How do you plan a trip in an electric car?

Whether it’s going away during the half-term holidays, a weekend trip, or simply visiting somewhere for the day, no trip starts without some degree of planning.
From the destination to the route there’s plenty to consider. But what about electric cars? Their use is on the rise, but with the charging networks to support them still developing and many concerned about range anxiety, how do you plan a road trip with an electric car in mind?

Thankfully, it’s not that different.

Plotting your route

As opposed to planning a trip in a petrol car, where you know there’s going to be reliable access to fuel in most areas, planning your trip based on where you can recharge can have a huge impact on your route and potentially even where you decide to go.

The ranges on electric cars are ever-increasing, but it’s important that you know where you can top up your battery.

Some websites and many sat-navs can highlight nearby charging stations for you where you can top up your vehicle’s battery. Using these locations and understanding the range of your car will help you to gauge how far you can travel before you need to think about recharging.

Remember, the most important thing to keep in mind about the range of your electric vehicle is that a journey requires a return element, it’s not just getting to your destination but also getting back. Depending on the distance, this might mean you need to schedule a charging break somewhere along your route.

Charging breaks

One of the main differences with electric cars over petrol is that recharging can take time, depending on the car. Public charging points are better suited to topping up your battery, but this can take time. Fast and rapid chargers can give your car plenty of range, sometimes as much as 100 miles in as little as 15 minutes.

While this takes longer than filling up at a petrol pump, it also means you are not confined to a forecourt as a place to recharge. Being in a designated space in a car park means you have the chance, and the time, to stretch your legs and explore.

For example, on a long road trip, you might find an attraction or a stop on the way that you might want to spend some time at; the need to recharge gives you plenty of opportunity. Whilst waiting for your vehicle to recharge, having a purpose, such as walking around an attraction or having something to eat, serves as a bit of a distraction, so you are not sitting around clock watching.

Woman operating an electric car

Think about destination charging

As we mentioned, EV chargers mean you can top up your battery without needing to wait at a petrol station, simply plug your car in and come back later.

Destination charging is something to consider when planning a trip. Look for locations with chargers. For example, if you plan to go away for a few days, you need to consider including trips to attractions or destinations that will allow you to charge up your car. Charging doesn’t need to overtake the whole trip, but if you are looking for a nice café to spend an afternoon or go for lunch at and you have a choice between two picturesque locations and only one of them has a charger, go for the one with the charger.

As the electric vehicle infrastructure in the UK develops further, and the number of chargers increases, needing to plan around having to recharge should become a thing of the past. Even now, it isn’t an inconvenience; with a bit of planning and potentially leaving more time for your trip to accommodate rest breaks to top up your battery, you can still get from A to B easily.