Electric Car Travels Part 4

Sacramento to Fresno (Part 2)

Misunderstood mandate: Fresno coronavirus order could expand throughout  Central Valley - ABC30 Fresno

Those who follow this blog, electric vehicles have a warm place in my heart.

My electric car journey, began in the summer of 2019 after my personal car was totaled.

There is a car sharing program in Sacramento (Gig). With a Gig car, using your phone you can rent an electric Chevrolet Bolt by the hour or longer. The program is perfect for the city dweller who needs a car for an hour or so for an errand or for a weekend. The cars are parked on the streets, so once your done with the car, you can simply park it in front of your house for the next renter.

In the last few years, many of my friends have bought electric cars. I have driven hundreds of miles in the Tesla Model S and Model 3, along with the Chevy Bolt. When it comes to handling, range, power, charging and overall technology, the Tesla’s are superior to the Chevy Bolt. however, the Chevy Bolt is a better car, in my opinion. (see the following blog)


Two years ago if you owned an electric vehicle, outside of a large California Metro Area and your car wasn’t a Tesla, then it sucked to be you!

In the summer of 2019, Tesla’s car would remind you how much energy that was left on the battery and where the nearest Tesla supercharger was to you, before the battery went dry. It was and remains one of Tesla’s strong points and the driving range on the Tesla are superior to other automakers at any price and unlike other EV’s, Tesla has adaptors to allow a Tesla owner to use of other charging systems

Sure, you can charge your batteries at home, but what about a long drive? In Sacramento, there are many places to charge your EV, however if it wasn’t a Tesla, it could be agnosingly slow. Locating a EV charger in a well lit area was rare. Most of the non-Tesla chargers were behind building in an isolated industrial area or in a dark section of a shoping mall.

In September of 2019, I wanted my sister and other family members to experiece an electric car. It was mild day, one hundred and five. Four adults were impressed with the room inside the Chevy Bolt, my sister was less impressed as I ran out power and left my family stranded at an outlet mall in Tulare, Cailfornia. My sister says,she will NEVER own an electric car.

Click on the link below for the full Ugly, Scary, Terrible story!

June 2021

In 2010, just 1,919 EVs were sold in the U.S. In 2020, nearly 300,000 Ev’s were sold. 122,016 EVs were sold in March 2021 setting sales records. (U.S. Department of Transportation)

California leads the nation with 12,389 charging stations, followed by New York, Florida and Texas with 2,000 or more each. Today, all over america, shoppers can charge their cars at Wal Mart, Target and large malls.

In the summer of 2019, my phone app directed me to a charging station located in a parking garage in Downtown Visalia, Cailfornia where I was towed. What it didn’t tell me was the charger wasn’t operational.

Today, the phone apps tells you, the different types of chargers, speeds, if they are operational. The apps tells you which location is nearest to you and if the chargers are in use. I have many charging apps on my phone, including Chargepoint, EVgo, and Electrify America.

Sacramento to Fresno (Departure 4pm)

I left Sacremento with an estimated range of 150 miles on the battery. Fresno is 162 miles. I hit some stop and go traffic in along the way. This is great for EV’s because every time you slow down or hit brakes it generates power to the battery, by the time I entered Stockton, I had an additional 14 miles. Like a dino car, the faster you drive the more energy you use. I tried to keep it below 70, but I was weak and 60 seemed like walking. There was an accident in Ripon and the stop and go was good for an additional five miles.

Nearing Madera, (20 miles north of Fresno) the speedometer indicated I had 22 miles left. I stopped at the first Wal Mart and plugged into the Electrify America 150k charger, the machine indicated it could replenish the battery to 80% in 65 minutes. I liked that the Electrify was fast but at 43cent per kwh was expensive. I charged the Bolt for 15 minutes and it added 68 miles. the cost was 7.74. I attributed the high cost to the time 625pm.

There was no drama what so ever on this trip,despite the 107 outside,the Bolt was chilly inside. When my sister saw the car, she said, your not taking me anywhere in that thang!!!

Fresno to Sacramento (Departure 1:38am)

Gig car share offers free charging, you must call the location to turn the charger on, I was on hold for 20 minutes with the service waiting to the machine to be turned on. The charger was an older EVgo charger at the Fashion Fair Shopping Center. Charging time to from 20% to 80% was 80 minutes. Ive learned that most ev owners charge their car at night often programming their charger to come on late when the electicity rates are lower. I usually charge my car while I’m having a meal or shopping. This wasn’t the case in late night Fabulous Fresno.

Charging time and range is one of the issues of owning an ev. Some of the newer charging stations offer fast charging, however this will have little effect on an older ev. For most homeowners this isnt a major issue. But if your live in a condo or an apartment it might be challeging. On a cross country drive, charging time is everything. My Bolt was an 2019. The newer Bolts are reportedly 10% faster.

For comparision, Ford says new the Mustang Mach-E equipped with the 98.8-kWh extended-range battery will charge from 10 to 80 percent in 45 minutes. Compared to the Bolts 80 min. Newer cars promise faster times.

The other issue is range. Once again, this is an area where Tesla is currently superior to the other ev’s. There are many uber expensive, European Ev’s that cant match the lowly Bolt’s range.

There was no traffic on highway 99 north. As a result, I needed charging again in Elk Grove, a suburb of Sacramento, where I stopped at another Electrify America charging center. I was suprised to find the charge at 4.43am was the same as peak time in Madera. Chargepoint and some of the other charging stations charge you the rate based of the time of day.

Technology will bring down the price of Ev’s. The battery is far and away the most expensive component on the Ev. Ten years ago, batteries sold for more than $1,100/kWh. Today batteries are nearly $100 per kilowatt hour.

I’m considering buying a new car, for my basic needs a Chevy Bolt would work. Its affordable, and if I understand Consumer Reports ratings, the Bolt is GM’s most reliable car. The only caveat, is occasionaly I drive, cross country and 259 miles isnt enough. Tesla offers a range of over 400 miles in their Model S, at nearly 80K my lotto ticket says no.

As of this writing, gasoline in Sacramento is averaging $3.79 a gallon. With an electric car ,there are many businesses that will allow you to charge your EV for free. The reason is simple. Currently EV’s are pricy, the people that own them tend to be more affluent than the average dino car driver. As a result, there are many businesses that will allow EV owner to charge their vehicles for free.

As to what car I will buy? The Chevy Bolt has been refreshed for 2022.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV Prices, Reviews, and Pictures | Edmunds
2022 Chevy Bolt EV

However, I have to drive to the south, so a dino car is possible. Details this Fall