Seattle to Sun Valley, ID (and a new supercharger in WA state!)

edited November -1 in Washington
I took a trip this week with my family from Seattle out to Sun Valley/Ketchum, Idaho in our Dec 2014 S85. Others have posted about this trip on other sites, but it usually has required some degree of flexibility regarding charging including using destination chargers along the way or even CHAdeMO. It is now a completely Supercharged route!

On the way there, we stopped in Ellensburg and then on to the Wildhorse Casino outside Pendleton, Baker City, and Boise, before arriving in Ketchum. We were traveling on the day of the massive windstorm last week that closed I90 at Vantage and even though we charged 10 minutes extra in Ellensburg, we pulled into the Wildhorse Casino at 6%. We received a lot of energy warnings along the way, which almost led us to stop by the Hamilton Cellars in Benton City since the Kennewick supercharger wasn't open yet, but we decided to keep going to Wildhorse as the winds gradually lessened later in the day. Boise was the only long period of charging and unfortunately it was at 1030 pm with a toddler in the car. Fortunately, the front desk staff at the Oxford Suites didn't mind her running around in their lobby for a bit while we charged for 45 minutes or so.

Charging in the Sun Valley area is a little tricky. There are two Tesla destination chargers - one at Knob Hill Inn and one at Sun Valley Lodge. The one at Sun Valley Lodge seems to be free as the valets just pointed me toward it and let me take it up to the valet area and plug it in myself. Unfortunately, it only charged at 40A despite the website indicating 64A charging. Next to the HPWC is a ClipperCreek HCS-40 (also 40A), so you can use your J1772 adaptor to charge if the Tesla HPWC is in use.

Next, I visited the Knob Hill Inn, as I needed a lot more charge and was staying "in town" making that location more easily accessible on foot. I called ahead and the front desk asked one of their guests to move their car out of the HPWC parking space. I don't think they've had many Teslas visit yet because their valet asked me how to hook up the charger. Their current pricing model is complimentary for guests at the Inn or restaurant. Since I was staying in town, they asked for $25/day for each day I charged. While it's obviously a high price for electricity, the presence of a fast (80A) HPWC is priceless as there are virtually no other options in town. The one private charger on Plugshare is no longer available as he emailed that he has moved from that home but didn't update the Plugshare info. I tried the 120V wall outlet in the condo building where we were staying and promptly took out the circuit breaker for the outlet and the garage lighting!

On the return trip, we visited the superchargers at Boise, Baker City, Kennewick and Ellensburg. The Kennewick charger had only been open for 2 days and was empty throughout our visit. A few people in huge pickups slowed down to see what we were up to, but no one came up to us to ask questions. The Fred Meyer is really the only option as far as hanging out, but my toddler was plenty happy to enjoy a snack sitting at the Tully's stand inside the store.

We saw about 4 Teslas in Ketchum (1 other with WA plates), but none on the way back yesterday until we reached Ellensburg, where a nice blue 85D was charging unattended the duration of our visit there. I hope more public charging options open up in Ketchum because I think the addition of the Boise supercharger is going to make ownership in Idaho very popular and certainly increase the number of travelers coming from WA state and Portland.


  • edited November -1
    Is your tesla white? My family was in the Ellensburg area yesterday and reported they saw white and blue model S's.
  • edited November -1
    No, we had a very dirty grey one!
  • edited November -1
    Thanks for the recap of your trip nogas2. I had been wondering what the charging oportunities were like in the Sun Valley/Ketchum area. Hopefully those improve!

  • edited November -1
    Just completed a 5,000 mile electric drive to the mid-west and back. We also have a 2014 Dec 85kw and used one HPWC which charge at 40amps. We understand that you need dual chargers to charge at higher Amps at HPWC
  • edited November -1
    Yes, having dual chargers definitely saved me time at the HPWC set to 80A. Even at the tail end of filling the battery, it was still charging at almost 45 mi/hr. I did fill the battery to reduce the amount of time spent at the Boise SC on the trip home.
  • edited November -1
    Will the dual charger option always be needed even on the X? One of my charging stations is a Clipper Creek which can put out 48 amps. It will be mostly used for overnight charging meaning 10-12 hours available for charging. Is it a possibility that there will be a larger onboard charger or are they maxed out at 40 amps?
  • edited November -1
    Just did this trip from Camano Island to Hailey, ID and am still in Hailey. My daughter lives there so the first thing I did was to install a NEMA 14-50 in her garage. I think she allowed me to do this so her mother and I would come visit more often.

    We had always turned south at Ellensburg, go through Yakima, and on south. My 17" screen led me Vantage and then south to Kennewick. Then to Pendleton and Baker City. We spent the night in Boise at the Candlewood Suites and charged overnight.

    Sun Valley is an easy drive from the Puget Sound area.
  • edited November -1
    Rumor has it that the X will have a 60A charger. No word about whether a dual charger configuration is available.
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