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SF to LA via US101 (420 miles)

3414 Views 18 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  greendave
So far this is the longest 1-day trip I've done with Bolt. Mostly it worked well.
  1. 0 miles. Started from home near San Francisco with 95% charge.
  2. 90 miles. Stopped in Prunedale near Salinas. 25 minute recharge at Recargo DCFC from 61% to 80%. Nice DCFC setup - 6 stations, only one in use when I arrived. These are 350W DCFCs but of course being at 63% to start, I saw no more than 24kW.
  3. 195 miles. Stopped in Paso Robles. Single slow ChargePoint DCFC (22kW) was occupied, continued along.
  4. 230 miles. Stopped in San Luis Obispo. 45 minute recharge at EvGo DCFC from 21% to 70%. Only 2 stations, both occupied, but somebody was leaving just as I arrived (someone was also waiting when I left).
  5. 360 miles. Stopped in Ventura. 45 minute recharge at EvGo DCFC from 13% to 63% at the EvGo DCF. Only 1 CCS station, which was occupied by a Bolt sitting at 100% charge, plugged in but not charging. After waiting a few minutes, I got fed up and unplugged them. Alarm went off for a minute. Never saw the owner. One person arrived a little after me and was happy to use the charger when I left.
  6. 425 miles. Arrived in Los Angeles with 42% charge. Overall energy used: ~105kWh (so ~4 miles/kW).
Door-to-door, the trip took about 11 hours, 7h30 driving, 2h30 stopped (mostly either charging or looking for charging stations). This is roughly the same amount of time the trip took in my ICE car, except that the stops on that trip were in different places (for lunch, sightseeing, etc.). My range was impacted a bit by periods of torrential rain and using the heater. Mainly I kept to between 55 and 60 miles an hour.

Except at the charging stations, I saw almost no EVs. I did see some Teslas, but those were on delivery trucks, going south. I think a lot of people probably opted for I5 due to the shorter driving distance (I didn't because I prefer the scenery on US101, and also because it was supposed to snow on the Grapevine just north of LA, which it did). If I do this trip again in the Bolt, I'll probably opt for more secondary roads. Going back I've split the trip over 2 days so I don't plan to spend much time at DCFCs.

I do wish that more DCFCs were in downtown areas/near parks and not in malls. Also more stations (and more stations with more than 1/2 CCS plugs). There's a gap of 120 miles between Salinas and San Luis Obispo where the only DCFCs are slow (<20kW) single plug installations.
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US-101 is incredibly frustrating. EA has not-yet-open sites at Greenfield (no sign of construction yet), Paso Robles (constructed but not energized), and Pizmo Beach (constructed but not energized). Based on PlugShare data, Pizmo Beach has been sitting waiting for power for almost a year now (and across California, EA has a whopping 73 sites constructed but not yet commissioned). If sites these were there, the trip would be a lot easier.

But even if all of EA's planned sites were up, they have nothing, zip, between Pizmo beach and Camarillo, which is a 136 mile gap, which is pretty craptastic.

Also, Recargo were supposed to be having a massive build-out of charging on US-101 as part of a CEC Grant (GFO-15-601), turning it into well-supported route (map). But they failed to actually do anything so I think the grant has now been withdrawn from them (news article, including comments from our own @paulgipe).
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There should be one now!

BTCPower EVDSP-350-5-120
Output: 200-950VDC, 350A max.
Thanks! For anyone too lazy to look at the photos on PlugShare, here's the photo @dhazeghi posted on PlugShare:

In principle, it's capable of 350A at up to 950V (332.5 kW) but is probably limited below that.
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