Is long range enough range?
How much range is enough range? That's what Motorweek tried to find out by doing what more and more electric vehicle owners are daring to do: take a road trip.
Motorweek took the Chevrolet Bolt, Kia Niro EV and Nissan Leaf Plus on a road trip around the state of Maryland. For those unfamiliar, Maryland isn't exactly the largest of U.S. states, but it also has plenty of rural areas where Level 2 EV chargers aren't even slightly common, or dominated by Tesla Superchargers that are only compatible with that company's cars.
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Still, all three cars are evenly matched on paper, with EPA-estimated ranges between 226 for the Leaf and 258 for the Niro. In theory, that should be enough for driving through relatively tiny Maryland – save for the odd hill here and there.
As the auto show's testers found, it's best to be tied to a cellular signal to get the best information about the charging situation along your route because of the immense disparities between types of connectors, pricing and usage issues. Still, they did a lap of the state in about 10 hours, which was helped by the fact all three cars were able to take advantage of fast-charging facilities when available.
While imperfect, increasing range among mainstream-branded EVs combined with a national infrastructure that's growing slowly but surely, and the electric car road trip can be a reality. At least if you live in Maryland.