For decades, road trips have always been synonymous with gas-powered vehicles — but not anymore.
What’s held electric vehicles back for so long is that, for the longest time, their driving ranges were always vastly more limited than that of their traditional diesel counterparts. These days, electric cars are celebrating a steady rise in popularity, with every new electric car model continuously innovating features initially thought to be at their prime. These include the distances they’re capable of traveling.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can neglect the pre-road trip preparations. Good planning plays an essential role in the success of your electric car road trip.
So, if you’re asking, “can you take an electric car on a road trip,” the answer is a resounding yes. All it takes is a little forward-thinking. Consider several factors to ensure that your EV will bring you to your destination and back without falling into the joyrider’s typical pitfalls. Among the things to keep in mind are charging station locations, routes and detours, and the EV itself. Here’s what you need to do to enjoy a hassle-free road trip in your electric car:
1. Plan Your Route.
There were fewer charging stations available in the past, making it a challenge for EV owners to find a place to recharge. Because electric cars rely on their batteries, confirm that it’s fully charged before heading out. This is especially the case if you’ve checked your route beforehand and were unable to find any charging stations along the way. If possible, plan your route according to the availability of charging stations.
If you need extra help, there are various EV locator applications you can download on your mobile phone, as well as sites that can automatically chart your course for you. A good road trip never runs out of steam, and your electric car is the same way.
2. Maximize Your EV’s Battery Life.
If you’ve done your research or are a long-time EV driver, you’ve likely noticed your driving habits affect your EV’s battery life. When planning a road trip, it’s a good idea to practice wise driving habits to prolong your car’s battery.
If you want to know how to take a road trip with an electric car without wasting energy, keep these simple practices in mind:
- Use the integrated “eco” mode, if available.
- Don’t be too aggressive with the brakes.
- Use the temperature and entertainment systems sparingly.
Depending on how much battery you spent upon arriving at a station, full charging times can take up to eight hours. Keep this duration in mind when arranging your road trip. If you have enough time, check the maps for a nearby eatery; otherwise, spend the night at a nearby motel if possible. Always use your time wisely.
3. Utilize HOV Lanes.
This practice is conditional on your state’s laws on High Occupancy Vehicle lanes and EVs. Some states allow electric cars to use HOV lanes regardless of how many passengers there are. Using HOV lanes, if applicable, will save you loads of time.
4. Have a Plan B.
There’s always a 0.01% chance that things won’t go according to plan. Having a Plan B ready to go will save you from hours of wasted travel time when this happens.
Despite the prevalence of electric cars in the USA, charging infrastructures still aren’t proportional to public demand. When mapping out your road trip, fewer charging points may be available in certain areas. A worst-case scenario would be arriving at a charging station only to find it unavailable.
Planning for emergencies like these is vital to avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere.
5. Consider Your Accommodations.
If you are in for a multi-day road trip, keep note of which hotels and accommodations along your route have readily available charging stations for your electric car. Some hotels and motels offer packages inclusive of free charging at affordable prices.
So, the question remains: “are electric cars good for road trips?” You bet they are. With a bit of planning and detailed preparation, you’re guaranteed to have a grand time with your friends and loved ones. Just make sure no one’s allergic to technology.
If you think your electric car isn’t up to par with gas-powered vehicles and needs a little extra tuning to survive a two-way trip, don’t hesitate to bring it to one of the best auto body repair shops in St. Petersburg, FL, before hitting the road: Northwest Collision Center. Our experts have your and your EV’s needs covered. Visit us today.