Electric-Car Road Trips: Be Prepared, With Charging Apps And Realism Page 3

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AeroVironment DC fast charger, part of West Coast Electric Highway - Centralia, WA

AeroVironment DC fast charger, part of West Coast Electric Highway - Centralia, WA

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While electric-car road trips might have been inconceivable just a few years ago, they’re now quite doable—with some very careful route planning.

Some important reality checks

To sum all of this up, the reality checks you need to run through before undertaking an all-electric journey include the following, which are tips that resound through many owner experiences we’ve published from longer-distance drives:

  • Level 3 charging (quick charging) is essential
  • Conditions like speed, temperature, winds, and hills matter—a lot
  • Amenities matter at charging locations (because it makes your stops productive and worthwhile)
  • Even enthusiastic electric-car owners won’t want to road-trip with an EV all the time

The latter is a conclusion we couldn’t help but reach, at the end of our 195-mile journey. What normally would have taken a little more than three hours in a gasoline vehicle took a little more than four and a half hours, overall, in the Soul EV. We suffered no range anxiety, and the Soul EV’s steady, predictable range meter never let us down. And every charging station we reached had the same availability as represented on PlugShare (one Blink station showed one of its two fast-charging ports in use, and we arrived to confirm a Leaf occupying that spot).

These are technologies that no longer feel ‘beta,’ or limited to early adopters, EV enthusiasts, and environmentalists. Now, if only the driving range were a bit longer.

And, we suspect, it’s really not that far away.

AeroVironment DC fast charger, part of West Coast Electric Highway - Centralia, WA

AeroVironment DC fast charger, part of West Coast Electric Highway - Centralia, WA

Enlarge Photo

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