EV Driver Resources

Last Updated January 8, 2013

EV Road Trip Planning

Successfully planning a road trip involves making sure that you have enough energy to make it from one destination to the next. Various factors affect how much energy you use while driving, from your speed to elevation to weather. We have compiled our guidelines for predicting energy use, including a sheet to assist in making the calculations.

For those who will be using DC quick charge (DCQC) stations to recharge their cars along the trip, we have some tips for avoiding quick charging pitfalls.

Links to sites that can assist with finding charging locations are in the Reference Sites secton below.

Tom's Blog

Tom has written blogs on a variety of topics, including numerous articles about electric vehicles. Cathy posts there as well.

If you're thinking about buying an electric vehicle, ignore the hysteria you read about in the media and find out how to evaluate EV driving range and charging speed. Learn about the three classes of EV charging and how each can be useful. If you're curious about how EV range varies with age and miles, check out the results of Tom's Roadster battery capacity study.

To find more, view the full list of articles.

Toyota RAV4-EV

We have a page listing the upgrades we've made to our 2002 RAV4-EV.

Nissan LEAF

We have an after-market state-of-charge (SOC) meter that enables more precise monitoring of battery state than the factory instrumentation. Our page on Predicting energy use has additional information on this.

We've documentd a few features we've added to our LEAF.

Tesla Roadster

Being able to monitor charging progress remotely, and being notified if a charge is interrupted, is critical to the success of extended road trips. There are two solutions for doing this in a Tesla Roadster: the Tesla Tattler created by Scott451 and the Open Vehicle Monitoring System, an open source project led by Mark Webb-Johnson. We were early adopters of the Tattler and are currently using the OVMS.

The Roadster's trunk light is pathetic, especially when the trunk is full, completely covering the light. To solve this problem, there's a trunk light upgrade created by Scottt451.

Tesla had to create their own charging plug to start making the Roadster before the J1772 standard was established, but it's a pain that we can't use the standard public infrastructure without an adapter. We're working on a method for converting the Roadster to J1772.

Cathy designed a window cling for the 2008 Roadster that we use for car shows.

Reference Sites

Web sites and mobile applications for finding charging locations (all brands of EV charging stations and appropriate outlets): PlugShare EVHype,

Sites for specific-brand networked charging stations, which may include real-time status (available, in use, offline, etc.): ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVGo, Tesla

In addition to dedicated EV charging stations, RV parks often provide a good source for charging. To find sites in convenient locations with the necessary resources, we like AllStays.com. They have maps showing RV parks, and you can filter based on features like 50A charging. Their "Camp & RV" mobile application is also useful.

For taking elevation into account:

  • http://www.jurassictest.ch/GR/ – This site shows only metric units, but the elevation graph has a nice interactive feature where it shows corresponding map locations as you drag along the graph. This site also does the energy use calculation for various vehicles, including LEAF, Roadster, and iMiEV.
  • http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/elevation – Paste a Google Map URL here, change units to English, and click the "Draw elevation profile" button.

You can use the wind map at http://hint.fm/wind/ to see the current wind conditions. Double-click to zoom.

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