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Top 5 Eco-Friendly Electric Vehicle Road Trip Hacks

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Electric vehicles, commonly known as EVs, are gaining popularity in the travel industry. With enhanced range and increased availability of charging stations across the US, using an EV for travel and exploration is becoming more feasible. Additionally, with more car rental companies offering EVs, you can opt for a greener choice even if you don’t own one.

Despite the advancements in charging infrastructure, embarking on a road trip with an EV differs significantly from long-distance journeys in gasoline-powered vehicles. Here are some insights and recommendations for renting an EV for an eco-friendly road trip in the US.

Locations for Renting EVs in the United States

Electric car charging at a charging point around Archway area

Major rental car companies have incorporated EVs into their fleets over the past few years. Hertz took the lead in this initiative, starting in 2021. While Hertz has faced challenges recently, EVs are still available in most major urban areas.

Hertz offers various EV models, including the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, and Polestar 2. The Model Y boasts the longest range among the three, covering 310 miles. Moreover, it is the most spacious, making it ideal for long trips or accommodating [passengers]. Tesla also provides convenient charging access.

Other rental agencies feature EVs such as the Tesla Model 3 and Chevy Bolt, with additional models potentially accessible nationwide. EVs can also be found in specific and locations.

Verify Your Credit Card’s Damage Waiver Policy

If you plan to utilize your travel credit card’s insurance coverage, ensure that it extends to EVs, as this coverage may not be automatic.

For instance, the rental car coverage provided by [credit card company] does not inherently include EVs (PDF link). Refer to your credit card’s benefits guide for detailed information on its rental car insurance policy.

Charging Requirements and Return Policies

Some rental car companies mandate charging the vehicle to a specific level before returning it. For example, Hertz typically requires charging to around 80% before drop-off.

Failing to meet the specified charge level may result in a fee upon return, such as a \(35 penalty for non-members and a reduced \)25 fee for Gold Plus Rewards members. Fee structures vary by company and location, so it is advisable to inquire with the rental agency beforehand.

Route Planning and Charging Stops

Locating EV chargers remains more challenging than finding gas stations. However, fast chargers, known as Level 3 chargers, are increasingly available along major highways and in urban centers nationwide.

Chargers are typically affiliated with specific networks like ChargePoint, Electrify America, and EVgo. Prior to your EV road trip, download the respective network’s app to facilitate charging sessions along your route.

Tesla operates its charging network, Tesla Superchargers, globally. While primarily designed for Tesla vehicles, the network is gradually expanding to accommodate other EVs. Visit [Tesla’s website] for detailed information.

Preparation and Charging Network Enrollment

It is recommended to sign up for major charging networks before commencing your journey. Utilize an EV route planning app like [app name] to identify compatible chargers en route to your destination.

Tesla vehicles feature a built-in route planner that effectively maps out charging points, adjusting the route based on the car’s current charge level.

Hotel Charging Facilities

Tesla charging in a supercharger station

Numerous hotels now offer on-site charging facilities, typically Level 2 chargers that operate at a slower pace than Level 3 chargers. Despite the slower charging speed, these amenities can supplement your EV’s range overnight, often at no additional cost.

Information regarding on-site chargers can be found on hotel websites or booking platforms. To avoid any inconvenience, it is advisable to contact the hotel in advance to confirm the availability and functionality of the chargers.

Enhance Charging Options with a Tesla Adapter

For non-Tesla EV drivers, acquiring a Tesla NAACS to J1772 adapter expands charging options to Tesla Destination Chargers. These Level 2 chargers, commonly found at hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers, offer extended charging periods, complementing the faster Level 3 chargers.

The Tesla to J1772 Charging Adapter facilitates compatibility with over 15,000 additional charging points across North America, enhancing charging efficiency and reducing charging times significantly compared to standard chargers.

Maximizing EV Efficiency for Extended Range

A cockpit with LCD touch screen of electric car Tesla Model Y during drive in Miami

Efficient driving habits can significantly extend your EV’s range. Strategies such as minimizing climate control usage, utilizing regenerative braking, and avoiding rapid acceleration can help preserve the battery life of your vehicle.


Renting an EV presents a unique experience compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles. By meticulously planning your route, familiarizing yourself with charging networks, and leveraging available resources, embarking on an EV road trip can be both rewarding and environmentally conscious, reducing your carbon footprint while exploring new destinations.