As part of my one night in Vegas Trip to utilize my Caesars Diamond celebration dinner rewards as well as status match to other programs, my dad and I decided to take a trek with his electric Audi e-tron and try out some Electrify America DC fast chargers for the trip.
In this post, I’ll give some tips and pointers of the specific stations we visited.
Electrify America operates an electric vehicle DC fast charging network in the US, with 647 charging locations currently and 121 new stations in the works. It was founded by Volkswagen, and was established in 2016 as part of its efforts to offset emissions during their emissions scandal. They have a decent footprint with some locations in shopping malls, Walmart, Target and Bank of America parking lots.
With a 150kW charger- the e-tron can get from 20% to 80% in about 20 minutes and even faster when the 350kW one is working LOL. When reaching past 80% it takes a little longer to charge.
With the purchase of the e-tron we were given credits to use at Electrify America stations so we wanted to use up the credits as much as we could first.
Once we run out of credits, the normal price is $0.43/kWh and there is an Idle Fee once the charging stops after a 10 minute grace period. If you’re going to be charging a decent amount during a month, you can get the Pass+ which drops the price for charging over 25% to $0.31/kWh, but costs $4 a month. So your breakeven point would be using about 33 kWh. Not a bad deal if you’re going to be using Electrify America during a month and you can cancel the pass on months that you aren’t charging there. For a frame of reference, the e-Tron has a 95 kWh battery pack, and that gets about 220 miles of range.
We decided to visit the Hesperia location which is approximately 80 miles from downtown LA, and right under 200 miles from Las Vegas. It’s close to the I-15, in the parking lot of a Walmart, and there are 10 total chargers. Of the 10 total chargers, 8 have the CCS 150 kW, 2 have the CCS 350 kW and there is 1 with a CHAdeMO 50 kW attached to one of the 150 kW chargers. This setup was similar to the one I visited at the Camarillo Premium Outlets a few months ago.
Unfortunately, this location had the faultiest chargers, and when I called electrify America for support, there were many complaints about this location. We were stuck for 30 minutes just finding a charger that would connect correctly and had to try 4 different ones. Sigh. The charging itself took less time than finding a charger that would work lol. None of the 350 kW’s worked, 2 of the 150 kW’s were broken but we finally found a 150kW to work at station 8.
A person we met charging in Barstow also complained about this Hesperia location. Hopefully Electrify America fixes this station.
A thing that would be nice for improvement is if there was full pull through parking. Depending on the location of your charging port on your car, allowing pull through access will make it easier to access all chargers rather than having to back into the parking space if the charger is on the wrong side for your car. And solar panel covers or shade would be nice!
We also stopped by the Barstow Electrify America station, and this one was also in a Walmart parking lot, not too far off the I-15.
The Barstow location has 8 total chargers, with 6 150 kW and 2 350 kW. None of the 350 kW’s worked, but we found station 1 to work with the 150kW. Barstow is located about halfway between Vegas and Los Angeles, 150 miles in each direction.
There was no one at this station when we came to charge on a Sunday afternoon, but boy would I be stressed if it was packed and only 1 was available and that one happened to be faulty.
Similar to the Hesperia location, there is no shade whatsoever, so you will get sunburnt during the summer. I wish they put solar panels or at least some covering.
Now we are talking! I was scared to visit this location as Baker is a really small town and is known for being very hot, but the Electrify America setup here is stellar! Full solar panels cover all the stations so you don’t burn in the heat, and it’s styled like a gas station with full pull through parking. Baker is right off the I-15, about 170 miles from Los Angeles, and 90 miles from Las Vegas.
It’s located next to an Ultra Gas and Mart. There’s also a huge Tesla Supercharging station next door, so everyone here will be charging their electric vehicles.
The only downside to this location is that there are only 2 150 kW chargers and 6 50 kW ones, with 1 50 kW CHAdeMO. If the 150’s are taken it would take our car a lot longer to charge. I don’t know why they decided to put the slower chargers, but I noticed it’s also a big enough station where they can add 4 more that is currently empty. Thankfully, when I arrived no 150’s were in use, and the one I chose at station 2 worked and had no issues. Someone did arrive shortly and took the other 150 charger, so on a busy road day you might have to wait to use a faster charger here.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I really enjoyed this one- minus the face that there is no shade in the Vegas heat. It’s located at the Caesars Palace Forum Shops employee lot/valet area, and you can access it from the back road Frank Sinatra, so you don’t have to drive on the Strip! Very easy access given its Strip location.
And once you plug in, you can quickly walk into the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and be in the casino within minutes. A great place to get some AC rather than wait in the heat!
At this station, there are 6 150 kW chargers and one of them has a 50 kW CHAdeMO.
The first machine we tried was broken, so we had to try another one and at this point I just called customer service to tell me which had a successful charge recently. There wasn’t anyone when we went to charge at first, but then like 3 Tesla’s started hogging up the parking spaces and didn’t even charge…hopefully this was a one time occurrence or that could be annoying for cars to block access to chargers.
Overall, it’s nice to be able to charge up our electric vehicle on our road trip fairly quickly. To get from 20% to 80% in about 20 minutes is really nice. But, the constant faulty chargers are stressful especially when it’s a crowded charging day. Thankfully I drove on a Sunday and Monday of a non holiday weekend, and I hope that Electrify America makes sure their chargers are maintained well for the future.
Have you charged with Electrify America before? How was your experience? Comment below!
Have any questions? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also view all my other posts here! Thanks for stopping by!
Unfortunately your EA experiences mirror mine. By far they have the best geographic footprint and the worst technology. I really don’t understand after 5 years how they CANNOT GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER?!?!?! I used one of their chargers a few days ago, 3 of 4 machine were out of service. AWFUL! It just blows me away why it’s so difficult to start a charge session there, and why their uptime is so awful. I don’t have these issues with any other EVSE network, just EA. Do they not have the staff or resource to fix their issue? EA introduced “plug… Read more »
Thanks for reading! Sorry to hear that, hopefully their tech improves!
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Having traveled extensively in my Bolt EV, I can testify that E. America is among the worse, in terms of upkeep and reliability. In my part of the country, ChargePoint is pretty good, most others are pathetic. Which is one reason I’m selling my EV. I hope to go back to electric when the charging situation improves, but for now it’s too unreliable for serious cross-country travel. I have never had to call someone on my phone to start a gas pump; but I seem to have to do that at least two times out of three when charging. (And,… Read more »
Thanks for reading! I do hope they improve, always annoying to get a broken charger and wastes time.
“With a 150kW charger- the e-tron can get from 20% to 80% in about 20 minutes” – this sounds like it was taken from some advert. From my experience (both electric and ICE) you will NEVER get what is advertised. Sorry, I’m very skeptical that you experienced this performance.
It’s okay I understand, people are always in awe when I tell them I’ll be done so quickly when there’s a line and they are shocked that my car is done charging haha. Only reason why I even considered taking it to Vegas (I hate long road trips). Love the e-tron!
The PlugShare website and app is a great resource for finding out which charging stations are unreliable or have awkward setups. Reading their reviews is a must for me before any EV road trip.
Thanks for the tip!
Kind of depressing that the price is more than double than filling up my Hybrid.
Haha agreed, but thankfully charging at home is a lot cheaper. Thanks for reading!
You mention the price/kWH but as someone who doesn’t own an electric car, that doesn’t mean much since there’s no point of reference. Can you tell us what that works out to in practical terms? I’m interested in my next vehicle being electric so I find your review interesting overall, if a tad depressing that there aren’t more rapid charging locations that are actually functional.
So the Audi e-tron has a 95 kWh battery, and Electrify America charges $0.43 per kWh without the pass and $0.31 per kWh with the pass. That means it would cost $40.85 without the pass ($0.43 times 95 kWh), or $29.45 ($0.31 per kWh times 95 kWh) with the pass to fully charge the car form 0% to 100%. And this car gets about 220 miles on a full charge. Other charging stations such as EVgo have different pricing as well. Hope this helps, thanks for reading!
Right now, and probably into the foreseeable future, Tesla has a big lead in EVs and EV charging. There are many Tesla superchargers, each location has many stalls, and they are well-maintained. There is no fiddling with payment, either, which is often the pitfall with other systems, such as Electrify America. With Tesla, simply park at a Tesla supercharger, plug in, and go take a break. The car and charger say “hello” to each other, and your account is charged. Elegant. So, if you can afford one, I highly recommend one. I drive a Chevy Bolt, and like it as… Read more »
Thanks for sharing! I don’t know what I’d do without my level 2 charger at home, that helps a lot!
Excellent forward-thinking review.
Thanks for reading!
In four years of EV charging, the few times I’ve observed or experienced bad charging etiquette, it’s always been a Tesla.
Haha, hopefully they get better soon… thanks for reading!