As an increasing number of Americans hit the highway in electric cars, new study reveals which road trip routes are best for driving electric vehicles.
The country’s best road trip route is the Pacific Coast Highway, according to ‘s study InsureMy Trip, a website that compares travel insurance policies. The study rated 13 of the country’s most popular road trip routes based on six criteria: percentage of free chargers per stop, number of charging points per stop, number of Level-3 chargers per stop, quality of national parks, quality of attractions and experiences, and quality of restaurants.
Stretching through California, Oregon and Washington, the scenic Pacific Coast Highway finished with the highest scores for the number of chargers per stop and high scores for the number of charging stations per stop, the quality of attractions and experiences, the quality of restaurants and the quality of national parks.
The second finish in the study is the Natchez Trace Parkway, a 744-mile route that runs through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The Parkway had the highest score for percentage of free chargers per stop and high scores for number of Level-3 charging points and quality of national parks. The route has more than 360 chargers and nearly 80% are fast-charging, says InsureMyTrip.
The No. 3 road trip route is the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail that received high scores for the quality of its restaurants, national parks, attractions, and experiences. The route has more than 1,000 chargers, but 91% are located in New York, InsureMyTrip says.
More than 2 million electric vehicles are on the country’s roads, according to the White House, equipped with 100,000 charging stations.
Some highways do not have adequate infrastructure for electric vehicles.
“Our research found that not all routes are suitable for electric vehicles,” concludes InsureMyTrip. “The border-to-border journey (Arizona-Montana via four highways) underperformed in terms of convenience and lifestyle. Not only did the route have the worst-rated attractions and experiences, but it may also need some infrastructure improvements before it can be considered a great electric vehicle road trip.
The second lowest-rated route is the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs through Virginia and North Carolina.
“While this is a beautiful route through the Blue Ridge Mountains, this route was the most difficult to map out with charging stations in mind,” concluded InsureMyTrip. “Many chargers were a bit off route, which could result in more planning for travelers who have to stop often during their journey.”
Here are InsureMyTrip’s road trip itineraries rankings (from best to worst):
1. Pacific Coast Highway (California-Oregon-Washington)
2. Natchez Trace Parkway (Mississippi-Alabama-Tennessee)
3. Appalachian Trail (Maine-Georgia via many highways)
4. Atlantic Coast (Massachusetts-Florida via many highways)
5. Oregon Trail (Oregon-Massachusetts via many highways)
6. New York to Niagara Falls, NY (via two freeways)
7. South Pacific (California-Georgia with many highways)
8. Southern Utah National Parks Circuit (five highways in Utah and Arizona)
9. Highway 61 (Louisiana-Wisconsin)
10. Great River Road (Minnesota-Louisiana via five highways in seven states)
11. Route 66 (Illinois-California via some highways)
12. Blue Ridge Parkway (Virginia-North Carolina)
13. Border to Border (Arizona-Montana via four highways)