Not too long ago, most people would have found the idea of taking a cross-country road trip with an electric vehicle daunting. With charging stations few and far between on many routes and the relatively low driving range of many older EVs, it just didn’t make a lot of sense to take an EV road trip. Add young kids and a dog to the mix, and just … forget it.
But as we have all seen, things are changing. With the comprehensive Supercharger network available to Tesla owners (which will soon be made available to all EV drivers), and other rapidly growing charging networks, including our very own peer-to-peer nationwide EVmatch platform, road tripping with your EV is not only possible, it can be really fun.
So last summer, we did just that. With our toddler, 1st grader, and dog in tow, we set off in our Tesla Model 3 from our home in Oakland, CA, bound for grandma and grandpa’s house in Boulder, CO for our very first real family EV road trip.
Late on the first night, we rolled into an empty charging station located in the mountains in Truckee, CA. The kids slept while we charged the car, getting out to stretch and use the bathroom. As we got back into the car to hang out and finish out our charge, a massive black bear appeared just 30 feet away from our car, rifling through the garbage can of the grocery store we were parked next to.
I, a city girl, froze completely, unsure of what to do, while my mountain man husband chuckled, slowly got out of the car and unplugged the charger. In that moment, the bear spotted us and quickly bounded away, leaving me shaking, but with an awesome story to tell.
Luckily, the rest of our EV road trip journey was less exciting in terms of close encounters. We played games, ate a lot of fast food, and were able to plan a route that gave us charging access every few hours. Our kids were mercifully low key, and we even stopped for a night in Salt Lake to break up the drive.
All things considered, it was a good trip from CA to CO. But there are a couple of things that would have taken our family EV road trip from good to amazing:
- A place to rest our heads. Traveling with two kids and a dog in a compact, sporty car was not the most comfortable, and a lot of our charging spots were in remote areas with nothing around. Being able to have a place to nap, prepare food, store gear, and hang out would have made a huge difference.
- A way to diverge from the charging path. On the road from NorCal to Colorado, there is a lot of nature one can experience, from national parks, to lakes, to breathtaking mountain towns. But many of these destinations are not conveniently near a charging route—meaning we had to skip them.
If only there was a way to bring the charger along with us …
Imagine my excitement when I learned about The Boulder™ — a teardrop trailer inspired by the home of Colorado Teardrops and our beloved road trip destination, Boulder, Colorado. The Boulder is a camping trailer designed to further support the environment by getting over the hurdle of reduced EV range while towing.
The Boulder is loaded with batteries – for use while camping and, more importantly, to recharge your EV. Using a “DC fast charger” connection, the EV can be recharged from the trailer on the open road or in the backcountry. Further, the light, strong materials lower the trailer’s overall weight, and tested aerodynamic design minimizes drag to maximize the range of both vehicles: the towing EV and the trailer. But it still has a small enough footprint to fit in a standard garage.
The Boulder™ comes with an insulated hard-shell cabin, queen-sized bed and two bunk beds for the kids (awesome), a dining lounge with couches, electrical outlets, and an exterior kitchen galley in the back. Features such as a hot-water shower and interior climate controls provide comfort.
For campers and road trippers like us, The Boulder, paired with EVmatch’s reservable chargers, could be a game-changer. While my family does not yet own this amazing trailer, my 7-year-old has been asking for a “camper van” since she was 2 and we have many more EV road trips in our future, so we might not be able to hold off for much longer!