Los Angeles to Las Vegas Roadtrip

Los Angeles to Las Vegas Roadtrip

I'm driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in a Model S and wanted to reach out to anyone who has made the same trip. I see there is a high speed charger in Barstow which I plan to use for an hour. In Las Vegas I'll stay at the Cosmopolitan where there are Roadster chargers. Do they have an adapter there so I can use it? Or are there other chargers nearby to use? Thanks for your comments.

dschulner | 1 april 2013

Haven't made the trip yet but did the research. To the best of my knowledge the roadster charger at Cosmo will not work. Best option was the Venetian chargers.

EVTripPlanner | 1 april 2013

Stayed at Luxor - there is a J1772 charger at the valet between Luxor and Mandalay at The Shoppes. Worked out great. Don't forget supercharger in Lenwood (Barstow).

Earl and Nagin ... | 1 april 2013

There is no adapter at the Cosmopolitan to charge a Model S from. You'd have to bring your own and they aren't available. There is a J1772 at Crystals next door but it can be in high demand.

portia | 1 april 2013

I remember reading someone's post that there is a RV park next to Circus Circus where you can charger.

robert | 1 april 2013

I just did this exact trip and can provide you with some notes about my experience:

I have a Model S 60 and on a full max range charge, I made it to Barstow without any issue whatsoever, even with full AC, stereo, above speed limits, etc. Barstow was my first Supercharger experience. It was great but even with a full charge, I barely made it to Vegas. I made it to the Venetian where I charged overnight. The parking security did not know where the charger was, but using the information on Recargo (i.e. near elevators in parking garage), I was able to find it. I was fortunate that a charger was open because I was out of power.

On my return trip to LA, I had the same issue. I was slightly less than fully charged as I was leaving but I was also much more careful about my speed, AC, etc. On the Vegas to Barstow portion, I drove very conservatively. When I didn't think I could make it to the Barstow supercharger (given my available estimated range), I exited about 6 miles short at Barstow station. I was disappointed to find that the "Tesla" marked charger was only set up for a Roadster. I called Tesla and they assured me that I could make it to the supercharger despite my "empty" display.

I should also note that while in Barstow, one of the two superchargers was being used, and when I returned to my charging car, a third Model S was waiting.

While in Vegas, I also tried to use the Cosmo charger but that too was only configured for the Roadster.

djm12 | 1 april 2013

Vegas appears to be a white knuckle trip by a 60. The courage displayed by Robert is truly amazing. I have a wedding in Vegas in September - please let there be additional charging stations...maybe off Primm Valley Blvd? Charge me $10/hr - I don't care.

NKYTA | 1 april 2013

Gutsy! We are headed to LV soon by way of the Barstow supercharger. We have the P85, so less range anxiety, but we were wondering how you spent your time in Barstow - diner? food? nap?


diegoaalvarez | 1 april 2013

The Barstow S/C station is next to a Chili's, and a short (2 block) walk from In-N-Out, and the Barstow Outlets.

Not everyone's idea of a good time, but it's something.

PS - I think a Primm, NV S/C would really hit the spot. I imagine the casinos there would bend over backwards to get someone to stop there, too.

Darmok | 1 april 2013

I did Barstow-LV in a 60, did a max charge and arrived in the west part of town (168 miles from Barstow) with 25 miles to spare having set the cruise to 70. We had a nice tailwind and didn't need climate control, so that certainly helped. We had about 500 pounds of people in the car.

I've said it in different threads, but there are 6 free charge point chargers at the county building off Grand Central Parkway west of downtown. They're on Recargo and Plug Share. They're next to an outlet mall and a 10-15 minute walk to Fremont Street. I've been there a few times to charge, the provide a nice steady 30 amps from solar power and are never busy. If you're going to spend any time downtown, you can park there and charge.

+1 on Primm. It's the perfect place for a SC, both to get to Vegas and then a nice distance to Mesquite about 125 miles up the road to launch into southern Utah. From there Cedar City is 90 miles, but with serious elevation gain.

Mark Z | 1 april 2013

The KOA at Circus Circus charges $20 plus tax for 24 hour "storage." Of course you have in/out privileges during that time frame. No sleeping in the vehicle. Don't forget your NEMA 14-50 adapter and charge cord.

lbsolar | 2 april 2013

Thanks so much to everyone who commented. Since posting this, I contacted Tesla and they said they will be adding more super chargers in Barstow very soon.

I'll be alone in the car, in the early morning, with plenty of time to get to Las Vegas, so I'm thinking I'll cruise between 65-70 mph with no climate control. The car is very new to me so I'm a bit nervous about covering all that desert. But very excited about making the trip. I'm hoping to discover that the Model 60 truly is a good "Vegas Car."

robert | 3 april 2013

As for my time spent charging in Barstow, I bought a Coach all purpose utility tool that I didn't need and a Iphone cover for my girlfriend. Not to sound like a snob, but the Outlet Stores are pretty lame at Linwood. Also, no offense Chill's lovers, but in my opinion, horrible. Much better off at In and Out. There are two Starbucks and I am pretty sure both have WiFi. The Supercharger is fast enough that you don't need to kill much time. The only issue is having to wait if the chargers are being used.

Darmok | 3 april 2013

@robert, good point that with SCs at outlet malls, charging isn't necessarily free, given the useless stuff some of us are compelled to acquire when presented with idle time at such an establishment. The electricity may be without cost, but one's wallet may still be lighter after charging!

c.bussert67 | 4 april 2013

Be wary of the elevation. Getting to Vegas from LA is a about a 1200-1300 ft climb, so it will seem more white knuckle going there and then seem easy coming back. The elevation change from Barstow to Vegas is only a couple hundred feet. I made the drive from in our 85 from Riverside and never exceeded over 60kW of energy between any two points. I didn't take it easy either. 70-75mph mostly, unless traffic slowed me down. I'm confident I could do the 270 mile return trip without hitting barstow, but no way would I try it going there... Besides I love the baby back ribs too much! Charging is just another excuse for me to get more ribs:-)

Ezappia | 4 april 2013

See my entry on April 3 re Orange County to Las Vegas. Piece of cake. Charge at 6th floor parking at Venetian, for free. Ed

golftoday | 5 april 2013

I just finished LA -> Vegas -> LA in an 85. Getting there was no problem. The Barstow supercharger worked great, but use the right station if you can. I was getting 175 miles per hour on the right, and on the way back it was taken so I used the left. It got 79.

For me, I would never do it again unless there was a charger (at least Level 2 J1772) where I was staying so it could charge overnight. I stayed at the Paris (no chargers whatsoever), and was worried for several days about getting enough juice to get back to Barstow.

Where I did charge:
Mandalay Bay Shops. Two Level 2 J1772 next to the Valet. Friendly and no charge.

The Venetian. Two Level 2 J1772 and one Roadster. 6th floor of the Self Service parking garage, very close to the elevator.

CitiCenter (beautiful shopping mall next to The Cosmopolitan). One J1772 next to the Crystals valet station.

Where I failed:

The Cosmopolitan. They have a Roadster charger and no adapter. The Valet there would love to have an adapter. For Tesla, wouldn't that be the easiest way to get some super charging in Vegas? The valet told me a Tesla Rep had given him one during CES, but then took it away. C'mon. That's not even funny.

Green Valley resort in Henderson. (xlnt source) said there was a Nema 14-50 at the hotel side. I spoke to the head of the Valet service who was at the casino side and he said there weren't any chargers anywhere on the property. ???

Alex K | 6 april 2013

@ golftoday | APRIL 5, 2013: Green Valley resort in Henderson. (xlnt source) said there was a Nema 14-50 at the hotel side. I spoke to the head of the Valet service who was at the casino side and he said there weren't any chargers anywhere on the property. ???

That's really strange because there is a video showing someone charing using a Tesla HPWC at that hotel. See the thread where there is more info on LV charging. Here is an excerpt from that thread:

And the hotel was the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino in Henderson Nevada. From the video you can see that they have a HPWC installed there. The link below will take you to the relevant portion of the video:

golftoday | 6 april 2013

@ Alex K
That makes sense. I repeatedly got different information from different people. All of it leading to great insecurity about charging in Vegas :) I read on there was a Nema 14-50 so I called there to make a reservation, but before finalizing the booking I asked to speak to someone who would know about the EV charging available. Three different people told me "No way, no how", so I didn't book there. When I was in Henderson, I tried calling and was told it was available ??? When I got there, I was told (by the guy identifying himself as the head valet) they didn't have anything for me. Not even a 110 socket I could plug into. I wouldn't be surprised to hear something exists there, and most of the people don't know anything about it.

Shesmyne2 | 10 april 2013

Go to private thread-NKYTA has an excellent complete write up on "Bay Area to Las Vegas"

P4768 | 10 april 2013

I recently did Bay Area to Vegas in a 60. I think we bumped into NKYTA at a couple of superchargers.

Anyways, I had a lot of trepidation before the trip but once we were underway I really didn't have any range anxiety.

Made it in a fully packed model 60 from Barstow to Mandalay Bay with 30 miles to spare. Drove 70mph with AC and a decent tailwind. On the way back I did a max range charge at Mandalay Shops and arrived in Barstow with plenty of reserve. Even stopped at the Mad Greek for lunch.

I had my entire family (5 including myself) and a ton of luggage.

lbsolar | 11 april 2013

I had a very successful trip from the Los Angeles area to Las Vegas in a Model S. I felt some uncertainty about where I would charge and if the Tesla would handle the long climb out of Los Angeles. But basically, everything worked out and I would definitely do it again.

I charged in Barstow early on a Sunday morning and didn't have to wait. I charged to max from 120 miles range in about an hour and then I didn't have to baby it going to Las Vegas.

In Las Vegas, I left my Tesla with the Aria valet staff twice and they turned out to be competent. They wouldn't let me go with them to the chargers but they did use our cord and adapter. I verified that the Tesla was charging by using the app.

I also charged at the Venetian on the 6th level where there were two GE chargers open to the public. Again, I needed the adapter.

On the way home, I stopped to charge in Barstow and found Tesla installing two more charging stations to bring it up to a total of four. Even though there were trucks and equipment all over the place, they waved me in and I successfully charged in one hour.

One electrician told me that if two cars charge at the same time, the second one to start charging will do so at a slower charge rate, resulting in about a 50% longer charge time. He said if the first car leaves and the second one disconnects and then reconnects, the charge rate goes up again.

Vawlkus | 12 april 2013

Aha, that's an interesting tidbit there. I'd wondered if the charger would autoramp up if the other car finished charging. If it can't be put into the charger, that's something that would good to add to the app if possible.

NKYTA | 12 april 2013
Yeah, you sure had the full car!

What adapter did they use with your cable in Aria valet? They told me it was likely a NEMA 10-30, but when we were in Vegas I forgot to go over and double check.

RonaldA | 12 april 2013

I've been playing a lot with driving for distance and in my hands never accelerating above 40-45kw and setting cruise control asap after hitting speed improves kwh/mile considerably. I have had a 60 mile run with 273kwh/mile with radio on climate off. That should come out to a 311 mile range with an 85kwh battery. This is cruising at 65. I also use cruise on any street over 45mph and engage asap after hitting speed.


stevenmaifert | 12 april 2013

Ron - I engage the cruise whenever traffic conditions allow, and have experienced similar kwh/mile consumption. I'm headed to Vegas April 21 and will drive the speed limit with the cruise engaged and see how the kwh/mile comes out. Hopefully the high winds will have abated by then and the two new stalls at the Barstow Supercharger will be working.

DouglasR | 12 april 2013

Ron - There was a post recently that set forth the scientific case for moderating your acceleration to maximize range. From my observations, I would agree that acceleration is as important as speed in getting the best mileage.