How to plan an EV trip in Washington to Oregon

A friend asked how to plan a trip in their EV and I wrote this response:

I’m happy to share the planning tools I’d recommend for your upcoming trip. Unfortunately I can’t recommend a single website for the question of when you should leave. That depends on how loaded your car will be for the trip, what temperature the battery pack reaches while you’re driving & charging, the condition of your pack and if any chargers on the route are out of service. On my own BC2BC trip I was able to average 30 miles per hour through Washington and Oregon, but I was alternating with another driver in the car and we didn’t stop to rest.

Both of the following websites also have iOS & Android apps which are very useful:

PlugShare (also shows privately owned stations which may be useful in a pinch)

Alternative Fuels Data Center (also has a mobile website if you don’t want to use their app)

Depending on how critical a certain charger is to your journey, consider planning contingency charging locations and keep the necessary range in reserve to reach those places. You can check the PlugShare app before you embark on the next leg of your journey to see if anyone has reported problems with the charger.

My method for driving is to put in the next charger address with the Waze app and then keeping the range remaining on that app lower than estimated range remaining shown on the dashboard guess-o-meter. This won’t take into account energy needed for hill climbing, but it’s generally a good method of ensuring a maximum average speed without running out of energy.

Having the RFID cards/fobs for Blink & AeroVironment will save you time on hold with those companies or minutes messing with your phone trying to get the charger started. The $20 monthly fee for AeroVironment will carry you much of the way with minimal expense. I’d avoid using EVgo because their fees tend to be higher than other networks.

I’d also recommend installing the Blink app, bookmarking, and setting their customer support number on speed-dial because their card readers are flaky and you may need an alternate method of starting a charge. Even if the charger appears dead, a remote signal may start a charge because it might merely be a malfunctioning display.

Best of luck on your EVenture!

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