How long have we been hearing about electric vehicles? Heck, I remember seeing the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? chronicling the shady demise of the General Motors EV1 a full 15 years ago. Well, things have certainly turned around since then as more and more manufacturers bring their all-electric models to market. For instance, Ford has revealed their impressive electric F-150, there’s a Hummer EV on the way (for some reason), and Cadillac just opened reservations for its LYRIQ EV SUV. Meanwhile, Tesla continues to crank out vehicles… while also taking on some minor scandals. But, hype aside, one big reason why we haven’t considered buying an electric car up until this point is because we’d want a road trip vehicle and not just something to drive across town. So, with the number of EVs already on the road or hitting the pavement soon growing, is this all-electric road trip dream closer to becoming reality?
Recently, one of our favorite YouTubers, MKBHD (AKA Marques Brownlee) made a video comparing two EVs to a gas vehicle on a 1,000 mile road trip — pitting the Tesla Model S and Ford Mustang Mach-E against the Audi Q5. With all three vehicles instructed to drive the same route at the same speed, this test sought to see whether the electric cars were a) viable on longer drives and b) if so, how much more time such a trip would take once stops were considered. What was actually revealed was even more illuminating, but I’ll let you check it out for yourself first:
I don’t know about you, but my biggest take away from Marques’ test is that Tesla’s charging network is a huge advantage to those wanting to use their EV as a road trip car. In fact, just hearing about the charging troubles they had with the Ford gave me anxiety — can you imagine?! Sure, there have been times when I’ve panicked myself that I was running too low on gas or turned up to a closed station, but at least the odds of finding another fuel location were strong. Plus, if we did run dry, AAA could bring us a spare gallon to hold us over. I suppose you could try the same with a generator, but it’d probably take you hours to get the juice needed to move just a few exits down the road. No thanks! Meanwhile, although Tesla’s charging network seems much more advanced, I do wonder how the availability of these stations will be impacted by more compatible EVs hitting the road and whether they’ll keep up with expansion as demand increases.
Of course, although this experiment has raised my interest in EVs broadly and Tesla’s specifically, it’ll assuredly be awhile before we purchase one since we only recently purchased a hybrid car and it still has plenty of miles left in it. Thus, I’m looking forward to see what advancements are made to the cars themselves as well as these charger networks in the time it takes us to enter the market. And, since we’d likely want to buy used, hopefully these upcoming vehicles will stick to a standard so that our future vehicle isn’t nearing obsolescence before we even buy it.
Personally, I’m excited about the promise that the latest wave of EVs present. Furthermore, I’m thankful for the early adopters who are making it possible for the technology to continuing evolving and helping push the idea forward. As a result, it seems it won’t be much longer until these electric vehicles catch up to gas vehicles, making them perfectly suitable for road trips and beyond.