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I-70 Gap Between Normal, IL and Topeka, KS... possible?

Discussion in 'North America' started by wk057, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Greetings,

    So, I'm planning for a cross country trip sometime in the next couple of months. Looking at the supercharger map it looks like the only fully supercharged route is still the crappy way out of the way northern I-90 route... which is nearly 1000 miles longer than a direct route from NC!

    I-70 looks so close though! There is one charger showing under construction on the east side, but not yet on the west side of the gap.

    It looks like I could easily make St. Louis, and there is even a hotel there with a HPWC. But the gap from the HPWC at the hotel in St. Louis to the HPWC at a hotel in Kansas City is something like 250 miles. EV trip planner shows this as ~304 RM with a speed multiplier of 1, and no HVAC, which is ~66 MPH average. At .8 it shows 244 rated miles, average of 53 MPH... so ~5 hours of no HVAC.

    I don't see a single charger on Plugshare anywhere between these two cities!

    Honestly, I think I could make a 250 mile jump if the weather was decent. EV Trip planner shows less than a +400 ft net elevation change, although pretty hilly in between.
    I've done ~245 in my P85 not really trying too hard. I'll assume the efficiency update for the P85D will be out by the time I make this trip.

    So, has anyone done this? Or would I be crazy to try? :)
     
  2. patrick42h

    patrick42h Member

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    I'm looking at the Supercharger map. If you keep your speed down, you might be able to make the jump from the Indianapolis Supercharger to St. Louis, where there is a HPWC. Spend a few hours in St. Louis building up a full charge and you could make it to Topeka with a quick top-up at a J1772 in Columbia, MO.
     
  3. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Yeah, seems I had J1772 unchecked on my plugshare somehow and didn't even see that charger in Columbia... makes me feel a little better, although it is a Nissan dealership...
     
  4. basf_audio

    basf_audio Member

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    #4 basf_audio, Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    On a nice day fall day I've done the trip from Saint Louis to Kansas City a few times on a single charge (S85). In winter - forget about it. The Nissan dealership in Columbia is the only place to charge - the folks there are really nice but the availability of the charger itself is hit or miss. Sometimes blocked. Sometimes only available during service hours. And it's 18 m/hour. Plan to spend several hours there - if not more, if you want to make it all the way.

    The service center in Kansas City is now a few weeks open along with some destination chargers at some hotels. (Same goes for Saint Louis) Our Super Chargers in Missouri are supposed to be completed by the end of January. I say supposed to but we've been waiting for two years hearing the same thing - so until it's real - I wouldn't hold my breath.

    There are a lot of good folks that would be happy to share HPWCs in both STL and KC via plug-share.

    Until there's a SuperCharger in Columbia, MO - you're really out of luck in the winter months. You may have good luck at that Nissan dealer - but it's not guaranteed. (I guess not much in life is...) There's just ** not much ** to help you in the middle of the state.
     
  5. breading

    breading Member

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    I have made the trip from KC to St. Louis and back in my P85 in the winter as well. I stopped at Joe Machens Nissan for a brief charge both ways. There is a J1172 unit next to the dealership building by the service center on the North side that is available during business hours (still probably a good idea to call ahead). There are two other J1172 units along a retaining wall in a lot just to the South of the dealership building which they told me they leave on over the weekend. I charged up there on a Sunday while the family bowled a game at the bowling alley across the street.
     
  6. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    #6 wk057, Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    Looking at the mileage difference, I was thinking the I-70 vs I-90 was the big chunk, turns out the coming north from NC then hitting the west route is the killer. The supercharger route, even if I-70 was done, is almost 1000 miles longer than the ICE route from NC. :-\

    Edit: Probably going to fly, unless I'm feeling like killing a week on the northern route.
     
  7. MacLeodMX

    MacLeodMX Member

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    Will you not be able to make that STL to KC leg without stopping in Columbia or a campground somewhere. The reason EV trip planner shows 304 miles is the prevailing headwinds - expect to be up against 30+ mph winds!! I used the Nissan charger mentioned in the other posts. It is slow, and if you cannot use it, look on plug share about 4 miles south - there is a chargepoint level 2 charger at an apartment complex available as well. I would like to second the positive comments about that hotel in STL (Magnolia). Staff is fantastic and let non guests use the HPWC, just leave your key with the front desk if you are not sitting there while you charge - they might have to move your car in an emergency. They own a Tesla as their shuttle vehicle, and know how to care for the car.
     
  8. MrPinrel

    MrPinrel Member

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    there are also a couple of RV parks near Columbia which might get you a faster top up charge than the J1772, but nothing to do while you wait' especially in Winter.

    There is a winery/restaurant near Columbia called the Blufftop Bistro that I have not tried but have heard good things about. I sent them a note suggesting they contact Tesla about setting up a HPWC there. I am sure Tesla would be supportive, and it would really help make the trip easier until the Columbia SC is ready. Maybe if they hear from a couple of other Tesla owners they will look into it with more interest than with just my note?
     
  9. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    I had contacted a few places along another route I used to like in my ICE vehicles (I-81), that doesn't even have any supercharger dots on the coming soon map, about installing some HPWC. A few places were receptive, and I may actually personally sponsor a few installs on that route (I-81 through VA).

    The I-70 one doesn't seem as much of a concern, because at least Tesla has thought about that route with superchargers. I-81 through VA looks completely forsaken. :(
     
  10. RiverBrick

    RiverBrick Active Member

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    I stopped for 20 minutes and they were very nice and let me use one of those units along the wall. In fact, all the spaces were ICEd, but they invited me to park in the area above the wall, where the cable easily reaches. It was clear that this was standard operating procedure.

    Colombia MO.jpg
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    There are two RV Parks close to Columbia with 50 amp service and several more in the area. 2x Faster than most J1772s. Be sure to call ahead to make sure they are available. Unfortunately, PlugShare is very poor in finding these.
     
  12. macpacheco

    macpacheco Member

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    Springfield-IL just went online. That narrowed the gap by 60 miles. Now it might just be possible to hyper mile the gap with good weather. Or save a few hours recharging halfway.
     
  13. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Well, Springfield, IL isn't actually useful for this just yet. We need one east of KC. Springfield just makes it easier to get to St Louis to top off there at a HPWC... but Normal, IL to St. Louis was already an easy trip in an 85.
     
  14. BrianC

    BrianC Member

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    60 less miles to trickle charge is 60 less miles in my book! With the updated Telsa SC page (second time in a week?) it looks like the KC -> St.Louis gap is going to close soonish. This might be a easy trip come the sping/early summer.
     
  15. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    The "coming soon" greyed flags in the current Supercharger map show two sites along your route: one on the east side of Kansas City (looks like it's just north of I-70 near the intersection with I-435), and a second just west of STL, near St. Peters. That's about 215 miles if they both are built by the time you travel, which is dicey. Even then, traveling westward into the wind in late winter will use more energy than usual. There's a planned SC around Columbia for 2015, but that won't help you.
     
  16. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Here is some reliable info on coming locations along this route: Watching for I-70 Superchargers from Denver to St. Louis - Page 26
     
  17. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Yeah, I'm actually pretty much settled on flying this trip. Even with I-70, the supercharger enabled route from NC to CA... well, it sucks. Way too far out of the way to be practical (roughly 1000 miles longer than if I just jumped on I-40-W in an ICE). I'll probably wait unless I end up with over a week of free time to kill driving.
     

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