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paulgipe
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Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
Location: Bakersfield, CA 93305
Contact: Website

EV Trip Report: Tehachapi Revisited

Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:08 am

My meeting to discuss Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure in Kern County was canceled, leaving my day free. So I turned to Nancy and suggested we drive our 2015 Nissan Leaf to Tehachapi for lunch. Nancy's dependably game for another EV adventure and off we went.

I’d wanted to drive up to Tehachapi to check out their new charge station. Chris Kirk, assistant city administrator, had called Friday to announce that the ChargePoint station was installed and operational. However, he had no way to be sure since the city didn’t have any EVs.

I thought we’d be first to charge. It was Tuesday, on three days after the station was installed. After all, how many EVs can there be in Tehachapi, California?

Driving to Tehachapi, about 45 miles from our home in Bakersfield, was one of our first EV adventures. Highway 58 climbs some 4,000 feet from the San Joaquin Valley to reach the Tehachapi Pass.

On that trip we drove to Mountain Valley RV Park on the south side of the Tehachapi Valley off Highline Road. To charge there, you need to bring your portable EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) with you.

Image

For those travelling on Hwy. 58 from the San Joaquin Valley to the Mojave Desert, the RV park is out of their way. Tehachapi installed the ChargePoint station at City Hall, centrally located in downtown Tehachapi and nearer Hwy. 58 than that at the RV park.

As before, we took surface streets for the first ten miles. Edison Hwy. on the way to Tehachapi is much like Union Ave. on the route up the Grapevine. It gives a glimpse of the real Bakersfield and its surroundings. In this case, carrot factories and packing sheds.

Since we’d done this route once, we were more confident. Though I drove conservatively, I was much less conservative than previously and much more relaxed. Once we entered Hwy. 58, I wasn’t reluctant to pass slow-moving trucks when it was convenient.

The route to City Hall was about four miles less than that to the RV park. We arrived with 35% State of Charge (SOC), well above my comfort zone of 20% to 25% SOC. We consumed 13.7 kWh, 1.2 kWh less than the previous trip to the RV Park. The shorter distance easily explained the reduced consumption.

We were shocked when we pulled into the parking lot. Someone in a brand new Ford C-Max Energie was already charging. We weren’t the first after all.

Image

There was a slot open and we pulled in. As elsewhere, the ChargePoint station requires an RFID fob to activate the EVSE. It authorized our account and released the J1772 connector and we plugged in, almost effortlessly.

Image

We stopped into the city offices and checked in with Chris and gave him one of the charging etiquette hang tags that we carry. Then we strolled down the street to the Kasagiri Japanese restaurant and had a filling lunch.

There are several restaurants within walking distance of City Hall. For a bit of old-time Tehachapi, there’s nothing like Kelcy’s Restaurant on Tehachapi Blvd. (breakfast and lunch). There’s also a popular Middle Eastern restaurant within a short block of Kasagiri on F St.

Note: All calculations assume there are 21 usable kWh in the Leaf's traction batteries. We drive a 2015 Nissan Leaf. There are reports that the 2015 Leafs may have 22 kWh of usable battery capacity. The number of usable kWh affects the calculation of the kWh used in each leg of these trips. If current model Leafs have 22 kWh of usable capacity, the estimates here can be off by 5%.

After lunch we explored some of the shops we hadn’t seen before, and then closed the charge session on the ChargePoint station. In two hours, the station delivered 12.5 kWh, or 6.2 kWh per hour of connection. The Leaf’s traction batteries went from 35% SOC to 97%, more than enough for the trip back down the mountain.

We had some errands to run in the “big city” so the trip home was 12 miles longer than the trip up. Nevertheless, the trip home required only 8.2 kWh, the same as the previous trip.

Results

EVTripPlanner estimated that the trip up would require 14.3 kWh and the trip down 10.6 kWh. Using a tabular estimator based on Tony William’s Nissan Leaf Range Chart the trip up would require 16 kWh and the trip down 9 kWh.

Image

In the future, we’ll drive less conservatively and see how dramatically that increases our consumption. For now, we can safely assume that the trip up to Tehachapi from Bakersfield requires 14 to 15 kWh and the trip back down 8 kWh.

Image

Paul Gipe
This article is cross posted at EV Trip Reports
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned 11/10/17
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

ed5000
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:00 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Jan 2015
Leaf Number: 3517
Location: San Francisco East Bay

Re: EV Trip Report: Tehachapi Revisited

Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:28 pm

Nice write up! I love these Leaf travel stories here. :D
2011 Silver SL
29,000 miles
10 bars
Bought used 1-18-15, 24k miles
3517

RonDawg
Posts: 2696
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: EV Trip Report: Tehachapi Revisited

Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:23 am

Thanks for the write-up. I recently drove on 58 from 101 all the way to Barstow so I'm familiar with how steep those grades are. I just wish it wasn't in my friend's crappy Hyundai Accent rental.

BTW if you're not aware, there is a stretch of the old Highway 58 through that area that still exists. It's called Woodford-Tehachapi Road, and if coming from Bakersfield you exit at Keene (exit 139), turn left and then right at the end of the freeway access road. It runs right next to the railroad tracks, and you'll see railfans and their cameras parked at various spots particularly at one location that overlooks the Tehachapi Loop. It enters Tehachapi southwest of downtown, inteersecting Valley Blvd about halfway between central Tehachapi and the prison. It's a slow and winding drive, but because of that you can travel at a slower pace without the risk of a semi driving over the top of you.

I have not personally driven on it myself, but there appears to be a similar parallel old route west of Keene if you take Truxtun Avenue to the far eastern edge of Bakersfield where it becomes Edison Highway, then becomes Bena Road at the edge of the mountains. Bena Road intersects with Highway 223 just south of Highway 58, or you can continue on to the end of the road where the turnoff to Bealville and Caliente is.

"As elsewhere, the ChargePoint station requires an RFID fob to activate the EVSE."

FYI for those who don't have a ChargePoint fob and need to charge at one of its stations, using an RFID-equipped credit card (one with what looks like the WiFi symbol on it) should unlock the charging handle and start the charging session, though I have not personally tried this myself. However I have gotten the charging station to work using ApplePay.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar on 11/21/2015 at 26,435 miles.
Lease returned on 12/23/2015. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL

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paulgipe
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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
Location: Bakersfield, CA 93305
Contact: Website

Re: EV Trip Report: Tehachapi Revisited

Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:04 am

ed5000 wrote:Nice write up! I love these Leaf travel stories here. :D

Thanks. I've got a couple more in the hopper.

Paul
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned 11/10/17
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

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paulgipe
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Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
Location: Bakersfield, CA 93305
Contact: Website

Re: EV Trip Report: Tehachapi Revisited

Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:10 am

RonDawg wrote:Thanks for the write-up.

BTW if you're not aware, there is a stretch of the old Highway 58 through that area that still exists. It's called Woodford-Tehachapi Road, and if coming from Bakersfield you exit at Keene (exit 139), turn left and then right at the end of the freeway access road. It runs right next to the railroad tracks, and you'll see railfans and their cameras parked at various spots particularly at one location that overlooks the Tehachapi Loop. It enters Tehachapi southwest of downtown, inteersecting Valley Blvd about halfway between central Tehachapi and the prison. It's a slow and winding drive, but because of that you can travel at a slower pace without the risk of a semi driving over the top of you.

I have not personally driven on it myself, but there appears to be a similar parallel old route west of Keene if you take Truxtun Avenue to the far eastern edge of Bakersfield where it becomes Edison Highway, then becomes Bena Road at the edge of the mountains. Bena Road intersects with Highway 223 just south of Highway 58, or you can continue on to the end of the road where the turnoff to Bealville and Caliente is.


Yes, both are great routes. Over the years we've done them in various gassers, but we've never done it in the Leaf. The Edison Hwy. route that we take to Tower Line Road (because there's a power line there. . .) continues to Bena as you note. In the spring that's a spectacular route when the wildflowers are blooming.

And if you're really adventurous you can take the "back way" into Tehachapi by driving up the Lion's Trail outside of Arvin. You need a high-clearance vehicle. We actually saw a group of people winching a 4x4 up a slope after it rolled over. . . not sure how it did that and we didn't stick around to ask.

Paul
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned 11/10/17
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1651
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:56 pm
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Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: EV Trip Report: Tehachapi Revisited

Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:12 am

RonDawg wrote:FYI for those who don't have a ChargePoint fob and need to charge at one of its stations, using an RFID-equipped credit card (one with what looks like the WiFi symbol on it) should unlock the charging handle and start the charging session, though I have not personally tried this myself. However I have gotten the charging station to work using ApplePay.


I can confirm that this works. I use my RFID credit card all the time at the local ChargePoint EVSEs.

This feature is getting less prevalent, though, as it is more prone to identity theft. One can discretely read your card remotely in a crowded area, and then repeat it back to an RFID reader. The credit card that I use most often recently expired, and was replaced with a card without the RFID. I think you can still call your credit card company and request it.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

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paulgipe
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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
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Bakersfield to Tehachapi Trip Report Redux

Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:40 pm

For various reasons we haven’t been able to take our Nissan Leaf, a battery electric vehicle (EV), out on the road until this past weekend.

I was speaking at the March for Science in Tehachapi 22 April so we drove our Leaf from Bakersfield to Tehachapi.

Since our last trip out of town our 2015 Leaf has lost traction battery capacity. We’re now down to 19.5 kWh on a full charge.

Previous trips to from Bakersfield Tehachapi used 14-15 kWh so we expected enough cushion to make it with a reserve of about 30%.

Again, I drove conservatively but with less range anxiety in the past. We arrived uneventfully at the ChargePoint station at Tehachapi City Hall with 25% state-of-charge.

We logged in and again had some difficulty with the ChargePoint station releasing the J1772 connector. After several attempts I was able to remove the connector and plug in the Leaf and begin charging.

We then walked to the Earth Day event, did my shtick, and returned several hours later to a full charge.

Returning home we stayed with traffic, consuming 8 kWh.

Image

With the new cars on the market now and becoming available soon, drivers should be able to summit the Tehachapi Pass and return to Bakersfield on one charge with a reserve. It would even be possible with Nissan’s 30 kWh Leaf, available today.

One of my messages to the small crowd gathered in the park was that Tehachapi and Mojave each need a DCFC station to make intercity travel possible for the many older EVs coming off leases. The L2 station in Tehachapi is not adequate for most drivers of older EVs.

Paul Gipe is the author of Wind Energy for the Rest of Us: A Comprehensive Guide to Wind Power and How to Use It.
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned 11/10/17
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

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