901 Attorneys June 2019

Road Trips for Electric Cars The Long-Lasting Worry on Battery Life

Everyone enjoys planning (and especially going on) road trips. However, road trips weren’t always as easy or spontaneous as they are today. Over the years, road tripping has advanced as our cars and roads improved. Compared to the first cross-country automobile road trip, the trips we plan today are much more leisurely. and their companion, Bud, a bull terrier. In addition to traveling from San Francisco to New York on rough dirt roads, whenever their car broke down, they had to wait several days for parts to fix it. Gas stations, too, were few and far between because automobiles weren’t even remotely popular, or anywhere near as widespread in 1903 as they are today. Once people started to see automobiles as effective and reliable modes of transport, things began to change. Roads improved, traffic signs went up, and traveling became much easier. Today, people wanting to pack their cars with a couple of friends and a suitcase can get on the road and arrive at their destination in less than a few days with their route completely planned out and no worries about breakdowns or finding gas. However, for me, road trips require a different type of planning than what many people might consider. I have an electric car, and I can’t simply plan routes between gas stations while on a trip. Instead, I have to be especially careful to make sure there are enough charging stations (or supercharging stations) so that I don’t end up The first road trip ever was undertaken in 1903 by Horatio Nelson Jackson, Sewall Crocker,

stranded somewhere. Electric cars are relatively new, and the charging network that exists is consequently incomplete. People who own electric vehicles might drive an advanced car, but they’re constrained by the range of the battery. This topic reminds me just how much we rely on charging nearly every device we own today. No matter which device it is, we’re always worrying about the battery running out. In particular, everyone relies heavily on their mobile devices. They allow us access to substantial amounts of information that we can find at any time and any place. However, once the charge light glows red on our phones, we start to get anxious about our phones dying. Now, not only do we have to maintain the charge on our cell phones, laptop computers, smart watches, headphones, and tablets, but we also have to make sure our cars are

charged to avoid having a carload of panicked people watch the meter slowly run out with no charging station nearby. As our technology continues to advance, and as we move further away from dependence on fossil fuels, the number of superchargers will increase and road trips for electric cars will become more convenient. Just like Jackson and Crocker, who set out a little over a hundred years ago in one of the first automobiles ever made, the roadways had not yet adapted to their preferred method of travel. Our roads, signs, and pit stops will eventually change to fit the way we travel and create less anxiety about battery life.

-David McLaughlin

“Electric cars are relatively new, and the charging network that exists is consequently incomplete.”

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