New limited time clean fuel rebate for Southern California Edison customers

I was made aware of a program offered yesterday for new, existing owners of electric vehicles in Southern California Edison territories.  This is an interesting rebate in that participating vehicles need not be purchased new.  A particular vehicle and household can use the rebate once, but up to two more subsequent owners of that same EV are also eligible.  (If the owner that applied for the rebate re-sells the car, the buyer, can apply for another rebate in the SCE territory for up to two more subsequent owners.)  This applicability for used and currently owned vehicles is fundamentally different than the original California state program which was limited to brand new EVs only.  Furthermore, providing for future resale to other SCE utility customers, shows a commitment to the future for this program.

So, what exactly does this rebate offer.  In a nutshell, $450 a car (as of the writing of this article on May 23, 2017.)  Considering that the program is for SCE customers, it means that your address and utility matters for this. This whole process should take most people less than fifteen minutes to complete, assuming they have ready access to the documents on hand and that their car registration is scanned or photographed for the evidence requested by the Center for Sustainable Energy (who I assume are the same administrators for this program.)

Where to start, well, the SCE “special” website that is gathering all applications for this website is https://www.scecleanfuel.com/.  Understanding that you may have some additional questions, here are the FAQshttps://www.scecleanfuel.com/faqs.

So, what do you need to prepare for filing.

In my case, I had to create a login for scecleanfuel.com (this is different than your regular service account) and is a rather straight forward process that took longer to read all the disclosures than actually click and accept the terms.

Second, I had to find and obtain my service number (which is readily available on the PDF bill (or paper bill)) from SCE.  Without the bill, it’s available on sce.com if you have a registered account on THAT system.

Example:

Find your Service Number Here

Next, you fill out the online form on scecleanfuel.com.

Here are the screens to fill out, in reality, it’s one long one.

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In total after clicking submit, the next page (which I forgot to get a screenshot of) will require you to upload a scan of your registration. Luckily, I typically scan my registration for my records, so this is good.

Once you upload your registration, your application should show the status of the application and you wait.

Here is a screenshot of the page for our application for our two EVs.

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We filed yesterday afternoon (May 22, 2017) and our applications were already in the mid-hundreds. About 22 hours later, my mom (assisted by my sister) filed hers and her application was in the one thousand applications… I’m not sure how many applications will be accepted for this, but I always feel that these are almost always first come, first serve, so get your paperwork ready and apply.

If we sell an EV and there are still funds in the program, subsequent purchasers (up to two more times) of an EV that is placed in service at SCE territory may be eligible for this rebate again. The amounts may change in subsequent years, but it’s a nice little benefit for being a customer of Southern California Edison.

On the confirmation email for this program:

Once we receive a copy of your permanent vehicle registration we will review your application for completeness and accuracy. This process may take up to 30 calendar days. Delays beyond normal processing times may occur. If your application is approved, we typically issue rebate checks within 90 days of application approval date. All status updates are communicated through your email. As we cannot guarantee our emails will not be blocked by your email server, we highly recommend periodically visiting scecleanfuel.com/login to check the status of your application.

So, now, we wait.

National Drive Electric Week 2016 – Santa Monica, Long Beach, and a wrap-up

I usually attend two or three of the National Drive Electric Week (formerly National Plug In Day) events a year. I’ve always found them to be fun and key to confirming me as a member of the rEVolution.

This past year’s events in Diamond Bar and Los Angeles were published on this blog pretty much as it happened.  I wanted to cover the other two events that I attended in the same manner, but also wanted to share our Long Way Round Trip with readers two months from when the trip happened (and, intentionally, as a way to celebrate National Drive Electric Week.)  The trip won out and so, here we are with Santa Monica and Long Beach coverage weeks later.

Santa Monica, September 16, 2016

The Santa Monica NDEW2016 event was held on Friday and Saturday (September 16-17, 2016) in conjunction with Alt Car Expo.  I actually went to Santa Monica to attend Alt Car Expo, and was pleasantly surprised by the NDEW2016 event that was being held at the same time.

Drove to Santa Monica in the better half’s Roadster.  We’ve been having some challenges with its charging and I wanted to test the car and see if it faults with the chargers at the parking lot in Santa Monica.  Luckily (and yet frustratingly), for the test, it did not.

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The City of Santa Monica is one of the most EV friendly cities and many of the municipal lots have free charging and the one at the civic center is no exception.  Additionally, these Level 2 chargers were also powered by a solar carport.

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At 30A, charging was going to take a while, but I’m here for the whole day, so I put my contact information on the EV Hangtag, checked into Plugshare and gave a status on when I expect to be done with charging, and went inside to the Alt Car Expo conference.

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The NDEW part of the conference was set up in a cordoned off section of the parking lot.

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The check in table for the Alt Car Expo was apparently where one also signs up for the Ride & Drive portion.  Something which I did not fill up at the time, and turns out, I should’ve.

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The Santa Monica set-up was a mix between EV owners and drivers demonstrating their EVs to the public (no Ride and Drive.)

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The Coda Sedan that was at the site was owned by the same gentleman who owns and operates several Codas and Coda gliders. In talking with the owner, it turns out that he was the same Coda that I spotted at the Los Angeles event as well.

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The Corbin Sparrow that was at Santa Monica is also the same exact one that was in the Los Angeles event.  I guess, I’m not the only EVangelist who enjoys talking EVs with the public.

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At this location, only the car manufacturers were the only ones providing Ride and Drive events at this location. The participating vehicles were more than just BEVs, there were several hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as well.

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The Honda Clarity,

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the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell,

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and the Toyota Mirai was there too.

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I was surprised to spot a Diesel Volkswagen at the site, it was part of the Zipcar car-sharing program and I suppose that Alt Car considers this to be an acceptable solution.  I’m not too keen on any more diesel vehicles.

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Personally, I think the service from Waivecar.com is a better candidate as it provides car sharing AND an EV (Chevy Spark EVs, to be precise) for no cost for the first two hours is quite an amazing deal.

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There were other exhibitors here as well.

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It looks like the same Chevy Bolt EV that was in Portland for EV Roadmap 9 was in Santa Monica as well.

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The only plug-in that was at the site that I have yet to drive was the Audi A3 E-Tron.  Unfortunately, I did not sign up for the Ride and Drive portion of the event in front, and I wasn’t that thrilled to drive a plug-in hybrid anyway, so I skipped it.  I spent the time at the event talking to and catching up with EV friends and decided to pass on the evening reception for the conference.

Leaving Santa Monica during rush hour is often an exercise in futility.  I decided to take some surface streets South through Venice.  Had an interesting sighting on my drive.  I spotted some manufacturer cars being driven around.   Unfortunately they were not EVs, but still a thrill to spot these camouflaged vehicles on the road.  I’m guessing its a new BMW 7 series, but could be a 5 series, I suppose.

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Hard to see, but click and zoom in on the rearview mirror. Can’t mistake the “kidney beans” on the front grill.

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I know that BMW is working on further electrification, but it would have been cool to spot a new EV on the road.

Long Beach, September 17, 2016

The following day, Saturday, September 17, I attended the NDEW gathering in Long Beach, CA.  This event was the closest to the traditional NDEW events that I have attended in the past. This one had less manufacturer involvement in it and more public-facing event. It was more traditional in that we were welcomed by some politicians and spent the time just “hanging out” and talking to folks.

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There were a lot of Teslas at this event because the Tesla Owners Club of Orange County had identified this particular NDEW for its annual NDEW event.

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All manners of Teslas were represented.

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The red roadster was for sale and is VIN #5.

Of course the Falcon Wing Doors have to go up with the Model X in the crowd.

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It is the latest Tesla around.

and we had three Roadsters at this event.

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There was representation from members of the EV community as well.

From other vehicles like the Zero Motorcycle and Smart ED.

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To several Leafs and a Porsche 912 conversion that gets around 150 miles.

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There was a Fiat 500e and a Coda (same owner as was in Santa Monica the previous day and Los Angeles the previous week.)

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Even the Honda Fit EV made an appearance.  Three times, to be exact.

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I don’t believe many of the Tesla owners allowed the public to take a drive in their vehicle.  The owner for the Red Roadster #5 did take a few interested parties out in that car, then again she was also taking the opportunity to see if anyone wanted to buy her car.

The other manufacturer’s car was different.  I saw a few take rides in the converted Porsche and I believe one of the Leafs took a drive around.

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Conclusion

Around Southern California, National Drive Electric Week is celebrated in many places and some get a lot of car manufacturer support, whereas others are sparsely attended by the manufacturers. It’s great to see all the participation in these events and I hope that more and more and convinced to go electric as a result of attending these EVents.  As for letting folks drive our EVs, I was a lot more forgiving when I drove the Active E for this event, but when we moved to the Tesla, not so much.  Besides, in California, Tesla does a great job providing folks with a nice long drive at their retail locations. Some of the events seem well attended, whereas others are more sparse. The one in Diamond Bar was much better this year, but the Los Angeles one seemed to have less people. Either way, I hope that we’ve convinced more people to go electric.

I often look forward to September because of this week and am looking forward to when it becomes every day that we celebrate Drive Electric Days.

National Drive Electric Week 2016 – Los Angeles

One of my favorite National Drive Electric Week events last year was the one in Los Angeles.  Mainly because almost all the EVs and PHEVs available on the market were represented by the OEMs for test drives at that event.

I was able to test drive the new, larger battery Nissan Leaf last year and we saw one of the early Bolt EVs at the same event.

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So… I had high expectations for 2016.

The location for this event this year was at the same place as the previous year, so it was easy to find. (Interestingly enough, all three of the locations that I intend to visit this year are all being held in the same, exact location as 2015. This is also true of the Long Beach event that our Tesla Owners Club of Orange County (formerly OC Tesla Club) will be attending as a club on September 17, 2016.

The particular lawn on Expo Park that the event is located was just behind the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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We arrived just before 11:00 AM, about two hours after the event started.  As opposed to the Diamond Bar event where EV and PHEV drivers park separately from ICE vehicles, the LA event has OEMs provide the Ride and Drive event, so all public attendees have to park in the parking lots nearby.

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We headed to the sign-in tent and got some giveaways from the organizers.

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This year’s event did not seem to have as many people as the previous year’s event.

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It was well attended by the car manufacturers.

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The Bolt EV was there, alas, Chevy was only letting folks drive the new Volt.

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One of the cool things that is at this carnival-like atmosphere were the creative games that some of the exhibitors allowed the public to play with, and I had a good time playing Chevy’s Plinko game. I ended up winning some “flip-flops” by pairing the token with its corresponding Chevy color.

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Around the driveway where the ride and drive events were being held, was an interesting solar powered Level 2 charger.  I didn’t see anyone use these chargers, but it was cool to spot it.  It’s not permanently installed, so I’m sure it’s meant to be portable.

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Looks like LAPD still kept the Tesla Motors Model S and BMW i3, but the i8 from last year was nowhere to be found.

We caught the vehicles with their lights flashing…

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…about the only time I like to see the flashing lights.

I signed up to ride the Volve PHEV, the Volvo XC90 T8 as it was the ONLY one of the plug in cars that was available to test drive that I have not driven yet.  I went to the Volvo tent to fill out all the information to get a test drive.  The wait was a few minutes, but as my turn was up, the panel regarding EV Storytelling with Chris Paine, Dean Devlin, and Chelsea Sexton was about to start.  So, I paused my drive to go and listen to the panel.

I figured to stream the event, so I set it up my iPad for a Periscope session. (I also uploaded the same content on Youtube for those that prefer that.)

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Volvo XC90 T8

So, how was the drive for the Volvo XC90 T8? Well…

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It has a nice interior.

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and the seats were comfy…

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However, I never did get to experience it in EV mode. For the very short amount of time that I did drive it, the representative and the car wouldn’t let me experience it without the ICE engaged. So, it was quite disappointing.

I think Volvo has a lot to learn of why folks do drive events at National Drive Electric Week.

As a reward for doing a test drive, we got vouchers to get food from the food trucks at the event. We used ours for Border Grill and Coolhaus.

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There were other choices there as well.

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One of the interesting exhibitors at the event was Greencommuter.org and one of their Tesla Model X.

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Had a good few minutes to talk to their representatives about their business and their plans to assist area commuters to swap their vanpools for clean EVs (such as the Model X.)

Additionally, the guys from Tesla Club LA had a tent at the event and had a few of their cars there.

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(one of our OC members’, Jamie had his Black Roadster there (as well as at Diamond Bar, the previous day.)

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One of the cool things about California National Drive Electric Week is to play “rare” EV spotting.

So, I did pretty good today. Saw a few RAV4EV (both first and second generation)

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There was a Corbin Sparrow, front and center.

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However, even more rare than the RAV4EV, possibly as rare as a Corbin Sparrow, is spotting a Coda Sedan…

…and we spotted one on the way back to our car.

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That’s one rare EV.

Either way, we added today’s photos on the same Flickr album as yesterday’s Diamond Bar event.  Starts about 23 photos in…

National Drive Electric Week 2016

As I mentioned yesterday, since one of the many questions that the public often ask at these events is “how far can you go with your EV.” Last year we went from Southern California to Maine, this summer, we went to the Tesla Gigafactory Party, The Long Way Round via Vancouver, BC.

National Drive Electric Week 2016 – Diamond Bar

For the past few years, I’ve always attended several of the National Drive Electric Week events throughout Southern California.  This year, the first EVent that we visited was in Diamond Bar at the Southern California Air Quality Management District.

Drive Electric Week is happening Internationally now and have started today, September 10, 2016 and continues on until next week.  Our club, Tesla Owners Club of Orange County (formerly OC Tesla Club), will be attending the event in Long Beach on September 17, 2016.  However, we, as a family, try to hit several throughout the week.

You can look up where the nearest one is to you on the driveelectricweek.org site.  With 241 sites worldwide, here’s to hoping that the event grows even more.

We took some great pictures of the event and set up a Flickr album.

National Drive Electric Week 2016

I chose our parking spot today to complete the Red, White, and Blue Classic Tesla Motors Model S parked on the edge of the event.

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We’re on the left, have to read it right to left to get Red, White, and Blue.

Previous sessions at Diamond Bar had a lot more EV conversions. This year, I spotted only one EV conversion (parked by the Chevy Volt.)

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The owner of the BMW i3 put his car in what he called “presentation mode.”

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Some crazy Smart ED owner put a different kind of Range Extender (wind up version…)

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Lots of Fiat 500es.

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One of the OC Tesla Club member’s Model X participated at this EVent.

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We had hoped to bring my wife’s Roadster to the event, but we found a puddle of coolant in the garage and didn’t want to risk it. Glad to see a couple of Roadsters here.

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More of the pictures from this event are on the Flickr album.

Since one of the many questions that the public often ask at these events is “how far can you go with your EV.” Last year we went from Southern California to Maine, this summer, we went to the Tesla Gigafactory Party, The Long Way Round via Vancouver, BC.

Celebrating Four Mostly Electric Years of the rEVolution.

On February 23, 2012, we joined the rEVolution with the addition of our BMW ActiveE.

This was one of the first pictures we took of our ActiveE when we picked up the car at Long Beach BMW. Shows a very happy, young rEVolutionary:

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Brought it home and plugged it in… We didn’t even have our Level 2 installed at the time and had to charge a BEV with an 80-100 mile range on 120V.

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Granted, my commute at the time was 70 miles roundtrip if I took the most direct route, and the “fastest” route used the carpool/HOV lanes and that was 100 miles roundtrip.

BMW’s friendly policies for ActiveE Electronauts meant that I was able to charge at Pacific BMW (a 10 minute walk from my office) J1772 station and ensure that I recovered my miles that first week.

Side by side ActiveE 1

I wrote about my first year of electric driving on the blog three years ago.

Once you go electric, it’s hard to look back. At the time that we picked up the Active E, we had a few ICE vehicles in the garage. The Active E was outnumbered by ICE vehicles and we figured to keep the ICE for our hybrid garage.

After taking delivery of the Active E, we we sold our Honda Civic Hybrid. There was no real need to keep it since we originally purchased the Honda as a commuter vehicle and the Yellow HOV stickers were expired by the time we picked up the Active E.

The two year lease of the Active E meant that there was pressure to see what “the next car” will be and we decided to place a deposit for the Model S. However, at the time, the plan was for my wife to get the S and for me to look for a replacement for the Active E.

We received our “configure your Model S” message in the beginning of 2013. However, we still had another year on the 2 year lease on the ActiveE and we didn’t think we would run with 2 EVs concurrently, so I took the time to test out other cars for me to use when we decide to become a 2 EV family, after all, the Model S was going to be her car.  Since I wanted to ensure to get the Federal Tax Credit in 2013, we delayed the delivery of the vehicle to the end of the year.  The ideal delivery would be December 31, 2013, however, understanding the Tesla process and to ensure that I get the vehicle with some “buffer” we settled to take delivery in November 2013.

Long time readers of the blog and participants of the now defunct Active E forums will remember the many test drives (a few sample test drives: CodaFiat 500e,  Smart ED to name a few) and discussions over what my next car will be. I was really hoping to love the i3 and my wife was “under protest” if I went with the i3. At the end of the day, we skipped the i3, a decision that I discussed on a previous posting.

To make November 2013 delivery, we figured that we needed to start configuring our Model S on August 2013.  It was at this time that we noticed a bunch of Tesla Roadsters being sold as Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) and my wife fell in love with her Roadster.  So, it was at this point that we decided to pick a Roadster up and the Model S became my car.

Here is the Roadster on our pick-up day:

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And here I am with a rare (driving my wife’s baby) picture:

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Picking up the Roadster was awesome, but not without problems.

And a few months later, we did our first roadtrip with our Model S when we picked it up at the factory. And live-blogged the weekend a few hours before and a few days after. I summarized the whole weekend.

Here is our Model S on pickup day:

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After the early start, factory tour and pickup of the Model S, our first recharge for the car…

The driver and passenger needs to refuel.

…was for the driver. Needed Starbucks.

Though we started the year thinking that we wouldn’t need to drive 2 EVs, we ended up with 3 EVs from November 2013 until the return of the Active E to BMW on February 2014. The second year anniversary was a bittersweet one.

The following year of EV ownership strengthened our positive impression of Tesla Motors. The BMWi debacle in the launch of the i3 in the United States made us adjust back to the original plan of 2 EVs for daily use. Originally we wanted to get a third EV so that we can minimize the miles in the Roadster, but my better half was having too much fun driving her Roadster and didn’t feel like swapping it out on daily drives. So, we saved some money and skipped the third EV.

I didn’t even write a 3rd EV Anniversary post.

So, from February of last year to now, we’ve settled into a life with our two EV, one ICE hybrid garage.

This past year, we’re really just living the rEVolution on a day to day basis. We took our Model S on a Roadtrip Coast-to-Coast and back, and it was a blast. With over three years of EV driving, we don’t suffer from range anxiety, however the trip solidified our “can do” attitude as far as driving our EV for distances and this past year we took more roadtrips than we’ve done the previous years.

I would have loved to say that we hit 150,000 miles of all electric driving, but I will just have to settle on 148,404 electric miles vs 14,194 ICE with a little under 3 hours from the time we brought our Active E home 4 years ago (9pm Pacific vs. 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific right now)). [EDITED 2016-March-5, Looks like I had an error in my tracking spreadsheet…  We’re closer to 125,000 EV miles…  I had transposed numbers in Month 16 of our tracking spreadsheet that overstated total miles by around 20,000 miles for totals.  I was preparing for the Year 3 of our EV vs. ICE posting, and found the error…]

So, what’s in store for our EV future?

To begin with, we’re about 2 weeks from the third anniversary of my ICE vs EV statistics that I’ve been tracking and we broke 90% EV vs 10% ICE use after almost three years. But that’s another post.

My Thanksgiving 2015 post gives a good hint of what I’ve been up to. Additionally, I am happy to report that my client, EV Connect, Inc., was selected for three of the nine Electric Charging Highway Corridors for the California program. This project, when completed will allow all EVs equipped with CHAdeMO and/or CCS DC Fast chargers to complete the travel from the Mexican border to the Oregon border with Level 3 charging stations.

Additionally, the Model 3 reservation process will be open on March 31st for a $1,000 deposit. We’re trying to see if we’ll take advantage of this or not.

Lastly, we’re thinking of expanding our long EV roadtrip plans. We are tempted to do another coast-to-coast trip using one of the newer routes. Perhaps we’ll finally join the Teslaroadtrip folks on one of their cool get togethers. This year, they’re planning on something at Colonial Williamsburg, and we’ve never been. We’ll have to see if things work out for this trip.

Here’s to hoping that the Model 3 and its competing EVs become massive successes and we transition from ICE to EV at a faster rate.

In the meantime, time flies when you’re having fun.

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 23

A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the twenty-third in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.

Missed Day 22, click here.

Day 23 – Drive on Sunday, May 24, 2015

Yesterday’s drive was fun and scary at the same time. We decided to head South on I-15 when we reach it rather than North and through a longer way back to Southern California. The question at the start of the day is where do we stop tonight?

There are many National Parks to visit in Utah and we got to the one that was top of my list. Mainly because I like to drive through this process and not necessarily get out of the car, I’m kind of funny that way. The only other place I wanted to drive through in Utah was Monument Valley. Unfortunately, we drove a different direction from that location when we left Moab and proceeded to stay the night in Richfield, a location several hundred miles away. It seems like the superchargers between Blanding, UT and Flagstaff, AZ would be a really hard stretch (251 miles per Google) and though the car on a max charge can do 255 miles, I didn’t want to backtrack to Moab and beyond. Additionally, I’m not sure as to the state of the three mobile providers that we have for that 251 Mile stretch (in case we needed to call for help.) We decided to abandon that area of the country for this trip.

We had a “fuzzy plan” of perhaps staying in Vegas for the night and just doing the “usual” Vegas things. Oh wait, Vegas is like “Fight Club,” after all, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.”

Holiday Inn Express Richfield

Either way, after the fiasco of a stay that was the Omni Hotel Interlocken, we were glad to have had the comfort and consistency of the Holiday Inn Express. Though the hotel is considered a “limited service” class of hotel, their hospitality was top notch.

Additionally being a hosting site for the supercharger is a huge plus.

Unlike the “gentleman” we met at the Moab Best Western, we practiced “Best Practices” of parking our vehicle away from the supercharger stall when we’re not charging. Notice our Blue Model S, just by the entrance and the tree on the right, as it sat there waiting for us to move it to start the morning’s charge.

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Richfield Supercharger

Colder weather in the UT desert. Notice the dashed yellow lines for power and regenerative braking. This means that supercharging will also be slower until the pack warms up.

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We used 1.353 kWh to move the car to the supercharger stall, but we’ll get that back in a blink when we charge it.

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The car firmly parked in the stall with our filled out Pluginamerica EV Card on the dash while I head back to the room to get ready for the drive ahead.  The speed limits in UT are 80 MPH and we have to travel about 160 miles to St. George as we figured to skip Beaver on this drive, so we range charged to full.

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Must be early or folks are sleeping in. Relative to other hotels that we’ve stayed at on this trip, there are still a lot of people at the hotel when we got up.

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No other cars were with us at the supercharger though.

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So, I got back up to the room and here’s a picture of the car supercharging by itself.

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Before heading out, we decided to pay closer attention to the condition of our car after yesterday’s drive.

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You can see the effect of the wind on how the dirt is moved around.

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We reached out to Mark Larsen, a fellow EV and Solar rEVolutionary to see if he can meet us today and were in luck.  Looks like our schedules match up and we can meet up. We were not able to meet up on the way East over three weeks ago.

We still get 255 miles on a range charge and we timed it so that we roll out when full. Though the Beaver, UT Supercharger is between Richfield and St. George, we opted to skip it as we have enough charge to get to Richfield, even with the insane Utah speed limits.

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It’s interesting to continue to see snow in May.

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The clouds today are not as threatening as yesterday’s clouds, but it still manages to block quite a bit of sunlight.  Rain is threatened today, but compared to what we had in the Rockies, we’re ready for anything.

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As I mentioned earlier we definitely know that we’re in Utah, the speed limit is 80 MPH. (P85, P85+, P85D speedsters, the speed limits alone might be reason enough for you to visit Utah on a Tesla/supercharger powered roadtrip.)

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My wife managed to capture a picture of the Beaver Supercharger as I was zooming by at 80 MPH. That’s pretty impressive.  We didn’t slow down and this was using the Optical Zoom on our digital camera as I was speeding by Beaver, UT.

Besides, we’ve already stopped off at all the superchargers on this route and made our entries in the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.

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It didn’t look like anyone was supercharging there right now.  I wondered whether we should’ve stopped for a wash at the car wash that is supercharger adjacent in Beaver.

A nice sign for Beaver, UT.

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It’s Sunday on a holiday weekend, so I don’t expect there to be any construction at these construction zones.

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We spotted some smoke from the distance. I wonder whether these fires were “controlled” and what it was that they were burning if it was.

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We spotted a bunch of cows on the side of the freeway.  The cattle on the side of the Utah road doesn’t seem to be as “free range” as the ones in the other states that we’ve passed through.  I often think of the Far Side comics as I pass by cows on the side of the freeway.  I wonder what they’re thinking.

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What are they burning?  We spotted a second set of smoke and fires.

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As we were getting closer to St. George, in Cedar City, UT, we spotted a strange sight on the side of the Freeway.

A lighthouse on the side of I-15.  Apparently, this is not the ONLY lighthouse in Utah off the side of I-15.  Because I was searching for the answer when I was researching this lighthouse and the first hit on the search was one North of Salt Lake City.  Here is what others have written about it. We just continued on, we had a meet-up in St. George to make.

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Normally if one were to see 80 MPH on the speedometer, one could surmise that we were speeding.  Not so in Utah, besides we just hit 42,500 miles on the odometer there.  Not only were we going 80 MPH, our 30 mile average consumption was less than 200 Wh/mi.  That’s fast AND efficient.

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Each state in the Union has a distinctive feel to its place.  We noticed that there seems to be a change with every state crossing that we’ve done.  And Southern Utah and these deep red hues speak of the St. George area for us.

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Just North of St. George is a BIG Walmart distribution center when we originally passed it on Day 1 of our drive, I was impressed by it, but forgot to take a photograph.  I suppose when you operate one of the world’s largest retail establishment, you need really large distribution centers and I was impressed with the size of this location.  Traversing the freeway at 80 MPH we were still able to capture the center in three shots.

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When we made the exit toward, St. George’s, we spot a really large D on the side of the hill.  We passed a “P”, a “C”, and some other letters.  Considering all the humor regarding the D launch event, figured to capture another D on our blog.

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We arrived in St. George making the long trek across town to get to the oasis that is Starbucks and the Tesla Supercharger.  In contrast with the various other supercharger locations on this trip, the St. George location seems to be a ways off from the highway.  I suppose that Tesla had to find a willing participant to host the site and we’re glad that Starbucks and their landlord was good enough to oblige.

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Traveling at 80 MPH for most of the drive was fun, but I was more impressed with the 290 Wh/mi figure that we were able to sustain.  Even with some light rain on the drive.

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Since the area around the Las Vegas Supercharger felt unsafe, we decided to get as much a charge as possible.  Besides, we were going to be meeting Mark Larsen in real life. So, we had pleasant EV company to discuss all things EV and Solar with.  Mark has done a great job creating and maintaining a graphic representation of EV sales through the years.

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Aside from Twitter, Mark also writes on his own website.  Before the establishment of the Tesla Superchargers in St. George, Mark was one of the first people to share his plug on Plugshare to provide folks with a charge when they visit Utah.

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Both Mark and I are big fans of the Transport Evolved, so it was nice for a couple of rEVolutionaries to meet up at the St. George Supercharger (my wife is taking the picture of the two of us.)

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Another Model S from Riverside, CA pulled in during our meetup to get a charge and head back South. They were friendly enough, but we didn’t spend much time talking to them. They were up in the area playing golf and out for the holiday weekend.

After getting our charge and spending time with a fellow rEVolutionary, we headed off to Vegas.  At this point, we were planning on playing it by ear.  Hotel rates in Vegas were a little higher because of the holiday, but not too bad. Additionally, we wanted to see how we felt when we got there since we knew that traffic between Vegas and Southern California on Monday would probably be worse than the traffic today or on Tuesday.

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The drive between Utah and Arizona is through a canyon pass that was under construction.  No active work being done on a Sunday during a holiday weekend, but the number of lanes was restricted.

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We missed taking a photo of the Arizona State line, but we’re not missing the crossing into Nevada.

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What is that mirage (not the Mirage, just a mirage) that we see?

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It was strange to see Vegas from this view.  It’s not the angle we’re used to seeing on the drive from California.  We usually see the Strip first, but that’s because we approach it from the South.  We’re coming in from the North and we see Downtown Las Vegas first.

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Under the auspices of “Whatever Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.”  I can neither confirm nor deny any “gaming” activities that occurred between seeing Downtown Las Vegas and stopping off at the Las Vegas Supercharger.  But, between you and I, I was doing pretty well at the table that I sat in… If you know what I mean. 😉  However, not well enough to stay in Vegas for another couple of days.  We decided to head home.  We’ve been out for 23 days at this point and the allure of the “short” drive home from Vegas was overwhelming.

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We could have made the drive to Primm Supercharger from where we were (it’s approximately 40 miles) but we decided to get an insurance charge.  After all, it was in the desert on our first day that we decided to charge often and charge lots.

We arrived at a near full house at the Las Vegas Supercharger.  We didn’t take a photograph of the charger stalls at this time because folks were all in their cars. We did notice that the car from Riverside that was charging beside us when we arrived was the same one that we met in St. George earlier in the day.  They lapped us, i.e. we left them charging when we left St. George.  We greeted them when they got out of their car to unplug from the supercharger as they prepared to leave.  Because of the heat many stay in their cars in Vegas and run their air conditioning while supercharging.

We had the detour, which I can neither confirm, nor deny, and now we met up with them again at the Las Vegas Supercharger.

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Satisfied with our insurance charge, we skipped the famous Las Vegas Strip and headed to Primm.

However, my wife was able to take photographs of some of The Strip properties as we passed it from the freeway, The Mirage.

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We skipped New York, New York.

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We skipped The Excalibur.

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And we skipped Luxor.  Though it’s pretty cool to have a pyramid in the shot.  I sent this photograph to my East Coast cousins telling them that I must’ve made a wrong turn somewhere (implying Egypt, of course.)

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Primm Supercharger

And a short drive of about 40 miles later, we find ourselves at the border of Nevada and California at the Primm Superchargers.

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There’s plenty to do at Primm while supercharging.  Aside from “gaming” there is a big outlet mall attached to the Primm Valley Resort and Casino.  We opted to do the activity which shall remain nameless.  Let me just say that we ended the “gaming” part of the trip with $0.77 in profit.  (Penny slot machines really do pay out in pennies.  Though you don’t get the coins anymore, it’s printed out on a claim ticket that you have to redeem at the casino cashier cage.)

It’s been a while, but my wife graciously offered to drive the leg back into California.  So, I accepted.  I’ve seen some of her photographs (as you have too as she’s been the main photographer for this blog) from the trip and I needed to ensure that I didn’t embarrass her.  So, I made sure to capture the state line photograph.  (Oh the pressure…)

I did a two device technique for the crossing back to California shot and was glad with both of them.

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Up next is that huge solar farm at the border of California and Nevada that’s been in operation for a year or so.

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Good for us California, but not good enough! Let’s get more! (I’m a Californian, I can complain about the progress.)

It’s my turn for the sunset pictures.  There are several more on Flickr, but these are the ones that I thought to share on the blog.

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As we expected, the Sunday of a three day weekend usually shifts the traffic to Monday and the traffic this evening was quite moderate for this trip.

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With all the newfound time that I found in being in the passenger seat, I start to do some photographic compositions of “The Moon and I”

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or, just the moon.

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Some more sunsets.  My theory on photography is akin to the theory of the thousand monkeys typing the works of Shakespeare.  A good composition “could happen” in volume.  That’s one of the great things about the exponentially cheaper cost of digital photography versus the last time I took a cross country trip and the photographs had to be shot on film (and the cost to develop, etc.)

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Back then film was expensive.  Additionally, I was barely an adult, and still needing assistance from my mom.  Her rule with photographs was that there better be someone we “know” in the shot.  So, I wasn’t much for “nature” photography or anything like that.  So, boy am I glad that digital photography is now the norm.

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I can do this picture in two shots that I am calling “Passing a Truck 1” and

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“Passing a Truck 2”.  Yes, that’s the same truck.  I had a LOT of time to snap away, I’m not driving this leg, remember.

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I was supposed to rest and nap, but I couldn’t.  I was having too much fun taking pictures.  And getting loopy as we got closer to home.

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And just after sunset we reached the Barstow Supercharger.  Now, the handy-dandy navigation trip planner originally had us routing to the Rancho Cucamonga Supercharger, but we know from experience that we can make it home on a full charge in Barstow, so we ignored the beta software again and just charged up.

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We arrived in Barstow with plenty to spare and plenty of time to charge.

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As we charged away at the site, another Model S pulled up to the hotel next door and was letting its passengers out for the night before he pulled into a couple of stalls over from us.

In the meantime, a new brown 70D pulled up on the newer stalls (not covered by the solar canopy.)  Since we haven’t seen that color before, I stepped out and introduced myself and my wife and had a pleasant conversation with the father and son that arrived in the 70D.  They were on a long Sunday drive that the son was using to convince his dad to go Tesla.  The son is a Service Concierge at the Palm Springs Tesla location and they took some back way to the supercharger from there.  We spent the time helping the son make the case for Tesla before we wished them well as they were on their way to dinner.  Here’s to hoping that the dad followed his son’s advice.

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We arrived in our home city just passed 11:00 PM and decided to counter our Atlantic Ocean view with a photo of the car by the Pacific.  We headed to Seal Beach for the beach parking lot shot, but it was too late and dark.  So, we opted for a Marina shot in Long Beach for our arrival night.

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Besides, readers of previous days of this blog know what time it is when our shots are REALLY blurry. And after 23 days on the road, it is definitely time to get to sleep.

We were fairly efficient on the last leg from Barstow to Long Beach and more efficient than how we’ve been driving around home for the day (304 Wh/mi.)

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After 23 days on the road. 25 other states visited. 8,245 miles. As varied an experience that we’ve had in our various hotels, it was great to once again sleep on our bed and be home.

We’re taking tomorrow off, it’s a Holiday after all, and publish our trip conclusions and such on Tuesday, three hours later than we’ve been publishing. So, come back and join us for that, will you?

As we’ve neared the end of this series of posts, after the post on Tuesday, I will be updating the blog somewhat randomly. So, if you’re interested in being notified, just subscribe to the blog (there’s a choice to do so in the sidebar) or follow me on Twitter, I tend to auto-tweet new posts there.

Go on to Lessons Learned.

23_Richfield to Long Beach

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 22

A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the twenty-second in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.

Missed Day 21, click here.

Day 22 – Drive on Saturday, May 23, 2015

Omni Hotel Interlocken

If yesterday’s Hyatt Place is the picture of consistency, the Omni Hotel Interlocken is its inverse. We have had nothing but great experience with our lodging at the other Omni Hotels that we’ve stayed at. That’s how we were able to complete enough nights to have a “free night certificate” for last night’s stay. It was free. However, even that price was “too expensive” for the disappointment that was our stay at the Omni Hotel Interlocken.

If you intend on staying at this part of Denver (Broomfield, CO) metro area and expect to stay at a “full service hotel.” Let me advise you to look elsewhere. This hotel needs improvement, a lot of improvement.

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After parking with 199 miles of rated range last night, we’re starting the day at 196 miles, we lost three miles of rated range last night.

When we drove out on our first day, we consciously wanted to drive far from Southern California.  If you remember, we drove 808 miles on our first day. What that day did was sacrifice some of the most beautiful views in the West, the Utah desert.  Today’s goal is to have a plan for either heading home or routing ourselves to the Pacific Northwest. Our main inflection point to make that decision is either Richfield or Beaver, UT.

The next few supercharger stops will be the same ones that we took on our trip East.  With one exception.  We would like to make it to Arches National Park near Moab, UT before or around sunset this evening.  After that, it’s either spend the night in Moab, Green River, or Richfield, UT.

As we were climbing into the Rockies, one of the exits close to the Denver Metro area had a funny sign about a Buffalo or Bison Herd (we were unable to take a picture of the sign.)

However, we were able to take a picture of the herd as we drove by.

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Heading West on I-70 from the Denver Metro area, means a change from the city scenes to the mountain scenes.  Like the Buffalo or Bison herd in the previous photograph.

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It was fairly light rain, to start.

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However, it looks like we were going to be encountering some “weather” on the way to Silverthorne, and perhaps beyond.

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It was getting harder to enjoy the sights outside of the car when the weather starts to be a challenge.

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Some rain starts to turn into showers, and in as cold as it is, some showers turned into snow showers.

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I’ve driven in rain before, not often until this trip (Southern California is in a drought after all).  I’ve driven in snow, not with the Model S, mind you.  But I’ve hardly ever driven in snow showers, and this drive to Silverthorne was the first time that I’ve ever done such a drive in the Model S.

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So, I figured to take my time and go as slow as the traffic will allow it.  We picked the white SUV on the right lane as it was going conservatively, but not irritatingly so.  Additionally, I figured that the SUV is about as heavy as the Model S, so it should react somewhat similarly as the Model S in the current road conditions.

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The weather was quite tough and I was glad that we had a good buffer of rated range miles so that the only thing I had to worry about was the weather and be comfortable in our available charge.

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Did someone not send the memo to tell Colorado that it’s already LATE MAY.

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There’s still snow on the runaway truck ramp

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We used a lot of energy getting to Silverthorne, but it makes for some great energy graphs.

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Just like that, the weather cleared.  It’s as if Silverthorne had a protective bubble from the weather.  We said goodbye to our white SUV guide and exited at Silverthorne.

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Silverthorne Supercharger

We arrived at the Silverthorne Supercharger during the outlet mall’s open hours is different than the last time we stopped here.  Rather than just stay in the car while we charged, we figured to stretch our legs and check out the shops.

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It might only be approximately 90 miles between Silverthorne Supercharger and Glenwood Springs Supercharger, but with the way the weather’s been and the elevation changes, I’m charging it up.

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So, the differential between what we consumed on our drive and the rated range is about 31 miles. The drive from the hotel to Silverthorne was about 76 miles with a consumption of 387 Wh/mi.

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As I mentioned, we got to stretch our legs.  We felt welcome at the Colorado Welcome Center.

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We took the time to enjoy the dry, cool weather at Silverthorne.

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By the time we got back to our car, we had some company.

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These pictures are a reminder of my wife’s suggestion to Tesla that it might be nice for the supercharger stalls to have the name of the location on them for these sort of photo opportunities.

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So, the next supercharger in Glenwood Springs are 92 miles away.

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We have enough for bad weather and elevation and more.  This is significantly more than the 100 mile “whatever” buffer that we’ve settled on.

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But first, it was time to take a picture of dry, happy travelers.

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So with 233 miles of Rated Range in the tank, we drove off toward Glenwood Springs Supercharger.

The last time we were at the Breckenridge exit, it was Winter. We didn’t stop off at Breckenridge, CO on this trip, but the thing with Breckenridge is the altitude sickness when visiting the resort.  Each time I visit Breckenridge from Southern California, I have to take at least a day and a half to adjust to the altitude.  So, if you’re prone to bad altitude sickness, be prepared for it when you visit Breckenridge.

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We’re passing another set of ski runs that would’ve been fun to ski.  Unless it was the same ski run that we photographed on Day 2.

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The drive to Glenwood Springs Supercharger is made easier by the fellow Grey Colorado Model S.

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When the weather turned bad again, we figured to follow the Grey Colorado Model S. He looked like he knew what he was doing.

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This sort of energy usage tells us that there are lots of ups and downs on this route.

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There is hope and a clearing ahead.

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Through inclement weather and clear and sunny routes, it’s always more pleasant to be driving behind another Model S. No fumes.

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I wonder if he’s getting tired of the Blue Califonia plated Model S behind him.

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Now that’s the sight that I was expecting for Colorado in May, and not the snow showers we were being challenged by earlier.

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Still some snow on those mountains.

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I wonder if that Grey Colorado Model S will be supercharging at Glenwood Springs with us.

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My wife is getting good at these interior panoramic shots.

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Before we enter into the White River National Forest part of this drive, we spotted a familiar sight on the Southern side of I-70.  Costco Hot Dogs, anyone? Not us.

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Just before the Glenwood Springs is the White River National Forest, it is the coolest part of this drive.  And it looks like the Grey Model S really enjoyed it ’cause they pretty much disappeared ahead of us.

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The speed limit on this leg seems unusually low for me, it was difficult to stay there. The drive was too tempting. Here’s a fun video of the ride through a tunnel with us. Please don’t mind the person singing along to the music, he didn’t know that he was being filmed. 😉

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With much to see above, we remembered to take some photographs through the panoramic roof.

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And with that, we reached Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

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Looks like our Grey Colorado Model S did exit at Glenwood Springs.

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We crossed over a bridge and saw some rapid seeking adventurers enjoying the Colorado River.

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Glenwood Springs Supercharger

The Glenwood Springs Supercharger were empty when we arrived here.

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Our drive to Glenwood Springs was surprisingly efficient at 232 Wh/mi.  Adding the 93 miles consumed to the 156 remaining rated range puts us at a start mile of 249 miles, since we left Silverthorne at 233 miles mean that the consumption rate was quite efficient.

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It was interesting that we were alone supercharging. The Grey Model S parked in one of the regular spots in the same parking lot and met with people who they obviously knew. We didn’t get a chance to thank the Grey Model S folks for being our guide through the weather. I figured that they must be locals, because they drove off without stopping off at the supercharger.

We charged up to a bit before we rolled out to Grand Junction since it’s only 91 miles.

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We really enjoyed the calm weather that we had on the drive to Grand Junction.  The calm weather was a welcome respite from the rain and snow showers that we went through the first two legs of today’s drive.

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Always like spotting solar panels, I wonder what these ones were used for.

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This drive to Grand Junction gets us really close to the Colorado River.

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We’re really close to Grand Junction now…

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We were able to take a photograph of the grapes and Colorado wine country.

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Grand Junction Supercharger

When we got to Grand Junction, we figured to look up some hotels in the Moab area, but they were all booked up. The challenge with making plans at the last minute during a holiday weekend is the higher demand areas get full fast.  We looked at Green River, but settled on the Holiday Inn Express at Richfield.  After all, we seek to give back to those that are enabling the operation and expansion of the Tesla Supercharger network.

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We met with a Green Colorado Model S that was on its way as we arrived.  They were friendly and on their way toward Denver.

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Our charge was close to 90% as we roll out to our first new stop on this drive Moab Supercharger.  Which means a chance to add another entry in the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.

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The last time we did this drive, the route was at the end of our 808 mile Day 1 adventure.

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We know that we’re back in Utah because the speed limits start to increase.

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We didn’t see this sign the last time we left Colorado, then again that was later at night.

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So, we crossed into Utah again.  It is such a cool state sign.

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And we got an even better shot of the welcome to Utah sign.

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We saw a rest stop and decided to stop and take a photo of the car with a desert background.

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Yeah, it was a little windy here.

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We figure to take a few more Model S nature shots.

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Or at least shots of the car in a Utah rest stop.

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The weather was better than what we’ve had earlier on our drive, but it was still cloudy.  But at least it was dry.

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Things kept looking up as we were getting closer to Moab.  The weather was clearing up and we still have a bit of sunlight as we headed into Moab for the sunset.

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The rocks were amazing, and we’re not even at Arches National Park, yet.

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The folks were making use of the smooth sand to sled down. The dessert [thanks for the edit Brian H, I do tend toward desserts] desert toward Moab looked strangely full of people. It probably has to do with the Memorial Day Weekend.

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The entrance to Arches is before the Moab supercharger, I don’t know how many miles the drive around the Arches National Park is, but we wanted to have enough to do the drive and head to Green River for the night.

So, we tried to find the information out at the visitor center for the park.  We stopped by first before we went to the Moab Supercharger, however, it was after hours and the visitor center was closed.

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Since the visitor center was closed, we couldn’t pick up a map, so I took pictures of the map to help us find our way on the drive.

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Even though we have three different mobile providers on our trip, I don’t expect ANY coverage on mobile during the drive into Arches National Park.

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Rather than find any information from the visitor center, I actually got the information that we needed from a fellow visitor.  They said that the drive around was approximately 40 miles.  Now, we had about 90 miles of range left in the car, so we had enough to do the drive, but I wanted to also have enough to get to Green River, so we headed into Moab to get a charge.

The drive to Moab would have been faster, but since the town was full for the weekend, it did take a little bit longer because of the traffic.

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Moab Supercharger

The Moab Supercharger is located in the parking lot of the Best Western in Moab.

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After we plugged in, the occupants of the SUV parked by our car at the superchargers arrived and was admiring our car and the white Model S parked beside us.  The SUV was filled by a family that was visiting Moab from Colorado.  They were curious about the Model S and EVs and we took the time to talk to them about Model S and EVs in general.

We found a White Nevada Model S occupying a charging stall.  After we finished our conversation with the SUV family, the owner of the white Model S came out to check on his car.

Apparently this person was staying at the hotel.  Rather than move from the supercharger to a parking spot, he mentioned that he was planning on using the supercharger stall as his spot for the evening. He made the comment that he’s never seen the supercharger stalls full the last few times that he has visited this location.  I reminded him that perhaps it would be a good idea to put his contact information on his car, just in case four other Model S showed up to use the chargers, he scoffed at what I presume was his way of taking the suggestion under advisement.  He was not the friendliest or most considerate person we’ve met on this trip.

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And with the necessary and buffer charge completed, we rolled back out to Arches National Park.

Arches National Park

Not being much of a “nature” guy, I really enjoy the Arches National Park way of visiting.  Many of the places in the park can be visited by driving through the park.  No hiking required.

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So, we entered the park and headed in with the express purpose of “having a nice drive” and to get some great pictures of our car for the Model S Nature Pictures thread on Tesla Motors Club.

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The navigation had signal near the entrance to the park, but we will soon lose it when we get deeper into the drive.

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We were soon reminded that not only do we have a panoramic roof that we can OPEN that panoramic roof for better, untinted shots of the view.

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We took many pictures of our visit to Arches National Park, so enjoy.  They say that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, and it’s not often that you will find me “speechless.”

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I imagine that in the future the National Park system may want to consider the fact that EVs have less of an impact on driving routes like this than our ICE brethren.  Unfortunately that is not the case right now.

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These rock formations looked like a sculpture of people facing to the right from the shot above. And they look like they’re in a meeting in this closer shot.

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Not sure if we can get to another stop for our Model S Nature Pictures, we stopped off in the first one that had space.

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This one is in the Ancient Sand Dunes part of the park.

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Our next stop was the Balanced Rock section.

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Can you spot the rainbow in the next couple of pictures?

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We headed down to the valley for the Delicate Arch.

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We tried to see if we can see the Delicate Arch from the car.  However on the way there there were several warnings of flash floods and evidence of roads that were washed out (not pictured, unfortunately).  Since we’ve been through a bit of weather before we got here and those rain clouds look like they’re getting closer, we decided to find a different place to take another set of Model S Nature Pictures thread worthy shots.

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We figured to find another point on higher ground so we don’t have to worry about it.

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Our next stop was at the aptly named Panorama Point.

And the next shots are what we plan to enter into Model S Nature Pictures thread.

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Now it’s just a matter of picking which one(s).

We were at our final stop before sunset.

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Arches National Park is what I envision when I think of Utah.

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Time to start heading out of the park as the darkness will drop quickly in the dessert.

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Heading out

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We made it back to the parking lot of the visitor center as the rain started to fall.

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And I for one was glad to be away from the “flash flood” signs that we passed inside the park.

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I took the opportunity to see what our energy consumption was on the drive within Arches.  So, it looks like we used less than the 40 rated miles that we had been told the drive would take.  Then again, we didn’t drive all the routes.

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It looks like our drive through Arches was fun.  Take a look at the energy consumption chart on the right.  However, the 278 Wh/mi since the charge says that we had fun efficiently.

With the sun setting fast, we were on our way back to Green River.

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Green River Supercharger

The last time that we charged at Green River Supercharger it was the middle of the night, now it’s just the night.

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We got to the Green River Supercharger and decided to make our decision on whether to continue the trip North and through the Coast or choose the more direct route home.

After much consideration we figured that it was time to head toward home.  We still have to figure out whether we’re staying in Utah longer or just head to Vegas tomorrow.

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Holiday Inn Express Richfield

We didn’t figure out what to do on the drive to Richfield.  It’s been a long day and the drive to the Holiday Inn Express actually consumed more energy than the drive through Colorado and the Rockies.

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The great thing about checking into a hotel that is supercharger equipped is that we don’t have to worry about the vampire loss.  Besides, we can always park at the supercharger stall overnight if its more convenient for us. (Just kidding) ;-).

Go on to Day 23. Click here.

22_Broomfield to Richfield