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How To Road Trip With An Electric Car


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Madelina Eakin



Embarking on a road trip is an exciting and liberating way to explore new destinations, but what if you want to switch things up and hit the road with an electric car? With the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs), more and more travelers are opting for environmentally-friendly road trips.


In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of planning and executing a successful road trip with an electric car. From mapping out your route to finding charging stations, we will help you navigate the challenges and maximize the enjoyment of your eco-friendly adventure.


As electric cars become more common, charging infrastructure is rapidly expanding across the globe, making it easier than ever to plan a long-distance journey. Gone are the days of range anxiety and limited options for charging. With a little bit of planning and a sense of adventure, you can hit the road with confidence and explore the world in a sustainable way.


So, fasten your seatbelt, charge up your EV, and get ready to embark on an electrifying adventure!


Planning Your Route

When planning a road trip with an electric car, the first step is to carefully plan your route. Unlike traditional road trips, where you may simply follow the most direct route, electric car road trips require a bit more consideration. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Charging Stations: Research and identify charging stations along your desired route. Look for a combination of fast chargers and destination chargers to ensure you have options for charging.
  • ChargePoint Apps: Utilize apps such as ChargePoint, PlugShare, and Electrify America to locate and reserve charging stations on the go.
  • Preferred Charging Speed: Determine your preferred charging speed. Fast chargers can provide an 80% charge in around 30 minutes, while destination chargers may take several hours.
  • Scenic Routes: Consider incorporating scenic routes and attractions into your journey. Planning stops at interesting landmarks or natural wonders can make your road trip more enjoyable.
  • Weather Conditions: Take into account weather conditions that could affect your driving range. Cold weather and strong headwinds can decrease your EV’s range, so factor in extra charging stops or adjust your route accordingly.

By carefully planning your route, you can ensure that you have a well-balanced mix of driving time and charging stops, allowing you to comfortably reach your destinations without range anxiety.


Finding Charging Stations

One of the key considerations when planning a road trip with an electric car is finding charging stations along your route. Here are some strategies to help you locate charging stations efficiently:

  • Online Charging Maps: Utilize online charging maps like those provided by PlugShare, ChargePoint, or Tesla’s Supercharger network. These interactive maps allow you to search for charging stations, filter by charging speed and connector types, and even see real-time availability.
  • Navigation Systems: Many electric cars come equipped with built-in navigation systems that include charging station information. Make sure to update your car’s navigation system to access the latest charging station locations and availability.
  • Mobile Apps: Download mobile apps specific to your EV’s make or charging network provider. These apps usually provide up-to-date information about nearby charging stations, availability, and pricing details.
  • Public Charging Networks: Become familiar with public charging networks such as ChargePoint, EVgo, or Electrify America. These networks have chargers located across various cities or regions, making it convenient to find charging stations along your route.
  • Hotel Charging: If you plan to stay overnight at hotels during your road trip, check if they offer EV charging facilities. Many hotels now provide electric vehicle charging as an amenity for their guests.

Remember to check for any specific requirements, such as membership cards or smartphone apps needed to access certain charging stations. It’s also useful to have backup charging options in case your desired station is occupied or out of service.


By utilizing these resources, you can easily locate charging stations and plan your stops accordingly, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free journey with your electric vehicle.


Charging Etiquette

As you embark on your road trip with an electric car, it’s important to be mindful of charging station etiquette. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Be Mindful of Charging Time: Charging stations are limited resources, so it’s essential to be considerate of other EV drivers. Avoid leaving your vehicle plugged in for longer than necessary. Once your car has reached an adequate charge level, move it from the charging spot to allow others to utilize the station.
  • Follow Charging Station Rules: Many charging stations have specific guidelines, such as time limits for parking and charging. Adhere to these rules to ensure fair usage and to prevent inconveniencing other EV drivers.
  • Leave Contact Information: Consider leaving a note with your contact information on your dashboard to allow other drivers to reach out if they need to use the charging station.
  • Clean Up After Yourself: Keep the charging station area clean and free from any debris or trash. If there are bins available, dispose of any waste appropriately.
  • Report Issues: If you encounter a charging station that is not functioning properly or damaged, report it to the charging network or the property owner. This will help ensure that the station is repaired promptly for the convenience of future users.

Remember, practicing good charging etiquette not only shows respect for other EV drivers but also contributes to the overall positive experience of using shared charging infrastructure.


By following these guidelines, you can make the charging experience more pleasant for yourself and others, promoting a supportive and cooperative electric vehicle community.


Pacing Your Trip

When embarking on a road trip with an electric car, it’s important to pace your journey to ensure you have enough range to reach each charging station. Here are some tips to help you effectively pace your trip:

  • Plan Charging Stops: Determine the optimal distance between charging stops based on your car’s range and the location of charging stations along your route. Consider factors such as terrain, weather conditions, and driving speed.
  • Factor in Charging Time: Take into account the time it will take to charge your car at each stop. Fast chargers can replenish a significant amount of range in a short time, while slower chargers may require a longer break.
  • Optimize Stop Duration: Use the time spent charging to take a well-deserved break. Stretch your legs, grab a meal, or explore nearby attractions. Planning enjoyable activities during charging stops can add to the overall experience of your road trip.
  • Consider Charging Ahead: If you have access to charging stations at your destination or accommodations, consider charging overnight to start each day with a full battery. This can help reduce the number of charging stops during the day.
  • Monitor Energy Consumption: Keep an eye on your car’s energy usage and adjust your driving style accordingly. Smooth acceleration and maintaining a steady speed can help maximize your overall range.

By carefully pacing your trip, you can ensure that you have a balance between driving time and charging stops. This allows you to reach your destinations comfortably and with minimal range anxiety.


Remember, each electric car has its own range capabilities, so it’s crucial to understand your vehicle’s specific limitations and plan accordingly. With proper pacing, you can fully enjoy your road trip adventure with your electric car.


Maximizing Range

When embarking on a road trip with an electric car, maximizing your range is essential to ensure you can reach your destinations without running out of battery power. Here are some strategies to help you make the most out of your electric vehicle’s range:

  • Plan Efficient Routes: Opt for routes that are more direct and avoid unnecessary detours. This can help reduce the total distance traveled, conserving battery life.
  • Drive Conservatively: Practice smooth acceleration, maintain a steady speed, and anticipate traffic patterns to reduce energy consumption. Avoid rapid acceleration and aggressive braking, as these actions can drain the battery more quickly.
  • Utilize Regenerative Braking: Take advantage of your car’s regenerative braking system, which converts kinetic energy into electric energy to recharge the battery. This feature can help extend your range, especially during downhill descents or when approaching a stop.
  • Avoid Excessive Idling: Minimize idle time to preserve battery power. If you need to stop for an extended period, consider turning off your car rather than leaving it running.
  • Manage Energy-Consuming Features: Be mindful of energy-consuming features such as air conditioning/heat, seat heaters, and infotainment systems. Using these features sparingly can help conserve battery power.
  • Reduce Wind Resistance: Close windows at high speeds to minimize drag and improve aerodynamics. Consider removing roof racks or other external accessories that may increase wind resistance.
  • Keep Tires Properly Inflated: Check your tire pressure regularly and ensure they are properly inflated. Underinflated tires can reduce efficiency and decrease your range.

By implementing these strategies, you can optimize your electric vehicle’s range and get the most out of each charge. Remember that small adjustments in driving habits and route planning can have a significant impact on your overall range.


Additionally, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the range estimates provided by your vehicle’s manufacturer and factor in any variations due to weather conditions or terrain. This will help you plan your charging stops more effectively, ensuring a seamless road trip experience.


Packing Essentials

When embarking on a road trip with an electric car, packing the right essentials is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Here are some items you should consider including:

  • Charging Cables and Adapters: Make sure to pack the necessary charging cables and adapters for your electric vehicle. Different charging stations may require different connector types, so having the right cables on hand will ensure you can charge wherever you go.
  • Mobile Charging Accessories: Bring along a portable charger or power bank for your smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices. These accessories can come in handy, especially during longer stretches of driving or when charging options are limited.
  • Navigation Tools: While your car’s built-in navigation system is useful, it’s always a good idea to have backup navigation tools. Bring a GPS device or have offline maps downloaded on your smartphone in case of connectivity issues.
  • Emergency Kit: Pack a standard emergency kit that includes items like a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, and roadside flares. Being prepared for any unforeseen circumstances will ensure your safety and peace of mind during the trip.
  • Snacks and Water: Stock up on snacks and water to stay hydrated and satiated during long stretches of driving. Having some non-perishable snacks and bottled water in the car will keep you energized and avoid unnecessary stops.
  • Clothing and Comfort Items: Pack adequate clothing and comfort items, such as blankets or pillows, to ensure a comfortable journey. Pay attention to the weather conditions along your route and bring appropriate clothing for different climates.
  • Cash and Cards: While most charging stations accept credit cards or mobile payments, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for emergency situations or in case of any unexpected challenges along the way.

These essentials will help you stay prepared and comfortable throughout your electric car road trip. Remember to pack efficiently, utilizing the available space in your vehicle to optimize storage and minimize clutter.


By packing the right essentials, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any situation that arises during your journey and make your road trip with an electric car enjoyable and stress-free.


Safety Tips

Ensuring your safety should always be a top priority when embarking on a road trip, and this holds true when traveling with an electric car. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay Charged: Maintain a sufficient charge level in your electric vehicle at all times. Avoid depleting the battery to extremely low levels to prevent the risk of getting stranded in areas without nearby charging stations.
  • Conduct Pre-Trip Inspections: Before hitting the road, conduct a thorough inspection of your electric vehicle. Check the tire pressure, brakes, lights, and fluid levels. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the locations of the charging ports and emergency shut-off procedures.
  • Be Cautious of High-Voltage Components: Electric vehicles have high-voltage components, so it’s crucial to exercise caution when dealing with charging stations or any electrical malfunctions. Always read and follow the safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
  • Follow Traffic Laws: Observe all traffic laws and regulations, including speed limits and road signs. Adhering to these laws will not only keep you safe but also reduce the risk of accidents or traffic violations.
  • Take Breaks and Rest: Avoid fatigue by taking regular breaks to rest and stretch. Driving for extended periods without breaks can impair your concentration and reaction time. Plan your stops accordingly to ensure you have enough rest during the trip.
  • Monitor Weather Conditions: Stay informed about weather forecasts along your route. Adjust your driving and charging plans accordingly to avoid hazardous conditions and ensure your safety on the road.
  • Communicate Your Plans: Let someone know about your travel plans, including the route you’ll be taking and estimated time of arrival. This will ensure that someone is aware of your whereabouts in case of any emergencies.
  • Have Emergency Contacts Handy: Keep a list of emergency contacts easily accessible, including local towing services, charging network helplines, and roadside assistance. This will allow you to quickly seek help if needed.

By following these safety tips, you can minimize risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable road trip with your electric car.


Remember, safety should always be your top priority, so take the necessary precautions and always be prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise on your journey.



Embarking on a road trip with an electric car is a thrilling and sustainable way to explore new destinations. With careful planning and consideration, you can navigate the unique challenges of charging and maximize the enjoyment of your journey. Remember these key points:

  • Plan your route carefully, taking into account the locations of charging stations and scenic attractions along the way.
  • Utilize online charging maps, mobile apps, and navigation systems to easily find and reserve charging stations.
  • Follow charging station etiquette to ensure fair usage and support the EV community.
  • Pace your trip by planning charging stops and optimizing your driving and charging time.
  • Maximize your electric vehicle’s range by driving conservatively, utilizing regenerative braking, and managing energy consumption.
  • Pack essentials such as charging cables, navigation tools, emergency kits, snacks, and appropriate clothing for a comfortable and prepared trip.
  • Prioritize safety by staying charged, conducting vehicle inspections, following traffic laws, and being prepared for emergencies.

With these tips in mind, you can embark on a successful road trip with your electric car, experiencing the freedom of the open road while minimizing your carbon footprint. As charging infrastructure continues to expand, the possibilities for electric vehicle travel are becoming more extensive. So, hit the road with confidence, embrace the excitement, and enjoy the journey as you explore new destinations with your electric car.