CEC DC Fast Charge Sites in California

By Paul Gipe

CEC DC Fast Charge Sites shows the position of both planned and operational Caltrans charging stations.

Caltrans has provided a great public service by installing and maintaining these stations. I’ve used them and my experience has all been positive. They work. They are simple to use. They demonstrate what the fast-charging experience should be like for drivers of non-Tesla EVs.

And they’re often where you need them most—right on the highway. I just had need of one on I-5. I was stretching the Bolt’s range after a long day of driving and didn’t wan to stop at previous commercial stations. I was tired and wanted to get to the hotel in Williams, California. I was counting down the miles and the percent state-of-charge. (I had ABRP running and was also checking TorquePro.) I’d identified the night before that there was a Caltrans’ station just north of Williams. I was down to 11.7% state-of-charge with 8 miles to go. I know Eric (1%) Way would have passed that station by but I was in unfamiliar territory and didn’t want to chance it. I pulled it. Plugged in. Typed in my phone number—that’s all you need with a Caltrans station. Then pumped a few percent SOC, unplugged and then drove on into Williams. In Williams there was an EVgo station and Granzella’s Inn had two old SunCountry Level 2 chargers that were free for guests. They worked without any hassle and we topped up for the next leg of our trip home. (Topping up is charging to 88% on our Bolt due to the recall.)