DeAnn Owens
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5 Road Trip Tips for Electric Car Drivers

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Fast charging station for electric vehicle
Photo: General Motors

A road trip takes thoughtful planning. You will need to map out your route, secure lodging, pack your essentials, and make sure your vehicle is up for the journey with a maintenance check. If you’re behind the wheel of an electric car, finding electric charging stations along the way is crucial to your road trip success. Here are few other factors to consider to protect your battery’s charge and longevity when road tripping in an EV.

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Don’t rush to get where you’re going

The whole point of a road trip is to enjoy the drive, which leaves no room for speeding, especially if you want to preserve your battery range.

“While one of the joys of EV driving is the rapid acceleration, putting the pedal to the metal puts more strain on the battery than a more gradual acceleration and will reduce your range — as well as reduce the lifespan of the battery,” warns writer David M. Kuchta.

Adjust the estimates

Highway driving can impact your EV’s estimated range. You might not get the range you expect if your road trip takes you across highways as opposed to urban adventures, according to Kuchta.

Stay connected

Typically, a credit card can get you anything. But, when it comes to EV charging, a credit card may not be an acceptable form of payment, which can you leave you and your crew stranded on your road trip. Since charging connectors and EV charging networks can vary widely, it’s important to be prepared before you hit the road.

“The most convenient method of charging is done with a phone app, so make sure you have all the charging apps installed on your phone, or the RFID that comes with each plan,” Kuchta advises.

Be strategic at charging stations

There is no doubt you’ll have to charge your EV along the way. Maximize your stops and the time you spend waiting on your battery to charge by visiting charging stations located near restaurants, retail areas, or green spaces, advises writer Sanna Boman.

“If you’re traveling with your own activities — bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, or games — this may also be a good time to bring those out,” Boman adds.

Create a plan B

Just because the map says an EV station is there, doesn’t mean it’s operational. That’s why Kuchta says you should always have a plan B in place. Planning for alternate charging options along your route can save your trip.

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