5 Tips for Road Tripping in an EV
Purchasing an EV is an exciting prospect that is better both for the planet and for your finances than a gas car. Although EVs offer many additional benefits, some people still have questions like, how are EVs on road trips? In this article, we’ll share the top 5 tips for taking a road trip with an EV.
Road Tripping Tips For EV Drivers
Plan Ahead With Navigation Tools – The most important tip for road tripping in an EV is to plan ahead. You won’t be able to simply pull off the interstate to fuel up whenever you need it, so you’ll need to research and plan your charging stops. How much time should you plan for a recharging stop? With level 3 fast charging, the average EV battery charges from 10% – 80% in 30 minutes or less. Keep in mind, different models charge at different speeds, so the best way to plan for this is to practice using public charging stations before you take a road trip.
This might feel like a lot to figure out, but fortunately there are great tools out there to help you like PlugShare and A Better Routeplanner. These EV navigation tools can help you map out your road trip online before you head out and find charging stations using the apps along your route. They also provide a list of amenities that are available near the charging stations, so you can plan ahead to grab a quick bite or do some shopping while you wait. There are over 46,000 public EV charging stations throughout the United States and more are on their way.
Download Charging Apps – To minimize extra time on the road, download and set up a few charging apps before you head out on your journey. Electrify America, EVgo, and ChargePoint all offer app or card-based charging, so you just tap your phone or card to the charger, plug in, and charge. With public charging, we recommend that you practice a few times locally, before taking your first trip! If you run into problems charging, call the customer service number on the station so they can help you connect and charge up.
Benefit From Destination Charging – As you decide on where you’ll be lodging, consider your access to a charging source. Many hotels/motels now offer EV destination charging, often for free. When staying at a vacation rental, reach out to the property manager in advance to ask if you can charge while you’re there. You’ll need to bring your EV charging cable with you and we suggest packing an extension cord so you can reach a standard 120V outlet. If you’re visiting with family and friends you may be able to charge up while you’re there.
Maximize Your Efficiency – You’ll want to maximize the efficiency of your EV so you can ensure you’ll get to your planned destination without any issues. This involves both properly preparing your EV before the trip—filling your tires to the correct pressure, fixing anything that needs attention, etc.—and driving your car in an efficient manner—only using heat or AC when you need it, limiting your acceleration with cruise control, and setting your EV for maximum regenerative braking. When fast charging, it’s important to note that the lower your battery charge, the faster the charging speed, and as you get more battery range, the charging slows down. You may consider charging to 80% on the road and charge more frequently. It’ll give you more opportunities to stretch your legs.
Essential Charging Tips
- While most EV manufacturers recommend charging to 80 or 90% on a daily basis, maximize your driving range by increasing your charging level to 100% the night before your trip.
- To release the charger at a public charging station, you’ll need to unlock your car.
- Beware of linger fees when your charging session is complete and you’re still plugged in to the charger. The charging app should alert you when the charging is almost complete and again when it’s complete, so you can move your car as soon as you finish charging (most charging networks will assess a fee if you stay too long).
At Ride and Drive Clean, we believe EVs are vital to a cleaner future, whether they are for driving, towing, outdoor needs, powering your house when you lose power, driving in the cold, or going on a road trip. We host regular events to keep you informed of the latest vehicles, innovations, and financial incentives, as well as offering an EV Buying and Driving Guide.