Can You Use an Electric Car for a Road Trip?

With warm weather around the corner, many people are starting to plan their spring and summer road trips after being stuck in the house all winter. However, for those who have recently purchased or are considering an electric vehicle, many wonder if their electric car will be able to last the trip.

Fortunately, the rise in electric car popularity is resulting in infrastructure to support these vehicles, and a road trip is definitely possible. All that is needed to accomplish a trip is some strategic planning. Read on to determine how you can make simple changes to adjust from a gas to electric vehicle road trip, while enjoying a reduced-emission adventure.

Plan Your Route

Some people enjoy “seeing where the road takes them” on their road trips. However, traveling in an electric vehicle takes a bit of strategic planning, because spontaneous travel is only fun until you run out of battery and a charging station is unaccessible.


Some parts of the country have more charging stations than others, and with some planning, you can find cities and locations where you can get your battery charged. Thankfully, there are several reliable apps that let you know where you can charge your vehicle.


Try to plan your charging locations before you leave, factoring in the mileage range of your vehicle. Further, download the apps on your phone so you can locate them on the go, as needed. 

Use Battery Conservation Strategies

Once you are on the road, you want to make sure your car can go as far as possible. The following are the biggest culprits for draining your battery:


  • Air conditioning. While staying comfortable is important on vacation, using your air conditioning can drain your battery quickly. Simply use your air conditioning in sensible ways — especially in very hot weather — or avoid traveling in excessive heat altogether.

  • Charging electronics. Every activity in an electric car uses energy, so refrain from charging phones or other devices. Instead, try charging at hotels, restaurants and rest stops to conserve the energy within your car. 

  • Travel light. Keep in mind how much you’re bringing on the trip. More weight translates to more energy consumption. As much as an additional 100 pounds can increase your car’s energy consumption by one or two percent.

Although the experience in an electric car might be slightly different than a gas-fueled vehicle, simple steps can make a big difference in your travel experience. 

Consider Big Cities As Your Destinations

As a general rule, larger cities have more electric car charging stations. While this is bound to change in the future, finding electric car-friendly locations can help give you peace of mind while on your trip. 


Some of the most electric car-friendly cities in the United States include Atlanta, New York City, Houston, Chicago, Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, Seattle, and Phoenix.  


The west coast of the U.S. might be your best route as some of the top ten cities for electric cars are San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles and Portland — though East Coast cities like Baltimore are electric car-friendly. So, no matter where you want to go in the country, there are likely good electric-car friendly options nearby. 

Next Steps Before Hitting the Road 

Although there are some small changes to make for a trip in an electric vehicle, don’t let the fear of running out of battery keep you off the road. With some simple planning, a great road trip can be made even better by using an eco-friendly vehicle. 


If you have questions about using an electric vehicle on a road trip, contact us at Living the Dream. Simply schedule an appointment online or call (339) 237-5151.

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