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LA to Vegas via Barstow Supercharger: Who has done it?


On the fence between 40 and 60kW battery. I live in Las Vegas and infrequently drive to LA. Assuming worse case weather conditions, how reasonable is it to assume I could drive to the coast in my 60kW Model S with 3 passengers and luggage at a speed equal to the flow of traffic using the Supercharger in Barstow? Is the additional battery capacity of the 60kW battery going to make my Model S a reasonable choice (A/C running, cellphone/iPad plugged in) over our ICE vehicle for this rare trip?

@ paul,
I read your original post and it got me thinking... these might be the numbers you are looking for to ultimately answer your question.
You can reference my post for the other numbers, but as far kW used I also had that data.
Home to Barstow: 41kW
Barstow to vegas: 48kW
Vegas to barstow: 53kW
Barstow to home: 36kW

So you see a 60 kW battery eclipses the power needed on a fast 160 mile, uphill, headwind run with 3 people and luggage.
Hope that helps.

super67cobra's data show that a 60 kWhr (note that energy is measured in Watt hours - the amount of energy needed to produce a Watt for an hour) is barely marginal.

Remember that in 8 years you can only expect your 60 kWhr pack to hold ~70% of the new capacity or 42 kWhrs.

This data also, I assume, is for fairly moderate temperatures that don't overload A/C or heating. Also, the roads were apparently dry. Very wet roads will reduce your mileage a bit as well.

Also, can the supercharger charge to 100% if you wait longer or does it stop at 80% like many CHAdeMO ones do? If so, the most charge you'll get in a 8 years is ~70% X 80% X 60 kWhrs = 34 kWhrs.

Therefore, an older Model S with 60 kWhr battery will have to drive a lot slower than super67cobra did in order to make the drive.

The SC will go over 80%, but it slows down by about a factor of 4.

We finished our trip from Fremont to LV yesterday. The Barstow to Las Vegas portion (and the rest of the trip) was no problem. We did a range charge in Barstow, showing 197 miles of rated range. It took about an hour to charge starting from 30 miles of rated range after coming over Tehachapie Pass from Tejon Ranch. From Barstow to LV we used 48.8 kWh over 160.7 miles and had 25 miles of rated range to spare upon arrival. Cruise was pegged at 70 mph and we had a decent tailwind. I didn't skimp on hitting the accelerator to get around trucks. Making it was never in doubt and the rated range was well over the distance remaining for the entire trip.

I still think there should be a SC in Primm, right at the outlet mall, primarily for people to charge up on the way out of town.

@Darmok - That's good to hear. What was the weather and did you using any AC or heater? And how about on the way back?

Just in case anybody cares to know, at the last possible moment I reconfigured my order for the 85kWh battery. I have roughly 1,800 mi logged all in town. My charging schedule is every 3 to 4 days. I have purchased more battery than I needed to travel between LA and LV but the extra capacity allows me the flexibility to skip several night before recharging. No plans to drive to LA on the horizon.

Charge when you get around to it. Sweet deal.

Good decision, Paul. I just did the LA to vegas trip last weekend with an 85kWh battery, stopping in Barstow to charge. I went 75-80mph with traffic and made it to vegas with 60mi rated range left (which is probably about 50mi actual range. Don't think I would have been able to make it with a 60 kWh battery unless I drove no faster than 60mph the whole way.

There is no way I would have been able to live it down with my friends in the car if I had this super expensive car that I had to drive 60mph in the right lane on the drive to vegas. You would constantly have people swerving around you and honking and flipping you off.

I would feel like such a tool. LA to vegas is a super common road trip that everybody does, and if this car couldn't make it, nobody in LA would buy it, I'd wager.

I just did it. The LA to Barstow leg is a piece of cake. The Barstow to Vegas leg was very nerve racking. We had to go slower than everyone else at 70 MPH. Coming back, we stopped at PRIMM to get a few electrons before heading out. Again, had to go 70 MPH while everyone else was whizzing by. For trips like these, I wish I got the 85.

We still had fun, but wish I could have driven faster.

They're going to need to put in a Primm supercharger if they want to make it doable for 60s, or Baker, a secondary advantage would be for 85s could do the trip by stopping at either charger meaning if the first is full they can keep going to the second, this would make live info about supercharger utilisation useful to help people decide where to stop.

Isn't the understanding that a SC is going in around Primm? I'm hoping it opens before July. That's when I have my P85 and will go see my dad in it. Talking to various Tesla People they seem to think in the Next few months. The SC map used to show Winter for the Calif/Nevada border.

Did you do a full range charge or standard range at Barstow? What was your rated miles? would you recommend stopping in Primm on the way up too? Thanks

I want a SC at the bunny ranch.

This is a VERY easy trip.

Be aware that getting a range charge will ensure worry free arrival.

Do not be afraid to depart with 100%. Switch over to IDEAL in settings.

This will show your range ~240 (60 kWh MS) and 300 (85 kWh MS).

You will not be able to make this drive at 80MPH unless you slow down on the big climbs. Speed and elevation kill range.

Or in 110F or windy days.

With that being said . . . enjoy ;-)

You can stop at EITHER Barstow or Primm.

I admit to feeling a little "greedy" calling for the Primm supercharger when many areas of the country don't have any as of yet. That said it really is needed to smooth out one of the most common long distance drives made in the MS. I'm thrilled about the downtown Vegas and the 100 Tesla's project but for Cali to Vegas and vice versa a Primm one is much more useful.

Everyone agrees that there is plenty of charging at hotels.

Supercharging will cover driving through Vegas to Havasu, Grand Canyon or SLC.

Primm will cover the gap.

Palm Springs/Indio need Supercharging before Coachella.

Not feeling greedy as CA has purchased at least 8,000 cars and thus needs the infrastructure sooner.

@mbcaffe. Going to Vegas, I did a full charge with 200 rated miles at Barstow. You have to or else you will not make it. Going 70MPH (speed limit) all the way. Slow for traffic. Many cars and some trucks whizzed by me. It was a little embarassing. I did stop in PRIMM, but now I think I might have made it, but was too nervous. I think I could have also made it to Barstow without stopping in PRIMM on the way back, but was too nervous to risk it. There is nothing between PRIMM and Barstow. I think you can make it either way without stopping in PRIMM, but you have to be very careful with your speed. Do not go over 70 very much. PRIMM definitely needs a supercharger. A battery swap at Barstow would be awesome though.

@Kimscar, I think the original supercharger "dot" on the map was approximately at PRIMM, but Zappos has lobbied to put the supercharger in downtown Las Vegas and now the "dot" is right in Vegas, so I'm concerned that they may have scrapped the idea of putting one in Las Vegas.

typo. I'm concerned they have scrapped the idea of putting one in PRIMM

@hardemarco - you are voicing the same concern I have. However when I placed my reservation last week with my contact in Palo Alto, and when I did my last test drive before I placed the reservation they sounded like Primm was still on. I'm going to shoot my contact an email and ask him. Not sure what he can tell me but worth a try.

Totally doable in an 85 and have done so. I'd be cautious in a 60.

I've heard they haven't just delayed it to put the one in Vegas first. I'm an 85 owner but unwisely stopped at 210 in Barstow one night which caused some anxious moments. Uncommon or out of the way routes will sometimes require pre trip planning and monitoring of speed/conditions which all owners should fully expect. La to Vegas is a route all owners should be able to do without any issues and Primm would solve them all.

In addition contacting Tesla and letting them know how much we still want the one in Primm can't hurt!

Yeh the dot on the planned SC list previously positioned in what could only be Primmm disappeared a few months ago. They're just begging for more "Broder" like incidents on what must be in the top three Model S road trips and also one that Rental car road trips from LA is likely to be very popular, Model S renters will be much less well versed in S charging and driving characteristics and therefore this route really does warrant a level of overservicing that Primm would provide.

In truth range wise they picked the wrong location for the Barstow charger. If it had been placed East of Barstow instead of the outlet mall then it would give about 20 more miles on that side of the trip where it is needed.

So you arrive in Vegas with very little charge left -- where do you then charge in the city?

To you guys who have done the trip in an 85, do you pay much attention to your speed? I'd really not like having to always worry about going 80 and not making it. That isn't cool.

jw40 is right, you can't drive much under 80 without being a hazzard on this highway. Been driving it since '58 (boating at Lake Mead) and have seen every situation imaginable from construction of the freeway, truck lanes added, blinded by butterflies, mystery planes buzzing thru the Mohave, etc. Superchargers in Primm and/or Baker will be necessary as more Tesla's hit the road.

Just checked with my contact at Tesla about the red dot not there anymore for the Primm location. No real answers but he suggested that we go to the supercharger page a little over half way down where it says "how can I bring a supercharger to my area" and fill out why we want one in Primm. He says they look at that. I will fill it out and I suggest all the others that want it fill it out also as there is no dot there as of now.

@Burt I have hit the butterflies too! Thousands of them hitting our car! Wouldn't say I was blinded but damn it was messy!

Kim, post a link and make a thread about it. All of us SoCal people will sign it! I'd rather see one in Baker myself. But hell, why not both!

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