Those of you who are members of the facebook Bolt EV Owner's group might already be aware of this, but I decided to take a weekend trip to Zion National Park this last weekend. I'll post up some of the videos as they become available, but I wanted to give you guys a summary of the trip.
I started in Ventura, CA missing some charge from my 30 mile work commute, but I was heading straight to Victorville, which was only 130 miles away. That leg of the journey didn't worry me because it was so short, but I knew I needed to charge up in Victorville.
It's 180 miles from the Victorville charger to Las Vegas, so I made sure to charge up to close to 90%. Sticking mostly to the speed limit, I arrived in Las Vegas with significant charge left (this nearly bit me later). I was pleasantly surprised by the number of fast chargers available in Las Vegas, but most are only 100 A. And some are either unreliable or in questionable areas.
I was staying the night in Saint George, UT, which is only 120 miles from Las Vegas, and my motel had a L2 charger and two Tesla destination chargers. It turns out that all the Best Westerns in Saint George have this setup, which is quite nice. I charged to 100% over night and didn't think any more about it.
In the morning, I headed the 45 miles up to Zion, were I went on a 10 mile hike and had a nice lunch with a wonderful view. Also, the park has L2 chargers, so my car was topped off when I was ready to leave. I made it all the way back to Las Vegas with about 1/3 of my battery range left.
This is the part where I screwed up. Based on my trip from Victorville to Las Vegas, I thought I would be safe with only an 80% charge. Well, it turns out that the drive from Las Vegas to Victorville is more taxing than the drive from Victorville to Vegas. I had to slow down for the last 10 miles or so, and I arrived in Victorville with only 2% battery capacity left. My suggestion is to make sure you leave Las Vegas with at least 85-90% charge.
The drive back from Victorville to Ventura was another cakewalk. So many fast chargers as a safety net. I was so unconcerned that I took a longer route back home, just so I could beat my current VoltStats daily record.
To sum it up:
- The drive was very easy in the Bolt EV. I mostly stuck to the posted speed limits. Sometimes I went faster, and very rarely did I have to go slower than I wanted.
- Many of the Terrible Herbst convenience stores in Vegas have EVgo chargers, though they are only 100 A with very limited amenities.
- The Baker charger is unnecessary unless you are really wanting to exceed the speed limit.
- The trips were 450-500 miles, and I did them both in about 10 hours. So the Bolt EV's average trip speed was about 45-50 mph.
Finally, while I'm getting my videos together, I'll leave you guys with this gem. I had completely forgotten about it until I decided to go on the trip. How far we've come in less than five years.