What is the best electric car to take on a road trip?

Summer is a great time for a road trip. But if your ride is an electric vehicle, it will take some careful planning.

Whether you’re driving a Tesla Model 3 or a Nissan Leaf, John Vincent, senior automotive correspondent at U.S. News and World Report, said the road trip requires preplanning charging stops.

“You don’t want to get yourself stuck and unfortunately, with EVs, there isn’t a gas station right around every corner. There are a lot of tools out there that will map your routes, with charging stations along the way. A few caveats to that, though — you have to look at the weather because if the weather is cold, you’re not going to have the range that you typically get,” Vincent said.

EV drivers also must map a route with a second charging station in range of the station where they’re planning to recharge, in case the first charger isn’t working.

“If you’re taking a road trip in an EV, you probably have your car pretty well loaded. So you’re not going to have the range that you would have on your weekly commute, it’s going to be shorter and unfortunately, the infrastructure is not as robust as we would like to see it and it’s not as reliable as we would like to see it,” he said.

So, which EVs offer the longest range? U.S. News and World Report is out with a list of the best EVs for Road Trips in 2023.

“You want to get the best range possible and the best range possible tends to come with higher priced vehicles. It’s not always the case, some of the cheapest vehicles out there have pretty darn good ranges, but in general, … long range comes with [a] high price,” said Vincent.

Today’s top ranging electric vehicles can travel more than 400 miles before requiring a charge.

“Those are very expensive vehicles, the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, Rivian and Lucid Air … around $100,000. But there are a lot of vehicles out there with the ranges of 300 miles or more, which are perfect for a road trip because you’re not gonna drive 300 miles without taking a break,” said Vincent.

Cars on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the best EVs for road trips include the 2023 Nissan Leaf, priced at $28,040 with a range of 212 miles, the 2023 Tesla Model 3 price at $43,990 with a range of up to 358 miles and the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6, priced at $41,600 with a range of up to 361 miles.

“The cheapest EVs out there, vehicles like the Chevy Bolt EV and the Chevy Bolt EUV, have a range of about 250 miles which, you know, it’s not 300 but it’s also a car that costs far less than $30,000,” said Vincent.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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