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Five Beautiful EV-friendly Drives for Summer

With travel rebounding as pandemic restrictions ease, more people are looking forward to a summer road trip – and that includes electric vehicle owners. As the new Volkswagen ID.4 offers an EPA estimated range of 250 miles for the 1st Edition and Pro S trims (and an EPA estimated 260 miles for the ID.4 Pro trim), along with 3 years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Charging stations, more of those summer drives can happen on electric power.[1][2]

To give EV owners some inspiration, we’ve scouted five scenic routes across the country that offer beautiful views, interesting stops and convenient access to public EV charging for all EV enthusiasts to embrace. Make sure to visit electrifyamerica.com for a full list of EA chargers.

1. Miami to Key West, Florida

Route: The Overseas Highway (Southernmost leg of U.S. 1)

Distance: 113 miles, one-way

Available DC Fast Charging Stations: Miami, Key Largo and Key West.

The Florida Keys has long been a mecca for fisherman, divers and watersport enthusiasts. Only accessible by boat until the early 1900s, industrialist Henry Flagler connected Miami with the southernmost island in the chain, Key West, via his East Coast Railroad in 1912. When the rail line was destroyed in 1935 by a hurricane, the government converted it into U.S. 1, linking the 44 islands of the Keys to the mainland. Mostly overwater, as the name suggests, the road offers travelers stunning ocean views and some of the best sunrises and sunsets anywhere in the world. Not to mention access to underwater coral reefs, marinas where you can charter a boat to fish for Tarpon and other big game, and some of the best food you can find in the southeast.

2. San Francisco to Monterey, California

Route: Pacific Coast Highway to Skyline Boulevard to PCH

Distance: 170-200 miles, round trip

Available DC Fast Charging Stations: Many options in San Francisco, Los Gatos and Monterey

The Pacific Coast Highway, better known as PCH or California Highway 1, is possibly the most legendary road on this list. It hugs most of the California coastline, from San Diego to Fort Bragg, and takes travelers through big cities and tiny coastal towns, ancient redwood forests, major wine regions and provides access to all sorts of marine wildlife and outdoor adventure opportunities. This section of the road features terrific views of the Pacific from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. From there, it takes a side trip inland for a spirited drive on Skyline Boulevard (U.S. 35), a ridge road running atop the mountains that separate the San Mateo Peninsula from the Pacific Ocean. Skyline Boulevard is filled with curvy, narrow roads and dramatic mountain views. It’s a fun, yet peaceful drive. Then, you take Route 17 back to PCH and continue to your ultimate destination, Monterey.

3. Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts

Route: U.S. Route 6/Route 6A

Distance: 118 miles, one-way

Available DC Fast Charging Stations: Boston and Plymouth, with mostly Level 2 public charging on Cape Cod itself

U.S. 6 meanders through Cape Cod’s small villages, dunes, beaches, and marshes, and is a charming drive. Jump off onto 6A and take the trip up a notch. Originally a Native American trade route from the 1700s, Route 6A or the Old King’s Highway follows the same path. Stretching nearly 65 miles, the scenic seaside route runs from Bourne on the Cape Cod Canal to Provincetown at the tip of the peninsula.

4. Los Angeles to Big Bear, California

Route: State Highway 18/Rim of the World

Distance: 117 miles, one-way

Available DC Charging Stations: Many in L.A. and suburbs up to the entrance of the San Bernardino National Forest; none on the mountain, so plan accordingly.

Narrow State Highway 18 winds around the cliffs of the San Bernardino Mountains through small villages on the way to Big Bear Lake. This part of the route is called the Rim of the World because of its breathtaking, panoramic views. Mountains, lakes, and—on a clear day—even the Pacific Ocean can be seen from vantage points along the way.

5. Washington D.C. to Asheville, North Carolina

Route: The Blue Ridge Parkway

Distance: 500 miles, one-way

Available Charging stations: Mostly along Interstate 81 or at campgrounds along the way.

For those who want a longer EV road trip, the Blue Ridge Parkway beckons. Built as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal to put Americans back to work following the Great Depression of the 1930s, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway connects the Shenandoah National Park of Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of North Carolina. It’s a panoramic drive for all seasons, with a bounty of forest canopy in summer. The stretch is also a bird watchers’ paradise, with over 50 species found along the highway alone. However, nature lovers of all types will be awed by the overlooks, like Cumberland Knob (MP217), and stretches of roadway, such as the spectacular seven-mile-long Linn Cove Viaduct (Mile Post 304). If the sound of fiddle, banjo and guitar music tickles your fancy, then a stop at the Blue Ridge Music Center (MP 213) is a must. This one will require some planning ahead; just as there are no gas stations directly on the parkway, EV chargers also require brief detours.

[1] 2021 ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition EPA estimated total range is 260 miles. Actual mileage and range will vary and depend on several factors including driving and charging habits, accessory use, temperature and topography, battery age, load, and vehicle condition. Battery capacity decreases with time and use. See owner’s manual for details.

Images courtesy of Volkswagen

 
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