Charging into half term: ten of the best road trips to take in an electric car

Monday 24th October 2022

Novuna Vehicle Solutions offers top tips to EV drivers setting out on longer journeys

With wet weather and the cost of living crisis set to pour cold water on autumn breaks this half term, some of the UK’s most popular travel destinations are likely to be a little less busy than usual1. That’s good news for anyone sticking to their plans, packing a mac, and setting their satnav, to explore the Great British outdoors come rain or shine. Especially for owners of electric cars (EVs) the number of which hit a million for the first time ever this month2 following almost a quarter of a million3 new vehicle registrations this year.

Most EV drivers are now very comfortable making long journeys in the car. A recent report from leading car financer Novuna Vehicle Solutions, found that 9 in 10 (88%) EV drivers have completed a one-way trip of more than 100 miles, and three quarters (75%) have done so multiple times. Indeed, a quarter (26%) cite leisure and holidays as one of the top three uses of their electric car.

Range anxiety is still a concern for some, but with most new EVs doing more than 200 miles between charges, it’s far less of an issue than it was. Yes, most drivers will still worry from time to time about not reaching the next public chargepoint, on average this anxiety kicks-in when battery range falls below 50 miles, but only 2% admit to feeling anxious all the time, and there are few places left in the UK where you will have to drive 49 miles to fund a public chargepoint.

Jonny Berry, Head of Decarbonisation at Novuna Vehicle Solutions said: “Whether planning a day trip to the coast or a weeklong adventure around the countryside, I would always advise anyone with an EV to take a moment to map out the route before getting in the car. With 34,860 public chargers around the country, you’re unlikely to run out of battery, but a little preparation can go a long way, and save a few easily avoidable headaches. Yes, it might be easier to jump in a gas guzzler and trust you’ll find a pump when needed, but it’ll cost significantly more to run, and that’s before considering the environmental impact.

“The truth is, range anxiety is disappearing fast, and there’s absolutely nothing stopping EV drivers from exploring  some of the most popular scenic  routes across  the UK, recommended  by  those who have already done it hassle free.”

Novuna asked 1,000 EV and PHEV drivers for their views on some of the UKs most popular road trips, asking specifically how easy it was to find somewhere to charge. In order of charger availability, here are the top ten:

  1. Kintyre 66, Scotland
    • A circular route around the Kintyre peninsula coastline with views towards the Isle of Arran
    • Completed by 8% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 74% found this route easy, just 10% had issues.
  2. The Atlantic Highway
    • Between Barnstaple and Fraddon passing Bude, Padstow, Newquay, and Tintangel with views of the Atlantic Ocean
    • Completed by 12% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 73% found this route easy, just 9% had issues.
  3. Jurassic Coast
    • Between Swanage and Lyme Regis, taking in Dorset towns and beaches, such as Durdle Door
    • Completed by 12% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 71% found this route easy, just 15% had issues.
  4. Peak District
    • Between Glossop and the Derwent Valley, along Snake Pass and the Peak District
    • Completed by 15% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 68% found this route easy, just 15% had issues.
  5. North Coast 500
    • A loop starting and ending in Inverness-shire taking in the highlights and the north coast of Scotland
    • Completed by 8% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 68% found this route easy, just 16% had issues.
  6. Norfolk Coast
    • Between Kings Lynn and Great Yarmouth along the Norfolk Coast and the Norfolk Broads
    • Completed by 15% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 67% found this route easy, just 8% had issues.
  7. Road to the Isles
    • The A830 between Fort William and Mallaig, passing Ben Nevis, lochs and the Glenfinnan Viaduct
    • Completed by 9% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 67% found this route easy, just 16% had issues.
  8. Lake District
    • Between Penrith and Whitehaven through Ullswater, Keswick and Buttermere
    • Completed by 16% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 64% found this route easy, just 16% had issues.
  9. North York Moors
    • From the seaside village of Staithes to Helmsley
    • Completed by 12% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 63% found this route easy, just 15% had issues.
  10. The Cambrian Way
    • A north-south route across Wales between Cardiff and Llandudno, taking in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia
    • Completed by 9% of EV and PHEV drivers
    • 63% found this route easy, just 13% had issues.

According to Britain’s plug-in drivers, the best road trip for ease of charging, is the Kintyre 66 route through Scotland, with three quarters (74%) saying it is an easy trip to make. This could be due in part to the fact that Scotland has one of the best electric car to public chargepoint ratios in the country at 9:1, coming in fourth behind Wales (8:1), the North East (7:1) and London (5:1).

Top tips for setting off on an EV road trip

With 70% of EV drivers relying on a home device for most of their charging, two thirds (69%) say they only ever use public charging infrastructure when they are far from home. So going on a long trip can be intimidating. Here are five top tips for anyone getting behind the wheel this week.

  1. Charge smarter
    Zap Map is an absolute must have for long road trips. Not only does the app show you where to find an available charger, and whether it’s in service, but it also shows how fast they are, so you can pick a rapid or ultra-rapid one that will change a car to full in a fraction of the time. Try to find on with other facilities such as refreshments and toilets, to kill two or three birds with one stone.
  1. Prep your tech
    When you know where you’re likely to recharge, make sure to download the relevant app and get your payment method set up ahead of time. Not only will it save time on arrival, but if you have issues with the tech, you can find a different charger to aim for.

  2. Know your range
    This should be a no brainer but set off on your road trip with a full charge if possible, and factor in how far you’re likely to get before needing to plug in. We’d recommend giving yourself minimum of a 10% range buffer for recharging, so you won’t be caught out if there’s any unexpected hold ups or road closures; more if you’re going somewhere remote.
  1. Ring ahead before you leave
    Finding an EV-friendly hotel is, thankfully, a lot easier than it was. If you use an online booking service such as, or you can choose electric car charging as a required facility when you make a search. Always call ahead to check it’s up and running, and not been reserved by someone else.
  1. Consider the driving conditions
    Two of the biggest factors impacting battery efficiency and range are the driving conditions and vehicle load. Do you really need those golf clubs in your boot? All that extra weight will put an additional strain on your battery and so, if you don’t need it, don’t carry it. Check the weather too. Extensive use of heating in cold conditions or air con in hot conditions will drain the battery faster. It won’t make a huge difference, but it pays to think about, especially as we head into the winter months.

Notes to Editors

1 AA prediction of road congestion made on 19th October 2022:

2 SMMT, Car registration figures September 2022;

3 SMMT car registrations September 2022 - Bumper month for plug-in registrations sees Britain’s millionth plug-in electric car registered, with 249,575 joining roads in 2022 alone. -