How to plan for the best EV road trip routes

person plugging charger to electric car


Posted May 03, 2024

Here's what you need to know and plan to drive an electric vehicle on a road trip in Victoria.

If you’re driving one of the increasing number of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads, the good news is that many of the best road trips in Victoria cater to electric cars with charging stations.

From understanding charging speeds to ensuring you have emergency roadside assistance in place before you leave, here's how to plan for a successful EV road trip, plus where to stop to charge your electric car on four of the best road trips from Melbourne.

How to plan the perfect EV road trip

EV driving range and charge times

Where to charge an EV on a road trip

Planning your EV road trip route

Best road trips to do in an EV

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

Chargefox's ultra-rapid charging stations enable faster charging speeds. Image: Shannon Morris


EV driving range and charge times on a road trip

Chargefox’s ultra-rapid DC charging stations can deliver an impressive 400 kilometres of driving range to some EVs in 15 minutes. Regular charging stations, however, can take many hours to charge an EV for the same distance - these can be good solutions if you're staying for a while at the charge location, such as a holiday resort or shopping centre.

Chargefox provides the following rule-of-thumb for how many kilometres of range can be added per hour of charging based on the type of charger being used:

  • 7kW - Up to 40km
  • 22kW - Up to 120km
  • 50kW - Up to 300km
  • 150kW+ - Up to 900km

Beware of relying too closely on an EV’s claimed driving range. A number of variables impact how quickly the vehicle’s battery will be consumed on a road trip, from hills and winds to the use of air conditioning. While most EVs feature regenerative braking that returns energy to the battery when applying the brakes, this might be less effective during long-distance highway driving, for example.

More: How much solar do I need to charge an electric car?

Where to charge an EV on a road trip

There are roughly 3,000 public charging stations around Australia, with more than 450 in Victoria. These EV charging stations comprise a mix of standard and fast chargers (less than 50kW), ultra-rapid chargers (350-475kW), and Tesla Superchargers (120kW V2 Superchargers and 250kW V3 Superchargers).

Around 2,000 of those charging stations are on the Chargefox network, which has over 300 fast charging plugs across more than 100 locations, including several ultra-rapid sites that are mostly powered by renewable energy.

You can check whether your road trip destination has an EV charging station (or whether there’s one nearby) using PlugShare, a free EV charging station map. Just enter your location and select the plug type you need.

RACV Members save at many 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.

More EV charging stations are on the horizon in Victoria and across Australia. Chargefox has committed to grow its network to over 5,000 plugs by the end of 2025. 2,000 of those plugs will offer fast and/or ultra-rapid charging speeds.

red EV being charged in a car park at a Chargefox public charger

There are many EV charging stations along popular road trip stops, such as holiday resorts and carparks. 


Planning a road trip route in an EV

Undertaking some planning and mapping for a road trip in an electric car is advised. Depending on the road trip itinerary and EV's driving range, you need to ensure there are charging stations on the route, and allow sufficient time for charging.

The Chargefox app allows you to map out your road trip route and to check if chargers at stations are in use. Once you plug in and start your charging session, the Chargefox app will let you know in real time how your charge is going.

You should also make sure your emergency roadside assistance is up to date before leaving. Electric cars get the same benefits and more with RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance, which offers help with common issues like lockouts, flat tyres or flat batteries Australia-wide. EVs can also be towed to the nearest accessible charging station if you're out of charge.

Tesla Model 3

The 2024 Tesla Model 3 Long Range variant has an approximate driving range of 629km.


The best road trips to do in an electric car

Using the RACV City Club as our starting point in the heart of Melbourne's CBD, here's how to enjoy the best road trips in Victoria in an EV.

Our hypothetical electric car for these popular road trips is the 2024 Tesla Model 3 Long Range variant, with an approximate range of 629km and a price of $71,900 plus on-road costs.

The Tesla Model 3 can be charged at Tesla Supercharger stations, and it uses a CCS2 plug so that it can be charged at most non-Tesla sites too, such as Chargefox. You should be able to get a full charge for the Tesla in about 30 minutes using the Tesla Supercharger network.

Melbourne to Sydney in an EV

The Hume Highway road trip from Melbourne to Sydney via Albury is a well-worn path for road trippers.

Technically, you can drive the 880 kilometres to Sydney’s CBD in the Tesla Model 3 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 of the Tesla Model 3, however, as it may need a charge earlier. This could be done at the Tesla Supercharger in Wodonga.

Another potential stop 224 kilometres further along the Hume Highway 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 Model 3 should comfortably make the journey from Jugiong to Sydney’s CBD.

The Great Ocean Road in an EV

The sweeping bends and jaw-dropping vistas of the Great Ocean Road make it an enduringly alluring prospect for road trips. With plenty of EV chargers dotted along the trip, an electric-powered journey is easy to do.

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range could do a return trip from Melbourne to Apollo Bay without recharging, but a quick charging session will allow you to power up the EV while checking out some of the Great Ocean Road's best sights.

A handy first stop is the RACV Torquay Resort at the start of the Great Ocean Road, about 100 kilometres from the RACV 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.

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 also stop at the Lorne Visitor Information Centre on the way home to charge the EV and treat yourself to a local meal.

car driving on the road to Wilsons Prom

The road to Wilsons Promontory is filled with beautiful scenic vistas. Image: Visit Victoria


Melbourne to Adelaide in an EV

Whether you’re bound for one of Adelaide’s famous festivals, a footy match at Adelaide Oval, its sparkling food scene or the world-class vineyards nearby, there’s plenty to reward a road tripper heading to South Australia's capital in an electric car.  

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 Tesla 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's CBD, but if you’re nervous about range, there’s another Tesla Supercharger in Keith, 225 kilometres before Adelaide.

More: The best stops on a Melbourne to Adelaide road trip

Melbourne to Wilsons Promontory in an EV

White sandy beaches, magnificent scenery and an abundance of wilderness walks to suit all ages draw legions of nature lovers to Wilsons Promontory, and the 225-kilometre trip is achievable in an electric car.

Driving to Wilsons Promontory via Inverloch and back should only require one stop in a Tesla Model 3. Plug the Tesla in to the charger at the RACV Inverloch Resort and admire the sea views while you tuck into local and regional dishes at Radius Restaurant.

The Tesla Model 3 should comfortably make the 200-kilometre return trip from Inverloch to Tidal River in Wilsons Promontory National Park, but there’s a Tesla destination charger at the Fish Creek Hotel along the way if you want more driving range.

Road trip happy with RACV Emergency Roadside Assistance.
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