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San Diego to Phoenix: How?

I was looking at this thread:

El Centro Supercharger

And thought a SC in El Centro would really help but it looks like the distance from El Centro to Phoenix is still uncomfortably close to the edge of my range (P85).

Is anyone doing this trip, and if so, how are you getting there without white knuckles?

Grazie!

I would look at RV sites. Outside of superchargers it is still the fastest way to add miles on your trip.

RV sites advertising 50 amp hookups will give your NEMA 14-50 plugs (& 6 hours charge time with a single charger on board)

sxross - when are you making the trip? I'm keeping my eyes on the "Fall 2013" SCs that are going into the LA/SD-PHX routes and it appears that you may have a route 8 scenario that would be workable whenever these are completed - not sure where the SC East of El Centro exactly is. As others have commented - until then, KOA and similar camp grounds are likely your best alternatives. And if you're a bit bold, assuming Blythe is installed in a similar timeframe, could cut north at El Centro, top up at Blythe and then easily make it to PHX.

I was also looking at the El Centro SC location. The trip is going to rely on when it's most feasible to do it. I'm not going to point my car into the desert hoping to top off at an RV park for 5-6 hours in the blasting heat. Not intending any offense here, it's just not my style.

The El Centro location is a bit odd, because it's only 113 miles east of San Diego (according to Google Maps) and that leaves 245 miles to Phoenix. If I topped off with a range charge at a SC, I'd still have to drive carefully to make it without another stop. Right?

Sounds correct-- your AC will take some miles though. One thing to consider if there is a KOA midway on the long stretch - you can charge for an hour to get the juice you need to make the trip with a charge cushion...

I'm doing Denver to San Diego this October. The SC stations will not be online in Utah yet so I will be doing some hours at KOA till I get to Las Vegas. Once connected to the SC network I plan to head North to Fremont & do the factory tour.

Driving 254 miles from El Centro to Phoenix on a single charge is not doable. You do have some climbing to do and the slightest head wind will eat up your miles quickly. At a minimum you should plan a 2 hour top-off at a campground - just sit in the MS with the AC going to keep you cool or find a restaurant close by.

If that leg is "close to the edge of your range", you wouldn't likely need hours at an RV site, just long enough to give you comfort.

Just look on Plugshare -- there are places in Yuma, and an RV place in Tacna, AZ. All you need is about 1-2 hour extra to get back within comfortable range.

I'll share a few of my calculations. I don't have my bags packed, ready to go. Really, I'm just getting the hang of this trip planning stuff. But I'm hoping those of you with experience along these routes will let me know where I've been overly optimistic or pessimistic.

Let's say I top off using a range charge at home, then in 139 miles I get to El Centro. I'm not right in San Diego. Assuming I drive sensibly, I get 250mi - 139mi = 111 miles. So in El Centro (when the SC is put in), I add back in the 120 miles, which puts me at 80% charge giving me 131 miles. The most blindingly optimistic rate of charge is 400mph, but to be conservative, let's use 200mph, putting me out of the SC with 230 miles in a little over half an hour.

There's what appears to be an EV-friendly RV park in Yuma (Shangri-La RV Resort), some 72 miles from El Centro and they 14-30 or 14-50 plugs available. I now have 158 miles so charge again. Phoenix is still 174 miles away, thus I would need to add in another 50+ to get there sane. Probably a bit more to take traffic tie-ups and AC into account. That's an hour and a half in this temperature:

Historical Temperature in Yuma

As you can see, Yuma ranges from hot to hotter. But after my 1.5 hour pit stop, I should be ready to roll and make it to Phoenix. The total pit time would be about 2 hours and perhaps a bit of perspiration.

The Supercharger will make a big difference. I just wish they had picked Yuma instead of El Centro. Note that there is a dearth of KOA campgrounds along I-8.

The alternate route is along I-10, which is not slated to have any SCs as of right now. This is the route I normally follow when going to Phoenix, but along that route, it looks like I'd hop from SD to Palm Springs to Chiraco Summit (I would have to hope their HPWC is free) to Phoenix, which would get me in with fewer miles of cushion, but still acceptably within range of an 85. I just have to remember to drive sensibly.

Chricaco Summit HPWC is not free it's $10 an hr....also you will need to charge in Blythe otherwise you will not make it to Phoenix. Too many hills, too dangerous to drive below 65mph and there is always a headwind.

Good luck I have driven LA to Phx several times and always have to stop in Blythe. You could make it to Glendale, but to be safe you must charge otherwise you won't make it.

The City of Yuma has 2-240 volt J 1772 E V chargers. About 0.5 mi off I-8.

@mollmason- I am curious on why it is to dangerous to drive below 65mph?

@Skymaster; it's dangerous to drive below 65 mph on I-10 because everybody else is going 75-85. Unless you find a friendly truck and stay behind it.

Well given the speed limit was 70 in Cali and 75 in Az and people were blowing by me doing 80+ I personally felt much safer going to speed limit or slighty above. Otherwise I found myself stuck behind the trucks doing 60mph and contstantly messing with my cruise control. After awhile of that nonsense I speed up to the lower end of the flow of traffic and felt much more comfortable, but battery life declined.

Each person has there own opinion but that was my experience. Until they build the supercharges on I-10 I will be driving my ICE. I just don't like not driving the speed limit on major highways.

There is absolutely nothing dangerous about having traffic pass you in another lane doing 10-15 more than you.. All evidence shows that travelling at or below the speed limit is far safer then travelling above it. The "it's safer to travel as fast as the speeder" line is pure BS to justify people speeding themselves. The faster you travel the more likely you are to have an accident and the more likely an accident is to be fatal, regardless of the speed of others on the road.


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