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Tips for Planning a Road Trip With an Electric Vehicle

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Long-distance road trips with an electric vehicle require more planning and attention than trips with a gas vehicle. Learn how to plan the ideal EV road trip.

Are you about to embark on a long-distance trip? If you’re driving an electric vehicle (EV), check out these planning tips to help make your road trip smooth, comfortable, and convenient.

Ensure Your EV Is Ready

Before you start planning your journey, maintain and inspect your EV to ensure it’s capable of long-distance trips. A significant factor that can affect your car’s ability to handle a long trip is its driving range, which is one of the most critical things to consider when buying an electric car. If your EV has a low driving range, you may want to look into renting a car that’s better suited for the trip.

It’s also wise to bring your EV into a shop for any routine maintenance before setting out on the journey. And double-check the tires or have someone at the shop look at them to ensure they’re not bald and have enough tread for the road trip.

Plan Your Route Around Breaks

Before you set off, you’ll want to carefully plan your route and charging breaks. While gasoline cars can take the fastest routes with a fairly safe assumption that there will be gas stations along the way, EV owners must be a bit more diligent to ensure charging stations are available.

Keep in mind that it takes much longer to charge an EV than to fill up a gas tank, so it’s best to plan those charging stops with breaks for dining or taking some time to sightsee. If you’re traveling with young kids, consider stopping at a charging station near a park or playground to let your car charge while the kids play.

Use DC Fast Charging When Possible

Another tip for planning a road trip with an electric vehicle is to prioritize DC fast charging stations. If your EV has DC fast charging compatibility, a DC fast charging station will be much more convenient than a level 2 public charging station.

While it can take hours to fully charge an EV on a level 2 charger, a DC fast charging station can return an EV to nearly full charge in less than half the time. For the sake of convenience and your sanity, always look for a DC fast charging station; otherwise, you may be stuck waiting a long time for your EV to charge at a public station.

Practice Driving Efficiently

When you’re driving, you’ll want to do everything you can to maximize your EV’s driving range by practicing efficient driving habits. For EVs, the heater and air conditioning can contribute to faster battery drain. When possible, try to reduce your use of these components during long-distance trips. Many EVs also have regenerative braking capabilities, so always brake gradually when stopping to maximize those regenerative powers.

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