Taking a road trip with a EV takes a bit of planning. The following is a ‘field tested’ checklist to help you with planning.
Before the Trip
Install Useful Apps
See our app guide
Get Access to Charging Networks
Get memberships for charging networks. Make sure to get fast charger access!
Here are some charging networks:
Usually there are 3 ways to use these chargers:
- Most chargers can accept credit cards, no account setup needed
- Some charging networks will give you a access cards
- Also get the mobile apps as well. The apps can give you more details of charging specifics
☐ Sign up for charging networks (more than one, as many as possible)
☐ Download their apps
☐ make sure to enter payment information for the accounts
☐ If you get access cards, keep them in the car (I keep mine in the dash in a ziploc bag)
Check network access, before you leave!
This is very important. Before you leave for the trip, make sure your charging accounts are active and working
☐ Find a nearest charger of the networks and try charging. Specially try the fast chargers. As you would utilize these for quick charging
Things to Pack
Corona virus precautions
COVID has definitely made travelling more challenging. Have following handy.
☐ face mask (lot of businesses will required you have one, before entering)
☐ hand sanitizer (I use it after I touched door handles ..etc)
☐ A blanket
☐ A towel
You should have a blanket packed for any road trip, but this is more important for EV road trips! Why? Because there are times you have to wait in the car while you are charging – there may not be restaurants or indoor spaces for your hangout while charging.
Even when using a fast charger, you may have to wait an hour for charging. And sometimes it can get cold!
So if I have to wait in the car, I just wrap myself in the blanket and take a mini nap 🙂
And I don’t just throw the blanket in the car. I wrap it with another bag (I really like these Hefty clear recycling bags) so they don’t get dirty.
Trust me, you will thank me soon enough!
☐ A portable charger
☐ A heavy duty, outdoors extension cable (50ft +)
If you are going to be away from cities and charging infrastructure, say you are going camping, it is recommended to have your own charger. Most camp grounds will have power outlets for RVs, but they may not have the charging adapter for your car. So bring yours.
There are lot of these chargers out there. How do you select one?
- Make sure it works with your EV’s charging (duh!)
- I would look for something that can deliver at least 32 Amps
- And can be plugged into NEMA 14-50 outlets (most common in USA)
I have a Jekayla Level 2 32 Amp Portable Charger. Works well. I like the display so I can see the current status and current draw.
Here are few you might want to consider:
And, this is important, before you leave, test the charger at home!
Power to the people
Road trips means lot of electronics! Phones, tablets, game consoles ..etc.
This will keep you covered, front seats and back seats.
Portable Phone Charger
I also carry a portable charger, just in case I am running low while I am out of the car.
Good Weather Proof Mats
Protect your car carpet from rain / snow / mud.
I like WeatherTech products (a tad bit expensive, but quite good). But there are tons of other competitors to choose from.
Paper Towels + Wet Wipes + Hand Towel (Rag)
These are handy for cleaning up any messes.
- Sometimes I find the charging cables have lot of dirt on them (left on the ground ..etc).
- Also you will thank me for the wet wipes, when you are done eating a In-n-Out double-double burger with animal fries and need to cleanup 🙂
Call me old-fashioned.. but I like a good flashlight in my car!
A throw or tarp
Handy for impromptu picnicking at the park, or covering up picnic tables!
I always have one in my trunk.
Coins for parking