How to plan an electric roadie around summer traffic

Did you take advantage of the last few weeks of the Clean Car Discount and grab the keys to a shiny new EV? First off, congratulations, and second off, where are you planning on taking it? Because despite range anxiety being a very real thing, you can absolutely take electric vehicles on long-distance road trips.

It’s just not quite as simple as packing the family into the car, playing luggage Tetris and hitting the road as it is with a combustion vehicle.

Planning is everything

The first and most important part of your EV roadie is the planning phase. While the national public charging network is only getting better, there are a lot of other EVs on the road. We’ve all got to share the same network, with data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), showing New Zealand’s high EV uptake has resulted in an EV-per-public-charger figure of 96.

This means there are lots more EVs than chargers, so spending a minute planning your journey to potentially save a massive headache down the line. Make sure your trip has a few charging points dotted factored in to give yourself enough leeway in case your first option is in use.

Download the app

Apps can really help the whole planning thing, and there are plenty out there to do the job. ChargeNet has its own app, while there’s also OpenLoop, Plugshare, and the Z Energy EV app. Even Gaspy shows chargers now! Some of these apps can also stop the charge and unlock the charger remotely so others can plug in if there’s a parking spot.

A small warning though, they don’t always work for whatever reason. That’s why it’s good to have a bunch to verify if a charger is in use or out of commission, as well as keeping your options wide open.

Be patient and don’t be a hog

The holidays can be as stressful as they are relaxing, and patience will help much more than hinder your travels. If a charger is in use and the screen says they’re at 78%, don’t bang on the window and demand they move on. At the same time, if someone is struggling with a charger, help them out!

When you’re done, make sure to move your car along so others can use the charger. Nobody likes a hog! Keep to around 30 minutes if you can, that way the charging traffic keeps moving. If you need more time, a polite explanation goes a long way.

Charge at your destination

If you’re going somewhere that isn’t in the middle of the bush, chances are you’ll be able to charge using their facilities. They might not have DC fast chargers but if you can plug into an AC slow charger or a wall outlet overnight, you’ll have plenty of juice for the next day.

Just remember to ask permission first!

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