By Akshit Bansal
With EVs increasingly replacing petrol and diesel-powered vehicles as a cleaner mobility option, they have become a more regular part of our everyday routine. Whether we are going to work, or to the marketplace, or to meet a friend, EVs are proving to be the perfect mode for our intra-city commute needs. But do you know that we can also use EVs for longer out-of-city trips and on to the highways, expressways and even mountain roads, and that too pretty comfortably. Yes, your range anxiety and the doubts over being stranded in the middle of nowhere is understandable. But there are definitely ways in which you can make your trip range anxiety-proof and eventually a joyous, happy journey.
Here are eight tips for preparing your EV charging needs before you set out for the highways and a long road trip.
First, nothing beats perfect planning. You must plan out your entire itinerary, the routes, the places where you might want to stop, the places where you might stop for refreshments and meals, the stoppage times that you might require and the location of the hotel where you might stay overnight. In fact, you should work out the whole nine yards much in advance.
Second, you should know your EV thoroughly. That means the type of charging platform it contains, whether it has a swappable battery platform or a plug in charging platform, or whether it needs slow charging or fast charging. You should know the time that it takes to be fully-charged and the distance that it can allow thereafter. And also the minimum time before it would need recharging again. In other words, you should know the charging capacity, the needs and limitations fully.
Third, be ready with the charging station finder apps on your mobile phones. If you haven’t downloaded them already, download them on the basis of features and services that they provide and their suitability for you. Most importantly, they should be able to tell you the nearest charging stations and points from all possible locations on your route of travel. Also, you should know whether the charging points are compatible with the needs of your EV.
Fourth, you must also know the number of chargers and points that are there in a charging station and plan the duration and length of your drive accordingly keeping in mind alternative charging stations in nearby locations. It may well be possible that the charging stations where you have landed would be over-crowded with a large number of EVs waiting for recharging. You must think of all possible scenarios beforehand.
Fifth, make use of charging judiciously. Do not continue to charge unduly long when you don’t need it. So, you can stop after charging till 80% mark, unless you really need it. This is because the last one-fifth part requires an inordinately ling time. This will also earn the goodwill and friendship of fellow travellers who may be standing in the queue after you.
Sixth, be ready with digital-payment apps and platforms. In this day and age, while cash may work sometime, there is no guarantee that it would work with all charging station providers at all time. So, you must have popular digital wallets as well as UPI platforms enabled and functional on your mobile phone. Paying digitally and through charging apps would also allow you the benefit of balance units or money which gets automatically credited into your account.
Seventh, you must have emergency plans in place. If you are really unfortunate and if the unavailability of public chargers completely fails you on a given day, you can fall back upon the ubiquitous 15 A socket located at homes, residential premises, restaurants and hotels. However, don’t forget to carry a suitable extension cord designed and built for EV charging.
Eighth, consider weather conditions along your travel route. While charging or driving, avoid exposure to extreme temperatures. Remember overcharging, over-discharging and overheating is not ideal for an EV and its battery health. In fact, try to maintain a consistent speed and avoid unnecessary heavy acceleration of the vehicle.
So, keeping the above in mind and preparing accordingly, you can enjoy a longer EV ride even outside the city and on the highways. And range anxiety becomes a thing of the past.
The author is Founder & CEO, Statiq.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online. Reproducing this content without permission is prohibited.