Bakersfield to Tehachapi Trip Report Redux

By Paul Gipe

For various reasons we haven’t been able to take our Nissan Leaf, a battery electric vehicle (EV), out on the road until this past weekend.

I was speaking at the March for Science in Tehachapi 22 April so we drove our Leaf from Bakersfield to Tehachapi.

Since our last trip out of town our 2015 Leaf has lost traction battery capacity. We’re now down to 19.5 kWh on a full charge.

Previous trips to from Bakersfield Tehachapi used 14-15 kWh so we expected enough cushion to make it with a reserve of about 30%.

Again, I drove conservatively but with less range anxiety in the past. We arrived uneventfully at the ChargePoint station at Tehachapi City Hall with 25% state-of-charge.

We logged in and again had some difficulty with the ChargePoint station releasing the J1772 connector. After several attempts I was able to remove the connector and plug in the Leaf and begin charging.

We then walked to the Earth Day event, did my shtick, and returned several hours later to a full charge.

Returning home we stayed with traffic, consuming 8 kWh.

With the new cars on the market now and becoming available soon, drivers should be able to summit the Tehachapi Pass and return to Bakersfield on one charge with a reserve. It would even be possible with Nissan’s 30 kWh Leaf, available today.

One of my messages to the small crowd gathered in the park was that Tehachapi and Mojave each need a DCFC station to make intercity travel possible for the many older EVs coming off leases. The L2 station in Tehachapi is not adequate for most drivers of older EVs.