EV Tips: How To Plan A Road Trip With An Electric Vehicle
So you’re ready to plan a road trip in an EV?
The only problem… It’s not just a matter of hopping in and driving off into the sunset. It requires a different kind of preparation and mindset. In this article, I’ll take you through the essentials of planning a road trip with an EV, drawing from our team’s personal experiences and industry knowledge.
Understanding Your EV’s Range
The first step is to understand your EV’s range. Unlike traditional cars, where gas stations are ubiquitous, charging stations, though rapidly increasing, are more sparsely located. Check your vehicle’s average range per charge and factor in variables like weather conditions, driving habits, and terrain, as these can affect the actual range.
Route Planning: Charging Stations and More
Mapping your route is crucial. Use EV-specific navigation tools that not only show you the way but also highlight charging stations along your route. Apps like PlugShare or ChargePoint can be invaluable. Plan to stop at charging stations before your battery gets too low – I usually aim for at least 20% remaining battery life.
Charging Time: A Different Approach to Breaks
Charging time varies depending on the type of charger (Level 1, Level 2, or DC Fast Charger) and your EV’s charging capabilities. A coffee break, a meal, or a short hike can be a perfect activity while your EV sips electricity. This aspect fundamentally changes the road trip experience, making it more relaxed and less rushed.
Packing for an EV Road Trip
Packing for an EV road trip also requires some forethought. Carry a portable charger as a backup. Ensure you have all necessary cables and adapters. Also, since electric vehicles often have less noise insulation due to their lighter build, consider bringing noise-cancelling headphones for a more peaceful drive.
Lodging with Charging Facilities
Choose accommodations wisely. Many hotels now offer overnight charging facilities. This can be a game-changer, allowing you to start each day with a full battery.
Driving Tips for Maximizing Range
Adapt your driving style to maximize range. EVs are more efficient at lower speeds, so maintaining a consistent, moderate speed can extend your range. Also, take advantage of regenerative braking, a feature that recharges your battery slightly when you brake.
Be Prepared for Contingencies
Always have a Plan B. Despite your best planning, you might encounter occupied or out-of-service charging stations. Apps can often show the status of a charging station, but it’s wise to have a backup in mind.
Enjoying the Unique Pleasures of an EV Road Trip
Finally, enjoy the unique aspects of an EV road trip. Appreciate the quiet and smooth ride, the instant torque, and the satisfaction of a more environmentally friendly journey. EV road trips encourage a slower pace, allowing you to savor the journey as much as the destination.
Planning a road trip in an electric vehicle may seem daunting at first, but with the right preparation, it can be an immensely rewarding experience. As electric vehicles continue to evolve, the ease and convenience of EV road trips will only increase, making them an exciting and sustainable way to explore the world around us. I see EV road trips not just as a challenge, but as a new adventure in the ever-changing landscape of automotive travel.