Thanks to the high financial and environmental costs of flying, people are returning their attention to the classic road trip to satisfy their appetite for adventure.
Electric vehicles (EVs) make an excellent choice for adventure—when you know what you’re working with. However, because EVs run on electricity rather than gas, there are some definitive changes you’ll need to make to the way you prepare for your electric vehicle road trip.
As fuel costs continue to skyrocket, we’re likely to see more EVs on the road for daily and travel purposes. Here are eight tips you can follow before hitting the road for a safe, secure, and sustainable journey with your eco-conscious car.
1. Know Your EV In And Out
Before you can even begin planning your electric vehicle road trip, you need to understand the car you’ll be driving. Not all EVs are built the same, and some require specialized knowledge to operate. Doing research on the brand, build, and limitations of your EV should be your first priority.
For example, how long does your EV take to fully charge? How long before it dies? And what type of charger does it need? There are Ultra-Rapid chargers, Rapid DC chargers, Rapid AC chargers, and Tesla Superchargers to consider.
You’ll also need to know how long it takes for your car battery to charge and die out fully. Again, information like this will help you map your journey in the most efficient way possible.
2. Pack Lightly For Your Electric Vehicle Road Trip
This tip relates to the fact that EV batteries do not like wasting energy. So packing lightly will mean your eco-conscious car can cover a much wider distance range and distribute its energy supply as sustainably as possible.
Packing lightly also means you get more room in the car and have extra space for any souvenirs you obtain along the way. Light travel = faster and more spacious travel!
3. Use EV Apps To Map Out Your Journey
The average EV only needs charging for regular use every 2 to 3 days. However, electric vehicle road trips are characterized by their distance length, so you’ll likely need to charge up more frequently.
It is imperative for you to map out your EV road trip journey beforehand. One of the easiest ways to do that is to use an app. You can get away with more spontaneity when driving a regular car because gas stations are much more common to find than EV charging stations.
You can use an app to help plan out each leg of your journey and maximize efficiency at each charging point. For example, you could plan to stop at a location with restaurants or grocery stores and run some errands while you wait for a full charge.
An EV app will highlight all the available charging stations in your area (and beyond) so that you can plan your route accordingly. You don’t want to get stranded with a flat battery in the middle of nowhere!
4. Make Sure Your Battery Is Working At Its Optimum
The average EV car battery can survive 10-20 years of active use before becoming unusable. However, depending on your driving habits and the type of EV you own, that lifespan may differ. Everyone should take a step to ensure that their EV battery is in great condition before starting their electric vehicle road trip.
This is especially important if you are planning to make a particularly long-distance journey. Even though it is unusual for an EV battery pack to die completely, it can still become old and slow-charging to the point where it is no longer viable.
EV batteries are very expensive to replace (depending on the car, you’re looking at anywhere between $2,500 and $25,000), which should incentivize you to handle yours with as much care as possible.
5. Stick To Urban Routes Where Possible
Generally speaking, EVs are much better suited to urban roads than dirt roads. This is mainly because EV engines don’t like to waste energy, so the motor tends to stop when the vehicle stops. This makes it difficult to navigate rocky terrain and amble across uneven ground.
A city’s flat, smooth roads are much easier for the typical EV engine to work with. So sticking to urban routes may mean a slightly less adventurous journey, but it will also mean a longer battery life and a much smaller chance of stalling.
6. Charge Up
This one goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway, just in case: charge up your EV to its fullest capacity the day before embarking on your electric vehicle road trip. You want to be able to cover as much distance as possible in one go, so make sure your battery is fully charged.
7. Check Your Insurance Policy
EV insurance can differ somewhat from traditional cheaper car insurance as they are more expensive and have higher repair costs. Before you set off on your road trip, ensure that your coverage will protect you across state lines, borders, and for longer distances.
8. Take Your Time And Enjoy The Ride
Even though it’s important to remain aware of your EV’s battery percentage throughout the journey, that doesn’t mean you can’t relax and enjoy the ride.
You might feel the temptation to speed your way from charging station to charging station. But if you’ve mapped it out well enough, there’s no reason to rush. Plus, rushing will only tire out your battery and result in extra charging stops.
Road trips should be leisurely, relaxing experiences, not filled with haste and stress. Once you’ve done your homework, you can sit back, relax, and simply follow the road.
EV Adventures On the Rise
Transitioning from a regular gas-consumptive car to an EV can take some adjustment, but the reward is well worth the effort. Once you familiarize yourself with routes that feature reliable EV charging stations, you can easily hit the road and enjoy your earth-friendly travel adventure.
As EVs become increasingly popular, we can expect to see more charging stations around the world, making trips like this even easier than they are now.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and the co-owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more.
You can follow her travel adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.