The Best Road Trips to Take with an Electric Car
Traveling long distances in an electric vehicle is only a recipe for range anxiety if you don’t know where to go.
Whether you're a longtime electric-car owner or a newbie, road trips may seem a bit daunting. Hills and weather can affect your range, and with charging infrastructure still in its infancy, planning a route around fast-charging stations could deter anyone from taking an EV vacation. But an electric car road trip doesn’t have to be a slog. If you stop at charging stations with things to do nearby, you might not feel as though you're wasting precious traveling time waiting for the battery to charge. You may even enjoy taking regular stops and exploring more areas, rather than plowing straight through to your final destination.
The majority of EV fast-charging stations are located near interstates and major cities, and if you follow the path of least charging resistance, you’ll have a lousy road trip. The three itineraries below attempt to make the journey fun, taking you to fabulous places with interesting stops along the way. Not every detour has a charging station right at its destination, but we’ve created trip routes that should be manageable for any EV with a range of 200 miles or more. Before you go, you’ll want to plan your trip with your EV’s range in mind using a tool such as PlugShare or A Better Routeplanner.
Pacific Northwest: Seattle, Washington, to Portland, Oregon
In EV-friendly Washington and Oregon, you can leave the crowds and hustle of the city far behind and explore the rugged beauty of the coastline without worrying about where you’ll charge.
Start your journey at Seattle’s Thompson hotel, which has huge windows overlooking the famed Pike Place Market—home to nine EV charging stations—and Puget Sound. Hit up The Joe Chocolate Co. Mocha Bar in the morning and Flint Creek Cattle Co. in the evening. Drive 140 miles southwest to The Sand Dollar Inn and Cottages, where you’ll stay the night. Explore the Pacific Beach State Park just a few short blocks away.
Travel 165 miles down the gorgeous Pacific coastline to Tillamook, Oregon. The town’s internationally acclaimed creamery is the place to go for fancy cheese and EV charging, with
The next morning, take the 101 south and then cut east to Salem, Oregon. It’s a quick trip—just under 80 miles—but it's worth it to stop at Shari’s Cafe and Pies, which has
From there, head north to Portland. Explore
Midwest: Door County, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois
The Midwest isn’t exactly a charging utopia, but with a little planning, it’s possible to navigate the country’s wide-open spaces in an EV while chasing natural beauty, amusement-park thrills, and big-city energy.
Start in scenic Door County, Wisconsin, located on the breathtakingly beautiful peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Explore the area’s many nature trails, shoreline adventures, and fish boils while charging your EV at one of several stations adjacent to Pebble Beach, a largely secluded stretch covered in smooth limestone rocks. If you can swing it, time your arrival for sunrise or sunset.
From there, travel 178 miles southwest to the Wisconsin Dells, a city packed with family-friendly theme parks and tourist attractions. Several hotels and resorts in town have charging stations.
From the Dells, it’s 121 miles to Milwaukee. If you’re a motorcycle fan, take a stroll through the Harley Davidson Museum, which
Northeast: New York City, New York to Kent Falls, Connecticut
No matter what you’re driving, the essence of an East Coast road trip includes ocean air, history, and culture. This route has all that plus ample opportunities for charging, making it ideal for a road trip with an electric car.
The first leg of this road trip is long, so you may need to make use of the abundant fast-charging stations along I-95. But before you leave the city, grab a beef shish kabob pita for the road from Mamoun's Falafel in East Village.
Drive about 180 miles up the coastline to
From Providence, travel 70 miles up MA-3 N to Boston, a city with almost 300 EV charging stations. True-crime junkies will want to visit the
The next morning, head west on I-90 about 105 miles to Northampton, Massachusetts, an incredibly artistic enclave that’s long been recognized as a countercultural hub. Take a tour of the
From Northampton, travel about 90 miles north to Kent Falls, Connecticut. Take a load off at