Tips for an electric summer road trip. » Ivy Charging Network
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June 17, 2024
5 min read

Tips for an electric summer road trip.

The open road beckons—time to heed its call with your electric vehicle. Modern electric vehicles (EVs) are more powerful than ever and ready to go the distance, making for an energy-efficient journey. Thanks to significant advancements in battery technology and the expansion of public charging infrastructure worldwide, road trips are now an accessible option for all electric car drivers. Ready to hit the road? This article provides essential tips to prepare for a truly electrifying summer road trip.

Vehicle check.

Before you do anything, ensure your EV is in tip-top condition to handle a long trek. Check your tires, brakes, lights, and, most importantly, your battery. You want a battery that will last and that will be predictable regarding range and how it responds to changes in temperature. Consider the vehicle’s range and whether or not it is built for DC charging (Level 3), as that will determine whether you spend a few minutes in a public charging station or a few hours. You want to make sure your tires are well inflated so they may have the best traction and respond to your brakes properly.

Map it out.

Whether you rely on GPS or a traditional map, be sure to research EV-friendly destinations along your route. When planning your stops, factor in charging times, even if your vehicle supports fast charging. Apps such as Ivy Charging Network 2.0, PlugShare, and ChargeHub can help you locate charging stations. It’s always wise to have multiple options to ensure you’re covered.

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Pack it up.

When packing for your trip, be mindful of weight and distribution. Excess weight can reduce your vehicle’s range, and an unevenly loaded trunk can impact handling. It’s a balancing act between your EV’s capabilities and what you want to bring along. Aim to pack efficiently and leave some extra space in the back. Additionally, air resistance can impact your range, so if you’re considering a roof rack, opt for an aerodynamic design.

Practice efficient driving.

EVs are machines, and like all machines, there’s an optimal way to handle them to maximize efficiency. Like a runner going the distance, it’s all about energy use and strategy. Though your battery is prepared to handle long distances regardless of driving style, these tips will help you make the most out of your technology. First, abrupt acceleration is more energy-demanding than gradually increasing your speed. This also means keeping a steady speed whenever possible. Proper braking can also enhance your battery range; be sure to leave enough space between cars to make the most of smoother, regenerative braking. These factors, working alongside proper tire pressure and braking conditions, will take you the distance.

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Consider the weather.

Extreme temperatures can affect battery efficiency. Fortunately, Canadian summers are excellent for EV battery life—just keep an eye out the farther North you go. The sweet spot is 15–45 degrees. In a country like Canada, where winter temperatures can be extreme, it’s crucial to account for potential temperature drops when calculating your EV’s range. Cold weather can strain the battery as it works to maintain optimal temperatures for both the vehicle and the driver.

Schedule stops and bring some backup.

As you map out your route, we recommend creating a schedule that includes meals, scenic visits, and battery charging stops. However airtight you consider your plan to be, we suggest you prepare some backup. This can mean additional stops in case your EV’s autonomy varies due to speed, weather, or any other factors. We also suggest bringing a Level 1 charger for emergencies. It may take a lot longer to charge your vehicle, but because it works with 120V, it’s an excellent ally for unexpected situations.

A great rule of thumb while planning your trip is to have a 20% range backup. Aim to reach your next charging station with plenty of charge left to make up for any detours, delays, and drops in vehicle range due to external factors.

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Stay flexible.

A good road trip is mostly about mentality because the road can be unpredictable. You can plan ahead to handle unexpected factors, such as road conditions, traffic, roadwork, charging station availability, and more. Staying flexible means knowing that these events are out of your control and being prepared to switch it up on the fly without missing out on a good time. A backup can help overcome the unexpected, but even the best-prepared driver can only cover so much. Embrace the detours and be prepared to change your route.

Catch up with other drivers.

There are several communities and apps that connect EV owners and drivers. Staying connected with others can inform you about lesser-known charging stations and other tips for your plotted route. Learning from other drivers is an excellent way to hear from other users and customers about your intended stops, determine whether you really want to visit a certain location, and keep updated on accidents, blockages, and other forms of unexpected traffic.

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Practice EV charging etiquette.

Ivy Charging Network is spread all over Ontario, and there are other options in other provinces that you are bound to find in your journey. As more people pick up their own EVs, charging stations may start seeing more visitors, resulting in longer lines and wait times. Here are a few etiquette tips to make the most out of your journey and help others do so as well.

  • Only park at a charging station if you’re charging. Move your vehicle when you’re done.
  • Watch time limits—those are set to ensure that charging is available.
  • Don’t unplug another vehicle while it is charging.
  • Inform the staff and other users about issues with chargers.
  • Take care of the station—properly wrap the cord and plug it back into the storage port.
  • Help out new EV drivers.

Setting off on a road trip and making the most out of your EV is now not only possible but can be truly enjoyable. As you’ve seen, it takes a few simple steps to make the most of your road trip while keeping you in charge of your vehicle’s range. Remember to practice safe driving and to adhere to the rules of the road. Happy driving!

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