Bakersfield to Ridgecrest and Return Trip Summary

By Paul Gipe

Ridgecrest is a good two-hour drive from Bakersfield, a trip of a little over 100 miles. The trip requires crossing the Tehachapi Mountains from Bakersfield. Our preferred route is across Walker Pass via the Kern River Valley. We find this route is the most scenic, though it may be somewhat slower than the longer route through Tehachapi and Mojave.

We’ve now made the trip a few times in both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Bolt. As with our trips to Kernville, actual consumption has varied for each trip and has varied with the results of four estimators: EV Trip Planner, Green Race, Chevy’s Energy Assist app, and A Better RoutePlanner (ABRP).

Outbound, the trip to Ridgecrest consumes 26-29 kWh or about one-half the Bolt’s traction battery capacity. Consumption varies partly because of different routes into Ridgecrest and climatic conditions. Consumption varies about 20% from one trip to the next. Efficiency varies about 10%, from 3.6 to 4.0 miles/kWh.

Estimates by Green Race were the most accurate of the four estimators on the outbound leg. Unfortunately, Green Race is no longer available.

Inbound, the trips have averaged about 21 kWh. The efficiency on this route has been consistent at 4.8-4.9 miles/kWh. ABRP was the most accurate estimator on this leg.