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On Sunday, I had a late lunch in rural Pennsylvania, about two hours outside of NYC. Then I hopped in a used $30k Hyundai Ioniq 5. At 11:30 pm I arrived in downtown Detroit. We let the “A Better Route Planner” EV app engineer most of our trip. Drive times were about two hours, sometimes three. Charge times were about 30 minutes, sometimes less. We had one longer stop when we chose to have dinner.

I’ve written about precise EV roadtripping numbers in other articles, and I’ll link those at the bottom. But here I’d like to talk about how it feels to take a roadtrip in an EV.

Blasting along at 90 mph in an internal combustion car is the fastest way to roadtrip. If you can get everyone’s bladder sinked up with the gas tank, and make sure everyone keeps rest stops to 10 minutes while you refuel, you can absolutely crush any EV roadtrip time. But do you really want to? And how often is that going to realistically happen?

Ioniq 5 at a charging station at a truck stop.
Hyundai Ioniq 5 | Henry Cesari via MotorBiscuit

A fast-charging EV crossover can top off in 20-30 minutes. By the time everyone’s used the bathroom and gotten a snack, it’s time to go. I had my phone and a paperback in the glovebox and was never bored. If I had been in a Cybertruck, it might have been a different story.

Honestly, driving on a busy Sunday there were always other cars at the chargers reducing my charger speeds. I’ve found in better conditions, charges are closer to 20 minutes. I’m expect on a weekday or once infrastructure is better, the same trip will be 20 minutes shorter. But even in the worst case scenario, it was manageable.

Most EVs can go 2-3 hours on a charge. Obviously, if you push further you must charge for longer. So when we stopped for dinner, we completely topped off the battery and then drove for more than three hours. One surprise is that your range drops off the faster you go, so EV roadtrippers often keep it right at 65.

The 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 driving on a track
2024 Hyundai Ioniq 5 | Hyundai

I am not here to tell everyone to buy an EV. Some people need a third row of seats and honestly, huge EVs are terrible at roadtrips. And while interstate highways now all have fast chargers, rural places still don’t. All I am saying that with a touch more patience, you can complete most roadtrips in an EV.

While I was driving an EV across a good chunk of the country, Forbes was publishing the following headline: “EV Sales Slow As Buyers Want 20-Minute Charging And 350-Mile Range.” And I’ll admit I laughed out loud when I saw the headline.

The article cited a study that interviewed car buyers. They said they wanted a $50k price tag and the above parameters before they would consider an EV. Only the Hyundai Ioniq 6 SE RWD Long Range meets this criteria.

If these numbers are really all it will take to buy an EV, then there should be a waiting list for the Ioniq 6 sedan. And if that happened, you know other automakers would benchmark its stats and build similar vehicles. Instead, Hyundai has so many Ioniq 6s sitting around, it is offering the lowest lease payment in the country to let you drive away in one.

I do really like these EV criteria. I think automakers should be offering more EVs like the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6. And we don’t need any more electric Hummers. But…

We all want lots of things. Sure, I’d love a 50 mpg vehicle that can run the famed Rubicon off-roading trail and let’s make it seat 12 passengers while we’re at it. But I’m not going to refuse to buy a gasoline car until someone invents the imaginary vehicle I’m describing.

I think most buyers know they should consider a more emissions-friendly vehicle. But instead of buying one, they are throwing out impossible criteria. If we want to reduce emissions, we may need to reduce our personal energy consumption for a while. We all may need to make minor sacrifices. And I’m not even suggesting that anyone *gasp* ride the train.

I’m here to say that a person can buy an affordable, used EV and still complete a roadtrip. So honestly, if you often say we need to reduce emissions while regularly driving a five-seat crossover on highways, you’ve run out of excuses to not go electric. And if you have a multi-car household, you never had an excuse in the first place.

See my list of all the EVs that excel at roadtrips, or see an extended Ioniq 5 roadtrip in the video below: