What To Do When Taking Your Electric Vehicle on a Road Trip
The allure of the open road during summer is irresistible, and for those who own an electric vehicle (EV), the adventure can be even more exciting. However, embarking on a road trip with your EV does require a bit more planning than a traditional gas-fueled journey. From ensuring your EV’s battery is in optimal condition to mapping out charging stations along your route, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. Knowing what to do before taking your electric vehicle on a road trip will ensure a safe journey without any hitches.
Plan Your Charging Stops in Advance
One of the keys to a successful EV road trip is proper planning, especially when it comes to charging stops. Unlike gas stations, charging stations for EVs are more spread out, and not all charging stations are equipped with fast chargers. Before you set off, research your route and identify potential charging stations along the way. Use apps that provide real-time information about the location and status of charging stations. Planning your charging stops allows you to organize your travel schedule according to meal breaks or sightseeing spots, making the journey more enjoyable.
Work With the Weather, Not Against It
Summer road trips can mean high temperatures, which can impact your EV’s battery performance in various ways. For one thing, heat can accelerate battery drain, reducing your vehicle’s range. To counter this, try to drive during the cooler parts of the day, like early morning or late evening. If you have to drive in the heat, use your vehicle’s eco mode. This mode maximizes efficiency by limiting energy use by air conditioning and other non-essential systems. Reviewing other hot weather tips for driving an electric vehicle, such as parking in shaded spots and shielding the car from direct sunlight, can improve your vehicle’s efficiency and make your road trip more pleasant.
Perform Pre-Trip Battery Maintenance
Just as you would check the oil level and tire pressure in a gasoline car before a long trip, you should inspect your EV’s battery before hitting the road. This is perhaps the most important thing to do before taking your electric vehicle on a road trip, as you won’t get far with a faulty battery. Start by checking the battery’s charge level. Most EVs have a range of 150–370 miles on a full charge, so make sure your battery is fully charged before you set off.
Review Your EV’s Range
Understanding your vehicle’s range is crucial for any EV road trip. Remember that the estimated range provided by the manufacturer is based on ideal conditions, and real-world factors like speed, terrain, vehicle load, and use of air conditioning can impact that. If your road trip involves off-roading across the desert in scorching heat, for example, your vehicle’s range may not be as significant. Before you embark on your journey, get a sense of your vehicle’s actual range by driving it on different routes and in various conditions. This will help you plan your charging stops more accurately and give you a better idea of how far you can travel on a single charge.