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Chicago to KC?

deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
66
Chicago
Anybody done a Chicago to KC trip (or the return) in a Tesla? If so, can you comment on routes,SC availability/waiting/ICEing, ease of access to SC off highway, and any other insights you might have?

It looks like the only option for my S90D is through St. Louis - I usually go via Hannibal in an ICE but no SC on that route and it doesn't look like via Des Moines is a viable option.

Thanks
 

Sprandt23

Member
Sep 13, 2017
248
171
St. Louis
I've done St. Louis to Columbia, MO portion of your trip (120 miles) and all the chargers along interstate 70 are very easy to access.

- St. Charles SC is at the end of a retail shopping plaza just south of the highway, and I've never seen more than one other person there when I have gone by. Plenty of amenities there within walking distance (Smashburger, Panera, fast food, grocery store).

- Columbia SC is actually just south of the highway as well, in the back parking lot of a Holiday Inn. Not as much there, but still you can relax in the lounge of the hotel, or walk across the street to a Jimmy Johns sub shop (assuming its during the day). There are 8 bays there, and I didn't see anyone else there when I was there (it was close to midnight though). The only bummer there is it is on the back side of the hotel so if it is raining/snowing you have to walk all the way around to the front to get in the hotel. The staff was friendly and had no issues with us just sitting in the lobby relaxing for a bit.

- KC SC looks easy enough to get to, but I have never been. Looks like it is in the parking lot of Bass Pro, so should be able to kill some time there provided they are open (daytime).

If you don't mind, share some thoughts on your drive between Chi and STL when you are done, I have family up there and will be making the first trip in the Tesla in a month or so.

Hope you have a great trip!
 

IT Geek

Member
Nov 16, 2016
899
1,478
Michigan
Yeah, I've gone the opposite way on my way back from Denver in May of last year. The Independence, MO SC is in the parking lot of the Bass Pro shop. That one was easy enough to get to...but out of the way enough that there was no issue with being ICE'd by anyone. In fact when I was there I was the only Tesla using the SC.

My next stop was in Columbia, MO. Again easy enough to find. I was the only Tesla there. No issues with being ICE'd at all again. After that I stopped in St. Charles, MO. Again I was the only car there as you can see from the photo below. It's rather well marked so you don't have to worry about getting ICE'd at this one either.

upload_2018-3-12_19-12-19.png


I skipped the Springfield, IL SC and just stopped in Normal, IL. My daughter lives there so I stopped in to see here and stayed the night. The Normal, SC is a bit tricky to find as it is on the 2nd or 3rd floor of a parking garage. It's also the only place I've ever "paid" to charge my car as I got hit with a $1.00 charger for parking there. :) Which in a sense was poor planning on my part as the first hour is free and had I left just a few minutes earlier I would not have been charged anything for parking. There's quite a bit within walking distance of Normal though so it's a nice little town to stop in...but it's not as close to the highway as most SC's are. There were actually several other Tesla's at this place, but again no worries of being ICE'd. This one is only 4 stalls though, so you run the risk of getting a slow charge if you're next to another car there. This one was built in 2013, back before they were making them 10 and 12 stalls wide.

upload_2018-3-12_19-18-7.png


My last stop was just outside Chicago n Country Club Hills. 8 stalls, down the road a bit from a McDonald's. Which was really the only thing worth walking to. There was another Tesla there and i talked with the owners who also walked over to the McD's. Nice folks. Eight stalls at this place. It's out of the way enough that you wouldn't have to worry about getting ICE'd here either. Although you might not even stop there if you're leaving from Chicago.

I generally like to drive for 2 hours and then take a 20 minute break...which is easy to do with my 90D, and the SC spacing along this route works well for that also. All in all it was a pretty easy journey, and you shouldn't have any issues. Normal, IL is the only "out of the way" SC on the route.
 

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deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
66
Chicago
Thanks much - all very good info. I'm likely not going until May and will report my experience when I go.

As an aside, I took my first road trips - Chicago to Detroit - 3x in less than 3 weeks. I've made that trip many times in an ICE (and actually just did it RT in an ICE yesterday (Saturday/Sunday) so I can make a good comparison. Despite the extra time, I much prefer driving the Tesla - more comfortable, more fun, and more rested when you stop every couple hours to stretch out and charge.
 

jgillispie

Member
Sep 12, 2016
370
179
Illinois
It would be pretty easy to take 80 or 88 to Des Moines and head south to KC from there in a 90D. The Des Moines to KC segment is a bit iffy in a 75 until Bethany, MO is done. About 25 more miles if I calculated right but it's all interstate.
 
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