If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you know the drill: Stock up on non-perishables, invest in a generator and get the sand bags ready. As for your car, you know to pack an emergency kit and fill up your tank before the gas stations run out.
For those drivers who own an electric vehicle, prepping for a hurricane can be trickier — questions of where to charge up if you have to evacuate creeps into your mind, and you may obsess a bit over what to pack that’s EV-specific in an emergency bag.
An EV Helping Hand
Fortunately, the folks at PlugInSites.org have a ton of resources for all things EV. On September 10th, the site’s editor, Lanny Hartmann, posted a comprehensive page that included everything from the latest storm updates, a link to EV charging maps and even state-specific links for traffic updates and tips from various Departments of Public Safety.
Hartman says he was inspired to put together an EV resource when he started hearing officials advise people to fill their gas tanks ahead of Hurrican Florence. He realized that a number of people may have recently traded in their gas car for an all-electric vehicle, which presented a little bit of a learning curve. "Some of these new EV drivers may not have yet used a public charging station and are suddenly confronted with having to ‘bolt’ in their EV and must figure out how to recharge on a long trip in addition to all the other stress of evacuating," Hartmann explains.
Hartmann says that while EV drivers don’t have to worry about long lines at the pump or fuel shortages when a hurricane approaches, they have to do a little homework: "EV drivers should research charging station locations along their evacuation route and plan to have several alternatives ready in case some are being used or not operating," he explains.
Carmakers Jump In
As meteorologists issued more warnings of the severity of Hurricane Florence, PlugInSites included news from Tesla that its drivers who live in the path of the storm would be able to charge their Teslas for free. The company tweeted out the update as well: "In any natural disaster situation like this, our policy is to make Superchargers free of use in order to optimize evacuation routes for affected customers." According to PlugInSites, the supercharging is free until mid-October.
Hartmann also stresses the importance of including charging cables and all adapters in your emergency kit, in case evacuations are imminent in your area. He adds that there are a number of charging networks including EVgo, SemaConnect and ChargePoint that each have their own RFID card. "Bring all those cards with you," he advises.
In addition to those first aid kits, extra batteries and can openers, don’t forget the gear your electric vehicle needs to keep you safe when Hurricane Florence unleashes her fury.