Jun 28, 2021

Smart Home

Charge Up For Adventure! Planning an Electric Alberta Road Trip

Ready for an electric adventure? This guide can help you plan the perfect Alberta road trip!

So, you think you’ll have your hands on the wheel of an Electric Vehicle (EV) this summer? Or are you thinking about buying one? If so, you’re not alone. With so many great rebate offers available, nearly 70% of Canadians who plan to buy a new vehicle in the next five years are likely to buy an EV and Alberta is gearing up!

So, what are you waiting for? We’ve got some helpful tips to make the most of your electric journey. Charge up your EV and get ready for an epic road trip with this guide.

Charge before you go

Start with a ‘full tank’ of electric energy and make sure you’re fully charged at home before you take off. Chargers can be installed indoors or outdoors depending on your space. And don’t worry, fellow Albertans, they are certified to operate between -40°C and 50°C, well within the range of our ever-changing temperatures.

Free to roam

Alberta is making it easier than ever to explore with electric vehicles. Plan your route and locate charging stations along the way using online guides. You can thank Peaks to Prairies, a community-driven initiative, for installing 20 fast-charging (level 2) stations throughout Southern Alberta. Peak to Prairies’ mission was to make sure rural communities could enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of EV – including visits from road trippers, just like you.  

Depending on the model, electric cars can travel an average of 300 to 500 kilometres on a full charge – which, by the way, is more than enough to get you from Calgary to Waterton Lakes National Park… just saying. EV road trips are now more accessible in Alberta than ever before.

Pack a cooler

Make sure your stomach’s not traveling on empty with this road-trip snack menu, including puffed wheat squares, peanut butter granola squares and no-bake fruit and nut granola bars. Pre-packing snacks is a great way to save a few bucks, make health-conscious decisions and give you more time to stop for a scenic lookout instead of fast-food take-out.  

Just remember: It’s important to follow the 2-hour rule when eating out of your home. That means that all perishable or frozen foods must be refrigerated within 2 hours of being at room temperature or outdoors. If the weather is hot (more than 27°C) reduce that time to 1 hour and use your cooler. Throw away any perishable foods that have been left at room temperature for longer than these times. Properly packing your cooler keeps your food fresh and safe to eat throughout your journey.

Play some games

For road-trippers young and old, games are always a fun way to pass the time.  

Consider the classics: I Spy, 20 Questions or the Licence Plate Game.

I Spy is the perfect game for appreciating the agriculture and roadside landmarks across Alberta. Keep an eye out for the Giant Corn Stalk in Taber, the World’s Largest Wind Gauge in Lethbridge, the Big Blue Ring in Calgary or the Starship Enterprise Replica in Vulcan – all of which are along the Peaks to Prairies network!  

If you aren’t familiar with 20 Questions, one player thinks of a person, place or thing and the other players have exactly 20 opportunities to ask “yes” or “no” questions in order to guess the answer.  

The licence plate game is another fun variation of I Spy, where players will try to find every letter of the alphabet on other vehicles plates. You can also add in bonus points for repetition, such as three of the same letter or number on a licence plate.

Additionally, there are lots of travel sized games like Mad Libs that can be great for the car. If you have a smart phone or tablet, you may also want to download some group trivia games from an app store.

A final note about car games: While it can be great fun to get competitive or have some laughs, make sure your driver is able to remain focused on the road at all times.  

Rock out to some tunes

For the frequent travellers out there, you may already know that the radio signal is not fully reliable throughout rural Alberta. Sometimes, subscriptions to satellite radios can keep you, tuned in, or put together a Spotify playlist like this one featuring homegrown Alberta musicians!

Many music streaming services allow you to share playlists, so everyone on board can contribute to the car tunes. Hitting shuffle on a collaborative playlist will ensure that there is a little something for everyone.  

Or you can still kick it old school and pack a few CDs, if that’s more your style. Encourage everyone to bring a ‘mixed tape’ from their collection or a compilation from their school days and see how many lyrics they still know.  

Savings that are worth the trip

According to an independent consumer report in 2020, EV car owners who do most of their charging at home can expect to save about $1,000 a year in fueling costs over an equivalent gasoline-powered car. Not to mention, you’re keeping your carbon footprint low. So, expect to save a few bucks by making your road trip an electric one, and spend your savings on other vacation must-haves. Which town has the best ice cream shop? We guess you’re going to have to find out!  

Whether you’re in the market for an electric vehicle, or you’re already a happy owner, put a backyard electric road trip on your to-do list this summer! There’s never been a better time to charge up the car, grab your cooler full of snacks, and throw on a bumpin’ playlist. With plenty of EV charging stations throughout the province, the adventurous possibilities are endless.