Roadtrip: Sacramento-ish, CA to Seattle, WA - Day One (8/28)
by, 2012-08-30 at 03:42 PM (90101 Views)
About a month ago, Chad Schwitters (fellow TMC forum member/ChadS and President of Plug In America) contacted some of us to see if we would be willing to drive our EVs (EV=electric vehicle) to Seattle for the Beyond Oil Conference on Sept 7th. (I like roadtrips, so I’m always an easy mark.) My company also has an office in Portland, OR & the engineering team had asked me to bring my Roadster to Portland (i.e., begged and whined) so they could see it first hand.
So it seemed like a reasonable trip. Drive from my home in Loomis, CA (near Sacramento) to Portland. Work at the office for a couple of days. Head for Seattle where I conveniently have a couple of close friends. Hang with them over Labor Day weekend and beyond. Attend the conference & then head home.
House/Pups sitter in place. Mail stopped. Stuff for work, hiking, friends, conference packed. Car charged in range mode. Tire pressure checked.
And yet, I still couldn’t get out of the house until noon. But I only needed to drive to Yreka, about 300 miles, where there was a hotel with a 70amp charger. Charging overnight at a hotel is a win – no time spent waiting for a charge.
This is my second all-electric roadtrip. The Tesla Highway makes it easy to travel up and down the West Coast. It is a string of charging stations (the blue markers are 70 amp) from San Diego to the Canadian border, allowing a Roadster to travel the entire coast.
A section of the Tesla Highway:
Day One: Loomis, CA to Yreka, CA
Total miles driven today: 280 (I had a late start!!!)
Total time on the road today: 7 hours (2:09 hrs charging, 4:30 driving, plus a rest stop to stretch legs)
- ALWAYS have a hard copy of charging stations in the car with you. Reception isn't always *ideal*. I kept a printout of the Tesla Highway with addresses and phone numbers in the car.
- Whenever possible (like always), keep enough range that you can get to a backup charger, if the charger you want is occupied or inoperable.
- Range mode and cruise control are your friends, your lead foot is not your friend. 'Nuff said.
- Don't stress the miles you lose to elevation gains ... you gain a lot of them back when you go downhill.
Since a few of you on the forum asked that I keep track of some basic info, here's what I started with in Loomis:
Ideal Miles: 241
Did I mention that I had a late start (noonish)? ... but I knew I wasn’t driving far, so… (Plus, when you see the “sad dog” faces, it’s hard to walk out.)
First stop to charge: Orland, CA - 70 amp Tesla charging station
When I stopped:Odometer: 15015
Miles Driven: 124
Ideal Miles: 91
My first stop was at The Berry Patch restaurant, in Orland, CA. Near the restaurant is a CVS Pharmacy, Dutch Bros coffee, Taco Bell, and a gas station.
The owner (Jack) told me that a Nissan Leaf had charged there. Huh? It's a Roadster connector, 70 amp. Turns out the Leaf owner had an adapter, had said it cost about $1000. Jack The Owner thought he had a photo of it, but didn't have it available when I was there. Maybe on my way back?
This was on Tuesday - I hit it right during PG&E peak for electrical rates. Small business, and I know Jack The Owner was a little stressed over what I was adding to his electrical bill. (Questions like, "So how long do you think you'll be charging?" were kind of a clue.) So I picked up a stack of thank-you notes at CVS, wrote one out for him, stuck some cash inside, and left it on the counter on the way out. (Nice guy, very interested in EVs.)
Since I knew I only had to drive to Yreka, I didn't fully recharge the battery. When you know you're spending the night where you can charge, it doesn't really matter what range you have left when you arrive, as long as it is greater than zero miles. (I also called ahead to confirm the charging station was operational and available.)Charged 2:09 hrs
Ideal Miles: 208
Second (and final) stop to charge: Yreka, CA - 70 amp Tesla charging station
Elevation: 2700 (high point was 3400) , lots of miles chewed up, but much recovered on the downhill leg.
Upon arrival:Odometer: 15171
Miles Driven: 156
Ideal Miles: 35
The folks at Comfort Inn were extremely accommodating. They gave me a room that overlooked the charging station (tucked behind the hotel). There is a Taco Bell next door. (Not a fan, but hey, you might be interested - no judgment here - what you eat on a roadtrip is your business.) Free WiFi.
Continuing reading, Day Two.
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