How to Prepare for an Electric Vehicle Road Trip

Nov 6, 2023

From the Cabot Trail to the Valley, Nova Scotians love a road trip. We’ve all got our favourite snack stops and rest areas, but how do you fit an electric vehicle (EV) into the mix? The answer—easily!

You’ll need to make a few changes to your routine, but with this helpful guide and some advice from the experts and Next Ride, you’ll be ready for your first EV road trip.

What should you download before you go?

Assuming you’ve already stocked up on podcast and Spotify downloads, you’re the next essential app for an EV road trip in Nova Scotia is PlugShare. According to Colin Robar, one of our Electric Vehicle Engagement Specialists, it is one of the most useful apps available. It allows users to find level 2 and level 3 chargers, read reviews for reliability and check-in when you are using a charger to show others that it’s occupied.

Robar also recommendations the following apps:

  • Flo – Essential for charging at the many Flo chargers around the province.
  • ChargePoint – Also used for paying at chargers.
  • A Better Route Planner – A mapping app that takes your EV’s range into account.

Do you need to change your driving style?

When on a longer road trip in an EV, there are a few things you can do to help manage your range and have a more comfortable drive.

Driving smoothly and accelerating consistently can help to conserve your range and use energy efficiently. It’s also best to avoid driving at high speeds, as the faster you go, the quicker your EV’s range drops. Using cruise control can help you maintain a safe and consistent speed.

How can you stay warm in winter without losing efficiency?

EVs don’t produce as much waste heat as internal combustion engines, so they have to work harder to produce warm air for the cabin. Evan Crossman, a Clean Transportation Support Office, recommends preconditioning your vehicle before a winter road trip.

Crossman shares that there are two types of preconditioning that can help with comfort and efficiency on an EV road trip:

  • Battery preconditioning: This optimizes vehicle performance and boosts your EV’s range by warming the battery to its most effective operating temperature.
  • Cabin preconditioning: This setting allows your car to heat the cabin while it’s still charging. You can set the timing in the car’s menu so it’s all toasty and warm just in time for your departure.

Once you’re on the road, the most efficient way to stay warm is with the heated seats and steering wheel, rather than the cabin air.

Learn more

Ready for an EV road trip of your own? Check out what our transportation team has to offer.

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