If you’ve always driven a gas-powered vehicle, you’ve probably only worried about finding somewhere to fuel up if you’re in a very remote or unfamiliar area. Route planning for electric cars is still a necessity to help you avoid range anxiety, especially on long journeys. To try to avoid these fears, follow these tips to plan your EV routes ahead of time.
One of the first things to understand about EVs is charging levels. Why? Depending on what level of charge you have access to, it can take a few minutes to several hours to fill up your EV’s battery. Level 1 takes the longest but is the most accessible. Level 3 charges the fastest but require a special adapter and is the least accessible. Level 2 is in between.
Travelling long distances with an EV may mean you have to factor in overnight stops to let your vehicle power up before you can hit the road again. If you’re not going that far, taking an EV on your road trip can save you a ton of money at the gas pump.
Once you know your destination, you can determine what kind of charging stations are available along your way, if you need to alter your route to hit enough stations, and whether you need to stop overnight—depending on what level of chargers you pass.
EV Route Planning Apps
As of September 2022, there are nearly 7,000 EV charging stations in operation in Canada . Although this number is still growing, it’s still way off from the number of gas stations across the country (almost 12,000). This means EV drivers need to ensure enough charging stations are staggered throughout their route so they don’t run out of juice.
You can find nearby charging stations with EV route planning apps and websites like these:
- A Better Route Planner
The Google Maps app also recently introduced a feature where you can select your vehicle’s engine type. You can choose between gas, diesel, electric, and hybrid to find the most efficient route for your vehicle. If you don’t see this feature, you may need to update the app or your device.
To make sure your EV can get you from point A to B, you’ve got to keep it in good shape. General maintenance on an EV is similar to a gas-powered vehicle, especially with the exterior and the tires. Overall, though, you’ll have less to take care of with an EV because it has fewer moving parts.
For tire, brake, or suspension services, any repair shop should be able to service your EV. If you have specific concerns about your vehicle, take it to the dealer you bought it from or an EV repair shop to make sure it’s serviced by professionals who have experience working with EVs.
For local, everyday trips, you shouldn’t need to plan a route with an EV. If you have access to a charger at home or work, you can plug your vehicle in when you’re not using it. If you don’t have these options, look for a charging station in your area and adapt your routine to accommodate the time it takes to fill up your battery.