Motor Expert Shares Tips for Planning a Sustainable Road Trip



Graham Conway, Managing Director of Select Car Leasing

­A recent report has outlined that demand for electric cars is booming, with sales expected to leap 35% in 2023 after a record-breaking 2022. 

When it comes to planning long journeys in an electric vehicle, range anxiety amongst drivers has now been replaced by charger anxiety, which is when you’re unsure if you can even charge your car when out and about.

And so, to mark National EV Charging Day today (September 13th), Graham Conway, Managing Director of Select Car Leasing, has provided six tips on how to effectively plan a road trip or a long drive in an electric vehicle. 

  1. Plan your journey with the right tools 

Nowadays, there are lots of apps and websites that are specifically designed to assist electric vehicle drivers in organising their journey. What’s more, certain platforms even allow you to specify your car models, enabling them to offer tailored advice based on your vehicle’s range. They also even have their own maps dedicated to enabling you to find your nearest electric car charging stations. 

One such platform is ZapMap, which is known as the UK’s number one universal charge point map. The app uses direct data feeds to pinpoint the types of chargers and/or networks available around you. Similarly, Pod Point Network allows you to find a nearby suitable charging point for your journey.

  1. Be aware of the type of chargers your electric car can use 

You can charge your electric vehicle at any charging station that has a compatible plug or socket to your charging cable. 

However, it’s essential to know that charging capabilities depend on the make and model of your car, and whether you are charging at an AC or DC charging station. Again, there are apps such as ZapMap that enable you to find this information out.

  1. Be aware of how fast your electric vehicle can charge 

Another key element of the journey planning process is to determine the charging speed that your electric vehicle can handle. Knowing this will not only simplify the process of selecting a charger, but also provide an estimate of the charging time. 

Urban electric vehicle models such as the Honda E and Mini Electric have a limited driving range and slower charging speeds, which makes them less suitable for long-distance travel. However, there are numerous other electric vehicles available on the market that have higher range capabilities and faster charging speeds. 

Additionally, it’s worth noting that charging costs can vary significantly, so understanding what charging network aligns with your budget is crucial. 

  1. Be prepared to add more minutes to your journey time 

Unlike refuelling a petrol or diesel car which only takes a few minutes, charging an electric car at a public station takes longer, so you must allocate extra time to your journey. 

The good news is that many electric vehicles offer fast charging capabilities that targets a battery replenish of between 10% and 80% of its capacity. 

When it comes to charging, it is advisable to avoid letting your battery level drop below 10%, as this could result in longer charging times. It’s also worth noting that the last 20% of charging to reach a full battery can also take more time. Rather than opting for a full charge, you may find a partial recharge will help save you time.  

  1. Align your charging stop with a driving break 

Due to the amount of time it can take to charge your electric vehicle, it’s always a good idea to coordinate your charging stop with a well-deserved driving break. 

Thankfully, many charging stations are conveniently located at motorway services which offer a variety of restaurants and shops. Alternatively, some chargers can be found near shopping centres or busy high streets. 

If you are staying overnight somewhere, be aware of whether your hotel or guesthouse provides vehicle charging facilities. This way, you can commence your journey the next day with a fully charged vehicle.

  1. Ditch the motorway and take the scenic route 

When it comes to driving an electric vehicle, the quickest route may not always be the best option. 

While motorways may appear to be the fastest and most direct route, it’s important to note that they tend to consume more power in electric vehicles. This is due to the higher speeds and the inability of regenerative braking to contribute energy back to the batteries. 

Instead, opt to drive on A-roads if you can. These may not only be a scenic alternative, but they also provide opportunities to discover interesting places to take a break.

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