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paulgipe
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Posts: 183
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
Location: Bakersfield, CA 93305
Contact: Website

Bakersfield to Grover Beach Using Only DCFC

Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:45 pm

On 8 September we drove our 2015 Nissan Leaf from Bakersfield to Grover Beach, California using only DC Fast Charging (DCFC) stations.

The limited capacity of the Leaf’s traction battery forces us to take a 250-mile round-about route south on I-5 then west to the coast on Hwy 126 and then north along the coast to Grover Beach. In a gasoline-powered car or a high-end Tesla EV you can drive directly west from Bakersfield, cutting 100 miles off our longer route.

We’ve made the same 500-mile trip several times since obtaining the Leaf, a mass-market Electric Vehicle (EV). In the two years we have driven the car we have refined the route as we’ve become more comfortable with my range anxiety. (My wife Nancy seems unconcerned, figuring we’ll get there eventually. She’s been right so far.)

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In our more recent trips we’ve driven the 70-some miles from Lebec to Ventura in one leg. We’ve also crossed San Marcos Pass out of Santa Barbara on Hwy 154, which is a much shorter route than taking Hwy 101 west of Santa Barbara and then driving north. These refinements have shortened the trip considerably.

On the return trip, we cross San Marcos Pass from Santa Ynez and then continue on to Ventura, cutting out the stop in Santa Barbara. However, we have to stop in Valencia or Santa Clarita to charge up before tackling the Tejon Pass.

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This trip was unusual in that we were able to use DCFC stations on the entire route. Previously we would have to stop at the Flying J truck stop in Lebec for several hours. There we would use our portable charge cable, Jesla, and a high-voltage, high-current extension cord, and adapter to charge from a Shorepower terminal. This is awkward in the best of circumstances and unpleasant during the winter.

I make a detailed trip itinerary using EVTriPlanner and Plugshare.com. I use Plugshare to identify the stations and to get their coordinates. I then program the address of the stations into my Blackberry. As Tony Williams says, “Plan the drive and drive the plan.” That’s what I try to do.

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After the trip, I compare our results with that from our plan. There have been some serious discrepancies in the past, such that I feel the detailed planning is still justified.

Leaf Spy, which is also on my Blackberry, provides data on Gids, kWh and much more. I summarized the Gids and kWh from Leaf Spy and compare that with data derived from the dash display of State of Charge (SOC).

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Subsequently, I compare the actual kWh used for each leg to that estimated by EVTriPlanner and note if there’s any significant deviance. For example, the leg from Ventura to Castaic we used nearly 20% more kWh than predicted. Similarly, we used nearly 30% more kWh on the homeward bound leg from Gorman to Bakersfield. Note that I didn’t drive conservatively here. I drove like everyone else on I-5, confident that I had plenty of charge to reach home.

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This is a companion piece to a previously posted article: I-5 Over the Tejon Pass with EV Express DC Fast Chargers and was written in response to a question from a user of MyNissanLeaf.com.

This article originally appeared at www.wind-works.org.

Paul Gipe
Bakersfield, California
2015 Nissan S with QC, Brilliant Silver, leased
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla

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abasile
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Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 20 Apr 2011
Location: Arrowbear Lake, CA

Re: Bakersfield to Grover Beach Using Only DCFC

Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:02 pm

I noticed in PlugShare that there's a CHAdeMO unit in Lost Hills, CA, by I-5. From Lost Hills to Paso Robles via CA-46 is about 60 miles, and there are multiple L2 options in Paso Robles. From there, Grover Beach is another 46 miles or so. That would seem to be a much less arduous trip, in spite of the L2 wait time in Paso Robles!
2011 LEAF at 69K miles, pre-owned 2012 Tesla S 85 at 89K miles
LEAF battery: 9/12 bars and < 49 Ah (-28% vs. new)
Tesla battery: 250+ miles of range (-5% vs. new)

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paulgipe
Gold Member
Posts: 183
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:23 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Oct 2014
Leaf Number: 311200
Location: Bakersfield, CA 93305
Contact: Website

Re: Bakersfield to Grover Beach Using Only DCFC

Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:28 pm

abasile wrote:I noticed in PlugShare that there's a CHAdeMO unit in Lost Hills, CA, by I-5. From Lost Hills to Paso Robles via CA-46 is about 60 miles, and there are multiple L2 options in Paso Robles. From there, Grover Beach is another 46 miles or so. That would seem to be a much less arduous trip, in spite of the L2 wait time in Paso Robles!


Yes, it would seem so. We tried that route--once. We used the RV Park at Lost Hills. Outbound everything worked fine and we love Paso Robles. In bound EVTripPlanner severely underestimated the charge needed from Paso Robles to Lost Hills. I don't remember the number exactly, but I had to hypermile the last few miles into Lost Hills, arriving with something like 10% or less. That was simply too close for my comfort. Since then the Leaf has lost about another 5% capacity due to degradation.

The new CHAdeMO station is one of the EV Express 25 kW chargers. It would cut an hour or so off the charge time but wouldn't affect the trip from Paso to Lost Hills. And there's only the L2s in Paso. Though it's a great place to be stuck for a few hours.

But yes, we've been there, done that. Check my web site for details.

Paul

BTW. Always enjoyed your posts and they've taught me a lot.
Bakersfield, California
2015 Nissan S with QC, Brilliant Silver, leased
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla

User avatar
abasile
Forum Supporter
Posts: 1877
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:49 am
Delivery Date: 20 Apr 2011
Location: Arrowbear Lake, CA

Re: Bakersfield to Grover Beach Using Only DCFC

Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:02 am

Thanks for the kind reply. I'm sorry to hear that the Paso Robles <--> Lost Hills leg is beyond your margin of comfort with the 24 kWh LEAF. So close, yet so far...

On a recent visit to a Nissan dealer to use their quick charger, I noticed what appeared to be excessive inventory of 24 kWh LEAFs, and zero 30 kWh models in stock. That extra 6 kWh can be quite useful!

By the way, my 2011 LEAF is effectively now an 18 kWh model, as it has about 25%, or 6 kWh, capacity loss. I can still eek out about 60 miles on the freeway, albeit at 55 mph and below, and with care. We are keeping it for local use, and buying a longer-range EV for other purposes.
2011 LEAF at 69K miles, pre-owned 2012 Tesla S 85 at 89K miles
LEAF battery: 9/12 bars and < 49 Ah (-28% vs. new)
Tesla battery: 250+ miles of range (-5% vs. new)

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