I Took My Electric Car On A 2,600 Mile Road Trip: This Is What It Cost
On a crisp, early morning in May, my wife and I packed two weeks of supplies into our Hyundai Kona EV and headed out on our first electric vehicle road trip. With rising gas prices and increased interest in the environment, many people are curious about electric cars. Those who have taken the plunge and bought an EV often find themselves itching to test its range on long road trips.
Electric cars are great for road trips because of their low cost and lack of tailpipe emissions, but they do come with a few caveats. Here’s what I learned when I took my EV on a 2,600-mile road trip all the way from Portland, Oregon to stunning National Parks including Yellowstone and Grand Teton (then back again).
How I Planned My Road Trip
Before you take your first road trip in an EV, you should do a little research to make sure that it’s a feasible trip (check out our guide on How to Road Trip with an Electric Car).
I knew that we wanted to visit scenic areas and national parks throughout Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, so we had to be careful to fully charge the Kona before heading into remote areas. We relied on Electrify America and PlugShare to plan our route and charging points, with Electrify America as our preferred charging vendor due to the low charging costs and abundance of stations.
Once we got further into areas of Montana and Wyoming that didn’t have Electrify America stations, PlugShare became our go-to. Mapping this out ahead of time ensured that we were never left stranded with an empty battery.
The Cost Of An Electric Car Road Trip
Now, for the #1 question we received about this trip: what did it cost? Here is a full breakdown of our charging stops, vendors, what we paid, and how long it took to charge:
Here is a look at our total miles driven, the cost per mile, how much time we spent charging, and an estimated comparison for stoppage time if we had road tripped with a gasoline car:
Total Miles Driven
Total Hours Charging
May Avg Reg Fuel Cost
Est. ICE Miles/Fil
EST. ICE Fuel Stops Required
Est Avg ICE Stop Minutes (Road Tripping)
Est Total ICE Hours Stopped
Finally, here is the estimated spend if we used a gasoline car:
Cost Per Mile
Overage ($'s) vs Kona
Hourly Wage Equivalent Waiting
25 MPG Comp
30 MPG Comp
35 MPG Comp
The evidence is compelling. In my opinion, road tripping with an electric vehicle wins by a ($0.04) mile.
Tips For Long Distance Traveling In An Electric Car
When you’re planning your road trip in an electric car, you’ll want to make sure to plan pit stops, charging stops, and hotels with charging stations. You can use apps like PlugShare, ChargePoint, or Electrify America to search for charging stations and plan your stops.
You may also want to consider renting an extra battery pack if your car doesn’t have enough range to get you to your destination. Long-distance traveling can be challenging in an electric car, but it’s not impossible. You’ll just have to do a little bit more research before you go.
Keep in mind that when you’re traveling long distances in an electric car, it’s best not to rush. If you’re expecting the quick convenience of fuel stations everywhere full of 5-minute stops to simply get back on the road and race to your destination, then you are probably going to be disappointed. However, if you remember that you’re on a road trip and the road to your destination is part of the journey, you’ll be much better off.
Taking your EV on a long road trip can be a great way to explore your region and test the range of your car. Never having done a road trip of this length in my EV, I was a bit apprehensive about going through rural parts of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming where the infrastructure for charging was scarce.
Looking back now, I only wish that we would have done it sooner. My wife and I plan on taking full advantage of our EV for road trips and adventures this summer, throughout our local Pacific Northwest and beyond.
And of course, if you are looking to make a transition to an EV yourself, look no further! Join us at Evoke for simple, transparent, all-inclusive subscriptions w/ no down payment.