How to plan an EV road trip, plus four of the best routes

woman charging her hyundai ioniq at an racv chargefox public charging station

RACV Staff

Posted September 01, 2022

Can you tackle a Victorian road trip in an electric vehicle? We plot out four popular routes to see if an EV can go the distance.

The Great Aussie Road Trip is a rite of passage… packing up the wagon or the caravan, plotting a route and setting off to explore our wide brown land. But while the sheer breadth of that land is no obstacle in a petrol or diesel car, if you’re driving one of the increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads, careful planning is critical. Not only do you need to ensure there are charging stations along the way to keep you powered up, you’ll also need to factor in extra time needed for charging.

Cleaner Energy with EVs | RACV

While Chargefox’s ultra-rapid charging stations can deliver an impressive 400 kilometres of driving range to some cars in 15 minutes, regular charging stations and charging from the socket can take many hours to charge an EV for the same distance.  

Beware of relying too closely on an EV’s advertised driving range – a number of variables from hills and winds to using the air-conditioning and how fast and hard you drive, can all impact how quickly the vehicle’s battery will run down. And while most EVs have regenerative braking that returns energy to the battery when applying the brakes, this kicks in less frequently during long-distance highway driving.

As Australians make the transition to electric vehicles, they can be confident that the infrastrucutre is there to support them on both their commute as well as on long family car trips.


person charging their Hyundai Ioniq at an RACV Chargefox public charging station

Chargefox's ultra-rapid charging stations can get you back on the road in a flash. Image: Shannon Morris


Where to charge an EV

The Chargefox network currently has over 300 fast charging plugs at more than 100 locations, including 22 ultra-rapid sites that are powered by 100% renewable energy. The Chargefox ultra-rapid sites are powered by the world’s fastest charging technology. 

More EV charging stations are on the horizon. Chargefox will add over 5,000 plugs to its network by the end of 2025, and 2,000 of its plugs will offer fast and/or ultra-rapid charging speeds.

There are roughly 3000 public charging stations around Australia, with 450 in Victoria – a mix of standard and fast chargers (less than 50kW), ultra-rapid chargers (350-475kW) and Tesla Superchargers (120kW).

RACV Members save 20% at all Chargefox ultra-rapid charging stations across Australia. Simply download the free Chargefox app, create your account, then in the ‘My profile’ section, click ‘Add program’ to add your RACV Member number.

Planning your route for an EV road trip

The Chargefox app allows you to map out your road trip journey and to check if chargers at stations are in use.

Using the RACV City Club as our starting point, we mapped out four of our most popular road trips to see how they could be tackled in Australia’s most popular electric vehicle, the Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 has accounted for nearly half of all EV sales in Australia in the first half of 2022.

Our hypothetical test vehicle was the Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD variant with an approximate range of 602 km and a price of $80,000 plus on-road costs. Other popular EVs in a similar price band, such as the Hyundai IONIQ 5 SUV and Kia EV 6 SUV, have less range than the Tesla Model 3. More affordable EVs are due to touch down on Australian shores soon.

The Model 3 can be charged at Tesla Supercharger stations, but unlike its Model S and X siblings, it uses a CCS2 plug so can be charged at most non-Tesla sites too. You should be able to get a full charge for the Tesla in about 30 minutes using the Supercharger network.

Gundagai is the most logical place to stop on a Melbourne to Sydney road trip. Photo: Alamy.
Planning a Great Ocean Road trip? Recharge at RACV Torquay’s Chargefox ultra-rapid station.

Popular road trips to do in an EV

Melbourne to Sydney  

The Hume Highway dash from Melbourne to Sydney via Albury is a well-worn path for truckies and road-trippers alike. Technically, you can drive the 880 kilometres to Sydney’s CBD in the Tesla with just one stop to fully charge. The most logical place to top up is just north of Gundagai, 510 kilometres along, where you’ll find Tesla’s Supercharger station next to the famous Dog on the Tucker Box. You’ll need to monitor the real-world driving range as it may need a charge earlier, which could be done at the Supercharger in Wodonga. While it’s charging, grab a burger at The Goods Shed or a coffee at nearby BeanStation Cafe.  

Another cute stop 224 kilometres further along the Hume is Jugiong. The Sir George Hotel is great for a long lunch, while the Jugiong Wine Cellar has plenty of Canberra-region wines to take with you. The Tesla will easily make it from Jugiong to Sydney’s CBD.

Melbourne to Apollo Bay 

The sweeping bends and jaw-dropping vistas of the Great Ocean Road make it an enduringly alluring prospect for drivers and, with plenty of chargers dotted along its length, an electric-powered journey is a viable option. 

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range could do a return trip from Melbourne to Apollo Bay without recharging but a quick pitstop will allow you to power up while checking out some sights.  

A handy first stop is RACV’s Torquay Resort at the start of the Great Ocean Road, about 100 kilometres from the City Club. While your EV is plugged in at the resort’s Chargefox ultra-rapid station, take a stroll via the fairway path to the beach to check out the surf, or enjoy the ocean views while lunching at Number One restaurant

Apollo Bay is another 96 kilometres from Torquay and the Tesla Model 3 will comfortably make that distance. There are three Tesla destination chargers located at businesses in Apollo Bay.

You could stop at the Lorne Visitor Information Centre on the way home to charge and treat yourself to a meal at MoVida Lorne while you wait.


A full charge in Keith will help you go the remaining 225-kilometre distance to Adelaide.
Head to Wilsons Prom via RACV Inverloch Resort if you need to recharge. Photo: Anne Morley

Melbourne to Adelaide

Whether you’re bound for one of Adelaide’s famous festivals, a footy or cricket match, its sparkling food scene or the world-class vineyards nearby, there’s plenty to reward a road-tripper keying the South Australian capital into their sat-nav.  

Given its range, the Tesla Model 3 should need only one charge on this 725-kilometre trip. Horsham, which boasts a Chargefox charger, is well placed for this. While the Model 3 is charging, take a stroll around the stunning William Guilfoyle-designed botanical gardens or visit the renowned Horsham Regional Art Gallery. The Tesla Model 3 should make the 426-kilometre drive on to Adelaide CBD but, if you’re nervous about range, there’s another Supercharger in Keith, 225 kilometres before Adelaide.

Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory

White squeaky-clean beaches, magnificent scenery and an abundance of wilderness walks to suit all ages and stages draw legions of nature lovers to Victoria’s southernmost point, and the 225-kilometre trip is eminently doable in an EV. 

Driving to Wilsons Prom via Inverloch and back should only require one stop in a Tesla Model 3, but a pitstop is always a good idea. Plug the Tesla in to the charger at RACV Inverloch Resort and admire the sea views while you tuck into local and regional dishes at Radius restaurant.  

The Tesla Model 3 should easily make the 200-kilometre return trip from Inverloch to Tidal River, but there’s a Tesla destination charger at the Fish Creek Hotel along the way if you want a top-up. Grab some pub grub from the stunning art deco hotel while you wait.

RACV Members save when charging electric vehicles.
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