10 tips for getting the most out of a holiday EV road trip
Are you planning a holiday road trip with your electric vehicle? Yes, you can take an electric car on a Christmas road trip. With extended battery ranges and charging stations across Canada, an electric car can manage most road trips with route planning and longer rest stops.
The primary differences between an electric car road trip and a typical gasoline car road trip are the charging and refueling stops. An EV road trip may be an adventure with route planning and the search for charging stations. When taking an electric car on a road trip, the charging stops are more time-consuming than refueling stops, and they also require more frequent stops compared to regular refueling at gas stations. Also, your EV road trip path might be determined by the position of the chargers. Drivers who frequently pause on road trips might think these are insignificant differences.
With some EV road trip tips in mind, not only can you reduce your carbon footprint by traveling with your EV, but you can also make your trip safer and save money. Make sure you review this EV road trip tip list before you go for the holidays and make your holiday road trip a success.
Take the time to map out your route
In a traditional gasoline car, the driver just needs to enter the destination and select cruise control. While some extra planning is needed while driving an EV for a road trip. There are numerous mobile apps available to help you locate compatible charging stations. Take your time and use your EV’s navigation system to plan your EV road trip and select energy-efficient routes. There are also some other road trip planning apps that are all worth a look, such as Google Maps, A Better Route Planner (ABRP), Chargeway EVgo, and etc.
Get your EV ready for a road trip
Preparing your electric vehicle for the trip should not take long, but it’s important. Examine the tire tread, brakes, windshield wipers, and wiper fluid reservoir on the EV. Fill the tire’s PSI to the recommended level. Under-inflated tires can use more energy, drain your battery, and also impair EV performance. Also, build an emergency kit or double-check the one you already have in your vehicle.
Plan charging stops with activities or meals
When traveling with electric vehicles, charging your vehicle’s battery to 80% or more usually takes some time. There are ways to make the most of your time while waiting for the vehicle to charge. While your EV is charging, consider alternatives like visiting nearby fascinating sites like museums, parks, historic buildings, or just taking meal breaks. Because many charging stations are placed in retail malls and near restaurants, combining charging with an activity, a meal break, or a supply run makes sense.
Understand the types of EV chargers
Electric vehicle chargers are not all created equal. In fact, there are three distinct levels. Level 1 is the slowest charger, and if your battery is nearly empty, it could take up to 50 hours to fully charge it. Level 2 is the most common charger, which provides a complete charge from empty in four to ten hours. Level 3 chargers, also known as direct current fast chargers, are the fastest and can have you back on the road with a nearly full battery in as little as 20 minutes. The cost of EV chargers may vary, but all three types are usually substantially less expensive than paying for gas.
To get the most out of your battery
Keep in mind that the optimal charging state for your battery is between 30% and 80%. If you’re going on a long trip, charge your battery to 100%, but remember to charge it to a maximum of 80% when you don’t require 100% battery range. Supercharging uses high currents and temperatures, which will put a strain on your battery. It’s not a big deal to use Supercharge but try to do it only when necessary.
Turn off features that are not in use
Remove roof racks and rear racks while not in use, as they add resistance and reduce your driving range. Using your EV’s eco mode also saves battery life.
Using effective EV driving skills on your EV road trip will save you money and time. Because of the higher drag on the EV, high driving speeds will lower the EV battery range. Other factors that also reduce EV range include: quick acceleration, lifting heavy loads, and driving up steep inclines. Make sure you drive slowly and steadily, which can extend your EV’s battery range and result in less time spent recharging. Decelerate as much as possible by using regenerative braking, which will also help reduce your energy consumption. Fast acceleration is enjoyable when driving an EV, but keep in mind that it depletes battery power. Before you hit the road, remember to practice these effective EV driving skills.
Be conservative with range estimates
Overestimating your EV’s range can leave you driving down the road without a charge. This is especially true for EV drivers who are unfamiliar with how steep climbs, severe winds, and lower temperatures may drain batteries faster and reduce an EV’s range. During a long EV road trip, it’s advisable to stop for a charge sooner rather than later.
Whether you travel with an EV or a traditional car, weather always matters. Weather is important, especially when driving an electric vehicle. A heater or air conditioner will reduce the EV’s range. On a road trip, try to avoid extreme temperatures. If you’re driving to a cold-weather destination, make sure you have an extra charge to get there.
Look for hotels that have chargers
Staying at hotels that offer electric car charging in their parking lots or garages is another alternative for saving time on charging. Most chargers at hotels are primarily Level 2 chargers which are best suited for charging overnight. Furthermore, charging is often free or included in the cost of parking.
If there’s no charger at your hotel, inquire with the hotel staff whether there is an outdoor plug available if your EV comes with a Level 1 wall charger that can be plugged into any regular wall socket. If the hotel agrees, this charger will slowly charge your vehicle overnight, providing you with at least enough power to get to your next destination.
Take on an EV road trip
Range anxiety shouldn’t be a concern to keep you from taking your EV on a holiday road trip. More charging stations are being installed each year across Canada, while the range of electric vehicles is also being extended with the advancement of technology. Follow these EV road trip tips on a road trip to have an unforgettable experience. All of this makes a long road trip in an electric car more fun and less stressful.
If you’re on the market for a new car for your road trip adventures, Carnex is here to help. With the rising of gas prices, shop the best EV models in Ontario that are energy efficient and come with the bonus of being more environmentally friendly. Once you have the perfect EV, you will get the most from your EV road trips.
Learn more about the benefits of buying from Carnex. We believe that all clients deserve to know the good and bad of what they’re buying. Because we wanted to know these when we bought cars. That’s why at Carnex.ca, we will proudly display every detail every step of the way. Browse all the best cars, automobile buying tips, auto insurance, young drivers, driving techniques, auto industry trends from Carnex Blog.