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Travel Advice: Road Trips with an Electric Vehicle

September 16, 2017

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What is it like to travel with an electric vehicle?

We don’t quite know as we haven't yet made such a trip. But we have seen a few long-distance road trips with an electric vehicle within the TravelMap community. The idea of travelling further, longer and fossil-fuel free is tempting.

So we reached out to our users for some advice and answers to the most commonly asked questions about travelling with an electric vehicle. Read on for some useful tips before starting an EV trip.

Planning Your Route

Wherever we turned to, the advice is the same: planning is crucial.

“You have to plan your trip very well unless you drive a Tesla.” - Lucas, from roadtripev

That means you should plan your route around the charging stations. Yeah, there’s that scenic stretch that would be a treat to the eye, but is it within the range? That’s the question you need to ask yourself, one charging station to another. Luckily, there are websites and apps to help you find the location where you can stop and charge your car.

-- A charging station on the waterside

Here’s the list of websites for you to look for charging stations, some contributed by Soebe, another TravelMap user:

Once you locate charging stations from your starting point to your destination, you can easily use our Advanced Map Tracing (Premium and Premium Plus) to trace lines following the road. 

You also need to consider the types of road you will travel on. Though motorways are boring, they get you from one point to another faster and offer an opportunity to save charge by travelling in the slipstream of trucks.

Scenic routes, on the other hands, are often the reason why you take a road trip. They offer beautiful landscape and more chances to talk to people. However, be extra careful when planning a route through a remote area, to make sure you reach a charging station within the range of your car.

-- A charging station in Tromse, @roadtripev

Charging tips

The number 1 packing tip is to bring a long cable. You never know when you would need to charge your electric vehicle at unusual places.

There are slow chargers and fast chargers, depending on the facilities. It means you can finish topping up the battery before you are ready to go. It’s the etiquette among electric vehicle drivers that you don’t hold on to a spot once your battery is 100% (or even 80%) full. If you leave your car to charge and wander off, it’s better to leave a note to let others unplug your car once it’s done. Sharing is caring.

Depending on how long you need for recharging, use the waiting time for shopping, sightseeing or even staying overnight.

Last but not least, be ready for different suppliers and payment systems. For example, a charge card from New Motion gives you access to an extensive network of chargers in Europe. It’s quite convenient but not a guarantee. The good news is by whatever means you pay the cost of charging is often significantly lower than the cost of fuel for the same amount of miles travelled.

-- The scenic route, @2017gbbyev

Give back

In addition to sharing your experience of taking a road trip with an EV, you can help more by sharing photos of charging spots to EV websites where other drivers can find them. Make it easier for others to start moving towards electric vehicles - a greener and more sustainable transport mode.

At TravelMap, we want to inspire people to travel more responsibly. That’s why we share with you this article. Also, if you haven’t noticed, we added "Electric Vehicle" as a default mode of transport on TravelMap with the colour green. :)