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Discussion Starter #1
Planning for a few weeks from now to head back to the eastern Sierra.

The two possible routes are:
  • Northern via Sonora Pass - 580 -> 120 -> 108 -> 395. Google estimates 365 miles, 6h20 without traffic
  • Southern via Bakersfield - 101 -> 152 -> 5 -> 58 -> 14 -> 395. Google estimates 465 miles, 7 hours
I've done the northern route to Lee Vining twice now. I think I'll need ~1 hour worth of DCFC charging for the whole thing - 10 minutes in Oakdale (110 miles) to 68%, 40 minutes in Bridgeport (130 miles, to 68%) and 15 minutes in Bishop (90 miles, to 55%)

The southern route would require more stops. I guess Panoche Shell (I-5 near Firebaugh, 145 miles) is the first. Charge to 68%. Then stop in Bakersfield (135 miles) and charge to 68%. Then Coso Junction (115 miles) and charge to 55%.

The southern route definitely is less scenic, but since a lot of the drive will be in the dark, I can just set the cruise control to 70 or 75 for most of the route. I'm a little unsure whether it makes sense to go direct from Bakersfield to Coso Junction or take the detour to Mojave for charging. I'll definitely need more charging for the southern route since the distance is longer and the average speeds will be higher.

Thoughts?
 

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If you decide to take the Southern route, I agree on making Panoche Shell your first stop; however, people have apparently been having issues with chargers along I-5. It's been a while since I've taken that route myself, and even when I follow up on charging stations where multiple people claim the chargers are down, I've still had no issues activating a charge. One of the Bolt EV owners that was hammering the negative check ins on PlugShare also noted on one of his check ins that he wasn't aware that the error code he was getting was a result of not supporting the cable. Regardless, it's still something to take into consideration.

Also, Electrify America has been moving pretty quickly on their Coalinga, Harris Ranch site (six BTC Power chargers), and coming from San Mateo, I'd consider that a better first stop if it's online by the time you're ready to take your trip (it's about 175 miles out). The great thing is, there are three 50 kW ChargePoint Tritium units just on the other side of the freeway, and that's a good backup plan for you. If the Electrify America site at Panoche Shell is actually down (that would be really sad because it's one of the best charging stops on I-5), you should still be able to make it to the ChargePoints at Harris Ranch (though apparently two of them are down now as well).

Even if you get stuck using the 50 kW ChargePoints in Coalinga, you'd only need to be there for about 30 minutes in order to make it to Bakersfield, which also gives you plenty of options for making it to Coso Junction. Personally, I would just charge up at the Electrify America at Bakersfield Plaza and take Highway 178 directly to Coso Junction (120 miles). It, supposedly, adds 30 minutes to the drive, but you might actually have a view by that time. The Mojave Electrify America is a bit out of the way with no real amenities, so if you did want to take Highway 58, I'd still rather stop at the ChargePoint in Tehachapi for a short top up (maybe 15 minutes max).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you decide to take the Southern route, I agree on making Panoche Shell your first stop; however, people have apparently been having issues with chargers along I-5. It's been a while since I've taken that route myself, and even when I follow up on charging stations where multiple people claim the chargers are down, I've still had no issues activating a charge. One of the Bolt EV owners that was hammering the negative check ins on PlugShare also noted on one of his check ins that he wasn't aware that the error code he was getting was a result of not supporting the cable. Regardless, it's still something to take into consideration.
I've seen a couple of those checkins where it's hard to tell if the problem was the charger or the user. But frankly even after 18 months, I still find the CCS connector a PITA (especially the EA ones). That said, after retrying I've never failed to get charge at a location. EA app currently shows 3 of 4 chargers at Panoche as functioning (yesterday 2 of those were showing 'in-use') but only 1 as having been used in the past week.

Also, Electrify America has been moving pretty quickly on their Coalinga, Harris Ranch site (six BTC Power chargers), and coming from San Mateo, I'd consider that a better first stop if it's online by the time you're ready to take your trip (it's about 175 miles out). The great thing is, there are three 50 kW ChargePoint Tritium units just on the other side of the freeway, and that's a good backup plan for you. If the Electrify America site at Panoche Shell is actually down (that would be really sad because it's one of the best charging stops on I-5), you should still be able to make it to the ChargePoints at Harris Ranch (though apparently two of them are down now as well).
That would be nice. I was wondering when that one would finally go online. But at 70-75MPH, I doubt I'd make it 175 miles without dipping down into the red zone. I did a route through Visalia in January and couldn't quite make it Fresno, though granted it was a lot colder then (and 10 miles more).

Even if you get stuck using the 50 kW ChargePoints in Coalinga, you'd only need to be there for about 30 minutes in order to make it to Bakersfield, which also gives you plenty of options for making it to Coso Junction. Personally, I would just charge up at the Electrify America at Bakersfield Plaza and take Highway 178 directly to Coso Junction (120 miles). It, supposedly, adds 30 minutes to the drive, but you might actually have a view by that time. The Mojave Electrify America is a bit out of the way with no real amenities, so if you did want to take Highway 58, I'd still rather stop at the ChargePoint in Tehachapi for a short top up (maybe 15 minutes max).
Yeah, that makes good sense. For 120 miles + 7k feet climb (4k descent) to be comfortable, I guess I'd probably want to be at 68% or so charge. There are NEMA 14-50 options at Lake Isabella and Inyokern though, so it wouldn't be a disaster if I miscalculated.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I wound up taking the northern (Sonora Pass) route out and back. I needed a convenient place to camp on the drive out, and I didn't find one on the southern route. For the return, I intended to go via Coso Junction but as noted in another thread, EA had recently commented on PlugShare that the location was out-of-service. Even though there were recent checkins, I decided not to chance it. A few hours after I would have gone through, they reported that location being back up and running. According to their app it was not down, so who knows what the real issue was.

I had a little extra time on the drive down on US 395, so I paused to check out the proposed Caltrans DCFC sites at Bishop and Division Creek rest area. No signs of any construction.

The climb from Independence to the Onion Valley trailhead is 13 miles and 5,200 feet. I needed 9.4kWh to go up, and I gained 5.1kWh going back down.

Overall, the return trip was 370 miles. It took almost exactly 9 hours to do, including ~1h20 charging, so driving time was close to the 7h20 Google estimated. I started at 56% charge (at 9,100 feet), charged 3 times - 42-68% in Bishop (25 minutes), 22-68% in Bridgeport (33 minutes) and 22-50% in Tracy (20 minutes). Overall efficiency was not great since I averaged ~75mph on the freeway sections.

I did make one miscalculation on the drive over - I only charged to 68% in Oakdale. As a result, I was getting a little nervous about range as I neared Sonora Pass and ended up slowing down considerably (not a problem as there was almost no traffic at 8PM going east). I made it to Bridgeport with 16%, but next time I would probably charge to at least 75% so as to have a better buffer.
 
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