Range anxiety, lack of power, and built only for short trips around town. But how many of these concerns from the early 2010s for electric vehicles (EVs) are still warranted today? Have EVs progressed to the point that they are suitable for an epic cross-country road trip? Are they able to match or even exceed traditional internal combustion engine cars (ICEs)?
Road trips are fun and are better than flying enabling people to explore the country along the way (just get off the highways from time to time). If one can't decide where to go, consider using a guide for the best US road trips.
The Break-Neck Speed of The Revolution of EVs
In this article, we will only discuss higher-end EVs (like Teslas, Rivian, and higher-end Fords, etc.). Some EVs are small and of limited range - they are only designed for local around-town driving. So they won't be considered here.
Note: This Article Is only Considering High-End EVs for Road Trips
The variety of EVs coming on the market is truly booming. Now there is everything from traditional sedans to pickup trucks. SUVs have also arrived and are going in increasing numbers.
The revolution that has gripped EVs had beaten just about every forecaster and left industry experts spellbound and having to raise their forecasts year after year. A discussion about EVs in 2022 is completely different from one at the beginning of 2020.
The First Success - The Nissan Leaf
A car that can be considered the first successful EV was the small Nissan Leaf released in 2010. Up until 2019, it was the best-selling plug-in electric car of all time (when it was overtaken by the Tesla Model 3). But with an initial range less than 100 miles, it would have been laughable (or just utterly frustrating to take on an epic road trip).
It was able to be 80% charged in about 30 minutes.
- Top Speed: 150 km/h or 93 mph
- EPA Range: 117 km or 73
The Longest Ranged EV - The Lucid Air
Finally going into production, the startup company, Lucid, now has its all-new luxury Lucid Air sedan rolling off the production line. This is currently the longest range EV in production (although it comes at a starting price of around over $77,000). This beast has a max power of 1,111 hp and an eye-popping range of 520 miles!
- EPA Range: 520 Miles or 836 Kilometers
- Charging: 20 Minutes for 300 Miles or 480 Kilometers
But how long does it take to charge? Well if it takes 20 minutes for one to drink a coffee at a pit stop, then in that time it can recharge the equivalent of 300 miles.
It is about 2,800 miles from Los Angeles to NYC, so *theoretically* one would only need to recharge it 6 times on the 41-hour trip.
Electric Pickup Trucks
That's nice to have a passenger car - sedan to go on a road trip. But what if one want's to tow a trailer or just pack a load of camping gear into the bed? Going offroad is another fun part of a road trip but one is not likely to do that in a Lucid Air or a Tesla Model 3.
As the year rolls into 2022 electric pickups have one covered too. The first luxury high-performance luxury pickups have only just gone into serial production in late 2021.
- Leading EV Prick Ups: Rivian R1T, Hummer EV, Tesla Cybertruck, F150 Lightning
Leading the pack and in production are the startup Rivian's R1T (with an SUV variant too) and GM's new Hummer EV. Coming soon are Telsa's Cybertruck (delayed again for later 2022), and Ford's new F150 Lightning pickup (also some time in 2022).
Rivian R1T: These trucks are the real deal. Take Rivian's R1T as an example. It has a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs (about the same as a Ford 150). For offroading, it can wade in 3 feet or 1 meter of water and has an impressive EPA range of around 314 miles (partly depending on the type of tires that it's fitted with, etc.). It can add 140 miles of charge in 20 minutes too.
The R1T and the Hummer EV are specifically designed for off-roading.
- Towing Capacity: 11,000 lbs
- EPA Range: 314 Miles or 500 kilometers
Charging Stations and Other Benefits
It is true that the number of charging ports across the nation still leaves much to be desired, but this is changing rapidly. The interstate highways are now all covered. Charging stations are sprouting up like wildfires with perhaps Tesla leading the charge (sic).
- Charging Stations: Growing Rapidly
Soon one can ditch having a pitstop at the gas station, with a pitstop at Starbucks or Tim Holton's (where there will be charging points).
Electric cars are also cheaper to run (as electricity is cheaper than gasoline) and make for a more affordable road trip. They are also safer with increased crumple zones at the front where the engine would have been and are less likely to roll over because of the lower center of gravity with their low batteries.
- Benefits: Cheaper To Run and Safer
Traditional cars are being phased out around the world now, soon everyone will be using an EV for their road trips.