Hit the road, Jack—but take your electric vehicle

The open road is calling, and it can be difficult to say no when you think of the rewarding, memorable trip that could lie ahead. But that adventure can be slightly more challenging when you want to take an electric vehicle (EV). Here are some tips and tricks to make the journey a little smoother.

Before you leave

Check out where the EV charging stations are along your route. It may be easier to find them in major cities, but they are available from coast to coast and often in convenient locations such as near movie theaters, scenic areas and grocery stores. No need to fret— here’s a U.S. map and a local map that can help you plan your drive.

See if your hotel (or wherever you’re staying) has charging stations. This may assist a lot with making sure you have access to a regular charging station. It also may make it simpler to decide where to stay.

Know the range of your EV and plan ahead. Nothing’s worse than being stuck on a back road with no charging stations. Keep tabs on your EV’s range and try to plan your route in advance. Don’t forget to leave time and mileage for stops (expected and unexpected). We can help.

Get a maintenance check. Although EVs require much less maintenance than cars, it never hurts to make sure it’s in tiptop shape before hitting the road.

AdobeStock_247254603On the road

Some EV charging stations come with a fee. You may have to pay to use them, but the price pales in comparison to what it costs to fill up a tank of gas.

EVs are quieter. Don’t expect to have to turn up the radio or yell to a passenger to overpower the roar of the engine. This allows you to fully focus on time with family and friends, plus enjoy the sounds of your journey.


Where to go

Route: Minneapolis, MN, to Madison, WI

Distance: 268 miles

Duration: 4 hours

Number of charging locations along the way: 171

Things to do: Dane County Farmers Market; lunch at the Memorial Union Terrace; shopping along State Street and Monroe Street.


Route: St. Paul, MN, to Badlands National Park, Interior, SD

Distance: 511 miles

Duration: 7 hours, 45 minutes

Number of charging locations along the way: 87

Things to do: Go on a walk with a park ranger or take a hike along trails on your own; see wildlife such as buffalo and antelope; take advantage of the distance from major cities and enjoy stargazing.


Route: Rochester, MN, to Cedar Rapids, IA

Distance: 169 miles

Duration: 3 hours

Number of charging locations along the way: 22

Things to do: Explore Grant Wood’s wacky studio, where he painted American Gothic; the NewBo City Market; and Brucemore, a mansion built in 1886.


Route: Mankato, MN, to Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD

Distance: 221 miles

Duration: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Number of charging locations along the way: 12

Things to do: Take a tour of the palace; enjoy the murals that they rotate on an annual basis; and be sure to stop at the gift shop for treats and trinkets.


Route: Bemidji, MN, to Lincoln, NE

Distance: 572 miles

Duration: 9 hours, 30 minutes

Number of charging locations along the way: 48

Things to do: Visit Sunken Gardens; the Museum of American Speed; and the Pioneer Park Nature Center.


Route: St. Cloud, MN, to Fargo, ND

Distance: 172 miles

Duration: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Number of charging locations along the way: 7

Things to do: Don’t miss the Fargo Air Museum; Historic Log Cabin; or Wild Terra Cider and Brewing.


Route: Duluth, MN, to Chicago, IL

Distance: 469 miles

Duration: 7 hours, 15 minutes

Number of charging locations along the way: 214

Things to do: Rent bikes and ride along Lake Michigan through Lincoln Park; walk, eat and shop your way up and down The Magnificent Mile; and dine on the Chicago River.


Route: Grand Rapids, MN, to Kansas City, KS

Distance: 628 miles

Duration: 9 hours, 45 minutes

Number of charging locations along the way: 226

Things to do: Sip on a glass of wine from Rowe Ridge Vineyard & Winery; get a scenic view from a zipline; and try to win big at 7th Street Casino.


Let Energy Wise MN be your guide to learn about EVs, rebates and the energy-saving services we may be able to offer if you own one (or are looking to own one).

Topics: Sustainability, Electric Vehicles, Road Trip

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