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The most suitable US road trips for EV drivers

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KnowledgeBase/Road Trips

But First Snide's Remarks: Twenty years ago when this wonderful and fanciful series of Great Drive articles authored by travel writer Steve Wilkinson was first published here on The Auto Channel there was no talk or even a thought (except for Jetson Fans) of ever having to consider giving up our freedom of mobility and the many pleasures of driving, in exchange for a robotic ride controlled by a bundle of (made in China) silicon valley invented chips and a fear of the implementation of a government run "Central Traffic Control Administration" with the ability and political potential to make us safe by eliminating our hard earned freedom of mobility.

Those of you who are regular readers of The Auto Channel know that for the past few years the boys and girls from the digital world with the backing of investment bankers have been hot and heavily pushing "Autonomous Vehicles"...transportation appliances that will eliminate, and replace “Driving with Riding”.

In the hope to counter the myriad autonomous vehicle propaganda, The Auto Channel management has decided to republish and spotlight these evergreen Great Drive articles which can stimulate the daydreams of experienced drivers and awaken the appetites of those modern youngsters who have never experienced just how exhilarating and fulfilling the freedom of a Great Drive on an open road can be... enjoy!

Realistic Electric Vehicle Road-trips

In order to explore the most suitable US drives for EVs, looked at five iconic routes and ranked them in accordance with some major factors that are always important to consider if driving an EV.

The factors explored included the number of stops, total states passed, charge stops required and the cost to charge for the road trip.

Taking all these factors into account, they awarded each route a score out of 45 to assess how suitable they were for EV drivers.

Route 66

Ranking in at top spot, scoring 28 out of 45 was the iconic Route 66, also known as Will Rogers Highway. 

Route 66 is a lengthy road trip for anyone considering tackling the journey, the total distance of 2192 miles means it has an estimated duration of 32 hours and 34 minutes. 

Not to fear for EV drivers, however, as the route comes with 1,822 EV chargers along the way. The research estimates a total of 18 stops for charging are required along the road trip.

The cost to charge an EV vehicle for the Route 66 road trip at $0.04 per mile is $87.70.

San Francisco to Utah

A close second on the list scoring 26 out of 45 for EV suitability was the San Francisco to Utah route. Similar to Route 66, this is a lengthy road trip with some great sandy views. 

This route is estimated to take just over 36 hours with the road trip racking up a total distance of 2038 miles. Beginning your trip on the West Coast of the US, you’ll end in the landlocked state of Utah known for its picturesque mountains. 

Along the way, EV drivers will have 919 charging stations to choose from with an estimated 15 charging stops required throughout the journey.

The cost to charge an EV vehicle for the San Francisco to Utah road trip at $0.04 per mile is $81.51.

Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway ranks third on this list and provides arguably the best scenic views on this list. The route scored 25 out of 45 in the ranking and provides unremarkable views of California's dreamy coastline.

A much shorter route to the others on this list, the Pacific Coast Highway should take an estimated 8 hours to navigate, with 9 charge stops needed and 2,112 stations to choose from.

This is also a really cheap road trip to complete, with charging costs only amounting to $18.25 for the entire journey!

Las Vegas Loop

Fourth on this list is the Las Vegas Loop, which scored 21 out of 45. This route differs from the others on this list as it includes a couple of mile-long tunnels that keep resorts connected along the Las Vegas strip. 

Taking an estimated 19 and a half hours, 8 charging stops are required with 1,106 stations available across 3 different states. Recently a Las Vegas City Council meeting declared that the Las Vegas Loop will use Tesla vehicles, meaning it is definitely suitable for EVs.

The cost to charge an EV vehicle for the Las Vegas Loop road trip at $0.04 per mile is just $44.25.

Chicago to New Orleans

Rounding off the list, ranking fifth is the city route between Chicago and New Orleans. This route scored 20 out of 45 for EV suitability.

The ultimate city drive, this route will take you through 5 states throughout the 1,051-mile trip. The estimated time for completion is 16 hours 42 minutes with 8 charge spots required.

The cost to charge an EV vehicle for the Chicago to New Orleans road trip at $0.04 per mile is again fairly cheap at just $42.03.

Geoff Cudd from said ‘’With the continuation of EV integration, we were motivated to see that making the switchover to sustainable driving is being made more seamless than ever before.

“With an abundance of charging stations and hotels that now come with these stations equipped, we believe it will only continue to get easier for EV drivers in the near future. 

“The research suggests not only are these vehicles being made more accessible but there is a clear cost incentive too when comparing charging costs to fuel costs.’’ 


Notes to Editors 

The full piece can be found here.

Methodology explored five popular road trips in the United States and their recommended stops along the way for each trip, the distance between them, how many EV charging stations each stop has, and how many hotels with EV chargers each stop has. 

Using the estimation that an EV has on average, a 200-mile radius, they used this to calculate any additional stops that would need to be made to charge between stops. 

Finally, they took all of these points into account and assigned each location a score out of 45. and ranked the destinations by how many points they received.

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