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paulgipe
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:39 am
Location: Bakersfield, California 93305
Contact: Website

Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:59 pm

In my first extended trip in our 2017 Chevy Bolt EV, I drove down to the Los Angeles Airport (LAX) Marriott for a conference, a one-way distance of 120 miles. Unlike my previous experience driving to LAX in an electric vehicle (EV), I don't have much to report. The Bolt worked as designed and I had ample charge and could stay with traffic.

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We have come far from the days of the Nissan Leaf. See my earlier reports atStar-Crossed Trip: Bakersfield to LAX & Return, and Stats on a Star-Crossed Trip: Bakersfield to LAX & Return.

Unlike the Leaf, I didn't need to stop en route. Nor did I need to nurse the Leaf up the Tejon Pass in the truck lane.

On the other hand, there's nothing exciting about such a venture. The Bolt performed just like any other car, gas or diesel. It simply did its job and I didn't have to worry about whether I'd make it to the Level 2 chargers at the hotel.

As before, I made a spreadsheet of energy consumption estimates from EV Trip Plannerand a tabular estimator based on the work done by Tony Williams, an early pioneer in the Leaf.

EV Trip Planner doesn't have a drop down for the Bolt. It does have two entries for the Leaf. I chose the Leaf beta version based on an earlier trip from Bakersfield in the Bolt. Being new to the Bolt I wanted to err on the conservative side. So I upped the passenger weight for the Bolt to 500 pounds to compensate for the 250 pounds greater curb weight for the Bolt relative to the Leaf. Because it's supposed to be winter here I dropped the outside temperature to 55 F.

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With these entries, EV Trip Planner said I should consume 35 kWh on the way to LAX and 36 kWh on the return. The tabulator using Tony Williams' data came in at about the same amount driving at 60 mph.

As noted, I kept up with traffic but I held my speed to the speed limit. I opted to stay out of the diamond lane and drive conservatively across LA.

It felt odd to crest the Tejon Pass without pulling over at the Flying J truck stop to charge with the portable charge cable or stop at the low-power CHAdeMO fast charger at Gorman. I just passed them by.

I arrived at the hotel after consuming only 27 kWh at a rate of 4.5 miles/kWh. I did far better than either estimator suggested. For the return trip I reset EV Trip Planner to the default settings for the Leaf beta version.

The LAX Marriott has two J1772 GE Watt Stations and two Tesla destination chargers in the parking garage. There was a space open so the valet let me in and I began charging. I noted on PlugShare that the charge would be completed by 10.30 pm.

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The next morning, the Chevy app noted that the car was charged, but unplugged. When I went to move the car to a non-charging parking space I saw that there was a Volt charging, a Prius waiting to charge, and another Bolt in the queue for the charger I had been using. There were two Teslas charging and one Tesla waiting. These were busy chargers.

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On the return trip I threw conservation to the wind and got into the diamond lane as soon as I could and never looked back. The difference in driving style is reflected in the reduced mileage of 3.9 miles per kWh on the trip back. I added about seven miles more on the homeward-bound leg to drop off a colleague. That would add almost two kWh to the consumption tally.

Even after using the default settings in EV Trip Planner, the overall consumption was about 7% less than estimated for the entire trip. That's the way I like it to be.

Next up is a 150-mile trip to the coast. This is a scenic direct route to the coast, something that simply wasn't possible in the Leaf. I am looking forward to it.
Paul Gipe
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned 11/10/17
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 956
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:25 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:23 pm

Thanks for sharing, Paul. What's noteworthy about this trip is precisely that it is not noteworthy. Like you said, oh how far we have come!

I have done multiple 600+ mile journeys in my Bolt. Those require some planning, but are doable today. They will only get easier in time, as the CCS infrastructure continues to grow.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

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paulgipe
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:39 am
Location: Bakersfield, California 93305
Contact: Website

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:11 am

Brian,

Yes I've read your trip reports.

The challenge is to get up the east side of the Sierras. That's now possible in the Bolt but still tricky.

Next trip is to the coast.

Paul
Paul Gipe
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned 11/10/17
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

BoltEV
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:44 am

If you purchase the proper transducer from AAA discounted, you can switch over from Interstate 5 to I-110 and then the express lanes to the express lanes of I-105 to the airport for perhaps a quicker ride.

I find these transducers work on the tollroads in Orange County and the Toll Bridges in Norther California, too.

SmokingRubber
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:32 pm
Location: Pismo Beach, California

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:43 pm

I'm still in disbelief people are getting near 4 MKh. When you get to the coast please look me up. Come drive my Bolt somewhere (not on the beach please) and prove to me it's possible to achieve 4 MKh. Even driving slow as f%$ I only get 3.1. Granted, I weigh 320 lbs so it's possible the drop in efficiency is driven by my tonnage. That's why I'd like to see if the problem is my weight or my car.

Afterward, I'll take you for a ride out on the dunes in my FJ Cruiser if you can spare an hour to test drive my Bolt. Assuming you were headed to the Pismo Beach area? There's a free level 2 charger down the street from me so you can leave your Bolt there to charge.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt Premier (DD)
2016 Mazda CX-5 Gran Touring (Wife's DD)
2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser (4x4 beachmobile)
2016 Mazda 3 Touring

gpsman
Posts: 415
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:10 pm

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:04 pm

In warm weather (70 to 80 deg) I routinely get 4.0 or higher without doing anything other than obey the 65 mph speed limit.

Notice how the ring around your Speedo changes from green to yellow above 65 mph?

The wind drag is a real killer above 65 mph.

SmokingRubber
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:32 pm
Location: Pismo Beach, California

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:04 pm

I frequently take Highway 1 to work from Pismo Beach CA to Guadalupe, then up W Betteravia to Santa Maria. It's not a freeway, it's a 2 lane hwy so I maintain 60-65 mph. There's even a couple stop signs and a school zone along that route.

3.1 is STILL the best I can do. I have tried no AC and no radio. Infact, when I go home today I'll limit my speed to 60 mph and be ever so gentle on the accelerator. I'll do my best attempt at an econo-run. This should be interesting.

Normally, I'm in a bit of a hurry to go home so I take the freeway (US-101). It's not uncommon to punch past 80, so I can understand poor MPk there. Not today! I'll take the back roads and granny the 25 miles home. Update tomorrow with pictures.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt Premier (DD)
2016 Mazda CX-5 Gran Touring (Wife's DD)
2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser (4x4 beachmobile)
2016 Mazda 3 Touring

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 956
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:25 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:18 pm

How much elevation gain does this route have? If you are going up and down steep hills, that could kill your efficiency too.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

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paulgipe
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:39 am
Location: Bakersfield, California 93305
Contact: Website

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:29 am

SmokingRubber wrote:I'm still in disbelief people are getting near 4 MKh. When you get to the coast please look me up. Come drive my Bolt somewhere (not on the beach please) and prove to me it's possible to achieve 4 MKh. Even driving slow as f%$ I only get 3.1. Granted, I weigh 320 lbs so it's possible the drop in efficiency is driven by my tonnage. That's why I'd like to see if the problem is my weight or my car.

Afterward, I'll take you for a ride out on the dunes in my FJ Cruiser if you can spare an hour to test drive my Bolt. Assuming you were headed to the Pismo Beach area? There's a free level 2 charger down the street from me so you can leave your Bolt there to charge.


I won't be able to get down there on this the Mardi Gras trip. Maybe on the next trip over. I'd suggest logging into EV Trip Planner and see what they suggest for your route. However, it's not infallible. EV Trip Planner said I should get 4.8 mi/kWh on the trip over and I had to nurse it to get 4.0. I used a good 6 kWh more than planned. There was wind on the coast but I pay attention to wind on the landscape (it's my business) and I didn't see any signs of it in the interior where I logged the most miles.

I've varied the cargo weight in EV Trip Planner and it doesn't make a lot of difference on a long trip--and even less on a short one I think.

We're heading back tomorrow and I'll post a trip report later.

Does your "smoking rubber" moniker have anything to do with your low mileage? Are you driving in low? I consistently get over 4 around town. However, my friend was shocked that I got 4. He said he never gets 4 but he's treating the Bolt like the sports car he never had. ;)

Paul
Paul Gipe
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned 11/10/17
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

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paulgipe
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:39 am
Location: Bakersfield, California 93305
Contact: Website

Re: Trip Report: Bakersfield, California to LAX in a Bolt

Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:32 am

GetOffYourGas wrote:How much elevation gain does this route have? If you are going up and down steep hills, that could kill your efficiency too.


Brian, is that for me or for smoking rubber? There's about 4,000 feet of elevation gain to get out of the San Joaquin Valley in three of the four directions out of Bakersfield. On this trip when we crested the Temblors I used up what was the equivalent of the Leaf's effective charge of 18 kWh. That's why we'd never taken this route in an EV.

Paul
Paul Gipe
2017 Bolt LT with DCFC, leased 11/09/17
2015 Nissan S with QC, leased, returned 11/10/17
2013 Chevy Volt Premium, bought used 10/3/16
L2; ClipperCreek HCS-40; EVSEUpgrade; Jesla; JDapter Stub
www.wind-works.org

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