The Ultimate Guide to Taking a Road Trip in an Electric Car

May 8th, 2023 by

When planning a road trip in an electric car, drivers should carefully plan their route and know how to maximize their vehicle’s available driving range.

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Mercedes Benz EQBAs more Americans make the switch to electric vehicles, the most frequently asked questions have to do with driving range. How far can EVs travel before they need to recharge? And what is the national infrastructure like for charging vehicles? Most EV owners have no trouble at all driving around their hometowns and cities. But longer road trips still may still feel like uncharted territory for EV drivers.

Thankfully, improved technology and expanded availability of public charging is making it easier to pull off long trips. Many of the leading electric vehicle models can easily eclipse 200 miles between charges, with some models exceeding 300 miles. With that said, drivers still need to plan their road trips accordingly when they’re on the road. Here are some tips to pulling off a fun and successful road trip in an electric car.

Know How to Maximize Range

When you hit the road in an EV, it’s important to remember that range estimates are based on ideal conditions. Things like temperature and battery usage can reduce the range of any EV model. For instance, cranking up the AC or the heater in your electric car can drain the battery at a faster rate. Everything in an electric vehicle is powered by the battery, so any additional equipment you use will impact your range. This is not a big deal if you are comfortably within your vehicle’s driving range. But, on long trips, it is an important factor to keep in mind.

Similarly, extreme temperatures can cause fluctuations in battery performance. The optimal temperature for an EV battery is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. But anywhere within the range of 65 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit should be fine. To avoid extreme cold or heat, experts recommend storing your vehicle indoors or in shaded areas on hot days. It is also recommended that you keep your vehicle plugged in to the charger while it warms up on cold days to avoid losing range before you actually begin driving.

Plan Your Stops Carefully

Another key to a successful road trip in an EV is knowing where, and when, to stop. You should plan your charging stops around other activities, like lunch. This allows you to maximize your time and potential on the road trip. Also critical is knowing where you can stop for quick charging. 

Many EV drivers can use apps or their vehicle’s built-in navigation system to find public charging stations along their route. For the fastest charging speeds, DC fast chargers are ideal. But drivers can also use Level 2 AC charging for longer stops, such as overnight hotel stays.

Don’t Venture Too Far Off the Grid

For many people, a road trip is a great opportunity to see new sights and explore off the beaten path. But, in an EV, wandering too far off the beaten path can cause trouble. EVs should not venture too far from electric charging stations. Travelers should make sure they are consistently within the range of large population centers in order to have access to public charging. 

Luckily for nature lovers, several of America’s most popular National Parks have added electric vehicle charging stations in recent years. This includes Zion National Park, Olympic National Park, and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

At Ray Catena Auto Group, we have you covered with all of the information and assistance you need to make the most of your new luxury electric vehicle – read more about summer maintenance tips or extending your battery range. Contact us today to learn more!

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