Electric vehicles (EVs) are great when you’re driving to the supermarket but going long-distance creates range anxiety. How far will your car take you and will you be able to find a charging station?

Be sure to know your vehicle’s range. A new car, which holiday rentals generally are, should take you between 450 kilometres and (for superior models) 600 kilometres.


That’s probably further than you need without stopping on a road trip but you’ll still want to plan carefully because range is shorter and fill-up time much longer than you’ll be used to in a petrol-driven car.

Cold climates and hilly landscapes affect battery power, so you’ll be charging up more frequently. Drive to maximise your range, for example by avoiding heating or air-conditioning and taking it easy on the accelerator.

Try to keep distance between recharges shortish and avoid recharging at peak times. Be flexible. Don’t drive into a national park, just because that’s what you planned, if your battery is low.

Don’t wait until your charge drops right down. Even if you’ve pinpointed a charging station, it may not work, might not be compatible with your car, or might be charging someone else’s.

Using an electric car for a road trip requires a little extra planning. Using an electric car for a road trip requires a little extra planning.CREDIT:ISTOCK

Certain fast chargers take an hour and even 15 minutes might be enough to keep you going. Nevertheless, plan a route around charge stations near activities, sights and restaurants where you’ll be stopping anyway. It saves time.

Ideally, plot a route that allows you to recharge overnight, either at your accommodation or close by, so you don’t waste holiday time waiting for your car to fully charge.

Apps such as PlugShare, ChargeHub and Open Charge Map, which identify the location of charging stations and help plan routes, are invaluable.

In short, if you’re one for meticulous research and organisation, you’ll manage an EV road trip in most mainstream destinations.

Networks in Australia are improving. Queensland has already created an Electric Super Highway between Coolangatta and Cairns, as well as a 500-kilometre Tropical North Queensland Electric Vehicle Drive.

Small, compact and eco-minded European countries are a good bet: the Netherlands, Slovenia, Norway and, if you stick to urban centres, Germany and Austria. France has 82,000 chargers. Switzerland has a dedicated 1600-kilometre E-Grand Tour.

Hertz rental company researched Europe’s best EV road trips and identified northern Italy, the Amalfi Coast, the French Riviera, Belgium and Luxembourg, and Spain’s Costa Blanca among top spots.

Beyond Europe, Compare the Market suggests the Route 66 and Big Sur Coast in the US, Argentina’s Ruta 40, and South Africa’s Route 62. Our Great Ocean Road also gets the nod.

In the US, California and Oregon have outstanding EV networks, and California aims to have 500,000 new chargers in the state by 2030. Enough to soothe your eco-conscience, and get your motor running.

Extracted in full from: Yes, you can do a road trip using an electric car. Here’s how (smh.com.au)