It’s summer and most people are either on their way to their vacation destination or planning their escape as we speak and, as usual, transportation plays an important part in the equation. As an eager holidaymaker who owns an electric vehicle and is getting ready to go on their first long journey with their EV, you’re probably oscillating between excitement and anxiety, which is perfectly understandable.
EVs might not be a novelty anymore as their popularity and number have increased considerably in recent years, but they are inherently different from their conventional counterparts in many ways, so if you’ve never driven your EV on a long-distance adventure, it’s normal to feel nervous about it. Besides, EVs have mostly been touted as a great solution for urban mobility and daily commutes, helping busy city dwellers make their way around town while also reducing their carbon footprint. So, they’re not usually taken into consideration for road trips or holidaymaking.
And yet, an electric vehicle can be a great travel companion, as long as you plan your trip properly. If you want to enjoy carefree travels and make the most of your summer vacation, here are a few aspects to keep in mind before embarking on a journey behind the wheel of your EV.
It’s always recommended to plan your journey in advance no matter what car you drive, but it’s all the more important when you’re travelling with an EV due to their specific charging requirements. You need to figure out how far you can go on a single charge and plan your trip around charging stops. Once you’ve determined your itinerary, you can search for the EV charging hubs along the way and know exactly when and where you’ll have to stop to recharge.
That way, you won’t risk running out of battery and remaining stranded in the middle of nowhere, and you’ll also be able to coordinate your stops with other activities such as eating or sightseeing. Also, if you’re only using your car for the first part of your trip and then you need to drop it off at Manchester Airport parking for example, look for a parking spot with an EV station nearby to make sure your car is charged and ready to go when you get back.
There’s an app for everything these days, so it’s no surprise that EV drivers also benefit from a variety of apps that aim to make their short or long travels smoother and more comfortable. These apps can assist you during the planning process, making it so much easier for you to research charging points along your route, as well as predict your range and charging time for your specific car make and model.
PlugShare is one of the most popular EV apps, providing information on more than 400,000 charging stations from all across the world. There’s no need to make an account and the app’s filters allow users to narrow down their options by charger and vehicle type. Charging networks such as Ionity which provides numerous charging points across the UK and Europe also have their own apps, so you can check them out as well. In addition, apps like EVHotels can help you find accommodations that provide EV charging points or have one nearby, so you can charge your car while you rest.
Proper planning doesn’t guarantee that things will go the way you expect. While you should always hope for the best, it’s important to prepare for the worst. That’s why specialists advise to avoid draining your EV’s battery fully. This will ensure you have enough battery to reach the next charging point in case the one you’ve planned to use is out of order.
Overcharging your EV’s battery is just as bad as undercharging it. Ideally, you should keep it between 20 and 80% at all times. When you go above 80%, the charge rate starts to decrease considerably and the risk of overheating increases, especially during summer, and that can damage your battery in the long run. So, if you want to increase battery life and enjoy your EV for many years to come, make sure to charge it properly during your trips.
If you use your EV for short distances and stop often, recharging is not an inconvenience. Similarly, if you leave your EV at Heathrow Airport parking and continue your journey by plane, you won’t have to worry about your car’s mileage. But when you’re going on a longer trip with an EV, you’ll naturally want to charge less often and drive more.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can extend your EV’s range and enjoy more drive time. Using less heat and AC while driving, packing light to reduce weight, using cruise control to maintain a constant driving speed, checking tyre pressure and making sure your tyres are properly inflated, and driving slower can make a significant difference in this respect.
For extra convenience, you should try to charge your EV overnight, so you can be ready to hit the road in the morning. This will save you the trouble of finding a charging point shortly after setting off.
The good news is most hotels and lodges have an external power source so you can recharge your EV while resting. Even if they are slow-charging, this won’t be a problem since you won’t be going anywhere during the night. You can also use the EVHotels app to search for accommodation with EV charging stations if you want to play it safe.
Taking your EV on holiday can be a great idea as you’ll be saving money and minimising your carbon emissions at the same time. But make sure you do your homework before you set out, so you can avoid unpleasant situations and enjoy every minute of your EV-powered adventure.