Product 1920x600

How do people with electric vehicles handle road trips?

Road trips in electric vehicles (EV) are getting easier every year as national charging networks improve.


The average EV range approaches 300 miles. But drivers may still be anxious about running out of battery.


With proper planning and sensible driving, however, it’s possible to overcome any range limitations. Electric vehicle owners may even encounter some surprising road trip benefits.


Estimating Battery Time

Your battery is impacted by your driving patterns. While one of the joys of EV driving is the rapid acceleration, putting the pedal to the metal puts more strain on the battery and will reduce your range. Set your vehicle to economy mode, which increases the amount of regenerative braking and energy efficiency. 


EVs are most efficient when driving in cities or traffic, so you are unlikely to reach maximum range on the highway. Depending on your vehicle, driving at a constant 70 miles per hour may result in a lower range than the official EPA estimate, which assumes a 45% / 55% mix of city and highway driving.


The weather can also impact your battery life. EV batteries perform better in temperate weather than in the cold. Under one test, EVs lost an average of 18.5% of their range in temperatures below freezing, at -2 degrees C (28.4 degrees F). 


But keep in mind that Norway has one of the highest rates of electric purchases in the world. You can take a road trip under any weather conditions that you can in a gas-powered vehicle: you just need to plan accordingly.


Planning Your Route

Plan ahead to identify charging stations along your route before you hit the road. Teslas come with their own route planner, and you can use apps like A Better Route Planner or PlugShare. Google Maps can also be filtered to highlight EV charging stations. 


However, plans don’t always match reality. Charging stations that are part of networks often require their own app or RFID cards, and may not accept credit cards. Alternatively, you can arrive at a charging station to find it in use, out of service, or occupied. 


Charging on the Road

dagasansener / Getty Images

Here are some planning tips to make sure you have a smooth charging experience on the road.

  • Have an alternative charging option at each step of your route. 
  • Try to find charging stations with local accommodations, like restaurants or grocery stores, to make the most of your charging time.
  • Select hotels with charging stations. It’s often free, and you don’t have to go looking for a gas station in a strange city. Completely charging an EV battery from almost empty to full usually costs about $10.00, so it’s worth paying a little extra.
  • Bring your charging cord, an extension cord, and adaptors if you have them. 
  • Don’t try to fill up your battery at every charging station. Just get enough juice to get you comfortably to your next stop, so you can spend time enjoying your trip.

Post time: 2023-05-09