The Ultimate Guide to Planning an Electric Vehicle Road Trip

Embarking on a road trip with an electric vehicle (EV) is an exciting and eco-friendly way to explore new destinations. If you’re new to driving an EV, you might feel worried about the idea of the drive and finding charging en route. This guide will walk you through the key steps to ensure a seamless and enjoyable EV road trip.

Get to Know Your Car

Most of the time, driving an EV feels just like a gas car. There are just a few new features & slight differences that are worth getting to know before you set off on your drive. 

Charge connector type 

Chevy Bolt EV charging while on a road trip (photo by LaCarmina)

Most electric vehicles (EVs) use either NACS or CCS connectors for fast charging, and it's essential to know which type your vehicle can use so you can go to the correct charging station. NACS is the Tesla charging standard, while most other EVs use CCS (Type 2 combo). A small number of vehicles use a connector called the CHAdeMO.

Unless you drive a Tesla, you likely won’t be able to charge up at Tesla superchargers. Many OEMs are bringing in compatibility for NACS to their CCS models but aren’t there yet. All significant charging networks, including Electrify America, ChargePoint, and EVgo, support CCS. 

Regenerative Braking:

EVs have a secondary braking system called regenerative braking, which allows the battery to recapture small amounts of charge from the vehicle braking/slowing down. Regen braking makes use of the kinetic energy that is otherwise lost from braking and uses it to improve the efficiency of your battery. 

At the highest setting, regen braking will mean the car starts to slow down if you aren’t applying pressure on the accelerator pedal. Some people love this as it enables ‘one-pedal’ driving - no need to use the brakes - and others dislike it. 

Find where you can set/adjust the regenerative braking level on the steering wheel and try driving at different levels to see which setting you like. 

EV Button and Navigation:

Many EVs will have a button on their dashboard or screen that states “EV.” This button usually gives access to information about the vehicle, such as its current range, charge, and nearby chargers. You can navigate to chargers with this option or confirm your distance available. 

Some EV navigation systems even offer a feature that shows your range once you arrive at your 

destination. This makes it easy to ensure you will reach your destination within your preferred range. 

Tip! Almost all EVs are push to start. Because the engine is silent, it’s easy to forget to turn off the car when exiting. Ensure you check the doors are locked when you walk away - if you think you’ve locked the car but the doors are still unlocked, it’s probably because the engine is still quietly on. 


Like all vehicles, EVs now come standard with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) like cruise control, lead vehicle detection, lanekeep, etc. These are especially useful for long stints of highway driving, so make sure to find your vehicle's ADAS features and how to activate them. 

Planning your route and charging

The key to quieting the worries of an EV road trip is thorough route planning. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to do your homework before heading out on where to charge along the route. Thanks to the plethora of EV charging apps and websites, finding charging has never been easier.  

Planning your route:

The easiest way to plan charging for a long road trip is with a planning tool such as the Charge Hub Trip Planner Guide. This tool allows you to customize many variables, such as the distance between chargers and the distance from the route to a charger so that you can stay charged with minimal detours. 

Plan your charging stops strategically, aiming to recharge before your battery drops below 20%. Opt for Level 3 fast chargers when possible, as they can charge your EV up to 80% in 30-50 minutes. Note that a charge to 100% takes a minimum of 1.5 hours, even on a fast charger.

Level 3 - fast charger plugged into an electric vehicle while on a road trip (photo by LaCarmina)

Recharge at your hotel

Many hotels and accommodations now have charging. Charging up overnight takes care of one charging stop and is especially helpful as you can get your vehicle up to a full 100% charge overnight. 

If you can’t see whether a hotel has charging available on their website, it’s always worth calling to check. Even if they don’t have charging available, your call helps them know that potential customers like you are looking for charging - increasing their likelihood of installing it in the future. 

On the road

Once you’re on the road, you can use Google or Apple Maps to search for chargers. Aim to search for Level 3 fast chargers, which will get you up to 80% charge in 40 minutes or less. 

The Tesla and Electrify America chargers are the most reliable in Las Vegas. Electrify America’s app is great as well, which shows nearby chargers as well as the live status of each charger - whether it’s occupied, open, or out of service. 

Tip! Charging stations are notorious for maintenance and reliability issues, so it’s a great idea to use an app like Electrify America, which gives live status of chargers so you don’t get a nasty surprise if a charging stop you’re counting on is out of service. 

Halo.Car Chevy Bolt charging at a ChargePoint charger while on a road trip (photo by LaCarmina)

Ready to go?

With some planning, an EV road trip opens the door to sustainable adventure and unforgettable experiences. By following these steps, you can embark on a journey that combines the thrill of exploration with a commitment to eco-friendly travel, enjoying the freedom of the open road. 

So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your next electric vehicle road trip today!