Thanksgiving can be a hectic time to travel. Extreme weather conditions can trigger reroutings and postponements. We watch the clock tick by as we stand idly by in traffic jams on the freeway. The long gas lines for those who drive an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle are driving everyone a little crazy. Airport waits for rescheduled flights are truly frustrating.
This Thanksgiving, more drivers than ever are choosing to travel by electric vehicle (EV) to their vacation destination. To find out what influences the behavior of travelers during the holidays, Cars.com conducted a national survey of consumers’ Thanksgiving plans. The Thanksgiving 2022 survey offers a whole slew of interesting insights into how travelers — including those who drive electric vehicles — are planning upcoming pilgrimages this holiday.
Let’s zoom in on the survey results that are particularly relevant to EV drivers. This data helps us understand the evolution of electric vehicle use and driver attitudes as all-electric transportation becomes more common.
The survey indicated that having a confluence of charging stations and electric vehicles on the road on Thanksgiving trips was quite high – 86%. EV drivers have been reduced to zero range anxiety if they can rely on a network of charging stations along their route. As a Tesla Model Y driver with over 300 miles of range, I know I can travel along I-95 in Florida with relative ease due to the frequency of proprietary Tesla Superchargers. Currently, there are more than 35,000 Supercharger stalls around the world. The Tesla gives me a boost of confidence when traveling out of town.
49% said having charging stations along their route is very convenient. For those who are not Tesla EV drivers, the Biden-Harris administration announced that federal authorities have approved plans to expand a network of electric vehicle charging stations available by every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. . This gives those governments access to a $5 billion share of the cash to deploy plug-in charging systems for the United States and its rapidly growing fleet of electric vehicles.
18% say they plan to take their EV on their Thanksgiving trip. Electric vehicles continue to be adopted and integrated into consumers’ lives on a regular basis. Although this seems like a small overall percentage, 10 years ago this number seemed like a pipe dream. What percentage will drive an electric vehicle to its destination on Thanksgiving 2032?
Of those planning to drive to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, 66% told the survey staff member that range anxiety affects their movement distance. I’m starting to think of “range anxiety” as a PR term rather than an accurate way to describe the necessary planning and analysis inherent in long EV journeys. Hey, I remember my dad laying out the maps on the floor ahead of time, planning routes and bathroom breaks for his young family. Perhaps a better wording than “range anxiety” would refer to a JD Power study in which many electric vehicle owners cite out-of-order chargers as a top concern – even though more chargers are installed. Across the country. Forbes suggests that charging companies could sell fast Thanksgiving passes, which offer short waits for reliable Thanksgiving boosting.
55% said they are travel 51 to 100 miles in their VE. The dilemma that a 300-mile range for electric vehicles is a deal-breaker is mythologized and can be easily disproved. 65% of all drivers (EV and ICE) plan to travel within 80 km of their home. Rather than a long cross-country trip involving multiple overnight stops, most EV and ICE drivers will take advantage of a Thanksgiving visit and return home the same day. Thanksgiving is all about the comforts of tradition, and traveling by EV in the 100-mile range means reaching out to friends and family during the holiday season – but also having a shorter overall travel time, possibly making commuting with young children, and maybe even bringing the family pet.
14% said they are travel more than 100 miles in their VE. As my colleague Jennifer Sensiba wrote recently, traveling by EV over both short and long distances is quite manageable if one plans ahead, plots routes, identifies chargers and recognizes that long trips by VEs require a reflective mindset. A “road warrior trip” is possible and, with the right attitude and travel plan, fun.
62% of all surveyed drivers indicated that they would rather drive than fly when it exceeds 100 miles. 92% of those who reconsidered their Thanksgiving travel decisions due to flight disruptions now plan to travel by car. With so many airlines called out for their heat-trapping contrails, awareness of the climate crisis seems to be on the rise. In fact, 80% of all drivers said they traveled by car on Thanksgiving. As Cars.com In conclusion, not only is driving a car generally more affordable than flying, but it also allows travelers to have more control over travel. While traffic is often a wild card, at least the departure time and stops along the route can be predicted with relative accuracy.
58% of respondents said they don’t usually travel for Thanksgiving at all. Indeed, 24% cite higher costs as a reason for not travelling. Maybe Facetime and Zoom chats are enough to replace stressful Thanksgiving trips and family renewals for a good number of people today. Again, saving money on vacation travel can come down to making the trip as efficient as possible. Jumping into an EV is a very efficient means of travel.
Final Thoughts on Driving an Electric Vehicle for Thanksgiving — and Life
One of the unsung benefits of driving an EV to Thanksgiving dinner and sharing food, family, and fun is that charging an EV costs a lot less than buying gas. With complaints about inflation in the prices of groceries and other post-Covid items, an EV offers opportunities for locally sourced electricity at prices well below the cost of filling up at a gas station. Energy efficiency reigns in an electric vehicle.
What other thanks should we as EV drivers give during this season? We are grateful for our electric vehicles because…
- Rapid acceleration gives us the ability to adapt quickly to unexpected driving situations.
- Having the latest technology means we drive the most efficient and capable vehicles on the road.
- Since many new people are now starting to appreciate the gift of all-electric transportation, more consumers mean different models and options every year.
- The smooth, quiet ride of an electric vehicle is relaxing and soothing.
- Being able to charge at home most of the time is really convenient.
- Our EV has lower maintenance costs than the ICE vehicles we owned years ago with all their moving parts.
- We find great comfort in driving a zero-emission vehicle as individuals very concerned about the climate crisis.
- We breathe with relief knowing that, even when charging an EV with electricity generated solely from coal – the dirtiest source of electricity – the EV has better emissions than the average new compact ICE vehicle.
Thanksgiving is a joyful time. Let’s continue to reveal our own strategies for creating safe and happy EV road trips. This way we will continue to learn from each other and grow together as a community of electric vehicle drivers.
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