For many of us, summer is the time for road tripping, whether it’s taking the kids to the beach or driving across the country to visit family. Regardless of your destination, you want a reliable and comfortable vehicle to get you there.
As noted in our previous blog post, 20% of Americans are likely to buy an EV for their next car, but 63% of people who aren’t willing to go electric say the lack of charging is a major reason. So what exactly would it look like to take a road trip in an EV?
Fortunately, more and more charging infrastructure is going in around the country, and with it, more and more people are taking their EVs for summer trips. Don’t believe us? Follow along as we map out a road trip up the coast of California from San Diego through Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to take your EV out this summer after you see just how easy it is.
We’ll be road tripping in a Tesla Model X 75D with an estimated range of 237 miles (note: with our trip length, any EV with a 200-mile range could follow the same plan). We took inspiration from Kim with Like Tesla, the popular Youtube VLOG and Instagram creator, who posts fun and informative videos about all things Tesla including best practices for taking your EV for a road trip.
Kim offers key tips on charger types and speeds, which every EV driver should know before setting off on a trip. DC Fast chargers rapidly charge your battery in around 30 minutes depending on your battery size, whereas Level 2 chargers add about 25 miles of range per hour of charging for Teslas and are a great option when charging at your destination. Tesla vehicles have a unique charging port, but can be made compatible with standard EV chargers using an adapter. To get the full rundown on chargers and compatibility, check out ChargeHub’s guide to EV charging.
We’ll drive 140 miles on I-5 from San Diego to Venice Beach and charge at the Culver City Tesla Supercharger upon arrival (Tesla is constructing Superchargers in Venice and Marina Del Ray slated to open in 2018 and 2019). We used the Superchargers for Tesla app to find current and upcoming chargers. Ben Sullins with Teslanomics, another informative Youtube Channel, made a video that discusses charging options available to Tesla and other EV drivers, including EVmatch, the only reservable charging network.
Some Tesla drivers have trouble finding an available Supercharger, forcing them to wait 30 minutes or even hours to charge. EVmatch is a perfect option when Tesla and other EV drivers don’t want to wait in line for a public charger. All they have to do is download the free EVmatch app (also available on Google Play) and request to charge at a homeowner’s or business’s private charger. With a few quick clicks, drivers can find and reserve a charger so they can avoid the lines.
Not only is EVmatch extremely useful when public chargers aren’t available, but it’s also the perfect choice when you reach your destination where a growing number of Airbnb hosts and homeowners are hosting on the EVmatch network. EVmatch hosts offer many port options, and with an adapter, Tesla drivers can use almost any charger a host provides.
After spending the night in Venice (hopefully highlighted by a spectacular sunset), we’ll take the 101 North to Santa Barbara for 87 miles, an easy feat in a Tesla X that most other EVs can handle as well. If you’re driving an EV with a range under 100 miles, you can find a 44kW charger listed on EVgo in Camarillo, CA, about halfway to Santa Barbara.
Once we arrive in Santa Barbara, we can choose between any of the charging networks. Tesla has yet to open a Supercharger in Santa Barbara, so we’ll use EVmatch.
After spending three days in Santa Barbara visiting family and charging once with EVmatch, we’ll be ready to return to San Diego.
We already found and booked a charger for overnight use on EVmatch right next door to my sister’s place. So convenient! It’s such a relief to be able to reserve a charger in advance for a station in a residential neighborhood.
On our way back to San Diego, we’ll need to make just one charging stop at the Lake Elsinore Tesla Supercharger about 160 miles into our return trip. The charger in Elsinore is conveniently located at an outlet mall, so we plan to check out the shops while our Tesla charges.
Voila! We’re ready to drive from San Diego to Santa Barbara, a total of almost 230 miles, with all our charging stops mapped out or reserved in advance. With Tesla Superchargers, EVmatch, EVgo, and more, EV drivers have a wealth of charging options for their next road trip.
EVmatch wants to hear your summer EV road trip stories! From August 20th to September 22nd, the charging network will hold a Summer Contest where you can win great prizes and share your EV experiences. Find all the details right here for your chance to win.
Next time, we’ll map out a Colorado road trip through the Rocky Mountains, so don’t miss it!