Here's my report of our first long day trip in our Bolt EV today, down to Anza-Borrego. Tbleakne emailed that he would be going there as well with friends. I hope the terrible crowds didn't ruin their day too badly. I just laughed, and Carol just said "Keep driving". The crowds were horrific, their willingness to peep the same flowers as hundreds of other people adjacent to them was appalling, and we couldn't wait to get away from the major intersection that was stopping traffic into the valley and requiring rangers to direct traffic. You couldn't get near the visitor center. What a scene. And the flowers weren't nearly what the news stories are ballyhooing. Super bloom? Not yet.
Anyway, to my story..,
This was a particularly challenging trip because the elevation at Borrego Springs is just 600 feet, but it's surrounded by mountains and plains that are much taller. So the trip felt like heading for a hole in the ground as a destination. EV drivers know the challenges there.
And challenging because there are zero DC fast chargers anywhere east of Route 15, anywhere near where we were going, and darn few Level 2 plugs, though apparently there are 4 Blink Level 2 plugs in Borrego Springs.
This being our first ambitious outing with the car, we planned carefully, and mapped our charging opportunities with Plugshare.
We took our favorite route, down Rte 5 from Orange County, over the 3,500 foot coastal mountains on Ortega Highway, Rte 74 to Lake Elsinore, down Rte 15 to Temecula, DCFC at an EVgo station on Rte 79 while we ate take out breakfast from iHop, then East on 79 to Warner Springs and down into Borrego Springs. Then a fast, steep climb up to Julian (600 ft to 4,000 ft) for lunch and pie, a short 12 mile round trip explore out to Cuyamaca Lake and back to Julian, and then down Rte 78 to Escondido and back up Rte 5 and home. Two hundred ninety-five miles on one DC fast charge. We planned for another DCFC at Escondido on the way home, but we didn't need it and we didn't stop.
We got home having used just 65.2 kWh, traveling 295.3 miles, averaging 4.53 miles/kWh and with the app showing 65 miles remaining range and 23% SOC. We added 18.2 kWh at the DCFC charging stop. If you do the math, we did need the charge in order to make the trip, just barely. If we hadn't charged mid-trip, driving with that 4.53 mi/kWh efficiency with 60 available kWh would have given us only 272 miles of range, and we would have sputtered to a stop 23 miles short of home.
I drove the whole route mostly in L, using Regen On Demand rather than friction braking whenever possible. Freeway legs were kept to an average of 70 mph. We were lucky that air conditioning was needed for only a very few minutes and heating not at all. Temperatures varied from about 53 when we left home about 6 am, to about 70 when we arrived home, with a high of 90 on the desert floor for a short while (but it's a dry heat).