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Has anyone successfully completed a trip via Fast Charge from the bay area to LA? I'm looking to drive from SJC to LAX in my bolt in the next week... looking thru trip planners... and seeing charging station issues... I'm not so confident and don't want to get stuck.

Anyone complete this trip under their belt willing to share?
 

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It's a relatively easy trip in the Bolt EV, and you have a couple of choices for which route you'd want to take. If you're going to LAX, Highway 99 might be the fastest route. Otherwise, you might enjoy Highway 101 more.

Taking Highway 101: If you're leaving San Jose with a full charge, just drive straight to San Luis Obispo (Marigold Center). You should arrive with at least 20% battery (as long as you're not maintaining sustained speeds >75 mph). A 45 minute stop there should give you the option of stopping again between Santa Barbara and Ventura (plenty of fast charger sites to choose from). Another 45 minutes in either Santa Barbara or Ventura would get you into LA. Personally, I would recommend charging up as much as you can outside of Los Angeles County as there are far too many short-range EVs in LA that rely almost exclusively on the public charging infrastructure. It can be really difficult to charge up there.

Taking Highway 99: Just head down Highway 101, cross over at Highway 152, and then down Highway 99. Personally, I would recommend the Selma stop (Holiday Inn, Spike & Rail Restaurant), but that might be the farthest you can go before stopping. Visalia is out of the way, and Delano is a bit too far. Either way, 45 minutes to an hour in Selma should be more than enough to get you to Bakersfield. There's not much at the Kern Federal Credit Union site (it's only one 50 kW ChargePoint), but it's the cheapest charger to use. Otherwise, you can got to the EVgo site at Walmart on Panama Lane (they have a lot of stores on site, but the two chargers can be crowded). You'll want to charge up to ~65% in Bakersfield before heading over the Tehachapi Mountains, and again, I'd recommend charging up in Santa Clarita before heading into LA because charging in the city can be difficult.
 

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Sean is right that NewsCoulomb must be the most experienced driver for this trip. I just completed a round trip to LA during the holidays. I went down along 101, and came back via 99. 101 route is prettier but slightly longer, and has fewer choices of DCFC. I had to briefly charge at Nob Hill Foods at 1320 S Main St, Salinas, CA 93901 before I can reach San Luis Obispo (Marigold Center) charger. Return trip via 99 is easier, I only charged at Walmart Supercenter at 530 Woollomes Ave, Delano, CA 93215 for 45 mins, and then an hour at Save Mart 1225 E. Robertson Blvd., Chowchilla, CA 93610. The Chowchilla chargers are 100A only, so I could have done better by charging at Save Mart at 1504 Howard Rd, Madera, CA 93637 (45 mins should be enough here with the 125A chargers),.
 

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Sean is right that NewsCoulomb must be the most experienced driver for this trip. I just completed a round trip to LA during the holidays. I went down along 101, and came back via 99. 101 route is prettier but slightly longer, and has fewer choices of DCFC. I had to briefly charge at Nob Hill Foods at 1320 S Main St, Salinas, CA 93901 before I can reach San Luis Obispo (Marigold Center) charger. Return trip via 99 is easier, I only charged at Walmart Supercenter at 530 Woollomes Ave, Delano, CA 93215 for 45 mins, and then an hour at Save Mart 1225 E. Robertson Blvd., Chowchilla, CA 93610. The Chowchilla chargers are 100A only, so I could have done better by charging at Save Mart at 1504 Howard Rd, Madera, CA 93637 (45 mins should be enough here with the 125A chargers),.
I believe only one of the Madera EVgo chargers is 125 A (the one closest to the store entrance), but the other is still 100 A.

I would say that, in addition to being a bit faster, Highway 99 is probably the "safer" route for EV travel at this point. Even if you get stuck using a 100 A DCFC, it's not the end of the world, and there are so many sites between Bakersfield and Sacramento that it's kind of hard to go wrong. If it's a maiden voyage type of trip, that is probably the better route to take.

Highway 101 is a bit more difficult because of the long gap between Salinas and San Luis Obispo. The 24 kW chargers at King City and Paso Robles are down due to a recall, but they were the only backups along that route. Otherwise, it's 130 miles from Salinas to San Luis Obispo on 65-70 mph freeways, which typically see heavy winds and colder weather during winter. I don't like to do it with less than 75% battery.

Last week, I left from the Recargo Prunedale site with 80% battery and arrived at Marigold Center with 2%, but temperatures were down to the high 30s.
 

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And here I've been thinking I'm so brave, rolling back in w/about 6% from the 180 mile run north and back. :D

Does the battery indicator go from orange to red?
No. It simply goes to a flashing orange LOW and range estimates are no longer provided until the vehicle is plugged back in. Also, propulsion power is reduced and SPORT mode is no longer available.
 

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I believe only one of the Madera EVgo chargers is 125 A (the one closest to the store entrance), but the other is still 100 A.

Eric is correct. The charger on the right facing the grocery, the one closest to the entrance, is 125 amp. The left hand one, in the shade during the summer, is 100 amp.


Paul
 

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Thanks for all your responses... Makes me feel a lot better there are some veterans here who've done this before. :)
The first long trip for a new EV owner is always an adventure, but don't worry - before you know it you'll be an old hand at it and will have learned to trust the car. Maybe not the chargers so much, but that's what PlugShare is for.
 

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[鈥 that's what PlugShare is for.
Oh! I thought PlugShare's purpose was to generate a gestalt sense of there being a comprehensive charger network for anyone not actually doing any route planning, a place for people to post 鈥渃heck-in鈥 pictures of their cars and write inane comments that convey no useful information, but, most importantly, generate immense frustration for anyone who actually needs to decide which chargers to choose along a a given route.
 

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Thanks for all your responses... Makes me feel a lot better there are some veterans here who've done this before. :)
GM had all the news testers use HWY 1 to LAX from Monterey.
They were doing this with all the pre-production cars before they
released them for sale. You can find them all on UTube!
 

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AvoidHiway 5

Hiway 5 has way too few charging stations. It is great in Orgeon but is pretty undeveloped in CA. I drove from Chico to Long Beach and back and used 99. Fast-charged/breakfast in Sacramento, Fresno for lunch and Bakersfield for dinner and a charge. Went well.
 

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Hiway 5 has way too few charging stations. It is great in Orgeon but is pretty undeveloped in CA. I drove from Chico to Long Beach and back and used 99. Fast-charged/breakfast in Sacramento, Fresno for lunch and Bakersfield for dinner and a charge. Went well.
Yes, the I-5 corridor between Sacramento and Los Angeles is still being developed. Within the next six months, the corridor should be covered by at least two providers (ChargePoint and Electrify America), though the California sites appear to be taking about twice as long as sites in other states to permit.

Electrify America's site in Dunnigan has been physically completed for a month now, but we still haven't had word about its activation. ChargePoint's three-charger site in Stockton has been physically finished for what seems like three months at this point, and the power still hasn't been turned on.

In addition to those two networks, Recargo is also supposed to be building a site just off of I-5 at the intersection of Highway 33 and Highway 152 (Gustine).
 

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From my experience
Monterey to San Simeon via Hwy 1 uses less then 50% charge state when starting from 100% - takes longer lower speeds
Monterey to Cambria (next town south) via 101 and the 2 hwy connectors uses easily 60% +

If they had taken Hwy 1, every single Bolt would have run out of juice somewhere between Big Sur and San Simeon. They took Hwy 101.
 

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The route was actually from Monterey to Santa Barbara using a mix of Highway 1, Highway 101, and Highway 154. It was a total of about 230 miles, which is why some people were calling it a "gimmick." However, it's a real use case as I've driven that route personally in my Bolt EV because, well, it's one of the most iconic, scenic roads in the world.
 

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The route was actually from Monterey to Santa Barbara using a mix of Highway 1, Highway 101, and Highway 154. It was a total of about 230 miles, which is why some people were calling it a "gimmick." However, it's a real use case as I've driven that route personally in my Bolt EV because, well, it's one of the most iconic, scenic roads in the world.
My mistake on the loss of charge.

I drove it once when I was much younger. All I remember is the 4 hours at 35 mph. Perhaps I was jaded by the fact that I grew up in Monterey so the scenery wasn't that much different from my daily experience. Brings to mind a similarly iconic movie scene from "The Graduate". Dustin Hoffman is sprinting from Los Angeles to San Francisco to stop the wedding of his true love to some society scion. When he crossed the Bixby Creek bridge 15 miles south of Monterey on Hwy 1 the entire movie theater audience in Monterey roared with laughter. The last route he would have taken to get to San Francisco in a hurry was that iconic, scenic road.

BTW, how would your SOC have fared taking the drive in the other direction? That first climb out of Santa Barbara on 154 would seem like a real energy drain.
 

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... Brings to mind a similarly iconic movie scene from "The Graduate". Dustin Hoffman is sprinting from Los Angeles to San Francisco to stop the wedding of his true love to some society scion. When he crossed the Bixby Creek bridge 15 miles south of Monterey on Hwy 1 the entire movie theater audience in Monterey roared with laughter. The last route he would have taken to get to San Francisco in a hurry was that iconic, scenic road.
The film also had him driving through a tunnel on US-101 near Santa Barbara - which he wouldn't have done, as he was supposedly driving south and the tunnel is only on 101 north.
 
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