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Interstellar White GMC HUMMER EV on a coastal road at sunset.

EVerybody In for an EV Road Trip

The road is calling our name, and we’re switching things up by setting off in an electric vehicle. Pack your favorite snacks and candy (gummy worms for me) and buckle up. Here’s everything you need to know about taking an EV road trip.

Plan ahead

Map out your route ahead of time to know what chargers you plan to stop at along the way. You can use resources like a charging stations map or an EV road trip planner to help plot your route. Save time on your trip by downloading charging apps for the stations you plan to use and set them up with your credit card information.

Since there are still fewer EV charging stations than gas stations, it's a good idea to have a backup plan in case all the chargers at your planned stop are being used or are out of order. Try to bake in extra time and battery power to give you flexibility to decide if you’ll wait until a charger becomes available or drive to another charging station.

Really know your range

Vehicle manufacturers will share an EPA-estimated range, but keep in mind that “ideal” driving situations were lab-created to get that figure. An internal combustion engine vehicle (powered by gas or diesel) typically gets its best fuel economy while cruising at a constant speed. EVs work the opposite way and use regenerative braking to increase efficiency when coasting and stopping. EPA tests account for a combination of highway and city driving, so you can expect your range to vary depending on your route and traffic conditions. Try to keep your speed in check to maximize your range, as driving at a high speed can drain the battery faster.

Account for accessories

If you’re driving in a climate that doesn’t hover around the 70°F mark most EVs thrive in, you’ll likely use up the battery power quicker than expected. Blasting the A/C in the middle of a scorching Texas summer or turning up the heat while driving through the desert at night can use more battery power, similar to how it would use more fuel in a gas-powered vehicle. Plus, extra energy use like charging your phone and playing the radio might contribute to faster battery depletion. Keep these factors in mind when planning your recharging stops.

Pack your patience

GM has partnered with EVgo and other major EV charging providers to expand the charging network across the U.S. and Canada. While the charging infrastructure continues to grow, you may have to wait your turn to plug in. And remember that although it may take just a few minutes to fuel up, it can take longer to charge. The speed at which your vehicle charges can vary depending on things like temperature, how depleted your battery is when you plug it in, and the level or type of EV charger you use.

Recharge while you charge

Take advantage of your charging breaks by refueling yourself. Use these opportunities to eat a decent meal and get out and stretch your legs. Pack a frisbee or ball to play catch while your vehicle gets topped off. More and more roadside attractions, shopping centers, museums and movie theaters are adding EV charging stations. If you have the time, strategizing where you stop can change the places you might end up! Also, look for hotels that offer EV charging, so you’ll be ready to hit the road with a full battery in the morning.

EV road trips are rising in popularity, and while they may take a little more preplanning, driving in an EV offers many benefits. If you’re getting ready for your next trip, read up on planning a drama-free family road trip.

Nicole Mayer
By Nicole Mayer, GM Financial

Nicole Mayer is a whisk-taker with a fondness for desserts. From baking to organizing, she’s motivated by trying new things and sharing her knowledge. When she’s not in the kitchen rocking out to ‘80s music, you’ll find her serving up aces on the tennis court.

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