9 tips for EV Road Tripping: Your Key to Sustainable and Scenic Adventures
Thinking about hitting the road in your electric vehicle (EV) for a trip? Whether you’re planning to drive through scenic landscapes or explore small towns, an EV road trip offers an eco-friendly way to travel. Let’s go over the essentials to ensure your EV journey is smooth, hassle-free, and good for the environment.
1. Plan Ahead for a Smooth Ride
A successful EV road trip begins with meticulous planning. Unlike traditional gas-powered vehicles, EVs require a bit more foresight when it comes to charging.
Start by charting your route, ensuring access to charging stations along the way. Many charging stations are conveniently located near restaurants, rest areas, and attractions, making your pit stops enjoyable. To simplify your planning, use handy apps like route planners, which predict your charging needs and schedules stops to optimize your travel time.
2. Optimize Charging Times
When it comes to EVs, shorter charging sessions are often better. Instead of waiting for your battery to hit 100%, aim for shorter, more frequent pit stops. Charging your EV for just 15-20 minutes every couple of hours allows you to stretch your legs, grab a snack, and get back on the road faster.
Remember, charging from 0-80% often takes about the same time as charging from 80-100%. Most fast-charging stations limit charging to 80% to accommodate more EV users. So, embrace the concept of “topping off” rather than “filling up.”
3. Charge Where You Stay
Make the most of overnight charging by booking accommodations with EV charging facilities. Many hotels and even camping grounds offer these services. Charging overnight not only saves you time but also ensures you start each day with a full battery.
Don’t forget to pack your portable 3-pin cable for added flexibility. Just remember to check with your host if it’s okay to use it.
4. Harness the Power of EV Apps
In the digital age, apps are your best friends on the road. Download EV-specific apps to streamline your journey. These apps help you find charging stations, plan routes, and check real-time availability. Here are a couple of our favorites:
- Google Maps app: For Android and iOS, tap your profile picture then pick Settings and Electric vehicle settings. Here you can tell the app the type of plug your EV uses, and therefore the type of charging stations you’ll need to stop at.
- EV Navigation: for Android and iOS features a few smart features to make sure you’re not caught short with a low battery. To begin with, you can input your car type and a variety of other variables—from the number of passengers to the current tire pressure—to figure out how far you’re going to be able to get with the charge you have already.
- PlugShare: for Android and iOS is a full toolkit for owners of electric vehicles. The app can guide you toward the nearest charging stations, let you know how busy or quiet they are, give you the option of paying for charging right through the app.
5. Practice EV Etiquette
As EVs become more common, it’s essential to follow some unwritten rules. Charging etiquette ensures that everyone has access to charging stations. Here are a few general tips:
- All EVs have the right to use public charging stations. Don’t park in an EV charging bay unless you’re actively charging.
- Only unplug another vehicle if you’re certain it has finished charging or have obtained permission.
- Return promptly when your vehicle is charging and report any damage to the charging station provider.
6. Have a Backup Plan
Planning is key, but having a plan B is equally important. Some charging stations may be occupied or out of order, especially during peak travel times. Plan your trip around multiple charging locations to ensure you can keep moving.
7. Pack Your Charging Cables
Most EVs come with a portable 3-pin cable that can be plugged into standard wall sockets. These “granny cables” can be a lifesaver if your original plans change suddenly. Additionally, consider investing in a Type 2 cable to make use of Level 2 chargers when available. Be prepared, and you’ll be ready for any situation.
8. Explore Charging Options
Charging your EV comes in various flavors. Choose the one that suits your needs:
- Level 1 chargers (standard three-pin plug) are slow but convenient for overnight charging.
- Level 2 chargers work for extended stops, often found in parking areas.
- Level 3 or DC Fast chargers offer the quickest charge, perfect for a rapid top-up.
The choice depends on your schedule and how much time you have to explore during your stops. Here you can find a helpful map to help you plan your trip.
9. Understand Your EV
Before you set out on your adventure, get to know your EV. Understand its range, charge rate, and maximum charge rate. This knowledge ensures you can plan your stops effectively. Keep in mind that factors like weather, climate control use, speed, and terrain can impact your range. It’s all part of the EV experience!
So there you have it, your ultimate guide to planning an EV road trip. With these tips and a spirit of adventure, you’re well-equipped for an eco-friendly journey filled with memorable experiences. Charge up, hit the road, and enjoy the ride! Safe travels!