My buddy Jo wrote an article last week about a team that covered over 2,000 miles in 24 hours in an all-electric Porsche. The most amazing part of this story was that this 24 hours included charging time! That’s right…Porsche’s new 800-volt fast-charging system was able to provide up to 120 miles in as little as ten minutes. Absolutely amazing!
While the team from Porsche had the advantage of conducting their demonstration on a track with a dedicated fast-charging system, we here in the real world do not. Like Jo noted, once the infrastructure catches up there will be no advantage to gas-guzzlers over all-electric vehicles (EVs). Until that day comes, EV drivers like me will still have to carefully plan any long-distance trips. Here are a few methods that I have found for doing so.
This website is fantastic. The user can enter a starting point, destination, and vehicle make/model and EV Trip Planner will map a route with precise directions from charging station to charging station along the way. Using this route planner, I discovered that it would take me a mere 50 hours to go from my house in Virginia to my Mom’s house in California in my Nissan Leaf, (47 hours driving and 3 hours charging). I’m a little nervous about crossing the desert between Colorado and Utah…seems like there’s a bit of a gap there.
EV Trip Planner is perfect for worriers like me who need to have every little detail about a trip planned out in advance. While mostly geared toward Tesla owners, the site’s developers are in the beta testing phase for a few different Nissan Leaf models.
My friend Electric Jen wrote about this awesome app here. You kids and your smartphones…get off my lawn!!!
As Jen noted, PlugShare has a database of over 125,000 charging stations in North America and allows users to select their preferred type of charging and/or charging network. The app also features trip planning and gives users the ability to pay for charging at certain locations through the app itself. Designed mostly for spontaneous trips the PlugShare app is for people who aren’t nearly as neurotic as I am about planning in advance.
In a similar fashion to EV Trip Planner, Tesla’s website will allow you plan your journey with charging needs in mind. The difference between the two is that Tesla only plots routes with their Supercharger Stations and not other charging stations in mind. Still, Tesla’s website does give you clear, concise directions and will even tell you how much you will save on gas!
Participants on the Tesla Motors Club forum are not so enthusiastic about Tesla’s offering. One user seemed to think it was more of a marketing tool than a useful trip planner. Another stated that he feels EV Trip Planner is much more accurate with regard to mileage and charging locations. Seeing as I don’t own a Tesla, I guess I’ll never have the chance to weight in. Woe is me!!!
What do our readers use to plan their trips? Any other websites or apps that you recommend? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
Source | Images: Wikimedia Commons, EV Trip Planner, Plugshare, and Tesla