I took a five day ~730 mile trip last week, my major destinations being Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, Mountain View (Google EV summit), and Clear Lake.
It was a great trip, I visited a lot of my old Bay Area friends (I moved North in '93) and it also turned into sort of a nostalgia trip for me, with the addition of the unplanned drive to Santa Cruz. I have a lot of childhood memories of the Beach and Boardwalk, but hadn't been there for close to 40 years.
And I had a great time on the drive also, particularly when driving my LEAF where DC is available (I used Vacaville, Colma twice, and Petaluma) which I could do for ~half the total miles.
No real range anxiety
, anywhere, relying primarily on corrected nav screen m/kWh to monitor my SOC (The app being less accurate for this purpose, in my experience).
Over the entire trip I had three planned LBWs, all on the L2-fueled legs of the trip, and kept my SOC well above the VLBW.
Yes, the Bay area DCs are often poorly located, all single-charger sites, and subject to various dependability issues, but it is still great to (almost
) get the experience I think most BEVs will have soon...fast and reliable DC charging.
No, I'll never be able to do this trip in a ~20 kWh available BEV as fast as in an ICEV, but the extra travel time is more than offset, IMO, by not burning any tar-juice
for the whole trip.
In 2011 I drove back from the Bay Area, after picking up my LEAF. I probably made three or four Bay Area trips by ICEV that year.
In 2012 I made one LEAF round trip, to the Bay Area (still with no DC) and two trips by ICEV.
This is my third LEAF round trip this year, and the longest one yet. No need for an ICEV for this trip this year, yet.
The Vacaville DC is huge for us North State LEAF drivers (and another DC in Fairfield is supposed to be up soon).
The Winters (Railroad Park) and Middletown (Thanks, Chef Steve!) J1772s also give you 24 hour charge options allowing you to stretch for longer drives to link up with DC.
About my only disappointment from the trip was that heading into a stiff breeze all the way South, I might not have
made my hoped-for ~106 miles from Orland to the Vacaville DC without the brief L2 stop I made at Winters (at ~90.6 miles, and ~7.1 miles past the first LBW, from my "100%" charge at Orland).
Well, there's always the next trip...
IIRC, it took me ~17 hours with J 1772 charges in Vacaville, Davis, Chico, and Redding to cover the:
249 miles, from Walnut Creek CA to Shasta County, on the second day of my 300+mile drive home, after picking up my LEAF in Petaluma, on May 16 (2011)...
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Without a L2 EVSE, or any J1772's on the I-5 (old 99) corridor in 2011, I had to detour to both Chico and Redding to make that drive.
There are still no J1772s between Winters and Redding
(other than the obsolete tesla roadster charge site at Orland) but with My EVSE upgrade, the lack of L2 infrastructure is largely irrelevant.
My trip on 8/26/13
of 226.1 miles took 9 hours and 20 minutes door to door, requiring ~4.5 hours of 16 amp L2 at Orland and Winters, and ~30 minutes of DC at Vacaville.
So that's some
One DC charger between Corning and Williams will cut this travel time to ~ 5 hours.
And two DCs on this stretch of I-5 will cut total travel time to ~ 4 hours, less than an hour longer than I can make it (at legal speeds) by ICEV.
I hope that's not too far in the future.