While some people have already switched to an electric vehicle, that isn’t feasible for everyone. Below are some of the best road trips for electric vehicles and also the worst. The highest-rated routes have plenty of electric vehicle charging stations and some solid attractions to view along the way.
The best road trips for electric vehicles are along the Pacific Coast Highway
The Pacific Coast Highway goes through California, Oregon, and Washington. The experts at InsureMyTrip chose this as the top pick for the best road trip for your electric car for a few reasons. PCH has the most chargers per stop and the second-highest number of Level 3 chargers per stop. Other factors include the “attractions and experiences” along the route, which Forbes says earned 4.48 stars out of 5. There are restaurants, scenic views, state parks, and everything else one might need for a road trip.
Overall score: 6.48 out of 10
Next up is the 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway. The Natchez Trace Parkway runs through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. This road had the highest number of free electric vehicle chargers per stop and plenty of Level 3 chargers to go around. The national parks also appeased drivers along this route. More than 80% of the Natchez Trace Parkway’s 360 electric vehicle chargers are fast chargers.
Overall score: 5.91 out of 10
The Appalachian Trail is somewhere around 2,190 miles long and goes through 14 states. Starting in Blue Ridge, Georgia, and ending in Bangor, Maine, electric car drivers will have more than 1,000 chargers to stop at. However, 91% of those are in New York. The Appalachian Trail is an incredible drive, but be sure to plan accordingly along your route while not in New York.
Overall score: 5.42 out of 10
The worst road trip for electric vehicles is the Border to Border trip
The Border to Border trip goes from Arizona to Montana using four highways. This route was the worst road trip for electric vehicles, thanks to a lack of chargers and poorly rated attractions. Before heading out on this road trip, you might consider taking another car.
Overall score: 2.22 out of 10
You will undoubtedly have epic views and windy roads along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The people at InsureMyTrip note that there aren’t many chargers on the actual route but near the road. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a notorious route for motorcycles and sports cars to drive aggressively, so perhaps electric vehicle drivers haven’t been accepted into the group yet. If you plan to take your electric vehicle along this parkway, plan your trip with extra detours in mind, so you don’t run out of battery too quickly.
Overall score: 3.08 out of 10
On the Oregon Trail trail between Custer and Iowa falls, there were not many electric vehicle chargers to be found. If possible, go through South Dakota to get to some public chargers in Nebraska along Highway 80. This road did have the highest-rated attractions and experiences but lacked in chargers. It might be another good route to do in your gasoline-powered car.
Overall score: 5.32 out of 10
Where else can you charge an EV on a road trip?
Depending on your location, there are plenty of convenient places to charge your electric car off of these routes. many state parks have electric vehicle chargers for patrons. Looking at the PlugShare map with over 440,000 charging stations, a few parks pop up. The Ute Lake State Park in Logan, New Mexico, has two kinds of chargers. The Paris Mountain State Park in Greenville, South Carolina has a variety of chargers. This charging station is free to use with a day pass or annual park pass, too!
Most malls and shopping centers have also added chargers. If the mall itself doesn’t have a set of chargers, one of the major stores likely will. Best Buy and Nordstrom are known for having chargers out front. Since malls are usually located in populated areas, having a set of Tesla Superchargers or regular chargers is convenient for bringing people in.
No matter your route, plan to ensure you can get to a charger. Some areas are more heavily covered than others, as this list shows. A recent infrastructure bill designated $7.5B toward the electric vehicle charging network, and more chargers are popping up daily.