Pacific Coast Highway by electric?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by longslowdistance, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

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    I live on the east coast. Want to ride the PCH from Astoria OR to SoCal. I could rent, or ship. Renting is the no brainer in terms of hassle and maybe also money.

    That said:

    One of my motos is a Zero electric, with a range of about 80-100+ miles at PCH speeds. There are charging stations along the PCH. Might work. Might suck. Might be kinda fun and cool, and maybe make a pretty good RR.

    Any thoughts?
    #1
  2. chainslap

    chainslap BlessedarethesicK Super Supporter

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    Do it. Report back with your experience. Sounds like a fun adventure.
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  3. wheresbaoskee

    wheresbaoskee Been here awhile

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    Awesome. Such a great ride. There are two or three places where the traffic is frustrating any day of the week (looking at you Instrgammers who are all taking the same picture at Bixby Bridge ....), but can't beat the view while you wait.

    How much of the PCH? Northbound or Southbound? Through CA, particularly southern CA and the Bay Area you'd be spoiled for choice in terms of charging. Same for the Seattle area if you wanted to start in the north or were attempting the whole coastline.

    Just took a quick glance at a single provider's map (EVGo) and here in California the biggest gap between LA and SF is between approximately Pismo Beach and Seaside. That's about 154 miles along the 1 according to google maps. There might be other providers, or the odd-ball charger - but I don't recall seeing any in Gorda, although there could be one in San Simeon.

    Once you're north of the SF Bay Area though EVGo is a void, but that's only one provider. Of course there's often 110v available at RV campgrounds like Wright's Beach and others along the northern CA coastline. And some hotels and such along the way may have the "household" overnight charging option.

    I'd imagine that some of the swankier hotels/B&B/vacation rentals between Bodega Bay and Gualala have some sort of charging support for the Teslaratti of NorCal. It gets fairly sparse north of there until Ft. Ross, and then another huge gap to Eureka.


    Maybe check the route planning section here on the boards, particularly the tent space thread and map. You might find folks hosting who would also let you charge overnight for a few bucks. There looks to be a few on there at a glance.

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/tent-space-map-v2.1215147/

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1Q0E6b5HrOVBOhOY2IwJkErfWqQU&ll=42.180837337742794,-114.50546571249993&z=6

    From Eureka CA north through the Oregon coastline, which is absolutely stunning even though I've only done it by car, might be a a lot more difficult to find chargers outside of hotels, hosts, or perhaps RV parks.

    If you are starting here in the south, check out Hollywood Electrics, local Zero Dealer. They might be able to help you source a rental and have additional suggestions on where to charge along the route.

    https://hollywoodelectrics.com/

    They also do some interesting stuff with cowlings and such for better aerodynamics and marginal range gains.
    #3
  4. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

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    OP edited. I hope to take a big bite, Astoria OR to SoCal.
    Or a less harried round trip from OR into NorCal and back. But every account I've seen says south of SF is special, not to be missed.
    I may be mistaken, but I think EVgo is level 3 DC supercharging, not OK with Zeroes, which can use only level one or two. Plugshare shows many level two options. But a charger listed on the map does not guarantee a charger that is available and actually works real time.
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  5. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    First off, plan your charging locations using plugshare.com. It covers all providers, even private individuals who offer their home charger. (You need to sign up (free) to see those.) They also have notes for each charger by other users, which will generally warn if one is out of service or has been troublesome.

    It's been almost 40 years since I lived in CA, but I took two trips on PCH. The first was with two friends on an extended vacation from L.A. up the west coast. A couple of days in we got so sick of traffic and poor weather we turned inland. The skies cleared immediately (weather tends to hang out on the coast), the ride became spectacular and we never looked back.

    The second was a day-long run from L.A. to the AMA national at Sears Point (north of S.F.) with a co-worker. OMFG - the traffic!!! There is nothing worse than being on such a wickedly addictive road like that, stuck in a half-mile-long line behind an RV struggling to maintain 30 mph. It got so bad, when we came around a right bend and I saw the road clearly unobstructed all the way around a small bay, I just snapped. I downshifted and went for it, co-worker in tow. I got past almost all of them just as the offending RV approached the north point of the bay where the road arced right and continued up the coast, when an on-coming car (a CHP cruiser, as I recall) appeared and I just barely slipped between it and the front corner of the RV. To this day, I have no idea how my co-worker made it through.

    OK, I was young and stupid and had no future, and so was my co-worker. But understand that if you want to enjoy the dynamics of PCH at all, it's going to be frustrating. Perhaps unimaginably so. Plan on going slow and enjoying the views for a very long time. There will be times when you feel like you're on a tourist tram or a Disney ride version of the CA coastline.

    I went back decades later for my honeymoon and did some short stretches on PCH. I find that, mentally, it's much more manageable by car. I can switch into mindless robot/sightseer mode and ride out the traffic. I'm older and slower now, but I wouldn't ride PCH again for any significant distance. My head would explode.

    My advice is to give it a try, see if it's everything you expected, but have some alternate routes in mind.
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  6. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    I've done the trip from LA to Canada up/down the PCH/1/101 several times, on both my Yamaha and with my family in our Model S and am planning to do it again on my next electric motorcycle. It’s a beautiful ride.

    CBE9D1FC-6617-4FC3-BCE4-026F2AB4E6D4.jpeg

    5BB2A0F5-C08A-4E9D-9DD6-256814179E36.jpeg

    Found plenty of places to charge along the way on my last round trip in July. If I get my EM by the time you head out on your adventure, I'd be happy to roll with you - feel free to PM me :)

    Attached Files:

    #6
  7. chainslap

    chainslap BlessedarethesicK Super Supporter

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    I second the alternate routes and adding plug share to your app repertoire. But even with aids my friend has shown up to broken or out of service chargers. Only to find the same at the nearest alternative. He now has A,B,C and D plans for each leg of his trips. Also figure out which malls have accessible exterior outlets. If I remember correctly you are able to use those if they are available. Certainly better then nothing.
    #7
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  8. woodsrider-boyd

    woodsrider-boyd Wow, these guys are fast

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  9. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    Not sure about your entire route, but through the Big Sur area it is ideal to ride southbound. From the south end of Carmel to Cambria is almost exactly 100 miles. There are a few charging stations in that section though many of them are private. This is info that I found on-line for a study my company did for that section of coast line.
    EV charging.JPG
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  10. Lidja

    Lidja --- Supporter

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    Might be fun to make a short little detour into Paso Robles one evening to check out Ben Munro’s solar art piece, “Field of Light” while you’re passing through...
    IMG_1432.JPG
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  11. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    They've done something like that over at the phoenix botanical gardens a couple of times, it is a bit of a trip[py thing]
    #11
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