Octopus Electric Vehicles Logo
A graphic of an EV driving down a windy road
  • Oct 27, 2022

  • 6 min read


Our tips on planning a long journey with an EV

If we asked you how long the average UK car journey was, what would you guess? It’s probably a lot shorter than you think! The average UK car journey is around just 10 miles, which is probably a quick pop to the shops, or to drop the kids off on the school run. The great news is that most electric vehicles are able to make a 10 mile journey every day for a week before needing to be charged.

And with petrol prices reaching an all time high in 2022, buying an electric car is quickly becoming the most attractive option to drivers.

For those days where you have a longer trip planned, perhaps a road trip to visit family or a drive out to the beautiful countryside, electric cars can get you from A to B easily.

Electric cars today have a range of between 100 and 300 miles when fully charged, so taking a car journey that requires a long range is more than possible.

Here are all the tips and tricks you need to plan a car journey with an electric vehicle…

Can you take a road trip in an electric vehicle?

Of course! Because of continuous improvements in battery technology, electric cars now have double the range of models from only a couple of years ago.

You can travel to your heart’s content, whether that’s covering The Atlantic Highway or the North Coast 500, electric cars are reliable on long journeys, and cheaper to run than their diesel or petrol alternatives.

The AA’s long standing advice about stopping every two hours or so to prevent fatigue while driving stands true for all cars. And it presents the perfect opportunity to give your electric car a quick top-up with charge where needed.

You won’t be caught short either, with more than 52,000 chargers in more than 22,000 locations across the UK.

If you’re in a hurry, rapid chargers can provide between 60-200+ miles of range in just 20-30 minutes. That gives you enough time to grab a coffee and stretch your legs before the next part of your journey.

As many UK residents switch to electric driving, the government  continues to make public charging even more accessible. They’ve committed £1.6bn to develop the EV charging infrastructure to increase the number of electric car chargers more than ten times to 300,000 by 2030.

So with plenty of options already, including the new public charge points added each month, your electric car will serve you well during your road trip.

What do you need to prepare for a long journey in an EV?

As with any road trip, with an electric, diesel or petrol car, it’s always best to take a moment to plan.

Before the road trip

Ahead of the trip, make sure your car is charging overnight. This is the cheapest way to fill up due to the low rate per unit of electricity.

Between 11:30pm and 5:30am, when using our Intelligent Octopus Go EV tariff, you can get yourself a super low charge rate of 7.5p / kWh.This gives you ample time to charge up at the best possible price ready for the long day ahead.

Once fully charged, there are some essential checks you should do before a long car journey. These include checking:

  • Tyre pressure and condition of tyres
  • Windscreen wipers and screen wash
  • Fan belt
  • Warning lights to make sure they’re working

This is the best way to keep your car in tip-top shape to help your journey go as smoothly as possible.

During the road trip

You’ll also want to be aware of where electric car chargers are on your route.

In 2017, the government announced that motorway services and large petrol stations will be required to install charging points for electric cars under new plans. Now, in 2022, the majority of service areas and motorways have fitted electric vehicle charging points to help you on your way.

If you’re unsure, there are various route planners that alert you to these charging hubs while driving. Zap-Map allows you to plan your route and charging stops along the way in their app and you can save your popular routes. Some updated sat navs also have charging stops built into their planners.

The best way to approach long journeys with your EV is to stop and charge before the battery is nearly empty. It’s always better to be proactive with your charging as this also helps preserve your battery life, so try to keep your battery level above 20% at all times rather than driving it all the way down to 0%.

And remember: stop driving when you’re tired, take regular breaks (a great opportunity for charging and to grab a coffee) and relax into your journey.

Do I need to have an EV with a long range?

Any electric car is a comfortable and environmentally friendly option for long range trips. While you don’t need a long range car specifically, thanks to the public charging options, some electric cars do offer more miles than others.

The Kia Nero EV is a reliable family-focused electric SUV that brings comfort and space into the affordable EV market.

Speed isn’t an issue with the Nero as it can accelerate up to 60mph in 7.2 seconds, all while offering great real world range at 235 miles.

If an SUV isn’t your thing, the MG 5 EV is the UK’s first ever 100% electric estate car. And it packs a punch! It has a real world range of 210 miles and it has a top speed of 115mph.

Want to see more options? You can also visit our website and browse our long range EVs.

The UK is quickly turning electric, with every effort to increase the infrastructure for the modern world. Choosing an electric vehicle really is the best way to beat the rising petrol prices, lower your car running costs and do your part for the planet.

If you’re ready to make the switch to electric, check out our personal EV lease or get in touch with our team.