How do I plan a road trip in an electric car?
There’s nothing better than a road trip, getting away from it all and exploring new places. But can you do a long road trip in an electric car? The simple answer is yes.
Like all trips it’s a good idea to do a bit of planning beforehand.
Before you go
- Plan where you’ll stop on the way and if you’ll need to charge. Depending on where you’re going you may be able to get there without stopping. But if you’re driving a few hundred miles for a staycation in the UK, you’ll probably want to stretch your legs and get a bite to eat. This is usually a good chance to get a charge at one of over 45,000 public charge points across the UK (last updated August 2023). A charge point app or map will show you the charge points along your route and at your destination and you can usually filter by plug type, charger speed and charging network.
- Check you have your cables in the car. If the place where you’re staying doesn’t have a home charge point, you’ll need to find somewhere to charge when you’re out and about.
- Does your accommodation have charge points or is there one close by? Lots of tourist attractions and hotels now have charge points so check them out before you hit the road.
- Download what3words onto your phone. If you break down this will help recovery companies find you and you can also use it to spot charge points.
- Don't forget the essentials you need in your car for any road trip.
- Charge points are owned by lots of different companies and there are a number of different ways to pay. Most now accept contactless payment but you may need to download an app or get a plastic tag called an RFID (radio frequency identification) in advance. Again, check your charge point app a week or so before your journey so you can get what you need before you hit the road.
- Do you have breakdown cover? Check what you’re covered for as some companies take you to your nearest charge point for free while some ask you to pay.
While you’re away
- You can check the live status of lots of charge points using your charge point app and you can often report if they’re not working.
- If you need a rapid charge you’ll find them at motorway services, or at many other places along the UK road network. You can usually pay using contactless, and it's best to check your charge point app to find your nearest one.
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