As you embark on your upcoming holiday road trip in your cherished EV, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable journey begins with thoughtful preparation, including having a portable EV charger and a well-planned charging strategy in place.
Your new EV is your pride and joy and you can’t wait to enjoy it and show off your eco-friendly way of taking a roadtrip this coming holiday. But, have you invested in a portable EV charger? Do you know exactly where to stop along the way? Our checklist will help you plan and make sure you reach your destination in the good mood you set out in.
Confirm the Specs
Driving short distances around town, you may never have given enough attention to how long exactly your EV will last. You simply pull up to a charging station once it’s time to charge or plug it in at home, so it’s charged each morning, right?
During a long road trip you’ll put your car to a different challenge, and knowing its limits and capabilities is vital before you set out. So, read up on its specifications! Also, before your trip, you can even do a day excursion and head out on the highway. Make sure you have the right expectations of how far you can go before needing to pull in for a charge.
Check the Map
Of course, a road trip is often taken to simply explore a part of the country. Yes, you can remain this flexible with your EV, especially if you take your portable charger and don’t take on too long distances each day. You may be able to simply recharge each evening at the hotel or establishment where you’re staying.
However, the best approach is to plan out a route ahead of time and mark all the charging stations available on the way. See if there are sufficient sources of power during the entire journey you initially considered taking. If not, identify sections of the road that will bring you to registered stations, make that your route and ensure you can easily power up.
Tip: make these stops the breaks you’ll take to stretch your legs and get some food, in order to stay alert while driving. This way you won’t feel that stopping to charge a battery is inconveniencing your trip.
Take Your Own Gear
Having charging stations across Australia is great, but you don’t have to rely on them only. Handy gadgets like portable chargers allow you to charge your EV using any standard 10 Amp outlet. This is what you can use if you do opt to charge at your place of accommodation each day. It’s also a handy backup plan if you can’t find a charging station where you’re going.
The chargers are usually long but it’s once again best to plan ahead and avoid unnecessary worry. Contact your hotel and make sure there’s an accessible outlet available to charge your car.
Monitor the Weather
To some degree, the weather can affect the distance you’ll get from your battery. Either very hot or very cold temperatures can reduce the range. So, when your trip is in the middle of summer or during a cold spell, you’ll especially need to adjust your plans and timelines.
Allow Enough Time
All this charging will affect the timeline of your journey, so plan properly instead of putting the trip under pressure. Discern what a realistic arrival time at your destination will be, even if you spend a considerable time at each charging station on the way. Remember, you may have to wait in a queue before it’s your turn to charge.
By planning well you’ll avoid arriving after dark or being late for a scheduled event that forms part of the trip.
Backup Plans are Smart to Have
Even with all your planning, your trip can get ruined by something as simple as a station being out of service on the day you arrive. Or, roadworks could force you to alter course.
Therefore, while planning your route (see above), also make a list of alternative stations that aren’t directly on your route. You may need to detour to one of them and having an idea of what’s available will prevent you feeling anxious during your journey when exterior factors force you to change your plans.
Last Tip: How’s Your Driving?
Are you aware that your driving habits will affect the range you get from your EV? If you want to make as few stops as possible along the way and also give yourself a better range so you stress less about reaching the next station before the battery is depleted, practice the following in the weeks leading up to your trip:
- Stop driving aggressively—choose to stay calm, no matter what other drivers are doing on the road.
- Keep at a steady speed as much as possible. Luckily this is easier to do on the open road compared to city driving.
- When you do accelerate, do it smoothly.
Now, open Google Maps and start planning that road trip!