Roadtrip to Vegas!

Roadtrip to Vegas!

So I made it to Vegas from Orange County last weekend. Yea, it was the hottest weekend in recorded history... over 122º in some spots on the road.
I just wanted to relay and post my experience and get word out of the best way to stay charged up while in Las Vegas.

So, I spent the first 2 hours driving around to various resorts on the strip (Venetian, Cosmopolitan) to locate their Tesla specific chargers that i found listed online. It turned out that these chargers are/were for Roadsters, not S Model Teslas. I had no adapter for that. The other EV chargers were occupied. I called the Tesla store in town and asked where the best place to charge up was in this case, so I could make it back to Barstow and home from there. They drove out to meet me at The Palazzo. Pretty great service!

The Palazzo has 2 Tesla chargers with Adapters for Model S!!! You simply drive up to the valet and ask them to charge it up for you. There is no fee. You simply tip the valets (as usual). You can watch your charging with the app on your phone as you shop the Palazzo/Venetian stores inside or hit the strip. The valets will call you if they need to move your car, because other Model S's need to charge. The Palazzo is very Tesla accommodating. :) In fact I heard from a Palazzo employee that the owner of the hotel is buying a fleet of Tesla Model Ss for his high rollers to use while they are in town. So i'm sure there will be more charging stations in the near future at the Palazzo.

In addition, The Tesla shop employee (Ethan) was very cordial, driving out to assist us after he was actually off work. Thanks Ethan! He also mentioned there will be 2 Superchargers in town soon. YEAH TESLA!!! :D


Jay w | 9 July, 2013

Great info. Thanks

phat78boy | 9 July, 2013

Thank you for the info. I hope those superchargers get put in soon!

Bob W | 9 July, 2013

I can see HPWCs being installed all over Las Vegas, but SuperChargers? Nothing is shown on the SuperCharger map in Las Vegas, not even by 2015:

The closest dot seems to be at the state line at Primm, NV.

To date, no SuperChargers have been installed in major cities (unless you count Hawthorne).

On the other hand, if indeed "the owner of the hotel" (Sheldon Adelson), is buying a loaner fleet, and if Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is really successful with his fleet of 100 rental Teslas (see "Project 100"), then maybe a couple of SuperChargers make sense, at least for those fleets.

But, the Las Vegas hotels have an interesting dilemma: If they install a bunch of 30A J1772s, they attract all types of EV owners, and they all have to stick around overnight (or for many hours). Hotels with casinos like drivers who park and stay put.

On the other hand, if they perceive that Model S owners are high rollers, they will give them whatever they want: HPWC, SuperChargers, battery swappers, P85+ loaners, etc., whatever makes them happy so long as it brings "action" (to the tables).

diegoPasadena | 9 July, 2013

I checked out the Barstow charger at noon on July 4th, expecting it to be full and perhaps a couple of cars waiting. Nobody was there! Empty!

sharpe222 | 9 July, 2013

I live in Vegas and and am getting my MS 85 delivered in a few weeks. It's clear that destination charging is not what Tesla has in mind with the superchargers and hotels/Casinos will need to provide level 2 stations for overnight guests. One thing we do well here is quickly figure out ways to make folks drinving exepensive cars into town happy so I wouldn't be surprised if every major strip casino has an option for us real soon. I'm curious if any of you guys know of some good options other than the Tesla store in the Newport/Huntington Beach area where I tend to either stay in hotels or in condos during beach vacations.

peteschuller | 10 July, 2013

@Bob W - Right. I noticed the same. No Superchargers planned within the city limits of Las Vegas as per the Tesla website. But this was a LV Tesla shop employee (Ethan) saying it. I hope he's right. Let's hope if Ethan is right, that these are not just for personal fleet use. That brings up an interesting question - is there, or will there ever be such a thing as a private Supercharger? Whatever happens, i would think, the more chargers/Superchargers the better.

@sharpe222 - I overheard a few other Model S owners mention that a Supercharger may be put in at South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa) at the end of summer. I live in Costa Mesa and I work in LA. Currently, after work, i stop in at the Hawthorne station to recharge (approx. every other day). I'm happy there's a station on the way to/from my job, but if they put one in South Coast Plaza I'd be ecstatic! I can walk there :D

peteschuller | 10 July, 2013

@ diegoPasadena - Ya! Me too. No one there at Barstow. I used the far left charger. ehh. no worries. Chilis Restaurant wasn't open yet either when i arrived. It opens at 11am. I went over to Starbucks on the other side of the Country Inn... nice and air-conditioned. aahhhhhhhhhh :D

diegoPasadena | 10 July, 2013

@peteschuller - I'm afraid that might change drastically once the Primm SC is operational. I chickened out and took the ICE to Vegas since I have a 60, and by all accounts that's a bit of a stretch yet. But all 60s+ will easily make it when Primm is up, and then our SC etiquette might get tested :^)

Darmok | 10 July, 2013

Sharpe222-feel free to join us on our Las Vegas Tesla Owners Facebook page, you should be able to search and find it within FB. We're having a gathering this Sunday for owners and future owners, there should be several Models S there.

Darmok | 10 July, 2013

@diegoPasadena-Barstow to Las Vegas is no problem in a 60. It's a bit of a closer call on the way back because of the typical headwind, but you can always get a bit of extra juice in Primm at the Charge Point chargers in front of Whiskey Pete's if you're nervous about it.

Bob Kroll | 11 July, 2013

We found the same problem, but were able to charge up overnight at a J1772 for free at the Venetian, then drive back to the Cosmopolitan where we're staying and charge up on a 110v plug in the lower reaches of the hotel self-park garage, a 3 miles of charge/hr., but just enough to keep the car fully charged for our departure. Glad to hear about the Palazzo. Maybe we'll stay there next time, if they're pet friendly as the Cosmo is.

NKYTA | 11 July, 2013

There are also two level 2 charges at Mandalay Bay - lots of room for the car and wasn't busy when we were there earlier in the year.

P4768 | 11 July, 2013

I had similar experience at Mandalay. The Chargers are at the valet area for the Mandalay Shops. Never had to wait for one during spring break. Stayed at the Four Seasons and let the management at the Wynn know that I was staying somewhere else because of the availability of charging.

We didn't have any problems making it to Vegas from Barstow in a 60kwh Model S. We had 5 passengers and a lot of luggage.

Bob W | 11 July, 2013

If you're driving to Las Vegas from Northern California in an 85, and you do a "max range" charge at Harris Ranch, can you make to the Barstow SC directly, without stopping at Tejon Ranch?

Google Maps says it's a 227 mile trip taking the shortest route between Harris Ranch and Barstow (I-5 to Hwy 58 through Bakersfield, bypassing Tejon Ranch).

Has anyone ever tried this route, with A/C on, at ~70 mph?

On a trip to Las Vegas, this could save 25 minutes of driving time and 26 miles of charging time, if you can make it every time.

Maybe it should only be risked when there are no headwinds?

NKYTA | 11 July, 2013

@ Bob W

Yes it is possible. I did a write up on the forums a while back. Can't find it quickly, I think I made it Private, so doesn't help.

Basically, Harris to Barstow is "easier" in a P85 since you'll likely have a tailwind. On the way to Vegas we went thru Tejon, didn't want to chance it.

On the way back from Vegas, we did Barstow to Harris. Left Barstow with ~266 Rated (there were folks waiting for the SC, so not a complete range charge). The headwinds were pretty fierce, gusting to 25 as I recall. Drove through Wasco and kept to 58mph (cops love that stretch of road), when we hit I-5, I had just a little bit of range anxiety, so for about 20 miles, we had Range Mode on, kept it to 60mph and drafted a couple trucks three car lengths behind. When it was clear we would make it 20 miles out, AC back on, speeds back to 75mph. Arrived with 17 Rated.

When coming up and over Tehachapi pass, we were at 134 rated at the top. Hit the bottom with same and went about 10 more miles before range started to drop again.

xray | 11 July, 2013

This thread is quite helpful. Thank you @PeteSchuller for the update. I made the trip back in April and there were several tidbits in this thread that are definitely news to me.

1. Back in April, all the hotels with Roadster 70 amp chargers were listed as not having Roadster to Model S adapters. So it is indeed great news to hear that at least the Palazzo has invested in the adapters and therefore that makes it a very attractive place to stay if you own a Model S. It makes complete sense that you would have to valet the car since otherwise the adapter would disappear quickly.

2. Also new since April is the ChargePoint charger at Primm NV. According to PlugShare, its been there since at least early May so that's definitely welcome news to me.

3. The Tesla Service Center is also relatively new and not yet open in April. Does anyone know if they have a HPWC that is accessible to the public? While I realize that the service center is not near the strip, it would be nice to confirm that this is another option, especially if its a 70 or 80 amp source.

4. The rumor of a SC in Las Vegas is indeed very intriguing as others have said. Even though the Tesla website doesn't reflect this rumor, Tesla has always reserved the right to change course at any point. As evidence, take a look at the old Supercharger map from October/November 2012. There were absolutely no dots in Primm or along Interstate 10 and 8 in California. Everyone was fretting about those glaring holes and things evolved considerably with the new supercharger map unveiled May 2013.

mvannah | 11 July, 2013

@xray The Las Vegas Tesla Service Center does not have publicly accessible chargers yet, but said they would make their chargers available in a pinch. Hours are limited though (9-5?) and it is a good half mile walk to the nearest Starbucks or other commercial center. The more people that use the hotel chargers, especially the valet, the more they will put in. I am staying at the Montecito Hotel this weekend in Santa Barbara, which I wouldn't have considered had it not been for the HPWC they just installed. The valet knew exactly how many guests had been there to use the charger already.

xray | 11 July, 2013

@mvannah Agree with you completely regarding putting pressure on hotels and other destinations to install chargers to encourage our business.

Especially in the summer, it makes no sense to get away from the air conditioning of the various resorts at the Strip. I was just curious because there such great variability in the availability of chargers at the various Tesla stores and service centers.

In my only trip to LV since I've own the Model S, I made sure to fill out the survey for Mandalay Bay encouraging them to add more charging options. Of course, one of the reasons I stayed there in the first place back in April is because they had the public J1772 chargers available at the Mandalay Shoppes. But more chargers will be helpful as more EVs are delivered.

Brian H | 12 July, 2013

how many did the valet say had used it, over what period, to date?

c.bussert67 | 13 July, 2013

Thanks for the update pete!
I went to vegas in January and reserved at Palazzo, but got turned away, cause they hadn't got their adapters yet.. So we charged at Mandalay bay and had some slow/ dropped charging issues. So we went to Venetian which was not quite as comforting as the Mandalay spot since its just in public parking near the elevators, but it was much more reliable.
We have another trip coming up in August and just to play it safe we reserved at Mandalay bay this time. Dang it! I really like Palazzo/Venetian... Oh well.
I hear they have a service center in vegas now too...
I'm sure vegas is getting slammed with S's since it is the drive to do, and the S can do it!
Did you know the cruise control is good for 100 MPH? (or so I have heard ;-)