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Dos and Don’ts for Your First Road Trip with an EV 

Embarking on your first road trip with an electric vehicle (EV) can be both exciting and a bit daunting. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey, here are some essential dos and don’ts to keep in mind. 


Plan Your Route Carefully 

  • Do: Use route planning apps like Plug Share, or the built-in navigation system in your EV. These tools can help you identify Universal Electric charging stations along your route and estimate the time needed for charging stops. 
  • Do: Plan for contingencies. Have a few backup charging stations marked on your map in case your first choice is occupied or out of service. 

Understand Your EV’s Range 

  • Do: Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s range under different conditions, such as highway driving, uphill climbs, and varying weather conditions. Remember, your range may decrease with higher speeds and extreme temperatures. 

Charge Smartly 

  • Do: Charge your vehicle fully the night before your trip. Utilize fast-charging stations for quick top-ups during your journey and slower chargers for longer breaks or overnight stops. 
  • Do: Take advantage of hotel and restaurant charging options. Many establishments offer charging for guests, which can be a convenient way to top up your battery while you eat or rest. 

Pack Efficiently 

  • Do: Pack lightly to maximize your vehicle’s efficiency. Extra weight can reduce your range, so consider what you truly need for the trip. 
  • Do: Include essential EV accessories, such as charging cables, adapters, and an extension cord, in case you need to charge at non-standard outlets. 

Stay Informed 

  • Do: Keep an eye on your battery level and estimated range throughout your trip. Use your EV’s energy-saving modes if necessary to extend your range. 
  • Do: Stay updated with weather forecasts. Extreme temperatures can affect your battery’s performance, so plan accordingly. 


Don’t Ignore Charging Station Locations 

  • Don’t: Rely solely on a single charging station for your trip. Always have a few alternatives in mind to avoid getting stranded. 
  • Don’t: Wait until the last minute to charge. Aim to start looking for a charging station when your battery level is at 20-30%. 

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Breaks 

  • Don’t: Try to drive for too long without breaks. Regular stops are essential for both you and your vehicle. Use these breaks to charge your EV and stretch your legs. 
  • Don’t: Assume charging times are always quick. Fast chargers can be busy or have slower rates during peak times, so factor this into your schedule. 

Don’t Underestimate Charging Times 

  • Don’t: Misjudge how long it takes to charge your EV. Even with fast chargers, it can take longer than expected, especially if your battery is very low. 
  • Don’t: Forget to account for potential wait times at busy charging stations. Popular routes may have high demand for chargers, leading to delays. 

Don’t Ignore Weather Conditions 

  • Don’t: Forget that extreme heat or cold can affect your EV’s range. Pre-condition your vehicle (heating or cooling it while still plugged in) to save battery life. 
  • Don’t: Neglect to adjust your driving style for weather conditions. Slower, smoother driving can help conserve battery life. 

Don’t Rely Solely on Technology 

  • Don’t: Depend entirely on your EV’s navigation system. Have a printed map or an offline map app as a backup in case you lose connectivity or encounter technical issues. 
  • Don’t: Ignore traditional road trip preparation. Ensure your EV is serviced, tires are properly inflated, and you have emergency supplies like water, snacks, and a first aid kit. 


A road trip with an EV can be a fantastic experience with the right preparation. By following these dos and don’ts, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any challenges that come your way and enjoy the journey to its fullest. Happy driving! 


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