EV Route Planning Resources
Planning an EV-friendly road trip can be tricky. Not all charging stations are created equal, with different connectors and power levels complicating the simple act of plugging in to get some juice. Thankfully, there are many EV route planning resources to help you out.
From apps to identify the best charging stations for your car, tools that plug into your EV to track the real-time state of charge, and maps that show you what's in the area you're planning to visit, there are many options to help you plan a viable EV route.
You'll find a selection of these tools below, starting with our interactive map bringing you fast charge station listings with video reviews from electric vehicle enthusiasts on EV road trips of their own. These folks have been there before and know what to look for, so viewing a site through their eyes is a helpful way to see if a featured charging station will meet your needs.
Our team will add new charging sites as they appear, so bookmark this page and check back before your next EV road trip!
Interested in EV statistics and trends? Check out our roundup of 50 electric vehicle stats here >>
Table of Contents
EV Route Planning: Interactive Fast Charging Station Map (with Site Videos)
Use the map below to find your area of travel and see which featured fast charging stations fit your EV route planning requirements:
Apps for Planning an EV Road Trip
Once you've identified your travel region and scouted some of the better charging options in the area, it's time to check on the individual stations and make sure they have the power and plug types you'll need. The charging apps listed below are an excellent way to validate your route planning and ensure your EV road trip plan is a winner before you leave home.
Formerly created by Recargo and now owned by the EVgo charging network, Plugshare is the elder statesman of electric vehicle route planning.
Across its website and mobile app, Plugshare has more than 4 million users and 7 million "check-ins". The latter number is a critical piece of the platform because it represents real-world charging experiences from EV drivers who have used the stations that you might want to visit.
The strength of Plugshare is also a potential weakness, as the app's information is only as helpful as the individuals posting it. If a specific charging station hasn't been visited in a while, or if it's in a location with very few EV drivers, there might not be enough information to add more than basic details for your road trip planning.
The Plugshare app is featured in our guide on how to find cheap or complimentary EV charging. Check that out for a video walkthrough on using filters to identify free chargers on your EV route.
Chargeway offers many of the same benefits as Plugshare, with the added bonus of a power/plug designation system that makes it easier for new EV drivers to find a charging station that fits their vehicle's capabilities.
We won't go into the details here, but the color and numbering system assigned to each EV can make it clearer for new users to identify suitable stations at a glance.
As well as its unique classification method, Chargeway provides one of the most user-friendly and visually appealing options for EV route planning. The interface is silky smooth, key elements like state of charge and estimated range are prominently displayed, and the trip planner incorporates elements such as speed and temperature into its calculations in a way that doesn't feel overwhelming.
Chargeway has fewer users than Plugshare, which means its pool of real-world check-ins is limited. Both tools work well in different ways for identifying potential routes and sense-checking the suitability of charging options along those roads.
A Better Route Planner (ABRP)
ABRP is clearly a valuable resource for the EV sector, as it was purchased by Rivian in the summer of 2023. As the name suggests, it's a tool that focuses on giving you everything you need to know to put together a comprehensive route for your electric vehicle.
In practice, ABRP can be a little complex for new users. While it offers a depth of settings that is second to none, from temperature and estimated consumption to the driver's preferred stop strategy, this can get overwhelming if you're unfamiliar with EV travel. It does provide a lot of flexibility but the UI isn't as friendly for the regular driver as, say, an alternative like Chargeway.
For seasoned EV travelers, however, A Better Route Planner can be a very useful co-pilot. The app provides various methods to connect to your vehicle, which enables real-time data presentation and course corrections en route. It's not for everyone and comes with a monthly subscription fee to access the full range of features, but ABRP is worth experimenting with if you know your way around your vehicle but still need to sense-check your EV route planning.
As a newly launched EV route planning app, Chargely aims to inject some fun into your all-electric road trip. It feels a little like Waze for EV road trips, pulling in features like power level, plug type, and charge station reviews and adding an interactive layer on top to gamify the charging experience.
Badges and avatars to unlock distinguish the app from others like it, with a points system rewarding users for reviews and other contributions to the EV community. Although that group is small at the moment due to the app's age, the focus on that aspect points to the potential for Chargely to grow into an important app for EV drivers over the long term.
For the here and now, a trip planner and filters that cater to travel preferences such as restrooms, dining, and kid-friendly locations all help to map out EV routes that fit your lifestyle. If you love collecting points and badges, all the better!
EV Road Trip Tips
Our team has hundreds of thousands of all-electric miles on the clock, so we know a thing or two about planning EV road trips. Here are some of the top tips we've compiled after years of long-distance EV route planning:
- Plan a 20-30 mile range buffer so that you can head to another charging station if your first choice is busy or has some other issue. That equates to arriving with at least 10-15% state of charge in most modern EVs, which is as low as most regular drivers want to push it anyway!
- Avoid city centers or busy retail areas for travel charging, where possible. The larger the urban area, the more likely you are to get caught up in the demand from local users and rideshare drivers to charge, as well as fellow travelers. Opt for the highest power option that your EV can make use of that are outside of cities and close to the Interstate, whenever possible.
- Batteries can't charge as quickly outside of moderate temperatures. In colder weather, plan for longer charging stops or opt for an EV that comes with battery heating en route to fast chargers.
- Choose a charging station with more stalls, where possible. If an individual dispenser is down at a site with four or six units, it's less likely to impact your EV route planning than a two-stall site that gets cut to half capacity when a dispenser is offline.
- If you plan to travel outside of regular retail business hours, prioritize charging at locations like service plazas, truck stops, or 24-hour retailers so you still have amenities available.
- If you're traveling over several days, try to choose accommodation with level two (L2) EV charging so you can charge overnight. This means you wake up to a full battery in most scenarios, which cuts out a fast charging session. It also saves you money, as L2 is usually cheaper or, in some cases, a complimentary part of your stay.
- Use the resources above to choose locations where you can complete other tasks while charging. If a charge stop aligns with your meal break, find a station with sit-down restaurant options. If you're heading to a campsite, pick a station next to a store and save the shopping errand for that charge stop.
- Look for destination charging opportunities at the sights and locations you intend to visit on a trip. If that hike you want to take or the museum you want to visit has chargers in the parking lot, you might cut out a fast charge session!
What tips would you add for EV route planning? Email us with suggestions and we can add any we missed.
If you're looking for inspiration to plan your next all-electric journey, here are some popular road trips that are EV-friendly.
If you've been considering an EV, leasing is a popular option at the moment, thanks to a combination of technological uncertainty and incentives. Leasing an EV has advantages such as lower monthly payments, a reduced commitment to a specific model, and the ability to upgrade every few years.
Lessees can also access federal incentives on some models that don't qualify if you buy outright. Check out our EV incentives section to find the right option for you based on location, income level, and the model you want.
You can also check out our EV resources page to learn more about the transition to electric vehicles and which models fit your use case.