EV Road Trip Hacks: 10 Tips for a Smooth Adventure
Yes! You can plan an epic road trip and drive your electric vehicle. You just need to do some basic research beforehand and compile a few contingency plans (for any out-of-order charging stations). With more affordable electric vehicles on the market (thanks to significant EV incentives) and many getting upwards of 250 to 300 miles per charge, it’s entirely possible to plan a cross-country adventure behind the wheel of an EV. Plus, by ditching the gas pump, you’ll have plenty of spare cash for nicer overnight accommodations and tasty road trip snacks.
1. Download an EV Road Trip App
An EV planning tool is the first item on your to-do list. Map out charging stations and mileage with a dedicated EV road trip app. There are well over 100,000 public charging ports nationwide, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble identifying a good spot to recharge. However, you’ll have better luck with more populated areas; you don’t want to get caught with an empty battery in the middle of nowhere. EV road trip apps can provide a vital framework for success. Not only do they map out your journey for you, but some apps account for nuanced data like terrain and passenger weight. There are plenty available (PlugShare and ChargeHub are both popular choices), so research which app best meets the demands of your specific trip goals.
2. Prioritize Overnight Accommodations With Charging Stations
Plan to stay at overnight accommodations with charging stations. You can even call ahead and confirm that their ports are working. Ideally, you’ll be rolling into your lodging when it’s time to recharge, so you can leave your vehicle plugged in overnight.
3. Budget Plenty of Time
Re-charging your EV’s battery takes time. Unlike a quick fill-up at the pump, charging your EV can take anywhere from less than an hour to almost an entire day (depending on the vehicle model, current battery level, and type of charger). For this reason, you don’t want to rush your EV road trip. Budget plenty of time between stops and maximize your charging downtime. Look for shopping centers or tourist areas likely to have EV charging stations. Then, you can plan fun meals, sightseeing, and shopping breaks while your battery boosts.
4. Be Flexible
Approach your road trip with an open mind. You may find that traffic patterns, busy charging ports, road closures, and charging port maintenance issues foil your best-laid plans. Always have a backup plan, and don’t let your battery dwindle on isolated stretches of road.
5. Stick to the Highways
Into the scenic route? Well, for your EV road trip, opt for the smoothest, least obstructed journey. Changing speed zones, red lights, and stop-and-go traffic can dwindle your battery charge faster than hitting cruise control on an open highway. Always check your navigation app (we like Google Maps for its real-time traffic data and integrated EV route planning features) to determine the most efficient route for each leg of your journey.
6. Don’t Overcharge
Like a phone battery, EV batteries can degrade if kept charged at 100% for extended periods. Overcharging is an easy mistake, but lithium-ion batteries will run more efficiently when operating in a charge range between 30% and 80%.
7. Take Advantage of Regenerative Braking Technology
If used consistently, regenerative brakes can feed electricity into your EV battery and help replenish some of its charge, ultimately improving your battery’s efficiency. Depending on your vehicle’s age and model, regenerative brake technologyworks a little differently. Be sure you know how to activate (if it’s not automatic) and optimize this feature. Generally, coast whenever possible and step gradually on your brakes to slow down.
8. Be Patient in Cold Weather
In colder climates, keep your vehicle plugged into the EV charger for several minutes after turning the car on. This step will save your battery from draining while your EV warms up. Those driving through colder regions should also find covered (ideally indoor) overnight parking whenever possible and avoid letting the battery charge dip below 20%.
9. Dress Smarter
An effective EV road trip relies on strategies that reduce stress on the battery life. Avoid heat or air conditioning as much as possible. Instead, dress for the weather each day. Sticky summer weather demands shorts and tank tops. Roll those windows down if it’s not raining instead of relying on the AC.
10. Pack Light
A heavy car stresses your battery and reduces your EV mileage potential between charges. Pack light — only bring essentials and leave the extra shoes at home.
You can always rely on the evee Life team to maximize your electric vehicle’s potential. Join the Charge! At evee Life, you can find accessible tips and our favorite sustainable products for your carbon-free lifestyle goals. For more ideas and to subscribe to our newsletter, sign up at eveelife.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
By evee Life Contributor
Published February 13, 2024 1:54AM
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