How to Successfully Plan an EV Road Trip

Kevin Feather
| February 21, 2024 | 4 Minute Read
In car dash GPS Getty

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more popular either to rent or to buy, many folks wonder how to successfully plan a road trip that won’t leave you without power when you are far from home.

AAA understands the importance of careful trip planning and preparation for a stress-free journey. In this article, we provide you with advice on EV road trip planning, including tips on navigating electric vehicle nuances and finding charging stations.

Designing your EV road trip itinerary

As you begin planning your electric vehicle road trip, it's important to take into consideration more than just the destinations you will be visiting. Factors such as your vehicle's range, weather forecasts, terrain along the route, and any additional luggage or passengers should also be considered.

It's also important to include a buffer in your itinerary for unexpected delays or changes in energy consumption. This allows for a stress-free journey and ensures you will have enough charge to reach your next destination.

woman charging her EV at a station Getty

Finding charging stations

Thanks to advancements in technology, electric vehicle owners now have access to route planners specifically designed for EVs. The AAA Mobile App offers detailed locations of charging stations as well as other sites of interest such as hotels, restaurants and tourist destinations. 

Other apps, such as ChargeHub Electric Vehicle Trip Planner, provide real-time updates on available charging stations along your route. They also offer filters and plans tailored to your specific EV model, making it easier to find suitable charge points.

When packing for an electric vehicle road trip, don't forget the essentials such as a level 2 charging cable, water, and energy-efficient snacks. The level 2 cable is crucial for optimal efficiency when using AC public outlets.

Giving yourself a buffer between charging stops

Having enough of a buffer between charging stops is crucial for a successful EV road trip. We recommend at least 10% charge to account for any unexpected delays or detours. With EV charging stations still relatively few and far between, it is important to put a solid plan in place before setting out on a long trip in your electric vehicle.

However, as advancements are made in battery technology, fewer stops will be necessary while driving as longer distances on a single charge become the standard for all electric cars and trucks.

woman charging her EV while talking on the phone Getty

Organizing charging breaks

Organizing charging breaks is essential for a successful electric vehicle road trip. Apps like AAA Mobile, ChargeHub, Electrify America, and ChargePoint can help locate the most suitable stations along your route.

However, it's important to remember that technology can sometimes have issues, so we recommend cross-referencing between multiple apps for the most accurate information. Another tip is to take a paper copy of locations in case your phone runs out of juice, or you don’t have an available mobile network.

To save time, try to utilize DC rapid chargers during your stops. These chargers are known to charge faster than standard ones, but it's important to stop at 80% battery capacity for optimal performance.

We recommend maximizing pitstops by choosing charging stations that have adjacent restaurants and grocery stores for easy take-out orders. This allows you to explore unique destinations, try new cuisines, and discover interesting landmarks while your battery is recharging.

Also, stay informed with current traffic and weather updates and ensure battery levels stay constant by using more than one app. Keep an eye out for upcoming programs like EV Navigation, which could offer tailored route planning solutions specifically for electric vehicles.

blue vehicle charging Getty

Safety considerations for your EV journey

Prioritizing safety is essential for any road trip. This includes examining weather forecasts, being aware of hazardous conditions that could affect range or driving experience and having emergency supplies on hand. It's also a good idea to have a secondary charging plan prepared in case of unexpected circumstances.

Planning an electric vehicle road trip requires careful consideration and preparation. From selecting your EV to finding suitable charging stations, each step is important in ensuring a successful journey.

Don't forget about safety measures and incorporating a buffer into your itinerary for unexpected delays or changes in energy consumption. And remember, the journey is about more than just driving - embrace the experience and make the most of your EV road trip adventure!


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