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Discussion Starter #1
Next week I have a permit for backpacking in Yosemite. With the current situation, I don't really want to stop overnight anywhere on the way, which means driving up the same morning I start my hike. I also don't want to get up too early. The distance via the most direct route is 210 miles, with 16,000 feet of elevation gain (8,000 loss).

With my ICEV, this is relatively easy. I can leave at 5:00AM, reach the park entrance before 8AM (when traffic usual starts to become an issue) and be at the trailhead by 9:15AM. Somewhere along the way, I might pause for a 5 minute comfort break.

With the Bolt, it's going to significantly harder. I probably can't even make it up on a single charge (15,000 feet elevation gain), let alone get back to somewhere I can recharge for the return trip. The only DCFCs near the park are at Rush Creek lodge (170 miles from the start) and Oakhurst (200 miles from the start). Rush Creek is a single ChargePoint DCFC and I've had mixed luck with it in the past. So better bet is Oakhurst (2 ChargePoint DCFCs), but that means a 30 mile detour, so I need to also charge somewhere before there (or drive backroads and take even longer), like the EA at Turlock Walmart. With the overhead of charging twice and more distance, I'd be looking at a 3:30AM departure to reach the trailhead by 9:15AM.

I'm not quite sure what I'll do yet, but the fact that even a straightforward 210 mile trip can wind up taking an extra 1h30 with the Bolt says something about the current state of affairs.
 

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I think you aren't being completely accurate in your assessment of the Bolt EV's capabilities, or possibly even the route. It's not 16,000 feet elevation gain; it's ~8,000 feet in elevation gain for your A-B route. That's still significant, but only really daunting because you'd typically make the trip without really stopping (only 5 minutes).

Compared to an ICE car, the Bolt EV would add 20 to 30 minutes to this trip heading up. Because this route on flat ground would be about the same as the Bolt EV's single battery range when driving at 70 to 75 mph, you're really only going to need to account for the additional energy to overcome the 8,000' elevation gain (about 12 kWh, or 15 minutes on a 125 A, 50 kW DCFC). After you're up there, your trip back down is almost free, as you should be able to recoup over 8 kWh of energy by the time you get back to the valley floor. You'd need to charge up for at least 30 to 45 minutes on the return trip in order to make it back to San Mateo, though.

The biggest issue with this route isn't the Bolt EV, but rather the charging infrastructure that's available and where it's located. Unfortunately, California's anti-EV SOPs have left a two-charger site in Groveland inoperable despite site construction being completed last year. That leaves you with a single charger deep in Groveland that appears to be up and working well now, but it's only a single DCFC (a risk with the current number of EVs on the road). All of the other chargers on the route are either slow or better positioned for your return trip.

The other constraint is your choosing. Yes, times are different now, but you're making an active choice to not leave the evening/night before. To me, this wouldn't even be a question. I'd get a room with L2 AC and make the next day as convenient as possible. Even in an ICE car, I wouldn't risk trying to drive 200 miles in three hours on California roads the week of 4th of July. There are just too many factors outside of your control that could cause delays along the way.
 

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Well good luck D, given the high costs of hotels I can understand why You would skip - pay high prices + no breakfast anymore + other Problems in our new normal with concerns over cleanliness.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think you aren't being completely accurate in your assessment of the Bolt EV's capabilities, or possibly even the route. It's not 16,000 feet elevation gain; it's ~8,000 feet in elevation gain for your A-B route. That's still significant, but only really daunting because you'd typically make the trip without really stopping (only 5 minutes).
It's 15,000 feet of net gain (not 16,000, sorry that was an error) per google maps. Yes, there's ~8,000 feet of loss in the middle, but having driven to Yosemite Valley last summer, I'm pretty confident that the loss in the middle won't even out. The return should be better (and in fact the route through Mariposa, if it's not jammed, is even better for returning since it is a gentle continuous descent, which is exactly what the Bolt does best).

Thanks for the info on the Groveland DCFC. It's been 'coming soon' for as long as I can remember. I was wondering what had happened.

I guess I disagree on the desirability of making it an overnight trip. Leaving after work, wasting an extra hour to get over the Altamont pass so that you can stay in a motel in Merced or Fresno, and then still having to get up pretty early to avoid the line of RVs at the park entrance - it's not great. A few years back I made it from San Jose to the valley in a hair over 3 hours. No traffic. Arrived just in time for the sun to reach the valley floor, where it snowed the night before.

If I take the Bolt, I'll try to measure the excess energy consumption to reach Glacier Point. 1.5kWh per 1,000 feet sounds plausible.

I have another trip in mid-July that starts on the other side of Yosemite. Unfortunately that's a bit too far to drive up the morning of, but if I can make it to Lee Vining before it gets really late, I was thinking I could set up my sleeping bag in the Bolt and sleep in it while it charges.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well good luck D, given the high costs of hotels I can understand why You would skip - pay high prices + no breakfast anymore + other Problems in our new normal with concerns over cleanliness.
It's an unusual time, no mistake. Another option I've considered is camping, but only the private campgrounds seem to have the NEMA 14-50 outlets and they tend to fill up quickly with RVs.
 

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It's 15,000 feet of net gain (not 16,000, sorry that was an error) per google maps. Yes, there's ~8,000 feet of loss in the middle, but having driven to Yosemite Valley last summer, I'm pretty confident that the loss in the middle won't even out. The return should be better (and in fact the route through Mariposa, if it's not jammed, is even better for returning since it is a gentle continuous descent, which is exactly what the Bolt does best).

Thanks for the info on the Groveland DCFC. It's been 'coming soon' for as long as I can remember. I was wondering what had happened.

I guess I disagree on the desirability of making it an overnight trip. Leaving after work, wasting an extra hour to get over the Altamont pass so that you can stay in a motel in Merced or Fresno, and then still having to get up pretty early to avoid the line of RVs at the park entrance - it's not great. A few years back I made it from San Jose to the valley in a hair over 3 hours. No traffic. Arrived just in time for the sun to reach the valley floor, where it snowed the night before.

If I take the Bolt, I'll try to measure the excess energy consumption to reach Glacier Point. 1.5kWh per 1,000 feet sounds plausible.

I have another trip in mid-July that starts on the other side of Yosemite. Unfortunately that's a bit too far to drive up the morning of, but if I can make it to Lee Vining before it gets really late, I was thinking I could set up my sleeping bag in the Bolt and sleep in it while it charges.
When I say net gain, it's how high you are when you end your trip minus how high you were when you started your trip. For a real-world example, my trip from Sparks-Reno, NV back to Ventura was a net negative 4,400' because I started at 4,400' above sea level in Sparks and ended at seal level in Ventura. It doesn't matter that I crested several 6,000' to 8,000' summits along the way.The net elevation gain was -4,400'.

Regenerative braking on the Bolt EV is somewhere between 70% and 80% efficient, so if you go up,then go down, then go up again, the additional energy consumed is minimal. The 1.5 kWh per 1,000' is a very conservative number, which is why I use it to calculate the net gain.

Either way, I hope your trip goes well. It should be fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Guess I’ll be striking Rush Creek Lodge DCFC from future itineraries. At 7am, even the L2s were full. DCFC has a Tesla sitting there that is already charged to 100%. Spent 1h30 waiting for the L2. Sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, it did eventually leave, more than an hour after I started using the L2. Ultimately spent about 3 hours at Rush Creek. I would've tried unplugging the Tesla but there was only one parking spot within reach of the cable.

In the end, it took me ~63kWh to get from San Mateo to Glacier Point - almost exactly 215 miles. Using the 1.5kWh/1000 feet conversion, that'd be 10.8kWh of climbing and 52.2kWh of driving or ~4.1 mi/kWh which sounds low.

On the return, driving from Glacier Point to Oakhurst, I descended a net of 5,000 feet over 50 miles using -0.5kWh in the process.

Now I have two weeks to figure out the best way to get to Lee Vining and back.
 

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In the end, it took me ~63kWh to get from San Mateo to Glacier Point - almost exactly 215 miles. Using the 1.5kWh/1000 feet conversion, that'd be 10.8kWh of climbing and 52.2kWh of driving or ~4.1 mi/kWh which sounds low.
It depends on your driving speeds. If you were averaging less than 65 mph driving speeds, 4.1 mi/kWh sounds about right. Even with the AC blasting and a lot of 75 mph driving, I saw 3.7 mi/kWh with an average driving speed of 60 mph for over 600 miles out to Las Vegas and back.

Now I have two weeks to figure out the best way to get to Lee Vining and back.
I actually think your same route over Highway 120 would be nice, though hopefully Groveland is up by then. It seems like a waste to pass up on such a scenic drive for the sake of (possibly) a faster trip up Highway 50 and down Highway 395. I also wouldn't mind taking Highway 108 up and over at some point as well. They are both drives I'd really like to do myself.
 

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Check on Route 120 first. That's not a state highway and the NPS was limiting traffic. I saw something that you had to get a pass to go through the park since all the facilities up there are closed.

Paul
Thanks for the heads up. I would think that a route connecting two highways would be open, but these are strange times.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the heads up. I would think that a route connecting two highways would be open, but these are strange times.
Yes, Paul has it exactly right. If you have a Yosemite wilderness permit or a reservation at an accommodation in the park, you're good. Otherwise you need a day-use permit. As they point out, the Tioga Road is not a state road - it is maintained and administered by the park.

I will say the permit system is not all bad. I was at Glacier Point yesterday and while it was hardly empty, it a lot less crowded than a typical summer weekend, let alone a national holiday.

I didn't have a chance to check on the Groveland location on the drive over. Have there been any reports of progress?

All things being equal, I'd prefer to go over Sonora Pass to get to the east side (less traffic, more interesting drive), but it's 130 miles from Oakdale to Bridgeport. I guess an 80% charge in Oakdale should be good enough.
 

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Yes, Paul has it exactly right. If you have a Yosemite wilderness permit or a reservation at an accommodation in the park, you're good. Otherwise you need a day-use permit. As they point out, the Tioga Road is not a state road - it is maintained and administered by the park.

I will say the permit system is not all bad. I was at Glacier Point yesterday and while it was hardly empty, it a lot less crowded than a typical summer weekend, let alone a national holiday.

I didn't have a chance to check on the Groveland location on the drive over. Have there been any reports of progress?

All things being equal, I'd prefer to go over Sonora Pass to get to the east side (less traffic, more interesting drive), but it's 130 miles from Oakdale to Bridgeport. I guess an 80% charge in Oakdale should be good enough.
It should be. Bridgeport is a lower elevation than Glacier Point, so you can probably count on another ~10 kWh of energy expended for climbing the elevation. Unfortunately, Bridgeport was still down at the time I drove down Highway 395, but it's a really good stop otherwise. Basically, it's the type of charging site we should be pushing for: Multiple 150+ kW chargers at a gas station/convenience store location. It's basically a small-scale travel stop.
 

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@dhazeghi, were your entry and exit both at Glacier Point? Is there any kind of shuttle up there? I had a backpacking trip from the 24th to the 30th of June, entering at the Cathedral Lakes trailhead and exiting at Tenaya Lake. I had to walk from Tenaya Lake to the Cathedral Lakes trailhead (Tuolumne Meadows basically) to retrieve the car after we got out. Fortunately there's a trail that kind of parallels the road, and this is what we had planned on, but still, it was about an 8 mile hike after we got out. I think YARTS doesn't stop at Tenaya Lake unless you happen to be on and want to get off.

I'm asking because we're thinking about trying to get a permit for a trip entering at Glacier Point and exiting at Cathedral Lakes and wondering how we might work this out. Maybe this will have to be a rental car shuttle.

I saw the EA DCFC facility in Bridgeport on the 30th, but didn't stop to check whether it was operational. I just assumed that it would be by now. I didn't notice any cars plugged in. We were in our Highlander. Our Spark EV doesn't have enough range to make it from Sonora (where we live) to Bridgeport. This was one of those occasions that push me toward going ahead and upgrading to a Bolt already.
 

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I saw the EA DCFC facility in Bridgeport on the 30th, but didn't stop to check whether it was operational. I just assumed that it would be by now. I didn't notice any cars plugged in. We were in our Highlander. Our Spark EV doesn't have enough range to make it from Sonora (where we live) to Bridgeport. This was one of those occasions that push me toward going ahead and upgrading to a Bolt already.
The Electrify America in Bridgeport is up and running now. I never saw this confirmed, but apparently, it was installed with bad hardware (might have even been the utility transformer) that needed to be shipped in and replaced. Despite the opening being delayed by months, it appears to be one of EA's more reliable sites with a 100% success rate in PlugShare since the site went online.
 

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Thanks for these trip reports and discussion. We can't really get up the East Side until they get Coso Junction up. (We're not staying overnight anywhere unless we car camp.) My wife practically grew up in Toulumne Meadows during her summers and all our reservations have been canceled. She doesn't backpack any more so it would have to be car camping. ;)

Paul
 

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Thanks for these trip reports and discussion. We can't really get up the East Side until they get Coso Junction up. (We're not staying overnight anywhere unless we car camp.) My wife practically grew up in Toulumne Meadows during her summers and all our reservations have been canceled. She doesn't backpack any more so it would have to be car camping. ;)

Paul
Paul, you have any info on why Coso Junction is taking so long to activate. If I remember the PlugShare Reports correctly, the site installation was completed back in January/February.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
@dhazeghi, were your entry and exit both at Glacier Point? Is there any kind of shuttle up there? I had a backpacking trip from the 24th to the 30th of June, entering at the Cathedral Lakes trailhead and exiting at Tenaya Lake. I had to walk from Tenaya Lake to the Cathedral Lakes trailhead (Tuolumne Meadows basically) to retrieve the car after we got out. Fortunately there's a trail that kind of parallels the road, and this is what we had planned on, but still, it was about an 8 mile hike after we got out. I think YARTS doesn't stop at Tenaya Lake unless you happen to be on and want to get off.

I'm asking because we're thinking about trying to get a permit for a trip entering at Glacier Point and exiting at Cathedral Lakes and wondering how we might work this out. Maybe this will have to be a rental car shuttle.
I actually entered and exited and Ostrander Lake trailhead (it's ~7 miles before Glacier Point). But we drove out to Glacier Point afterwards and it makes a good point of comparison for driving etc.

There's no real shuttle to Glacier Point. Once upon a time, the Glacier Point Tour bus went from the valley up and back, but it was expensive, ran only a few times a day and now due to COVID-19 not operating at all.

You're either going to need to set up your own car shuttle or hitchhike - sorry. Given the current state of affairs, I'd suggest the car shuttle.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for these trip reports and discussion. We can't really get up the East Side until they get Coso Junction up. (We're not staying overnight anywhere unless we car camp.) My wife practically grew up in Toulumne Meadows during her summers and all our reservations have been canceled. She doesn't backpack any more so it would have to be car camping. ;)
I'm sorry to hear about your reservations. I thought I'd won the lottery when I got a reservation for early June in Yosemite Valley. That was canceled too.

Do you have any thoughts about the Olancha RV park as a midway stop going up the east side? I was thinking if I need to come up from the south, I could charge to 86% at Mojave and then take a 1-2 hour stop in Olancha to recharge at the RV park. Seems that should be enough to get to Bishop without too much anxiety.
 
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