The infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) has improved enormously around the world in recent years. As more destinations – and rental companies – make the electric leap, it’s easier than ever to take an energy-efficient road trip. Here are ten to try.
Sustainable travelling applies to more than international holidays. Whether you’re planning a weekend away or a domestic adventure, conscious travel should be considered at every point, from flights and hotels to rental vehicles. Given that hiring a car and embarking upon a road trip is one of the most affordable and accessible ways to explore one’s own backyard or a new country, until recently it’s been difficult for those who opt for electric cars to take the scenic route due to the lack of infrastructure available. However, a gradual change is slowly washing across the world, and ethical travellers can now sight-see from the driver’s seat without worrying about where the next charging station is.
Top 10 electrifying EV road trips around the world
National Tourist Route Hardangervidda, Norway
Designated for their breathtaking scenery, Norway’s 18 tourist routes are well geared up for electric vehicles, which, like the rest of the country, run almost entirely on renewable hydropower. If you only have time to tackle one route, journey from Bergen to take in the waterfalls and mountains in Hardangervidda National Park.
Vancouver to Calgary, Canada
In 2019 Petro-Canada committed to adding 50 fast-charging electric vehicle stations across the Trans-Canada Highway, including in the sparsely served stretches of northern Ontario and the Prairies. Weaving through the Rocky Mountains, the most beautiful stretch of the highway from Vancouver to Calgary (973km/605 miles) is currently the best serviced by EV charging points.
Garden Route, South Africa
It’s now technically possible to drive all the way across South Africa without using a single drop of fuel, but with its coastal views, wineries, surf spots, wildlife reserves and myriad opportunities for adventure, the eight-hour holiday route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth is the most rewarding section of the cross-country journey. It also has the lion’s share of EV charging points.
Route 66, USA
Famous for attracting gas-guzzling Chevrolets and Cadillacs, the iconic 3243km (2015-mile) Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles has greened up big time, now with more than 130 electric vehicle charging points on the journey.
Romantic Road, Germany
Germany may have fallen short of its ambitious plan to have one million electric cars on its roads by 2020, but it’s still one of Europe’s best-equipped nations for electric vehicles. Passing through Bavaria’s most picturesque medieval villages, the 350km (217- mile) Romantic Road is a good place to start.
Self-driving is easily the best way to explore this Caribbean island nation. Handily, Barbados is the world’s third-highest user of EV technology. Leave no beach untouched while making the most of the island-wide charging system, with no more than 5km (3 miles) between each charging point.
North Coast 500, Scotland
This 830km (516-mile) loop showcasing some of Scotland’s finest coastal scenery now has more than 40 EV charging stations. Better yet, in 2018 Inverness-based all-electric car rental company Ecosse EV became one of the North Coast 500’s official partners.
Golden Route, Japan
Japan is reported to have more EV charging stations than petrol stations, making electric vehicle road-tripping a cinch. Take this busy route past Mt Fuji from Tokyo to Kyoto without spewing any fumes.
Queensland’s Electric Super Highway, Australia
The world’s longest electric superhighway in a single state, this government initiative allows you to take a zero-emissions trip from Coolangatta to Cairns without a hint of range anxiety. To access the 14 ‘fast chargers’ spread more or less evenly along the 1786km (1110-mile) coastal route in Australia, you’ll need to register for a Chargefox account.
Ring Road, Iceland
The 2018 installation of an electric vehicle charging point in Mývatn officially opened the 1332km (828-mile) road encircling Iceland to EV drivers. To fully enjoy the incredible scenery – from geysers to glaciers, waterfalls to lava fields – allow at least a week to complete the journey.
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