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Driving west from Flagstaff to Barstow - north or south of Mojave.

Discussion in 'Mountain/Southwest' started by DriverOne, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. DriverOne

    DriverOne Supporting Member

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    All I-40 up to Kingman, but then trip planners either stay south of Mojave, on I-40 via the Needles Ssupercharger, or they go north of Mojave via 163-95-164 then onto I-15, via the Baker SC.

    Is one route preferable? I’ve never driven this area before. We won’t have time to make detours or side trips this leg.
     
  2. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    The direct route from Kingman to Barstow through Needles for a 10-20 minute or so charge is best.

    The other route is longer by quite a stretch. I made the Kingman-Barstow drive in 2014 when there was no SC in Needles.

    Off the top of my head, I left Kingman with a near range charge in my S. I kept my speed below the speed limit until I reached Newberry Springs when I drove at the limit all the way to Barstow, and I arrived with about 35 miles. I would think that with Needles, you should leave Needles with about 80% and be fine (unless you drive a 60 or 70.) There are several low-level mountains that you climb up and descend until you reach Newberry Springs.

    Just keep an eye on your battery, and watch your speed across the desert.
     
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  3. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    It's a straight shot on I-40 so I'm not sure why you would go any other way.

    The only spot you have to worry about is between Needles and Barstow. It's 147 miles but there is an elevation gain of almost 2k ft and the speeds are high. That is also one of the most desolate stretches of interstate in the entire country! It's almost impossible to find gas, let alone an EV plug, so running out of charge is not an option.

    However, the new supercharger at Eddie World in Yermo is about 11 miles closer to Needles so if you are really nervous, you can detour to that one.

    Lastly Kingman is not a great supercharger location (pretty much just Carl's Jr. and a gas station within walking distance) but Needles is downright awful. It's only 4 stalls at a gas station and they are often blocked by parked semis. That being said, it looks like you will at least need to top up in Needles unless you are driving something like an S100D in which case maybe you can just go Kingman to Barstow with a range charge.
     
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  4. DriverOne

    DriverOne Supporting Member

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    Thanks. I’m in an X100 so should be OK for range either way. Evtripplanner routes me via the north route, so that got me wondering if there was a good reason to take that; easier drive, more scenic, etc.

    There ar certainly a lot more SC stalls on the northern route!
     
  5. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    I'm not even sure exactly what you mean by a "northern route." Is it routing you through Baker somehow? If so, the Kingman to Baker drive would be really desolate regardless which roads it puts you on (there are only a couple different options and I have been on them all).

    Even the shortest route from Kingman to Baker is barely any shorter than Needles to Barstow, but it does drop in elevation so I guess it's an easier leg. I'm guessing it's something in your settings at evtripplanner that is causing it to be extremely cautious. Like maybe you have your car listed as a 60 or something.
     
  6. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    I now see which route you mean in your OP. Part of my confusion was that you said "north of Mojave" and you were referring to the Mojave National Preserve while I was thinking of the city Mojave, CA that has a supercharger. You definitely shouldn't be going anywhere near that supercharger on this route :)

    But yeah, that 164, 95, 163 route isn't really any better in terms of scenery than I-40 (neither are GREAT). The only advantage it has is that it's all 2 lane roads, which some people prefer as you can easily stop and take pictures or whatever.
     
  7. DriverOne

    DriverOne Supporting Member

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    Ha, sorry for the confusion!

    Thanks for the heads up on Needles. I’ll likely go that I40 route then, with a decent charge in Kingman in case Needles is inaccessible.
     
  8. PLUS EV

    PLUS EV Running on Empty

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    If the semis are blocking, I'm pretty sure you could track down the owner by inquiring inside the gas station. Still really annoying though! I think I've been to this supercharger about 4 times and one time a semi blocked all 4 stalls and 2 other times there was a semi blocking some of the stalls.
     
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