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Discussion Starter #1
Wondering if anybody has done part (or all) of the US 395 corridor down eastern California in the wintertime. I'm trying to repeat a car trip I did a couple years back in with an ICEV

My tentative plan:
  1. Start from Redding DCFC.
  2. Redding to Alturas (CA-299, 145 miles).
  3. Spend the night in Alturas. L2 charge.
  4. Alturas to Reno (US-395, 170 miles), DCFC charge.*
  5. Reno to Bridgeport (US-395, 120 miles), DCFC charge
  6. Bridgeport to Independence (US-395, 130 miles).
  7. Spend the night in Independence. L2 charge.
  8. Independence to Victorville (US-395, 175 miles). DCFC charge.*
  9. Victorville to Los Angeles (I-15, 90 miles).
In summer, I wouldn't have too much hesitation - all these legs look doable and there are some RV campgrounds along the way that one could use in a pinch. But this time of year, there are some sections that may require tire chains, and keeping the cabin warm will also require some charge (unfortunately I didn't get the seat heaters). Finally, I'm not sure how well L2 charging will work overnight at low temperatures. If I plug in when I arrive, the battery should still be pretty warm, but I imagine it will cool off pretty quickly.

Any thoughts/ideas are welcome! Thanks.
 

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Hmmm. That's going to be a cold trip without the seat heaters and pretty adventurous in a Bolt at this stage.

Rumor that Bishop EA station is live but I haven't confirmed it.

If you plan to stop at Jim's in Independence best be sure to contact him directly to be sure he's there and that you plan to charge. He sometimes takes off on vacation. He's great to deal with--if he's there. This being ski season I assume he'll be open, but nothing is certain in Independence. Just keep that in mind. ;)

What kind of mobile charge cable will you be carrying?

Paul
 

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You might want to consider taking your EVSE ("charger") that came with the car and an adapter so you can plug it into 220V at a campground along the way. Or, maybe take a portable 220V EVSE (ClipperCreek, JuiceBox, etc) that is rated around 32 amps, but this is a $400 option if you don't already have one. I haven't checked plugshare for the route you're taking but Tesla destination chargers are another option if you have an adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmmm. That's going to be a cold trip without the seat heaters and pretty adventurous in a Bolt at this stage.
Yes, I'm kicking myself over the seats. Almost wonder if one can jury rig something with an electric blanket powered from the 110V outlet. I do have a small inverter (not pure sine wave though).

Rumor that Bishop EA station is live but I haven't confirmed it.
That would be quite helpful!

If you plan to stop at Jim's in Independence best be sure to contact him directly to be sure he's there and that you plan to charge. He sometimes takes off on vacation. He's great to deal with--if he's there. This being ski season I assume he'll be open, but nothing is certain in Independence. Just keep that in mind. ;)

What kind of mobile charge cable will you be carrying?
Thanks for the tips!

Will definitely call to confirm that I really can charge overnight. I discovered the hard way over Thanksgiving that it pays to verify these things ahead of time...

I have a Tesla Mobile Charger and J-Dapter stub, with the NEMA 5-15 and 14-50 plugs. It's been pretty good so far. I did visit one RV campground that had some sort of NEMA 10-50 connector - so it may be time to get a few more adapters just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You might want to consider taking your EVSE ("charger") that came with the car and an adapter so you can plug it into 220V at a campground along the way. Or, maybe take a portable 220V EVSE (ClipperCreek, JuiceBox, etc) that is rated around 32 amps, but this is a $400 option if you don't already have one. I haven't checked plugshare for the route you're taking but Tesla destination chargers are another option if you have an adapter.
Thanks Tom. Yes, I'm bringing my Tesla Mobile charger + adapter + plugs. It lives in my trunk at this point.

Good idea regarding the Tesla destination chargers. Unfortunately I don't see any on the critical sections between Alturas and Reno, and Independence and Victorville.
 

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In your shoes I'd be looking at adding some seat heaters. Not having any idea how good/bad the aftermarket stuff is... I'd be looking at some reviews. Or I'd try to find some closeout/used two wheel heated gear.
 

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Finally, I'm not sure how well L2 charging will work overnight at low temperatures. If I plug in when I arrive, the battery should still be pretty warm, but I imagine it will cool off pretty quickly.
L2 works just fine in low temperatures. I've tested this down to -27C. The car will heat the battery until it's warm enough to charge. This doesn't take very long (I don't have a number, but think 30 minutes, not hours). To charge at 7.7 kW, the battery only needs to warm up to somewhere around 7C, I believe.
 

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Are you using A Better Route Planner ... there's really no redundancy or fall back plans for DCFCs (no multiple options or vendors) on the East Side so you'll be relying on level 2 ; my main concern would be snow; not being able to chain up, weather and elevation gain and headwinds. I think this might be possible in summer but it could also be a fool's errand in winter based on a barely viable infrastructure over there. Use A Better Route Planner which should take into account elevation gain, and really watch the weather for adverse conditions like wind / snow. And pray that the DCFC in Bridgeport is working. Hope that the one in Bishop is online in time for your trip. Also if it's super cold overnight it will take a toll on the battery charging. I've driven into driving rain and gusting headwinds to 50 + before and that will chew up miles like you wouldn't believe. You may be able fall back to Gardnerville from Bridgeport if worse comes to worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In your shoes I'd be looking at adding some seat heaters. Not having any idea how good/bad the aftermarket stuff is... I'd be looking at some reviews. Or I'd try to find some closeout/used two wheel heated gear.
Good point. I'll take a look.

L2 works just fine in low temperatures. I've tested this down to -27C. The car will heat the battery until it's warm enough to charge. This doesn't take very long (I don't have a number, but think 30 minutes, not hours). To charge at 7.7 kW, the battery only needs to warm up to somewhere around 7C, I believe.
Thanks, that's good to know. Seems like I should be fine for overnight then (just add 30-60 minutes to the time it would normally take).

Are you using A Better Route Planner ... there's really no redundancy or fall back plans for DCFCs (no multiple options or vendors) on the East Side so you'll be relying on level 2 ; my main concern would be snow; not being able to chain up, weather and elevation gain and headwinds.
I've tried ABRP - it says Alturas to Reno will have me arrive with 16% charge, and Independence to Victorville it will be 15%. But my experience is that ABRP can be optimistic, particularly when elevation is concerned.

Snow is indeed a concern. I've not tried chains yet on the Bolt, but I'm sure they don't help efficiency!
 

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Yes, I'm kicking myself over the seats. Almost wonder if one can jury rig something with an electric blanket powered from the 110V outlet. I do have a small inverter (not pure sine wave though).



That would be quite helpful!



Thanks for the tips!

Will definitely call to confirm that I really can charge overnight. I discovered the hard way over Thanksgiving that it pays to verify these things ahead of time...

I have a Tesla Mobile Charger and J-Dapter stub, with the NEMA 5-15 and 14-50 plugs. It's been pretty good so far. I did visit one RV campground that had some sort of NEMA 10-50 connector - so it may be time to get a few more adapters just in case.
Yes, you will need the NEMA 14-50 in Independence. That's all there is.

Also, I have not confirmed that Bishop EA station is live and until I do I would assume there is no L2 or DCFC station in Bishop. You'll have to charge at 120 or 240 outlets.

Paul
 

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Snow is indeed a concern. I've not tried chains yet on the Bolt, but I'm sure they don't help efficiency!
Chains not allowed/recommended for the Bolt-- not enough clearance in the wheel wells

From the manual:
Warning: Do not use tire chains. There is not enough clearance. Tire chains used on a vehicle without the proper amount of clearance can cause damage to the brakes, suspension, or other vehicle parts. The area damaged by the tire chains could cause loss of control and a crash.
Washington state helpfully has a list of traction devices that they approve in place of snow chains: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/images/traction/alt_traction_device.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Chains not allowed/recommended for the Bolt-- not enough clearance in the wheel wells

Washington state helpfully has a list of traction devices that they approve in place of snow chains: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/images/traction/alt_traction_device.pdf
Hmph - I had not read that part of the manual. Any particular recommendations? I guess when I wrote 'chains' I really meant 'cables' - at least the dinky pair that I kept for emergencies in my Honda definitely were not real 'chains'.
 

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If I haven't mentioned up thread, Bishop EA stations is definitely not live. I've confirmed it's not active. The only other place to charge is at an RV park and you best confirm that you can charge there before you leave town.

Paul
 

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Hmph - I had not read that part of the manual. Any particular recommendations? I guess when I wrote 'chains' I really meant 'cables' - at least the dinky pair that I kept for emergencies in my Honda definitely were not real 'chains'.
Not me, I live in Hawaii, but I remember reading that chains are not allowed due to limited clearance in the wheel wells, maybe some of our northern friends can chime in with specific recommendations
 
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