Best EVs for summer road trips
A summer road trip can be a great way of taking a break from routine, and spending time with friends and family discovering new places. With ever improving charging infrastructure, battery technology making range anxiety a thing of the past, and the latest in-car technology, road-tripping in an EV can be an exciting *and* relaxing experience.
So now the question is, which electric cars are best suited to road trips? Take a look at our pick of the top 6 road trip-worthy electric cars below.
What makes an EV ideal for road trips?
How far can you travel?
Ideally, a good road trip EV should have enough range to let you venture off your planned route without running out of battery. Or, simply get you to your destination with as few charge stops as possible! So you’ll want to find an EV with a little extra range than required.
Is the car comfortable?
Considering that road trips usually involve driving for several hours each day over a few days, a road trip-ready EV should have features like comfortable and ergonomic seats, air conditioning, temperature control, and enough space to fit all passengers without any inventive seating arrangements…
Is the infotainment system good?
We’d say that music is pretty essential to any good road trip! So some of the best road-trip EVs need a decent infotainment system – a large central display with a good navigation system can also make driving around different terrains a bit easier.
Is it spacious enough?
Whether you’re staying away from home for a night or two or travelling with your entire family for the day, a road-trip worthy EV should provide enough space to carry all the essentials (suitcases etc.) and all the extras, without having to squish passengers out of their seats.
So with that all in mind, here is our list of the best EVs for summer road trips.
The Kia EV6 stands out as one of the best EVs for road trips and it’s also proven itself, crowned 2022 European Car of the Year.
With any road adventure, luggage space is an important consideration, and the EV6 certainly delivers with its generous 490 litres of boot space. Inside, an entirely flat floor means that there’s plenty of space for passengers. There’s also an ultra modern infotainment system and world-class Meridian sound system.
Perhaps most important is the EV6’s 328 mile range on a single charge – that’s pretty impressive for any EV! And even when you do need a quick top-up, the rapid charge time of just 18 minutes for 10-80% charging means you won’t be idling around for long.
Another impressive – and road-trip-worthy – feature is the car’s vehicle-to-load technology. In simpler terms, it allows you to plug in ordinary domestic devices and power them directly from the car’s battery. Now just imagine boiling a kettle and making fresh cups of tea after a night of camping, all powered by your trusty EV6.
Image source: insideevs.com
While the Peugeot e-208 is a smaller option, we think it still deserves a place on the list. It has a respectable range of 225 miles on a single charge and needs just 30 minutes to reach 80% charge from 20%. Plus, it’ll give you a really enjoyable ride not too dissimilar to that of the petrol-powered Peugeot 208. If your idea of a road trip is more city oriented and less outdoor adventure, then the Peugeot’s size will come in handy especially for navigating small, narrow village streets or tight inner city roads!
The Peugeot e-208 is also surprisingly versatile for its size – you can add a roof bar for carrying bikes or skis, or a top box for extra gear.
Audi Q4 e-tron
As expected from Audi, the Q4 offers refinement, comfort, a serene driving experience… pretty much everything to make it the perfect long-distance road trip vehicle. For a vehicle of its size, it offers a really impressive 300 mile range and will need just 20 minutes for 10-80% charging (!). This is probably as good as it gets from Audi when it comes to road trips.
Great for families, its generous 520 litre boot capacity is among the largest in its class so it’s all stress-free when it comes to fitting in everyone’s luggage and extra equipment – especially with the small load lip making it super easy to load heavier items. Plus, wide-opening doors also make installing car seats nice and straightforward.
As an up-market car manufacturer, you’ll find this reflected inside with a large infotainment system, parking sensors, climate control, a reversing camera, and USB charging points all coming as standard in all models. Plus, you’ll get elegant leather-trimmed seats and heated front seats for a touch of luxury.
Ford Mustang Mach-e
For those venturing even further afield, the Ford Mustang Mach-e is a great contender with its impressive range of up to 379 miles.
Inside, there’s some fantastic tech: from a 15.5-inch infotainment system to phone charging pads and multiple USB ports. Also a fun addition is the FordPass smartphone app which doubles up as a car key. For the winter road trips, you’ll be pleased to know there’s heated seats and steering wheel.
When it comes to driving experience, the Mustang Mach-e is very well rounded with great steering and body control. The sportier Mach-e GT also offers excellent acceleration.
Finally, storage is equally impressive with a 402-litre boot capacity and additional space under the car’s nose. Whilst not as spacious as some other options, we’d say there’s still more than enough room for an enjoyable drive.
Looking for something with even more space? Then the BMW iX could be the one for you with its 500-litre boot capacity and roomy passenger seats. Although one of BMW’s largest vehicles, the iX comes equipped with all-around parking sensors and a reversing camera to make manoeuvring a little easier.
This electric car embodies all the hallmark qualities BMW is renowned for – exceptional engineering with smooth handling, luxurious comfort, and an array of impressive tech features. It’s practical too, with a truly impressive 391 miles of range on a single charge.
Comfort and convenience is also at the forefront of its design, with four-zone climate control and thoughtfully placed USB charging points. There’s an expansive infotainment screen which dominates the dashboard, providing clear navigation and seamless support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Image source: evkx.net
Last on our list, but the best of budget options is the MG5 EV. Again, this EV offers an impressive 326-mile range making it ideal for road trips, and there’s loads of room for passengers and suitcases – especially with the dual-floor boot to keep all your charging cables nicely stored under your luggage.
Also particularly useful for road trips is its ability to tow small trailers up to 500kg, giving you even extra storage for sports equipment etc. Finally inside, you’ll find a decent infotainment system and a surprisingly decent bunch of tech features for an EV in its range.
Thinking about a road trip in an EV?
Finally, if you’ve decided to head off in an EV, here are some useful tips and tricks to help you make the most of your road trip:
- Check charging point locations in advance: Before relying on charging stations at hotels or accommodations, it’s a good idea to call ahead and ensure they actually exist. Some places might advertise chargers that are still under construction.
- Plan charging breaks ahead of time: When planning your charging stops, make the most of your time by combining them with other needs like grabbing a meal, taking restroom breaks, or exploring local attractions
- Plan for the unexpected: It’s essential to have a backup charging plan, especially if you’re venturing into remote areas. Consider investing in a backup generator and bring along extra snacks, a camping light, and spare tires
- Flexibility is key: In the world of EV driving, it’s wise to plan ahead but remain flexible about your arrival times. If you have a tight schedule, be sure to add extra time for unforeseen delays.
- Check your tyres: Regardless of whether you’re driving an EV or not, always check your tire pressure before embarking on long distances.
- Precondition your EV: To maximise your EV’s range and ensure a comfortable journey, adjust your cabin temperature while your car is still plugged in.
- Consider what you’re carrying: Be mindful of how the weight of your belongings can impact your EV’s range, and try to pack smartly.
- Stay cool in hot weather: Park your EV in the shade to help keep the battery temperature down. You can also enjoy your air conditioner without worrying too much about range loss compared to using the heater in winter.
Most importantly, enjoy the adventure!