Gaining Experience Points

We’re taking Jeff to Southern California so we can use up some of our timeshare points; it’s our first road trip in the EV-6, and it’s been…umm, interesting.

I charged the car overnight at home to the usual 80%, at which point it claims to be able to drive about 230 miles before running out of charge. We planned to have lunch and recharge at Harris Ranch, about 140 miles away, so I thought it’d be an easy drive. Hah!

We stopped, as usual, at Casa de Fruita to stretch our legs and wander around a bit. I set Harris Ranch into the car’s nav system and was surprised when it told me that I might want to charge the battery to be sure of reaching our destination – we only had 90 miles to go and the dash showed 160 miles of range, so I hit “ignore” and drove off.

The car warned me twice more in the next ten minutes; I told it to leave me alone and kept driving. Just before we got to I-5, I realized that the navigation system was trying to take me to the charging station at the Motel 6 nearby; I ignored it and got onto I-5. After all, I had 65 miles of cushion.

When we were passing Panoche, about 35 miles from Harris Ranch, the car was down to 30% of charge and only showing about 80 miles available. I would have stopped for a charge if I’d seen any stations on the map, but it showed nothing – later, I discovered that the Shell station at that exit has Electrify America fast chargers, which I’ll keep in mind for future trips.

We made it to Harris Ranch with about 19% left on the charge meter and 35 miles on the range meter. I quickly found a charger and plugged in and set the car to charge to 90% while we ate. It finished charging before we finished eating.

The rest of the day’s drive was uneventful and we reached the Bakersfield Marriott with the battery at 50%. We checked in, unpacked, and headed off to recharge the car and have dinner. Charging was easy; finding a place for dinner was more difficult. The first few places we looked at didn’t work (one, Firestone Grill, was incredibly loud inside, which I guess is part of their schtick). We ended up at Bok Bok Chicken for Korean Fried Chicken. It was OK, but not worth a repeat visit.

Jeff made a special request for a visit to Kevin McCarthy’s congressional office; it wasn’t easy to find, but we succeeded, and Jeff made sure to show proper respect for the former Speaker.

I will be more attentive to the car’s warnings in the future.