Taking a road trip might seem like an impossible venture if your sole mode of transportation is an all battery electric vehicle. But, with a little flexibility and a lot of planning, a vacation in an electric vehicle could be more of a possibility than you initially thought.
Luckily, there are more than 15,000 publicly available charging stations throughout the nation’s 50 states, accounting for nearly 45,000 individual charging outlets. Electric car models with more than 100 miles per charge are being released these days, like the 2017 Chevy Bolt that offers a range of 238 miles. So, getting around from city to city in an EV isn’t much of a hassle anymore.
You won’t have to worry about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with these 5 tips and tricks to road tripping via EV.
Plan, plan, plan. Using your EV Connect smartphone app, map out the charging station locations you plan to utilize in every city along the way during your road trip. Having a solid idea of exactly where you can stop to charge up, and when, will enable you to plan fun activities during the charge time (which can take up to a couple of hours). Plan a lunch or shopping outing at the different charge locations as you go.
Have a backup plan. Just in case weather or another unforeseen event holds you up, always have a plan B. Planning on stopping at a certain town 80 miles away? Make sure you have an extra, just-in-case spot 50 miles away or less, because you never know what could come up in a long-distance drive.
Go to cities. For now, cities should be your prime destination(s) during EV-driven road trips. Most charging stations are installed in high-traffic areas, so it’s smart to plan a more urban than scenic route… For now. For future trips, keep in mind that the National Parks Service is partnering with BMW to install about 100 charging stations in and on the way to parks around the U.S. in the next year. This will greatly expand the potential for travel in the interior of the country.
Be mindful of mileage. Always be aware of your range status; in other words, don’t push your luck. An EV is capable of road tripping, absolutely, but it isn’t like a typical car where, if you run out of gas, someone can come fill you up with a gas can. When planning out your trip, be sure to leave some wiggle room between charge-up destinations so that you can stop for meals or take a certain route to avoid traffic.
For longer trips, plan for multiple stops. All kinds of road trips can be had in electric cars. Maybe you just want to hop to the next town over for what feels like more of a “stay-cation.” Or perhaps you want to travel the distance of half, or maybe even the whole country. No matter either way, as long as you account for multiple stops during your planning process. Those larger distance hauls will take a bit more time when you add in your charging station stops, but that just means there’s more time to soak in new places.