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7 Ways to Make an EV Road Trip Go More Smoothly


Few can argue with the fact that electric vehicles (EVs) are incredibly efficient and run quietly, making them good candidates for a long trip. And while charging stations are not always as convenient as EV owners would like, they are becoming more common, with an increase of more than 70 percent since 2021, making refueling in some areas of the country easier to handle than in the past.

Still, long trips in EVs take careful planning. Here are seven road-tested tips to help your EV travels go smoothly.

Electric car charging at EVgo charging station

1. Before your trip, open accounts or download apps offered by EV charging networks that serve the areas you will be visiting. Examples include ChargePoint, EVgo, AmpUp, Volta and Electrify America. Having an account can simplify payment, may offer you different membership packages that could save you money, and may provide information on charger availability and possible connection fees before you arrive at the charging station.

2. In addition, download apps from ChargeHub, A Better Route Planner and PlugShare that show charger locations and specify the connections and charging levels offered.

3. If you have a car that uses a CCS Combo connection for fast charging, open an account with Tesla’s Supercharger network, even if you don’t have a Tesla. Tesla has started installing “Magic Dock” chargers that will work with CCS Combo vehicles at some of its Supercharger locations.

4. When you plan your route, keep the locations of charging stations in mind, and use the apps or charging-network maps to work out the details.

5. Be skeptical of the range projections on your car’s instrument panel until you have verified the accuracy of the numbers. Some vehicles have readouts that estimate you can travel farther than you actually can. Also, remember that exceptionally high or low temperatures, or high-speed highways, will reduce your range.

6. Book your overnight stays at hotels that offer guests Level 2 or Level 3 chargers. Even a Level 2 charger can, on a typical overnight stay, fully recharge an EV’s battery, making it possible to start the next day’s travels with the EV equivalent of a “full tank.”

7. Arrange your lunch break at a location with a Level 3 fast-charging station. The chances are good that such a stop will recharge your car’s battery in less time than it takes to eat lunch. If the full charge in the morning is insufficient to get you to your planned lunch stop, recharge along the way; however, you probably will need only a quick partial charge that takes little more time than refueling a gasoline vehicle. Also, have things to do for both adults and children during charging stops.

And finally, enjoy the trip!

For more tips on how to make your road trip go smoothly, learn about charging best practices: 4 Guidelines for More Efficient EV Charging.