Embarking on a road trip is a unique and engaging adventure. It allows you to explore beautiful places along the way and create memories with your friends or family. A car owner would likely take their car for a road trip for practical reasons such as convenience and saving on transportation costs. But with the rising gas prices, an electric vehicle or EV could make an excellent option to save on fuel costs and maintenance.
However, the question remains if an EV can handle the long journey as it can be worrisome for those who have never traveled driving one. While a trip on an EV can be a good and fun experience, there are various things you need to consider as you plan.
That said, here are a few tips on how to use an EV on your next long journey.
1. Book Hotels With Charging Stations
Whether you’ll be driving your own electric car or you’re looking to hire one from providers like Sixt, it’s crucial to be mindful of your accommodation options and choose one with charging stations. Since your EV runs on battery, you’ll need a place where you can park your car and recharge it overnight.
With a quick search on the internet, you can be familiar with hotel or lodging options with such features in your destination area. You can also search by location for electric vehicle charging stations, whether they’re free of charge or the ones you can pay for. You can even filter results via types of EV chargers and connectors. Other sites can also include the range of the EV. And in some cases, and depending on your electric vehicle, you may also need to bring an adapter with you.
When traveling using an EV, it is essential that you have a backup plan for charging. This is especially since there are not as many charging stations as there are fuel stations, and the availability of fast chargers can be miles apart.
2. Drive Mindfully To Maximize Your Range
One thing to learn and remember about electronic vehicles is the estimated range they each have. Range refers to how many miles an EV can travel on a single or fully charged battery. In general, EVs have various ranges. For instance, some affordable options can reach up to 259 miles, while some higher-end or expensive ones can go up to 390 miles.
However, while the manufacturers may claim that an EV can run a specific number of miles, remember that it may not be completely accurate. Like a standard vehicle, EVs are susceptible to factors that can lower the range. It may include the climate, driving speed and lifestyle, load, air-conditioning or heating systems, and many more.
Fortunately, some ways could help you maximize the electronic vehicle’s range and minimize battery use during an exciting road trip. For one, you can avoid using air conditioners or heaters if possible. Ensure that your tires are properly inflated as well, as under-inflated tires may increase energy usage. It can also help if you travel lightly with only the essentials. Furthermore, you can also use the accelerator sparingly and slow down by using regenerative brakes.
3. Keep The Weather In Check
Just like with regular cars, the weather can also affect the performance of an EV. Conventionally, electric vehicles are equipped with some of the most advanced battery systems. The newer models have improved battery capacity, rivaling cars using internal combustion engines. With several advantages, it also has its cons, such as having a range of temperatures influencing its optimal performance. And it lies with the kind of battery EVs have.
Most batteries are made of the lithium-graphite anode. Modern appliances and devices such as mobile phones and laptops use the same battery. Perhaps you might have noticed how the battery life changes in extreme hot or cold conditions, where fast charging doesn’t seem to work and the loading of power is generally slower. It is also the same with EVs. Extreme temperatures and changes could shorten the battery life and affect the vehicle’s range.
For instance, electronic vehicles may reduce their range by at least 20% in cold weather conditions. As such, you may need to carefully plan your stops for charging as you will be doing it more times than when you plan a trip in the summer.
4. Plan Your Route
Electric vehicles are known for their acceleration. But as previously mentioned, reckless driving patterns and styles can affect the battery and reduce the range. EVs can do well in the cities and won’t likely reach their peak range. But if you keep driving 70 miles per hour, your vehicle might run lower than the estimated range.
To help save your range, it’d be best to plan your routes accordingly. You can try to find shortcuts on the way to your destination and the quickest ways to the charging stations. Some EVs have built-in route planners, but if you don’t, you can use apps instead. Still, it would help if you have a backup plan in case a charging station is currently occupied, requires their app or RFID cards, and can’t accept credit cards.
5. Find A Rest Stop
Once you arrive at a charging station and your EV is set up, you’ll have to kill some time before your car is fully charged. Depending on the type of vehicle, charging source, or battery level, charging electric vehicles could take minutes up to several hours.
Generally, most charging stations are located near grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and other establishments. If you’re charging during the day, you can spend some time taking a break or rest. You can also maximize the time to shop for essential items that you missed packing.
It is always best to plan to determine which stops will have your EV’s type of charger and which locations have nearby commercial outlets and other rest stops.
While a trip using an electric vehicle comes with many benefits, there are some things you need to consider and factor in to ensure a smooth drive. For one, EVs can lose power and range depending on how you drive and the temperature of the location you’re going to. These vehicles will also require charging, so you must figure out the best stops where you can find suitable types of chargers for your EV.
Hopefully, with the few tips provided in this article, you can be guided on what to do on your upcoming road trip.