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How to Optimally DC Fast Charge Electric Vehicles

We learned how to optimally DC fast charge our electric vehicle on our last road trip. During my son’s school spring break, we drove 339-miles from Orange Big Sur, California. Our latest road trip taught us how to optimally DC fast charge our electric vehicle. So we packed up our 2018 Tesla Model X, took our breakfast to go, and were off. We left Orange around 8 am and got to Big Sur around 4 pm.

The EV road trip to Big Sur was one of the more beautiful drives as we drove through green rolling hills, vineyards, and the windy mountain cliff road overseeing the Pacific Ocean. Our family has an older electric vehicle with a shorter battery range. Under ideal conditions, we can go over 200 miles on a single charge. On our drive, however, we did not encounter ideal conditions. My wife, who was driving, is a fast driver. We experienced dips ad raises in elevation throughout the road trip, which can further eat into your electric vehicle battery usage. As a result, we had to do quick stops to charge our vehicle in Miramar beach, 125 miles into our trip.

Electric Vehicle Charging at Miramar

The EV chargers were at a posh hotel called,  Rosewood, Miramar beach, 125 miles from orange. We plugged in our electric vehicle for a 30-minute charge and walked to the hotel to look at some shops, use the restrooms and check out the available food options. My wife found a store owned by Gwyneth Paltrow called Goop and bought some face cremes, and we were back on the road. 

We have taken several road trips with our electric vehicle and have learned a few tips. For example, when we started taking our first road trips, we would charge our battery to 100% or close to the full mark every time we had to stop to charge our electric vehicle. In part, we did not want to get stranded between charging stops. We learned quickly that when you charge over time, the rate at which electricity flows into your battery slows down. There is an optimal period to set and leave, and if you wait past that point, you will be waiting longer for less of a charge.

We figured this out and started to follow the recommendation of the electric vehicles trip planner. For example, our electric vehicle told us to leave at our Rosewood stop after 30 minutes. Waiting past that 30-minute mark will make you wait longer and start to charge at a slower rate. At around 80% of your EV battery’s capacity, charging speeds typically are reduced to about 5 miles per hour.

DC Fast Charge Electric Vehicles at Pismo Beach

Before we got to Big Sur, our final stop was at Pismo Beach, California. Our drive. To get to Pismo Beach, we drove through hilly terrain covered with vineyards and beautiful scenery. The electric vehicle chargers were located in an outlet mall, so we walked around, used the restrooms, and bought snacks. We were back on the road in about half an hour.

Optimally DC fast charging our electric vehicle at Pismo Beach Outlet Stores

The final part of our trip was along the Pacific Coast Highway along the coastline traversing up the mountain along windy cliffs. The scenery is breathtaking, and I posted a picture of the ocean view.

Electric Vehicle road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway

We arrived at our lodgings close to 4 pm and checked in. We had a nice single room, and my wife chose the lodgings based on the destination charger on-premises. The bad news was that when we checked out the charger, it was not working, so we had to drive 5 minutes to another charging location at a private resort called Ventana. There were some excellent trails to hike while we charged our EV for the next day’s activities. On the way to drive back to our lodgings for the night, we saw a rainbow.

Electric Vehicle Handled Rocky Roads

We spent the next two days driving up and down the coast, hiking at some beautiful parks in dense forests with waterfalls and gorgeous ocean views. One part was worth mentioning as it was a first for us. There was a beach. We had to drive down a narrow single-lane road in poor condition to get to this beach. At specific points of the drive, we had to raise the clearance of our electric vehicle to clear some of the giant holes in the road.  The beach was beautiful, and the sand had a purple sheen. Our EV road trip to Big Sur was a lovely trip and highly recommended.

Beach at Big Sur with Purple Sand

Our family loves our electric vehicles that fit our lifestyle. To get electric vehicle recommendations based on your lifestyle needs, visit Electric Driver.