Las Vegas Day Trip
in our Ioniq 5

Mark D Larsen
March 29, 2024

Ducks in a Row

Tamara had set up some appointments in Las Vegas for today, and we anticipated that the day trip would be the first real test of the Ioniq 5’s efficiency when driving at freeway speeds. Like in our previous LEAF, I knew that the Ioniq’s mileage gauge was more of a GOM (“guess-o-meter”) than a reliable prediction of true range. The trip verified that I was correct —which will be good to know for future journeys.

I therefore have to apologize that what follows is little more than a series of screenshots, for I was trying to concentrate on the stats displayed rather than take in the scenery. In truth, there’s not much scenery to see in Las Vegas anyway, and readers are welcome to go back and peruse posts of our other trips to and through that city —which is, to be brutally honest, among my most detested urban areas on the planet, for a plethora a reasons. But I digress.

NOTE: You can click on the following photos to enlarge them, and the movies to play them.

I made sure that our charge odometer was reset to zero before we left.

As you can see, since taking delivery of Ohm My, we had driven it 1,594.1 miles, at 3.5 miles-per-kWh, thus using 455.46 kWh of electricity.

Here I give my usual introductory overview of the trip, and note that the GOM guessed that the 72% charge in the battery would give us a range of 237 (241) miles.

After we descended from the summit, the GOM had added about 7 more mile to its prediction, thanks to regenerative braking.

I took this photo when the battery percentage was at 50% to make a quick-and-dirty calculation: 2 x 166 miles on the GOM = 332 miles with a 100% charge. No way that would hold steady!

Oddly enough, in the top right corner of the screen the navigation was directing us to take Exit 64, miles before our destination in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, I ignored the instruction and stayed on the freeway, assuming that the map was giving bogus directions like we would sometimes see in our previous Tesla.

I was wrong! The navigation was actually trying to take us to a frontage road to steer around a huge traffic jam on I-15 north of Las Vegas. My stupid mistake! We were delayed, but finally arrived at our destination, a pet food store south of the city, with a 20% charge and 51 miles on the GOM.

After buying our pet food, I set the navigation to take us to an Electrify America charging site at the South Premium Outlets. We lucked out! There was one spot open at the very end —which I didn't expect, given how many EVs and how few DCFC stations there are in Las Vegas.

We arrived with 45 miles on the GOM and 18% in the battery. That calculates to a full range of only 250 miles —10 miles less that the EPA’s official estimate for our Ioniq 5!

I would guess that this spot was empty because the screen was completely blank and unreadable. Nonetheless, by holding my Electrify America app over the scan plate on the unit, I got it to start charging “in the blind,” predicting it would take only 16 minutes to fill the pack from 21% to our usual 80%. I was impressed!

Sure enough, it wasn't long before an 80% charge was restored.

The touchscreen now predicted 256 miles (260) miles of range, which translates to nearly 319 from a full charge. Yup, the gauge really is a "guess-o-meter.”

After finishing the charge, Electrify America sent a session report to my phone that we had put 60.624 kWh into the battery.

They also sent me a text message with more details of the session, including the total time we were charging: 00:19:03 minutes. The peak rate achieved was 182 kW. No complaints from me!

We then stopped to get some dinner, ran some more errands, and then directed the navigation to take us to the Electrify America site in Mesquite. I knew we didn't really need to charge there to make it home, but I figured that I might as well use my two years of free charging sessions.

I was frankly surprised that all of the chargers were open. We arrived there with 124 (125) miles on the GOM and 45% in the battery.

We'd driven 88.4 miles since the last charge, averaging 3.3 miles-per-kWh.

This time the screen on the Ultra 350 kW charger was working and recognized my account with Electrify America.

The rate of charge was even faster: 228 kW!

The charge finished as quickly as predicted.

This was the charger’s display after the session ended.

It had restored 30.064 kWh to the pack…

…in 00:11:09 minutes, hitting a peak rate of 240 kW. Never had I seen our Tesla charge so quickly.

We arrived home after driving the remaining 43.1 miles over the Utah Mountain summit.

The car's odometer now read 1,868.1 miles, with an efficiency rating of 3.3 miles-per-kWh. The GOM's remaining range predicted 162 miles ÷ 62% = ~261 miles, pretty spot on for the EPA’s 260-mile rating for our AWD model.

I would conclude from this day trip that the EPA’s range estimate is fairly accurate for driving freeway speeds, but that around town commuting can significantly exceed it. We’ll see if my conclusion holds true over the coming miles, years, and months.