How to Effectively Map Out Long-Distance Trips with an Electric Vehicle

Planning to head out on a road trip in the great outdoors? At the crossroads of whether you should do it with an electric vehicle or not?

While the prospect of driving for hundreds of kilometres away from home turf may seem daunting, especially with technology as unconventional as an EV, the truth is that it's easier than ever before to traverse highways and country roads with this automobile class.

In fact, using an EV as your primary road trip vehicle is arguably the better option, providing a silky smooth driving experience and a more sustainable way of moving around.

That said,  driving with an EV still presents its own unique set of challenges. If you're not careful, you could end up experiencing delays during your trip, or worse, getting stranded in the middle of nowhere due to bad routing.

To avoid this hectic scenario, it's crucial that you map out your upcoming journey as best as you can before you hit the road. This article will give you some tips on how to prepare yourself and your EV for the adventure ahead.

1) Familiarise Yourself With Your EV

Before you embark on your multi-day journey, be sure that you're familiar with the vehicle that you're operating.  

Driving a gas-powered car and an electric one offers two very different experiences. Accidentally or unintentionally reverting to your old, gas-powered way of driving while out on the road can lead to inefficiencies and significant battery drain.

As such, be sure that you know how to efficiently optimise your vehicle. Know the best security measures for your car. Don't keep on turning using the throttle to abruptly accelerate your vehicle.

Furthermore, don't abruptly brake your car, but instead use the EV's regenerative braking capabilities. Don't test your EV's durability in super hot weather either—a temperature of around 22 degrees Celsius is an optimal benchmark.

And, if your next charging pitstop is a long while away, turn off or reduce consumption of battery-draining accessories like the infotainment system and the temperature control system. 

This can help you retain a little bit more juice per kilometre, saving you charging time when the next pitstop approaches.

2) Plan Charging Stops

As mentioned earlier, driving an EV across different territories or state lines requires ample preparation. One of the most important things you should consider before the trip is where your next charging stops will be.

And while you can play it by ear during the trip, it's a very inconvenient way of going about things. 

You wouldn't want to be low on battery with fifty more kilometres or so to the next charging port. Nor would you want to backtrack several tens of kilometres to stop and charge for several hours.

Needless to say, planning charging stops in advance is critical for a smooth multi-day travel with the EV. 

Not only will you have peace of mind knowing where your next charging stop will be, but you can also plan the rest of your itinerary based on the length of time it takes for the port to charge your EV. 

For instance, you can explore a new town's food scene or museum or stay overnight while charging your car in their public charging port. Or you can add or remove certain stops based on the presence (or lack) of charging spots.

Just as important as knowing where your next charging spot is and knowing how long these spots will take to fully charge. 

Not all places have the infrastructure to charge a vehicle to full in under an hour. Do your research on timings and plan accordingly, ensuring that you have a reserve of battery life between each stop.

3) Use Apps To Help With Navigation

There are a lot of trip-planning applications in both the Apple and Android market that can help EV owners navigate the roads with ease. 

With apps like Plugshare, for instance, all you have to do is pin your ideal destinations, and the app will automatically create a route towards these places that'll include stopovers to nearby charging ports. 

This app will also show you the strength of the charging points, painting a picture of how long you're expected to stay at each destination. If you don't like one option, you're also given multiple route options, giving you the flexibility to enjoy your trip your way.

On the road, apps like these are useful as they can serve as your primary map navigators. Just be sure that you have GPS and data access for unobstructed utility.

4) Be Flexible With Your Plans

When it comes to travelling, don't always expect to follow your itinerary to a T. 

A lot of things may pop up during the trip, from destination closures to a simple desire to explore elsewhere. 

Embrace impulsivity when it calls for you. And to prepare for that, add some room for flexibility during your trip. This can be done by adding a spare day of driving or free time or having an alternative route with a charging station in mind.

If you don't want to visit a destination that you once marked as a must-go, then simply change your map route and go to the next place, so long that you have enough battery to drive you there.

Furthermore, if things aren't looking up, like if a storm is approaching, don't try to push your luck driving to your next destination. 

Safety is paramount to a successful road trip—and even if you have a solid insurance plan like ROLLiN' electric car insurance, you shouldn't attempt to weather a severe storm in unfamiliar territory.

5) Bring a Portable Charger

Another way to reduce range anxiety is by bringing a portable charger for your EV. 

While these things aren't the most powerful, they're a good last resort option if you find yourself low on battery and kilometres away from your next destination.

Be sure to purchase a portable charger that's compatible with your electric vehicle. You don't have to charge all the way to 100% (as that can take hours), but a little bit more juice to make it to the next stop would be a tonne of help.

6) Plan The End Trip Back

Make no mistake, reaching your final stopover after kilometres of driving is a fantastic feat. But unless you've got someone else who's willing to handle the planning and the wheel, then you're just halfway done with your trip.

The simple way of capping off the road trip is by taking the same route back. But if you want to maximise your time in a faraway place, or if you want to get back home fast, do consider driving down a road that you've never been on before. 

If you took the scenic route going to your final stopover, go ahead and take that highway. Conversely, if you took a coastal route to your destination and have some spare time to see more natural spots inland, then go do that.

Just like summiting a mountain, it's not over until you're back at home base. So be sure you cover every aspect of your trip, from the mapping to the way back.

Have fun on your EV road trip!