The Best Road Trips to Take in an Electric Car
21 July 2020
As some borders reopen, taking a road trip in the comfort of our car may be more preferable to traveling internationally by plane, train or bus. After all, an EV road trip makes it easier to practice social distancing and is incredibly enjoyable too.
Ever fancied driving Route 66, the ‘Main Street of America’? How about a day trip to Tokyo via Mt. Fuji? Or taking a tour through the best parts of Northern Europe? Thanks to improved EV batteries (the latest EV car models already eclipse the average fuel car in terms of range) and planning, you can now go further than ever. What’s more, it’s better for your wallet and more environmentally friendly. Read on to discover the best long-distance trips to take in an electric car:
Europe by Car: Oslo to Berlin
Did you know you can drive from Norway to Germany in under 20 hours? Starting in the capital Oslo, the epicenter of EVs, you can hire an EV for around €170 (1805 kr) per day. Check out the city’s charge map to find your nearest charging point and don’t forget to visit the popular Frogner Park, home to more than 200 unique sculptures by Gustav Vigeland.
The next stop on your journey will be Sweden. Before you hit Gothenburg, take a moment to charge in Kungalv where there is a charge point right next to the 14th-century fortress Bohus fästning. Then, cross into Denmark via the Oresundsbron for a scenic drive over the strait.
Big cosmopolitan cities like Copenhagen have a solid EV infrastructure in place so you’ll be able to find plenty of charge points in public places and hotels. From there, it’s just a 4-hour road and ferry trip to Germany. The final stretch will guide you past some breathtaking lakes and landscapes until you reach Berlin — another EV-friendly capital and an exciting end-point for your journey.
Large battery capacity is key to ensuring a smoother road trip. Look for at least a 450 km (300 miles) range, to go further stretches without stopping to charge.
The Great American Road Trip: Chicago to LA
This particular 3200 km trip from Chicago to LA, is a modern take on the famous Route 66, and takes a few days to complete. Charging points on this route are always within 150 km, so you’ll never be stranded. It’s best to rack up the required charging hours by overnight stops at motels with charging stations. If you need to hire your EV, expect to pay around €800 ($910) for a week.
This route takes in some great cities and national parks as you cross nine states, including Chicago, the mighty Mississippi River and the stunning Rocky Mountains in Colorado. There are also plenty of great places to stop overnight and recharge batteries (literally and figuratively speaking), such as Omaha, Denver or Las Vegas.
The last stretch of your journey is a 5-hour trip to LA. As California is the biggest EV hub in the US, you can use handy charge maps and apps to plan your charging stops with ease.
Look out for fast or ultra-fast charging stations on the road to charge 2 or 3 times faster - saving hours across your trip.
Coasting in Japan: Osaka to Tokyo
Prepare to soak up all the natural beauty Japan has to offer in under 9 hours of driving. Starting in Osaka, you can rent an EV for €80-170 (9766-20753 ¥) per day. Japan is also increasing the number of charging stations nationally as EV adoption rates continue to rise, so a charging point is always nearby.
One of the great things about planning a trip around charge points is some of the interesting places you’ll get to see off the beaten track, such as Nagoya and Hamamatsu. This route also ends with a beautiful drive along Sagami Bay, towards Tokyo, one of the most technologically advanced capitals in the world.
Save time by planning your midday charging stops at restaurants with charging points to power your car while you eat.
With new EV developments, including increased battery capacity, ultra-fast charging and smart apps, you no longer have to worry about range anxiety. What’s more, if you carefully plan your journey, you can schedule day trips at the same time as your charge, and for longer trips, simply plug in your car overnight at your hotel. By mapping out the locations that interest you the most, alongside their nearest charging points (you can use helpful EV route planners to do this), range anxiety needn’t be a barrier between you and your perfect road trip.
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