Westward Ho! 1500 Miles in My Tesla Model 3 Long Range with 2 Mountain Ebikes: Cost, Supercharging, Tips
My wife and I have just completed our annual 1500 mile trip from Three Lakes in northern Wisconsin to Lindon, Utah, 30 miles south of Salt Lake City. We take three days in our Tesla Model 3 Long Range just like we did previously with our Toyota Highlander gasmobile. This is true even with two big ebikes on the back on a receiver-mounted tray-type bike rack. For part one of this series, click here. Now, how about some fun and games on a long-distance EV road trip?
Do we have to make too many stops and spend too much time charging? I start with an overnight charge to 80% and I increase the charge limit to 90% an hour before departure. You will see below that we charged 16 times on our three-day 1500-mile trip. I estimate that 75% of the Superchargers are in the parking lot of a hotel or convenience store providing access to a clean bathroom. At the Supercharger in Evansville (near Casper), Wyoming, there are even waste baskets and windshield cleaning scraper/squeegees and fluid. At age 82 I don’t pass up a chance to use a bathroom. Meanwhile, my wife Mary goes walking our dog Zuni. If we are hungry, we stop for fast food and eat while charging. Recently, I walked 200 yards to a Burger King next door. Getting out and walking for a bit is good for the health of your legs and will prevent thrombosis. In any case, if we only need to charge to 60%, we are ready to go after the bathroom trip. If we need to charge to 80% or 90%, we need to sit a bit longer and so we browse the internet for another 15 minutes or so. Bottom line: we still make our 500-mile goal for the day and find the trip less stressful due to somewhat more frequent stopping.
My Supercharging Strategy
The two big mountain ebikes on back destroy the hard work Tesla has done to reduce the coefficient of friction of the car. I put the fuddy duddy aero-hubcaps back on for long road trips, but that only gains me a few percent more range. The advertised range on my Tesla Model 3 Long Range was 310 miles, but it is much less with 2 big ebikes on back. However, charging is not optimal for us when the Superchargers are more than 100 miles apart. Why? Because then we need to charge over 80%.
About 50% of the Superchargers on our route are V3 250 kW, while the other half are V2 150 kW. On our trip just now, it was unusual to see another Tesla charging, so we never had to power-share a 150 kW Supercharger. On the 150 kW chargers, charging would start at a rate of about 135 kW. However, by the time we reach 80% state of charge (SoC), the charging rate is already down to about 50 kW, and it’s even slower if you need to reach 90% SoC. Bottom line: It costs a lot of time to charge over 80% SoC. On a 250 kW charger, you may gain a few minutes charging from empty (~8%) to 60%, but after that, you don’t save anything. Tesla reduces the charge rate as the battery fills up to prevent damage to the battery.
Note the orientation of our car at the Chamberlain Supercharger in the picture above. We don’t back into the stall like everyone else if we can help it. This is because the rear distance sensors don’t work with bikes on back. On the regular Tesla back-in Superchargers stalls, my wife needs to get out and tell me how far to back up. A few of the Superchargers on our trip had one drive-by stall, which is perfect for us. If there were no other cars at the Supercharger, we would park sideways, as you see in the picture above. While this is a small problem for us, can you imagine the hoops you would have to jump through if you were pulling a trailer.
What did Supercharging cost us on our recent 1500 mile trip? I read that Tesla has raised the price on Supercharging recently. From experience, I found this to be the case. I know that the Beaver Utah Supercharger rate has gone up from 30 cents/kWh to 40 cents/kWh since last year.
How do you know how much Supercharging the car costs? On your screen, you see your bill increasing moment by moment while charging, but once you unplug, it’s gone. You need to look at your credit card bill to find out.
Charging in 16 Supercharger sessions driving 1500 miles from Wisconsin to Utah, here’s what I found (from my credit card statement, in reverse order):
- 23.03 — Evanston, Wyoming to Lindon, Utah: 99 miles
- 22.09 — Rock Springs, Wyoming to Evanston, Wyoming: 101 miles
- 26.03 — Rawlins, Wyoming to Rock Springs, Wyoming: 108 miles
- 17.55 — Casper, Wyoming to Rawlins, Wyoming: 123 miles
- 19.27 — Lusk, Wyoming to Casper, Wyoming: 102 miles
- 7.79 — Custer, South Dakota to Lusk, Wyoming: 108 miles
- 13.12 — Wall, South Dakota to Custer, South Dakota: 79 miles
- 16.81 — Murdo, South Dakota to Wall, South Dakota: 82 miles
- 14.35 — Chamberlain, South Dakota to Murdo, South Dakota: 74 miles
- 15.17 — Mitchell, South Dakota to Chamberlain, South Dakota: 71 miles
- 21.56 — Worthington, Minnesota to Mitchell, South Dakota: 128 miles
- 10.58 — Saint Peter, Minnesota to Worthington, Minnesota: 108 miles
- 14.76 — Bloomington, Minnesota to Saint Peter, Minnesota: 74 miles
- 13.72 — Menomonie, Wisconsin to Bloomington, Minnesota: 80 miles
- 10.97 — Wausau, Wisconsin to Menomonie, Wisconsin: 116 miles
- 10.71 — Three Lakes, Wisconsin to Wausau, Wisconsin: 84 miles
- Total miles = 1,522
- Total Supercharging cost = 244.52
Note the higher charging cost at the Wyoming Superchargers. Presumably, the cost of electricity is higher in Wyoming.
Estimated efficiency in a similarly size gasmobile with two big ebikes on back = 25 mpg. (Note: This is my guess. Perhaps someone can give me a better estimate.) So, 1522/25 = 60 gallons used (estimate). I saw gas ranging from 3.79 to 4.39 per gallon on my trip, so I will use 4/gallon. Estimated total cost for a gasmobile = 243.00
I used to tell people that I paid 2/3 of what a similar gas car would cost to drive my Tesla long distances. I’m not pleased to find that with Tesla’s new higher Supercharger fees, I estimate that the cost for driving a similarly size gasmobile on a long trip is about the same as the of the cost of driving my Tesla. That’s true even with the currently high gas prices. However, with my old Nissan LEAF, long-distance travel with an EV was impossible. Also, remember that local driving and charging at home still costs about 1/3 of the cost of fueling up a gasmobile.
Don’t Try Driving I-80 across Wyoming in a Ford Mustang Mach-E
The 5 Tesla Superchargers on I-80 in Wyoming were installed in 2014. Even now in 2022, eight years later, the only way to get across Wyoming on I-80 in an EV is with a Tesla.
Most Superchargers are spaced every 70 to 100 miles apart on Interstate highways. In this case, I set my speed to 75 mph and don’t worry about it. The maximum spacing on my route was 126 miles from Worthington, Minnesota to Mitchel, South Dakota. There is a Supercharger in Sioux Falls at roughly the midpoint, but it is in downtown Sioux Falls 7 miles off of I-90. That would necessitate a 14 mile detour from our route to use the Sioux Falls Supercharger. Tesla: Please put in another Supercharger right on I-90 at Sioux Falls! For longer charger spacing like this, I will start with my speed at 60 mph to make sure that I will make the next charger. I watch the estimated SoC for arrival at the next Supercharger. If the estimated arrival SoC increases, I increase my speed one mph at a time. I usually find myself at 75 mph for the last ~40 miles.
Since I made this trip last year, Tesla has installed two new V3 250 kW Superchargers in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and Saint Peter, Minnesota. I can now make my whole 1500-mile trip with no detours for Supercharging. On our trip driving from Wisconsin to North Carolina, there was one detour of ~50 miles. On our trip driving from Utah to Southern California, there were no detours. The Sioux Falls Supercharger I am requesting would make the trip less stressful, but I was able to proceed without taking the 14 mile detour.
New CCS–to–Tesla Charger Adapter
New CCS–to–Tesla charging adapter. 250 from Tesla. Image from Tesla website.
Crisscrossing the USA from Wisconsin to North Carolina, North Carolina to Utah, and Utah to Southern California, Tesla Superchargers are a godsend. I’ve never found a Supercharger out of order and I’ve never had to wait for a stall. However, there are a few places familiar to me, like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and some parts of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the Tesla Supercharger system is inadequate. I’m sure that there are many other places off the beaten track where driving your Tesla would be difficult. The nearly universal standard for non-Tesla charging is CCS. I can think of two situations where an adapter from CCS to Tesla would be helpful to my family.
Example 1: We like to drive from Three Lakes to the marvelous tourist town of Bayfield, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior with a ferry to nearby Madeline Island. The trip requires me to charge at the Chamber of Commerce in Bayfield for 6 hours. However, just south of Bayfield in Washburn, the Bayfield County seat has a 50 kW CCS charger that would make the trip much more convenient for us.
Example 2: When driving longs distance, we pick a hotel to stop at for the night that has a Tesla Supercharger nearby. When my daughter was driving her Tesla Model X from Utah to Wisconsin in 2021, she stayed at a hotel that had an Electrify America CCS charger with a power output up to 350 kW in the parking lot. She told me that she tried all her adapters and none of them worked. She could have charged at her hotel if she had a CCS-to-Tesla adapter rather than driving to the Tesla Supercharger about a mile away.
In the last few years, Electrify America, car dealerships, and other companies have put in thousands of CCS chargers. With money from President Biden’s infrastructure bill, there will be many thousands of CCS chargers installed around the country in the next years.
If there is a place you want to go but you can’t because there is no Supercharger on your route, bring up the PlugShare app on your phone. Switch the car specification from a Tesla to, say, a Chevy Bolt and see if there are CCS chargers that would make the trip possible.
A CCS-to-Tesla adapter would have solved the problem for us in both cases. A CCS-to-Tesla adapter has been available in South Korea for a couple of years and now is offered by Tesla in the US. It is bulky but reasonably priced at 250.
What company would you expect to be more tech savvy than Tesla? With that in mind, I challenge you to find the CCS-to-Tesla adapter on Tesla’s website. Or, for that matter, try to find the Tesla Mobile Connecter that costs only 200 but used to be supplied with every Tesla. I have found them both, but only after wandering around Tesla’s website for 15 minutes. Try this: Pick a Tesla model, like a Model 3; pick custom configuration and scroll down until you find the Mobile Connector. I’ve seen the CCS-to-Tesla adapter on the Tesla website, but I don’t know how to find it now. I’m sure a reader will explain in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section how to do this.
But not so fast! If your Tesla was purchased before October of 2020, like mine, the CCS-to-Tesla adapter won’t work! However, you can schedule an appointment with Tesla Service to have your car upgraded so that the CCS-to-Tesla adapter will work. I tried this. The response was that the upgrade is not available now! Tesla says: “please try again in 2023 and hopefully the upgrade to your car will be available at that time.” I hope the cost won’t be prohibitive.
With the Mobile Connector and CCS-to-Tesla adapter, you will be prepared for almost any situation on your trip.
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Post-Covid-19 demand in urban mobility
Korus said Chinese scooter manufacturer NIU is among the promising players operating in the space between small folding scooters and large motorcycles. The company, which went public in 2018, sells its app-supported Smart scooters in 38 countries across Asia, Europe and North and South America. Its stock has risen sharply. The stylish sit-on scooters offer up to 87 miles of range (140 km), multi-color dynamic gauge displays and GPS-based anti-theft systems.
NIU’s primary competition are low-cost manufacturers in China, which make scooters that are less Smart than its offerings, as well as the higher-end players out of Asia and Europe, which tend to be priced higher. A NIU model may sell for roughly 3,100, while a comparable Honda is over 5,000, a Vespa over 7,000, and a BMW anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000, according to Vincent Yu, a Needham Co. analyst.
NIU Technologies’ stock price has risen sharply, and it is profitable, though questions remain about how large the two-wheeled electric scooter market will be.
Korus noted that NIU’s software actively collects data that can be used to support fleet management, and allows the company to add value on top of just selling products. Fleet management could also be an important part of Tesla’s business model, in its case with autonomous vehicles, which ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood has pointed to in her bullish thesis on Musk’s company. Yu said today there is high value in the Smart features focused on theft prevention and vehicle maintenance, for example, knowing when parts need replacement. Its lightweight lithium-ion batteries are also an advantage over heavier, older electric scooters as consumers look for more portable batteries that are easier to swap in and out.
A big question for NIU is just how big the market can get and whether it can grow both manufacturing capacity and a retail store network along with it, Yu said. Asia is still heavily reliant on petroleum-based scooters, especially Southeast Asia, but that is changing. And, as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic, Yu is betting more travelers will shy away from mass transit and opt for scooters. In countries like China, they are much easier to obtain than cars thanks to lower costs and less regulation and permitting requirements, especially in larger cities.
NIU commands over 26% of the Chinese e-scooter sales market, and has risen in Europe to No. 3 over the past two years. Yu added that NIU is building a new factory, targeting major Southeast Asian markets like Indonesia, and adding more stores around the world to capitalize on the demand. In Q3, the company opened 182 stores and now has another 100 under construction.
Harley-Davidson and the electric future
In the U.S., smaller motorcycles suitable for urban transportation and only occasional highway use are not as popular as in Asia and Europe. Nelson said U.S. buyers tend to be older and favor larger bikes with traditional looks and the signature sounds of a combustion engine.
Is Tesla Making A Secret Electric Bike
Harley-Davidson, the largest and oldest U.S. motorcycle manufacturer, has addressed these buyers with its LiveWire, an electric motorcycle with traditional cruiser styling and an impressive 105 horsepower that lets it accelerate to 60 miles per hour in a quick 3.1 seconds. The LiveWire is 7-feet long and nearly 550 pounds, giving it the size and weight to fit in with the company’s mainstream gas-powered offerings, but, at 30,000, it’s just too expensive for many potential customers.
With the traditional American motorcycle buyer aging, Harley sales are down almost 40% since their peak in 2006. Demographics will be a problem for them, Nelson said.
Harley is committed to electric under a relatively new management team, led by CEO Jochen Zeitz, who earned high marks for his FOCUS on sustainability as CEO of Puma. We believe electric needs to play an important role in the future of Harley-Davidson, he recently told Wall Street analysts. He said sales volumes are low relative to traditional bikes, but added, It must be an important segment in the long term future of the company and it’s also attracting new riders, new customers to the brand that might not have considered Harley-Davidson before.
Craig Kennison, who covers Harley for RW Baird, said the priority for Zeitz and his team is to shore up Harley’s finances and FOCUS its business on the key markets where it can generate the most profits from core consumers today, and it will continue to generate the vast majority of its business from its V-twin internal combustion engine cycles (sales for LiveWire are not disclosed but the assumption is they remain very minor). It’s not a big number, Kennison said.
Tesla electric bikes Revealed
Similar to the path chosen by Tesla to first FOCUS on the luxury consumer, Harley needs to perfect the electric motorcycle technology and given the price points today — it cannot alone control the cost curve in key areas like battery technology — only over time will it become more affordable to a larger consumer market. But if Harley makes the right decisions on current profitability centers, it will support the investment in electric vehicles over the decades to come, he said. Right now Harley has a huge market and needs to make as much money as they can, and servicing the core customer, which is still highly profitable, is the FOCUS.
Harley is headed into the pedal bicycle market as well. It recently announced that it will spin off its electric bicycle effort, which has been in research and development for a few years, retaining a minority stake in the new firm, Serial 1 Company, a reference to its first-ever machine.
Targeting the e-bicycle market, with pricing below 5,000, is a Smart move by Harley’s new management, as it makes the brand affordable for the masses in a growing segment, said Brandon Rolle, Northcoast Research analyst. And similar to NIU’s target scooter market, riders may not need a driver’s license to operate these vehicles, which will help in Harley-Davidson’s appeal to urban commuters and casual recreational cyclists.
High-end bicycle makers like Specialized have an early lead in this market — e-bikes which generate power that is multiplied by the human pedaling activity — and it does have the potential for widespread appeal in the future, according to Kennison. It lets ‘the everyman’ get on the road … especially during the pandemic people want to get outside and bicycling is a great way to do it, but depending on your fitness level, having the added electrical power creates a totally different experience. You can go 20 to 50 miles and it changes the appeal he said.
Harley’s motorcycle competitors
In the near future, pent up demand for outdoor products caused by Covid-19 could benefit motorcycle makers, including Harley, which has had a rough last five years according to Wedbush Securities analyst James Hardiman. A lot of investors have looked at Harley-Davidson and the broader motorcycle one as not benefitting, from the new outdoors boom, the analyst said. But industry sales and used sales are both up, and those are precursors for a broader-based recovery in bike sales, Hardiman recently told CNBC. While the bear case about the aging demographics isn’t going away, it has been that way for a decade already, he said.
Among Harley’s competitors for the future full-size motorcycle buyer are not just traditional players like Honda and Yamaha, but Zero and Energetica, which have some of the most advanced electric bike technology currently available, Siahaan said.
Zero, founded in Santa Cruz, California, in 2006, isn’t a household name, but it’s one of the most established players in the field. It began selling electric motorcycles in 2009, making it one of the very first production two-wheelers (the earliest production electric motorcycles and scooters appeared in the 1970s and 1990s, respectively, but enjoyed limited success).
Zero’s current all-electric line-up includes everything from the FX, a small on- and off-road capable dual-sport motorcycle starting at 9,300, all the way up to the SR/S sportbike which starts at 20,000. The 110-horsepower SR/S can reach 124 miles per hour and is capable of more than 200 miles of range when equipped with an enhanced battery. The FR/S is so advanced Road and Track alluded to Zero getting close to the being the Tesla of two wheels in its review. Zero offers it with an app that lets users modify the bikes maximum speed, power, torque and regenerative braking parameters.
A Zero FX electric motorcycle just after purchase in June 2019 at a Chicago, Illinois, store. Built in California, Zero motorcycles have been the best-selling electric motorcycle brand on the market. Harley-Davidson’s CEO claims that since it introduced the LiveWire, its brand has selling well, but the Zero FX and a newer cheaper model, Zero FX/S, are as low as one-third the price of a LiveWire.
Zero reached a 10-year deal with Polaris, a recreational vehicle powerhouse, that should give it the resources to further expand manufacturing and distribution. It will bring Zero’s powertrain technology and software to Polaris’ lineup of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles.
The high-end brand Energica was formed in 2010 as a subsidiary of CRP Group, a motorsport and aviation manufacturer based in Modena, Italy. It offers a small lineup of attractively styled bikes starting at 17,600 for the general-purpose Eva EsseEsse9, and ending with the top-of-the-line Ego. The latter is a 145-horsepower sportbike with an eye-watering starting price of nearly 24,000, but a 150 mph top speed and up to 250 miles of range.
Saha of the Global Marketing Institute told CNBC that the company is investing highly in RD and owns several patents related to electric vehicle manufacturing in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Of course, as the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Honda Motorcycles of Japan, is not standing still. It recently filed patents for electric-powered versions of its CB125R and CB300R, these are small, easy to manage general purpose bikes with café racer styling.
Saha notes that Honda is also making large investments in the development of swappable battery technology for electric motorcycles to allow riders to quickly replace the batteries after use. These moves, and factors like its global dealer and distribution network will aid Honda, Saha said.
Gunning the motor
It wasn’t until halfway through my second ride that I even remembered to try the throttle, which is on the right handlebar like on a motorcycle or Vespa. I gunned the Model 1 on a straightaway and the speedometer hit 37 before I started running out of road. The bike accelerates very fast.
I’d convinced myself that I’d taken the bike up to 37 mph, but Zach told me the bikes had a speed limiter set to 28 mph (45 kph) and the speedometer was probably displaying kilometers per hour. Still, 37 kph (about 22 mph) felt about as fast as I wanted to go on a trafficked street.
The pop-out panniers on either side of the rear wheel looked kind of flimsy at first, but felt solid to the touch. There’s quite a bit of room in there — up to 80 liters of capacity when expanded, according to the Civilized Cycles spec sheet.
Together, the panniers can support up to 50 pounds of baggage. You might be able to fit two Trader Joe’s paper bags in each pannier, end-to-end. Each also has a thick waterproof zip-up cover to keep the contents dry during inclement weather.
Zach told me that the pop-out panniers were also designed so that children seated behind pedaling parents could put their legs in the sections. For larger humans, there are built-in footrests.
He also told me that he and his designers made sure to keep the bike parts and the electric-motor parts independent of each other. Both wheels come off easily, he said, and any regular bike repair shop should be able to work on the brakes, tires or wheels without trouble.
Zach said each battery can be charged from zero to 80 percent in about two hours when plugged into a 45-watt DC adapter connected to a 120-volt wall outlet. (The battery takes a USB-C plug.) The remaining 20 percent will take another two hours, as you often find with lithium-ion batteries.
Zach told me he commutes to the Brooklyn office about eight miles each day from his home in Astoria, Queens. A lot of that route is straightaways on a dedicated bike path, where he guns the throttle and gives the battery a workout. By the time he arrives, the battery’s down to about 25 percent capacity, but he said it would be more (i.e. discharged less) if he didn’t accelerate so much.
The idea is that commuters will pop out the battery and charge it when they get to their offices or other destinations. Getting a second optional battery will double the approximately 30-mile range.
Is the Civilized Cycles Model 1 for you?
The Model 1 is not cheap. The top three picks on our list of best electric bikes retail from 450,500 to 5000,000. For the Model 1’s projected price of 5,500, you could pick up a mid-sized Vespa that you could ride on the freeway, but then of course you’d need a motorcycle license and insurance coverage.
The Model 1’s advantage is that it’s so damn comfortable to ride, thanks to the air suspension. We’re not sure if that’s worth spending an extra couple of grand to get, but the Civilized Cycles Model 1 is definitely worth test-riding if you’re in the market for a durable commuter bike.
Design and specifications
The S3 has a front-wheel motor with a top speed of 20 miles per hour and power ranging from 250W to 350W. There’s a 504Wh LG battery that lasts anywhere from 37 to 93 miles, based on how much you use boost or pedal assist during your rides. Charging the battery takes about 4 hours for a full charge, or you can get to 50% in roughly 80 minutes.
The S3 is the largest model VanMoof makes. It has 28-inch wheels, weighs 46.3 pounds, and is made for riders 5-foot 8-inches to 6-foot 8-inches. The X3 has 24-inch wheels and is made for those between 5-feet and 6-foot 5-inches for the same price as the S3.
Each wheel has its own hydraulic disc brake. The entire time I rode the bike the front brake had a bit of a squeak to it, but it’s apparently normal for disc brakes to have a break-in period. I’ve adjusted the brake a few times and it’s helped.
On the rear wheel you’ll find a kick lock that prevents the wheel from moving. If someone starts to roll off with your bike, a visual alert plays on the matrix screen that’s on the bar near the handlebars. The skull and crossbones icon is accompanied by a loud siren, alerting anyone nearby that something is wrong. On the opposite of the bar with the display, which also shows your current speed during rides, and other information at various times, is a very loud speaker and a power button. When you press the horn button, an audio file is played through the speaker to alert nearby riders or people.
The rear wheel also has an electronic automatic shifting 4-gear hub that takes the guesswork out of when you should be in a specific gear. A software update for the bike and the app was released during my time with the S3 that enabled manually shifting for more control. One common complaint I’ve read about the S3 and experienced myself is that when the e-shifter changes gears, the chain makes a clunk sound. The only way I can figure out to get around this sound is to try and guess when the shifter is going to make a change (it’s done at specific MPH measurements) and stop pedaling for a brief second. After a few rides, timing this change became almost second nature. However, the manual shifting feature will surely eliminate any issues for those who want it.
On either side of the handlebars is a brake lever, along with a single button. The left button triggers your assigned horn or bell sound, while the right button activates boost mode to maximize your cruising speed. There are LED lights on the front and back of the bike to help with late afternoon or night riding.
The style of the S3 is very minimal and feels like each piece and part has a purpose. It comes in an all-black finish, or sky-blue.
My riding over the nearly 100 miles of testing was mixed, as some of the time I was riding with my family who have regular bikes, and other times by myself. I didn’t track specifics, but I believe the lowest the battery reached was around 30% of a charge, but with the additional PowerBank, all I had to do was press the power button and the bike was charging.- either while I was riding, or while the bike was parked. The PowerBank attaches the bike via a locking mechanism and can add anywhere from 28 to 62 more miles of range. It’s heavy, adding 6.2 pounds to the total weight of the bike.
I don’t think I have a need or use for the PowerBank. The bike is easy enough to park next to an outlet when I need to charge it, but for someone who has to carry the S3 up several flights of stairs just to charge it, I can see the PowerBank being a convenient accessory.
Outside of the squeaky front brake disc, the only issue I experienced while riding the S3 was flat tires. I’m not sure if I kept running over stickers that were strong enough to poke holes through the wheels and the tubes, or if I was hitting something else on my rides, but during my time with the S3 I had a total of four flats. The first time around, I replaced the tubes because I wanted to get a feel for what all is involved with taking both wheels off and doing maintenance myself. The second time around, I resorted to patching the tube.
It’s not the fault of VanMoof’s, and likely a byproduct of the area I live in, but hopefully it’s something I can figure out should I decide to buy an S3 of my own. I need to look into whether or not you can use slime in the tubes on eBikes, or the best approach to keep random flats to a minimum.