Wednesday, Feb 27th. We start out from Salinas in the morning and our destination for the day is Las Vegas, NV, nearly 500 miles away. There are two Supercharger stations on our route, Coalingas and then Barstow.
We start out heading south on US101 and head East on highway 198 to Coalinga. highway 198 is full takes us through hilly and dry ranch country with lots of twisty roads and grades. We drive at our aggressive speed, knowing we will soon have a chance to recharge. The Supercharger is located at the Harris Ranch, which is a big stop on highway 198. There’s the Harris Ranch steakhouse, a big gas station, car wash and the Telsa Supercharger station is tucked in on one side of the gas station. There’s only one charging unit and fortunately we are the only Tesla. We head over to the restaurant for breakfast while the car is charging. We charge for around 40 minutes and the battery is around 90% full. Next, we head toward the next Supercharger location in Barstow 243 miles away. Unfortunately, we become over confidant and we’re driving too fast. Our plan is to stop at an EV charger for lunch, but we’re having difficulty locating a charger in the Mojave area. This part of CA is quite remote and we are fast running out of options. Our databases tell us there’s EV charger at a Hyundai dealer and after a wild goose chase, it turns out to be the desert proving grounds for Hyundai Motors and they won’t let us in. We blow close to 40 minutes trying to locate an RV park to recharge, since we cannot locate any more viable EV chargers within our route. We head in the reverse direction to the SpacePort RV park in Mojave, not knowing if we will be able to charge the car at this park.
Upon arriving, the RV park is actually there, we see vacant spots, but staff is nowhere to be found and the office is close. It’s afternoon, a weekday and we’re snooping around the place, looking for a 50Ah connection. Fortunately, we find an attendant and he’s not sure if he has a 50Ah connection anywhere. After another 5 minutes of his driving around on a golf cart, he locates one outlet, but he’s not completely certain it works. We pull the Tesla around, plug in and it begins charging at a healthy rate. We negotiate $10 with the office manager who has since arrived and we’re off to the nearby McDonald’s up the road for lunch. I think we wasted close to 20 miles locating this RV part and we charge for around 2 hours which gives us a net gain of perhaps 40 miles, but it’s enough extra range to make it safely to Barstow. The unexpected stop at the RV park sets us back a few hours.
Next we’re off to Barstow via highway 58 and we arrive in the evening. The Supercharger station has 3 or 4 charging units and it’s vacant. We plug in and walk over to a chain restaurant for dinner. 10 minutes after arriving another Tesla pulls in to charge, they’re headed from Vegas to L.A. This owner comes into the same restaurant as us and we chat a bit. It’s quite common to engage other Tesla owners when you have one yourself.
We charge up to around 95% over dinner and head onwards to Las Vegas. at 151 miles away and nearly a full charge, we’re once again driving at the speed of traffic 75 mph plus. While in the car, I Priceline a nice hotel on the strip and upon arriving we are lucky to find an EV charger just across from our hotel at the Crystals at CityCenter. The EV charger and valet parking are both FREE!! We spend two days at the hotel, charging and valet parking free of charge. As usual, the valet staff is excited to charge a Tesla.
Today, we have put over 500 miles on the car! Makes we wonder how many miles we could potentially put on a Model S in one 24 hour period if we had Supercharger stations available for every charge. According to my calculations you can probably drive around 1,120 miles around California in 24 hours, if you average 60 mph and recharge every 200 miles at a Supercharger. You’ll be able to charge 5 times over a 24 hour period! Would be exciting to try this, but for now, you’ll have to stick to trying it in California since it’s the only place where there are multiple Supercharger installations.
Yeah, we definitely have not taken enough video on this trip. We briefly pull over on Highway 198, West of Coalingas to stretch our legs and check out the Oil Pumping Rigs. If you are really bored, check it out on youtube.