Electrification Planning My Electric Vehicle Drive to Yosemite

AMCI Electrification Blog Jaguar IPACE Yosemite electric vehicle Reading Time: 5 minutes

Or How I Kicked Range Anxiety and Learned to Love the Electron

by Devin DiLibero, Executive Creative Director, EV Team Leader, AMCI

For this blog I’ve been assigned to plan a summer road trip in a fully electric vehicle.

The Vehicle? A 2019 Jaguar I-PACE SE
Unfortunately, I won’t be actually driving the I-PACE on this trip. Instead, I will be taking this trip in my imagination and planning the trip as if I was driving this electric vehicle. I’ll be using resources I have available to me: The Jaguar website, my PlugShare app, EVgo website, and Google Maps.

The Vacation? A Week in Yosemite National Park
My wife and I will be staying at the elegant, four-diamond, Majestic Yosemite Hotel (why not, we’re driving a Jaguar for gosh sakes). Our check-in time is 4:00 p.m. Sunday, August 25.

The Drive? Hermosa Beach, California, to Yosemite
This is 322 miles by the shortest route. Without stopping this is about a 6-hour drive.¹

Let’s Get Going

First things first, I go to HERE on the Jaguar website and use their handy I-PACE Range Calculator. This interactive tool has four different settings to reflect your individual I-PACE model and the driving conditions you’ll encounter.

I-Pace Range Calculator electric vehicle

Step 1: Input the Driving Profile

In this case, I choose “Motorway.” That’s British for 98% of the drive route from Hermosa to Yosemite (interstate and a mix of 2- and 4-lane highways).

Step 2: Select Outdoor Temperature

I choose 95 degrees. I’ll be driving through California’s San Joaquin Valley, where temperatures can get into the mid-90s in August. Once I start to climb up the mountains to Yosemite, temperatures will peak in the high 80s.

Step 3: I Check the AC/Heating Button

Because there is no way I’m driving 4 or 5 hours in August through the San Joaquin without air conditioning.

Step 4: Choose the Tire Size

Which is 20 inches for the I-PACE SE.
Then, ta-dah, the range is displayed: 170 miles on a single charge.

Now it’s time to hit my PlugShare App and input my trip. It offers up a variety of different re-charging stops along my route. Below is the plan I settled on.

My Jaguar I-PACE Road Trip Agenda

10:00 a.m.: Leave home and drive 2 hours to Bakersfield. Stop at the EVgo DC fast charger2 at the Walmart center right off the freeway. According to my calculations, we should have 50 miles of range left. We hook up the I-PACE and let the electrons flow. Then we walk 50 yards to In-N-Out Burgers and spend an hour having lunch. If you’re from California, you know In-N-Out, you know what I’m talking about and you know why I chose this charging stop. Back in the car, we head up Route 99 for another 2 hours.

3:00 p.m.: We wheel off the highway in Fresno for a comfort stop and to top up the battery. We go to the EVgo fast charger3 in a Whole Foods parking lot. We plug in and spend an hour in Whole Foods picking up some groceries for picnicking on hikes in Yosemite. We get back to the car and we have 130 miles of range.

6:00 p.m.: We arrive at the Majestic. We’ve got a comfortable 40 miles of range left in the battery. My wife goes to the front desk to check us in, the bellhop takes the bags and I drive around to the west side of the parking lot. Here there are two Level 2 chargers—one for Tesla and the other fits the I-PACE.4 The charger is available, so I plug in and by 6:00 a.m. the next morning the battery is full.

The rest of the time in Yosemite we use the vehicle for short hops around the park. We keep the battery topped up by availing ourselves of free Level 2 charging at the hotel or Village Store, when convenient.

The Numbers

– One 8-hour journey

– Two charging stops totaling 120 minutes of charging time @ 30¢ /minute = $36

– Free charging at the Majestic

 

I-PACE BEV vs. Gasoline SUV.

So how would this drive compare if I was behind the wheel of a similarly sized gasoline-powered SUV?

 

Advantage: Gasoline SUV

In a gasoline SUV, if wanted, we could have made the trip without stopping, saving 2 hours of travel time. But my wife and I have made this journey before and, while we may not have stopped for fuel, we still would have made several stops (lunch, comfort, shopping). Without the need to charge batteries, we would have shortened our lunch and shopping stops by 30 minutes each and would have arrived at the Majestic an hour earlier.

 

Advantage: I-PACE

– Saved about $40 in fuel costs round trip. Driving this in a 23-mpg gasoline SUV would have cost around 112 bucks.5

– Driving an I-PACE leaves a far smaller carbon footprint than a gasoline SUV. Going to one of the world’s most glorious sites of natural beauty, this just feels right.

– Driving up the mountain twisties of Route 41 in a vehicle with a lower center of gravity than a Jaguar F-TYPE and quicker 0–60 acceleration than a 718 Porsche Boxster? Case closed!

Armchair Traveler…Reluctantly

Once again, this trip was done in my imagination. I tapped into the experience of our AMCI EV specialists to help plan this drive. I’ve driven an I-PACE before for about 30 miles. It’s a fantastic vehicle—comfortable, quick, quiet and luxurious. If I had one at my disposal, I would have used its onboard route planning system to plan my drive. This would have simplified everything.

Would I love to validate this trip with a real I-PACE? You bet!

Jaguar, would you like to loan me one for a week? Jaguar?

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Footnotes

1. Route: Hermosa Beach 120 miles to Bakersfield via I-405 N, I-5 N, CA-99 N (2 hours), then 120 miles to Fresno via CA-99 N (1 hour, 50 minutes), then 90 miles to Yosemite via CA-41 N (2 hours, 16 minutes).

2. 6225 Colony Street, Bakersfield, CA 93307. EVgo 50KW Combo

3. 650 W Shaw Avenue, Fresno, CA 93704. EVgo 50KW Combo

4. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel parking lot near the west side of the hotel has an EV charging station that accommodates two vehicles, one of the chargers is for Tesla 48A and a j1772 15A (both 220 volts).

5 Fuel cost estimates for an ICE vehicle. Cars.com estimates the average combined MPG for 2018 vehicles to be between 19 and 25 mpg, with small, luxury SUVs coming in at 23 mpg. Since we’re driving in California, the average cost of a gallon of premium gasoline (recommended by most luxury brands) is about $4.00 at time of writing. Our cost to get to the hotel and back home would be $112.

– Price per gallon: $4.00 USD

– MPG: 23

– Trip length: 644 miles

– Cost for the trip: $112.00 USD

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William Hopper
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I am planning such an #EV trip for next year through Pennsylvania with my fellow auto journalist buddies.

Don Southerton
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Don Southerton

Very cool Devin if only from an armchair 🙂