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There's nothing quite like planning road trips to explore the beauty of Australia. Few modes of transportation can match the luxurious freedom of hitting the open road in your car. The road trip is something of a Holy Grail for electric vehicle (EV) owners. While electric vehicle owners have easy access to charging stations in urban areas, many have yet to take to the open road for long road trips outside of the city.
This is changing as the range of electric vehicles increases and owners express a desire to push their vehicles to their limits. These tips on how to plan a road trip with electric vehicles will get you revved and ready to hit the road.
Having a backup plan is essential when planning a long-distance trip in your electric vehicle. While it is improving, Australia's charging infrastructure density – particularly in regional areas – is still insufficient for road trippers to be careless about when and where they will charge their vehicle.
Have a backup plan in case your original plan falls through due to out-of-service chargers, overly optimistic driving range, or other unforeseeable events.
As electric vehicles become more popular, more venues are providing EV charging stations. It's worth considering whether the hotel you're planning to stay at provides this service, as charging your car overnight can drastically reduce the time spent charging the next day.
Electric vehicles take longer to 'fill up' than ICE (internal combustion engine) cars, and their driving range is generally shorter. Because of these factors, EV drivers are more likely than ICE vehicle drivers to make more stops, each of which takes longer.
Charging stops can add up quickly over the course of a road trip, so keep this in mind when planning your trip. Touring in an EV is like touring with young children, the Google Maps indicated drive time can be misleading.
As mentioned in the previous tip, EV road trippers face different variables and contingencies than ICE road trippers. There are far fewer charging stations than gas stations, especially in rural areas, which can add significant and unpredictable time to your day's travels.
A busy gas station may require a few minutes of waiting before reaching a bowser, but a line for occupied charging stations can add hours to your journey out of nowhere.
When travelling in your EV, try to keep the distance between your next accommodation and your plans as short as possible, or schedule your charging stops during off-peak hours.
The majority of pay-to-use charging stations will require an app to operate. It pays to download any of the different charging operators' apps before you set out because getting a signal to download these apps can be difficult – or downright impossible – in some regional areas.
You don't want to arrive at a charging station only to discover it won't work with your car.
You'll need a set of adaptor cables for long trips in your EV because they'll let you charge your car at any charging station you come across, even if your car doesn't have a compatible plug.
Plan your route and distances between stops based on the weather. The battery range of electric vehicles is severely impacted by cold weather. If you're going to be travelling through colder areas, estimate your driving range conservatively and plan accordingly.
Road trips require a car, and you'll need your car to last the duration of your journey. That means it must be in good condition.
If you're driving your own car, make sure it's serviced before you leave. Purchase at least a small jerry that can carry extra gasoline in case of emergency – even a four-litre one will suffice. Make sure your tyres are in good enough shape to last the duration of your journey, especially if you plan on taking a dirt road. Also, if you haven't already, make sure you know how to change a tyre.
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