Sierra Nevada East Side Open More DCFC Stations on US 395

By Paul Gipe

Caltrans announced that five new DC Fast Charge stations for electric vehicles have been installed in Inyo and eastern Kern Counties. Currently, charging is free with no time limit. Four of the charging stations are located at rest areas; Division Creek Safety Roadside Rest Area (SRRA), Coso Junction SRRA, eastbound and westbound Boron SRRAs. The fifth station is at 500 S. Main Street in Bishop at the Caltrans District office.

The DCFC stations are located along US 395 that runs north and south through the Owens Valley, and Hwy 58 that runs east and west connecting Bakersfield in the Central Valley with Barstow on the Mojave Desert.

The single kiosk stations are located at safety rest areas on eastbound and westbound portions of Hwy 58 near Boron, California, an area made famous by the 20-mule team brand of borax that’s mined nearby.

Caltrans also installed single kiosk stations at safety rest areas on US 395 at Coso Junction and Division Creek. Coso Junction is between Inyokern and Lone Pine. The Division Creek station is between Independence and Big Pine.

The Coso Junction station adds welcome redundancy to the four kiosk Electrify America station nearby. There’s no charging–of any kind–within 30 miles to Inyokern or 70 miles to Division Creek. Even gasoline stations are few and far between.

Caltrans has also installed a single kiosk at its District 9 office in Bishop. As at Coso Junction, there’s also a four-kiosk EA station in Bishop.

Hwy 14 and US 395 provide access to winter skiing in the Sierras to Southern Californians as well as to outdoor recreation in the summer months.

Since the beginning of 2021 ChargePoint has opened a four-kiosk station in the desert town of Mojave, and a single station at the remote site of Brady’s on Hwy 14. EV Connect has installed a single DCFC station at the airport in Mojave and another at the abandoned air terminal in Inyokern. EA has operated a four-kiosk station in Mojave for the past year.

Routes to the Eastern Sierra recreation centers, such as Mammoth Lakes, are now accessible to non-Tesla EVs. Previously, it was necessary to spend the night at hotel and charge on a Level 2 station to make the trip in a non-Telsa EV.

The stations in Inyokern also make Death Valley National Park accessible. The return trip still requires charging overnight in Death Valley.