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Driving Electric Vehicles In New England: No More Range Anxiety

I wanted to share my experiences driving nearly 700 miles through New England, with a trip starting in New York and ending in Maine, passing through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire along the way.

I left my home in Westchester County with my car fully charged (64 kWh) and made the trip up to Bridgton, Maine, making a couple of short stops along the way. The rationale for making several stops was that since my car, a Kia Niro, has a maximum charge rate of around 75 kW, if I let the battery get too low, it would take longer to charge, requiring me to stop for a more extended time.

EV driving is not yet common in coastal New England. There are only around a total of 25,000 EVs registered in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. So I wasn't sure how easy it would be to find working DCFC stations (especially in New Hampshire and Maine). And, as a non-Tesla owning EV driver, I don't have access to The Supercharger Network.

Fortunately, after making the trip, I can happily share it was easy to find open and operating chargers, largely thanks to Electrify America, which has smartly placed charging stations in Walmart parking lots.

It's real easy to kill a few minutes of time in a Walmart. There is always something to buy, along with a restroom to use.

I stopped in Walmarts in Manchester CT, Seabrook NH, and Scarborough ME. The only reason I made the last stop was that I needed the extra peace of mind knowing my car was fully charged before driving through the backroads of Maine.

If you are in rural Maine with an EV that runs out of juice, you are S.O.L. and going to need a flatbed. It will be years before there is a better solution to roadside charging in rural America.

Over time, expect even more Walmarts to have DCFC stations and the angst of driving an EV across even rural America will dissipate. But, for now, it's a good idea to leave the highway system with the battery fully charged.

On the return trip, I visited the same charging station in Seabrook, New Hampshire, along with quick stops at two malls. One in Nashua NH, and another in Auburn MA. Both these malls were Simon Properties.

Just as every Walmart should have rapid charging stations, as EVs get more popular, it would be great if every Simon Mall also has rapid charging stations. And, even better, if every rest stop has a rapid charging station, so you don't even need to exit highways.

FWIW I spent $25.18 on charging, purchasing a total of 144 kWh. Had I been driving a car that runs on gas, it would have required around 30 gallons of gas, costing $150.


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