day to Banff.
It is assumed that when you create a segment at a charging stop you will be charging to your default origin state of charge level as described in the Settings. The default is 90%. The default start date and time will be the next day and the start time you have set in Settings, in this case 8:00.
Final Segment to Banff, AB Canada
Notice now that the charger icon at Revelstoke, BC is gray and no longer green. This indicates there is no longer a requirement to stop here for the minimal trip time. This is because we charged to a higher level at Kamloops owing to the fact it was an overnight stop.
You can remove this waypoint if you wish or simply leave it in place just in case you want to stop there anyway. If you did a Refresh Auto Charger without making any other changes this charger would probably be absent as it is no longer needed.
We are expected to arrive in Banff at 4:35 local time which gives us plenty of time to clean up and rest before dinner. We consumed 188 kWh of power on this which includes about 11 kWh of vampire drain while parked at Friday Harbor for almost 6 days.
Final Route from Seattle to Banff with Side Trip
EVTO is a very effective tool for multi-day trip planning, especially on mobile devices. Its use of specialized algorithms for local weather impacts, tailoring conditions for each travel day and aids to assist you in determining not only how to get there but where to stay are unparalleled.
We have demonstrated how to easily plot your trip, how to decide how far you can travel each day within your comfort zone, a means to easily segment your trip into separate day trips and how to extend your trip if your plans change. We have also demonstrated how EVTO can calculate the cars “vampire drain” when it sits for long periods of time unplugged.
Be sure to review all of the EVTO website content when you get a chance to increase the effectiveness of your use with EVTO in trip planning.
Loading the Tutorial Trip
You may see the final results of this tutorial within EVTO by importing this trip. Follow these instructions:
- Go to Settings and verify or change the region to North America
- Go to My Cars and verify or set the features for the car you will use on this trip. Note we built the trip with a Long Range Model S.
- Go to Current Trips and select the Import menu item
- Enter the trip ID of x86g1nv53pi7ajq9nujo1r and the PIN as 1234.
- You will be warned that if you want to share the trip you will have to make a copy first.
- Select the newly loaded trip and it will open in the Plans panel
- Select Edit Trip from the menu and change the date to a date you would be interested in taking the trip.
- Select Save.
Got an idea for a tutorial? Let us know!