Chargers between Las Vegas and San Diego: Planning an EV road trip

Want to venture out to the sunny shores of San Diego from Las Vegas? Making an EV road trip is more accessible than ever before with the growing availability of charging stations.

This summer, we headed out in a Kia Niro EV to scope out the charging stations on the I-15 route to San Diego. Read on for our top picks and recommendations for what to see and do in San Diego. To get additional tips on EV road trips check out our Ultimate Planning Guide.

Plentiful charging options

Map of the route from Las Vegas to San Diego, including stop for Electric Vehicle chargers

The drive from Las Vegas to San Diego is 330 miles. Our vehicle on this day, the Kia Niro, had a range of 240 miles fully charged; however, EV batteries drain faster while driving at high speeds (70mph+) - so we knew we would stop at least twice to charge along the way.  

Another useful thing to know is that EVs charge quickly to the 80% mark - taking around 30 min at a Level 3 charger - but take a lot longer to get from 80% to 100%, up to 45 more minutes. So, you can decide whether you would rather make two long stops or three short ones. We decided to go for 3 shorter stops.

We’ve found Electrify America to have the best maintained chargers, so each of our stops were at Electrify America charging stations.  

A Kia Niro EV rented from in Las Vegas, NV stopped at an electric charging station in Baker, CA while taking a road trip to San Diego, CA in the electric vehicle.
a Kia Niro EV from charging at the Electrify America Station in Baker, CA

For the trip back to Las Vegas, we stopped at Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego to get a full 100% charge before hitting the road. This took 1.5 hours, perfect for lunch and browsing the many shops at the mall. 

From there, we drove the 140 miles to the Walmart Supercenter in Hesperia, charged back to 80%, and headed to the Electrify America station in Baker to charge for the final stretch home. 

A few flamingos at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa park, an all day activity for families
Flamingos at the San Diego Zoo

What to do in San Diego

Explore San Diego with the Go City - Explorer Pass

This pass offers different price points with varying levels of attractions included. We got the $75 option with two attraction tickets which we used for the San Diego Zoo and Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. This was a great deal, given that entry to the zoo by itself is $71. 

The San Diego Zoo spans 100 acres inside Balboa Park. Here you will find rare and endangered species and a vast botanical collection. This attraction can take all day with options to break for lunch or relax as you peruse the 4,000 animals. 

Explore the distinctive downtown neighborhoods

Downtown San Diego is home to famous neighborhoods such as Little Italy and the Gaslamp Quarter. In Little Italy, you will find a myriad of dining options, each presenting its own flavors of Italy. This pedestrian-friendly spot has many boutique shops and even a weekly farmers market. 

If you’re looking to spend the evening out and about, the nightlife of Gaslamp Quarter is the top spot. The surrounding blocks host gastropubs, music venues, cocktail lounges, and two theaters for comedy, music, and drama performances. 

Visit pristine beaches and interact with marine life at La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is known for its unique shorelines covered in grassy cliff sides, sandstone bluffs, and stretches of sand. Wander the coastline, kayak the hidden caves, or snorkel with Leopard Sharks that swarm the shallows in summer. 

If you’re more inclined to view the animals from afar, you can visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Ocean Institute, a brief 5-minute drive from La Jolla Cove. Here you’ll find displays of the marine life living along the California coast and beyond. Our favorite exhibits were the tide pools, jellyfish, and Kelp forest.

A Leopard Shark in a kelp forest in San Diego, CA
Leopard Shark in a Kelp Forest

Final notes

Apart from its beautiful weather and many attractions, San Diego is plentiful with chargers. We found a charger in the La Jolla Beach parking lot where we could charge while we visited the beach. Our long visit to the beach allowed the car to charge fully, which lasted the entire 3-day trip driving around the local San Diego area. 

We had a great time on our Las Vegas to San Diego EV road trip, and hope this charger review inspires you to head out on your own EV adventure. Receive 20% off your first booking with and make your next road trip emission-free with code SANDIEGO. To book visit