4 Tips for Taking an Electric Car on a Summer Road Trip
Summer is here, and it’s a great time to take a road trip, even if you own an electric vehicle (EV). After all, what’s better than hitting the open road and not having to stop at a bunch of shady, dirty gas stations along the way? Of course, you still have to charge your EV, but you can be more resourceful about it by following these four tips.
1. Charge your EV completely before setting out on the trip
The first tip is a no-brainer for any EV owner. Ensure that your car is completely charged up before starting a road trip. You might not run the battery to completely empty, but that full charge will ensure you won’t have range anxiety until you can plug the car in.
2. DC fast charging is key
If your electric vehicle is capable of DC fast charging, then use it during your journey. Many cars, like the BMW i3 and the Nissan Leaf, can charge up to 80% in only 30 minutes when connected to a fast charger. There are also many fast charging stations popping up all over the nation, so be sure to download one or all of the following apps to map out your charging station route along the way:
- PlugShare: PlugShare is a community-driven app that can be used to find public and home chargers available for use nationwide.
- ChargePoint: ChargePoint is a great app to use for finding level 2 and 3 chargers all over the nation.
- Electrify America: This app is good for finding fast chargers within major cities. According to The Points Guy, they are “usually located at Walmarts, Targets, or other shopping centers.” Which is very convenient.
3. Stay in hotels with charging stations
Whether you’re staying at a hotel when you reach your destination, along the way, or both, it’s wise to stay at one with an electric charger. Doing so will allow you to charge your car when you’re done for the day and power it up for the next day. That way, whether you’re driving around town or continuing on the next leg of the trip, you’ll have plenty of miles and no range anxiety.
4. RV parks are great for EVs
One travel hack, if you don’t want to stay at a hotel, is to find an RV park. Most RV parks across the U.S. have level 2 chargers to use. You can also rent an RV space for around $35 to $50 daily if you want to charge and have a full night’s rest. Provided you don’t mind camping in your car.
If you don’t own an electric vehicle, rent one
Lastly, if you don’t currently own an EV and want to see what it’s like to take a road trip in one, we suggest renting one. Sites like Turo, which is like Airbnb for cars, are a great way to rent an electric vehicle for a few days from its owner and get a feel for what it’s like. Afterward, you can return it and walk away if it’s not for you.