AARP names Highway 1 an EV-Friendly Road Trip for Summer

From Gigi Ragland at AARP

Road-tripping season is upon us. Every summer, the call of the open road beckons to millions of Americans. This is especially true for older adults. A recent AARP report found that 63 percent of travelers 50-plus are planning a road trip this year.

If you drive — or want to drive — an electric vehicle (EV), the good news is that roadways have become increasingly accommodating to EVs.

Since inception, EV drivers planning a road trip have been concerned about the number of available charging stations, also known as range anxiety. But the EV charging infrastructure is improving. Travel destinations such as hotels and restaurants are adding EV charging stations across the U.S. and the Department of Transportation plans to build nearly 500,000 charging stations by 2030. 

Ragged Point Bixby Bridge

In addition to the increase in charging stations, improvements in battery technology have boosted EV range. For example, EVs could travel 73 miles per charge in 2011. Today, an EV gets about 270 miles per charge. 

This summer, EV drivers may want to consider taking a road trip on one of America’s Byways. Charging stations are available along national scenic byways and All-American Roads across the country. These routes thread through small town communities and historic sites and showcase the heritage and beauty of the land.

To keep any range anxiety in check, a number of smartphone apps can help you pinpoint charging stations, including PlugShare, ChargeFinder, ChargeHub and A Better Routeplanner.

Here are four EV-friendly scenic byways and places to stay where you can charge your car overnight.

San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway, California

All-American Road (57 miles)

California leads the nation in the number of public EV charging stations, which makes road-tripping easy. You’ll find most EV charging stations spaced no more than 60 miles apart along the route.

Although the distance might seem short, you’ll want to spend several days taking in the uncrowded beaches, historic landmarks and scenic beauty along this portion of the Pacific Ocean. Stroll the easy coastal trails for ocean views at Estero Bluffs State Park. Look for sea otters on a kayak tour in Morro Bay. Spend an afternoon exploring the Hearst Castle in San Simeon and spot elephant seals at the viewing area 4.5 miles north of the castle. Take a docent-led tour of 19th-century historic Point San Luis Lighthouse

Stay: The Sea Otter Inn in Cambria is near Hearst Castle and overlooks Moonstone Beach. Also consider Hotel Avisa in Morro Bay and Avila Lighthouse Suites in Avila Beach

Avila Lighthouse Suites

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