The Roadtrip Setup.

Now that I had a plan to get back the old car, I still needed to get back the new one. Easy enough, just drive back up, right? Well I hadn’t planned to take this road trip in an electric when I came down, so now I was faced with figuring out the logistics with no time to prepare since I had to be back by the next week and it was Friday.

The first step in the plan was the first drive the car to LA and stay with a friend until Monday so I could get a feel for the vehicle and charge to 100% before I started the long haul. I learned from this that chargers are plentiful in the California area — there happened to be an L2 charger a block from my friend’s apartment. The charger was $1 an hour and had me fully charged in a 4 hour charge.


The second step was to plan out a route that would get me back to San Francisco with energy to spare — I was brand new to EVs and wasn’t going to risk getting stranded out in the middle of the state with no power. I downloaded all the major charger apps (ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVGo) and used A Better Route Planner to do the routing.


Easy! This route called for two stops, one about 45 minutes and the second about an hour. I figured I could overlap the second stop with lunch, and get back to the city by around 3pm if I left at 7am. I was all ready to go before I had a realization — what if a charging stop wasn’t working? The routing app didn’t have the status for some stations, and if I showed up and the plug was bad, I would be stuck finding a hotel with the distance that L3 plugs occur on the 5.

When I checked, sure enough, the second stop I wanted was out of service. I was able to avoid-list this site on the route planner and catch a charger maybe 50 miles before it instead. The moral of this story is verify that your chargers are working before you go! This ain’t Tesla; some of the networks do not take care of the stations, and on routes where the charger is the only one nearby you could be up a creek if you get stranded there. With the new route locked in, it was time to drive.


Next: The Roadtrip