Traveling in an electric vehicle (EV) gets easier every day because of the expanding charging infrastructure and the growing distance EVs can travel before needing to recharge. This is also making it easier to travel beyond your typical daily route and take a long distance road trip – just like us! However, there are nowhere near as many charging stations as gas stations, so some planning is required. And if you knew us personally you would know that we like to have a little more control over our plans than others. Thankfully there are plenty of online tools and resources available to help you plan your trip quickly.
Here’s a quick overview on how we plotted our trip:
The first step in plotting our route was using Tesla’s very own Go Anywhere Trip Planner. This online trip planner is pretty straightforward – you just enter your starting point and a destination, and the planner takes care of the rest. It creates a suggested route, telling you where to stop to charge and about how long you’ll have to wait at a particular charger to make it to your next destination. It was a great starting point.
From here, we did a quick comparison on Google maps to see if our route was significantly different from the route we would take in a traditional gasoline car. We were relieved to find that the route was nearly identical.
Because the Tesla Go Anywhere Trip Planner is limited to Tesla superchargers only, we took our basic route and headed over to the PlugShare Trip Planner. PlugShare is another online charging station locator tool that allows you to map your trip using filters like plug type, charging networks and amenities. The route is also laid over an interactive map, similar to Google Maps, allowing you to zoom in on the route and charging stations to locate nearby businesses, hotels, restaurants and attractions. The site also allows users to review and post pictures of individual charging stations. We found this site incredibly helpful not only in plotting the trip, but with locating the chargers and planning what we’ll do while we wait.
Ultimately our route didn’t change from Tesla’s original proposed path, but the added information provided by PlugShare made us feel more confident in our trip. With a general search we were also able to identify some Level 2 Chargers that could serve as a backup in case we run into trouble or range anxiety gets to us along the way.
Since neither of us have ever driven an electric vehicle, we also spent some time reading online about things to expect while driving, what to anticipate while charging, and things to look forward to along the way. We were even able to visit with some Stearns Electric member-owners that own a Tesla Model X who shared some tips for the road and their EV travel blog with us.
And then, finally, we just did some general travel searches online to look up places to stay and sights to see. It was a super simple process and we are feeling confident and excited to hit the road tomorrow!
Watch for a break down of pros and cons to various online trip planners coming up on the blog on Sunday!