If you own an electric vehicle (EV), getting around your city is something you’ve probably figured out how to tackle. Most major cities have plenty of EV charging stations, so you won’t be quite stuck.
However, if you plan to take your car out of town for a road trip, this would require planning ahead. With fuel prices rising every other day, an EV is probably your “most affordable” option for a road trip.
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is still under development in the country, so once you leave your city, finding a charging station will not be easy. So how do you start the process?
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First, Know Your Battery Life
It is VERY important to know the range of your car, and this can be found in the owner’s manual and/or on the manufacturer’s website. This will tell you how far your EV can go on a single charge. With this information, you can determine how many stops you will need to make during transport so that you don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Second, Google Map it
Once you know the range of your car, you need to open Google Maps. You can also use Apple Maps, but from our experience in India Google Maps does a better job and has more information.
On Google Maps, you need to indicate your current location and your destination and map it. This will tell you how long the whole trip will take. For example, we made our way to Dehradun from Delhi. The map said it would take us 4 hours and 49 minutes (if we were leaving at 1:43).
Once you click on “Navigate”, open the navigation bar and you will get options like – “Add report”, “Share trip progress”, “Search along route”, etc.
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Third, search along the route
Normally you would have looked for gas pumps, restaurants, restrooms, etc. along the way. You still need to search for restaurants and restrooms, but instead of “nearby gas pumps” or “petrol pumps,” type in “nearby electric vehicle charging stations” or “electric vehicle charging stations.”
When we searched for EV charging stations between Delhi and Dehradun the map showed us a bunch of charging stations in Delhi but scrolling down the route you will see there are no stations recharge after a point. And none on the way either, until you get to Dehradun.
Of course, this differs from route to route. But in most cases, you won’t have too many charging options once you leave a major city. This is what you need to keep in mind and plan your trip accordingly.
If you cannot find a charging station/point along the way, you may need to stop at a restaurant or hotel where you can charge your EV.
Charging time is what you need to factor into your overall travel time and it could also mean that you are stopping overnight somewhere along the route.
You can call the hotels in advance to confirm if they have the electricity and voltage outlets required to charge your electric vehicle.
Of course, that brings you back to the information we asked you to research first – your car’s range.
Extra tip: Look for electric vehicle charging stations near food outlets to optimize your time. You can also call the restaurants in advance.
Fourth, buy a grounding kit
Most restaurants and hotels where you may need to charge your electric vehicle may not have proper grounding. To prevent damage to your electric vehicle, you need a grounding kit that will protect your vehicle from electrical spikes.
As you set off, keep an eye on the indicator that tells you how many miles are left before the battery runs out. Adjust your driving style accordingly.
If you accelerate hard, your battery will drain faster; a regular rhythm will give you better autonomy.
Climbing will drain more battery and you will have to make more stops along the way.
Keep these factors in mind. Finally, make a list of workshops along the way
Google Maps will help you here. It’s not just for charging, but also for any repairs you might need.
Good behavior !