If you’re considering buying an electric vehicle, it might be hard to imagine waiting for your car to charge. And one of the first things that surprises people who aren’t familiar with electric cars is that you can actually do other things while your EV charges.
To talk more about this, we spoke with EV driver John Macintosh to share with you 7 things you can do while your EV charges. John is from Southwestern Ontario and drives a Ford Fusion Energi. This model is a plug-in hybrid, meaning it can run on both gas and electricity.
#1 Go Out to Eat
“Whenever I’m charging, food and coffee are typically involved,” says John. He’ll usually find a restaurant with nearby charging stations or go to a mall food court while he charges.
Charging is a great opportunity to meet with friends or loved ones and catch up. “On the weekends, my wife and I will usually take the car together whenever we go out.”
You can easily find charging stations in your area on the FLO app. Download it here for free.
#2 Get Some Work Done
Charging gives you the chance to catch up on work. “I work on the road for a virtual company, so I get a lot of work done while I charge,” says John. “I’ll usually do phone follow-ups, fill reports or take the time to connect with customers.”
You can also take the time to get organized, sync up your calendar or respond to emails.
Additionally, if you’re lucky enough to have an employer with charging stations, then you can fill your battery throughout the work day.
#3 See the Sites
Whether it’s a museum, unique architecture or a historical site, chances are there’s something in your city you have yet to see. This makes charging your car a great time to break your routine and explore.
“I always find inspiration at libraries,” says John. He says he visits them frequently. And in his city, “we have three libraries with charging stations within a block.”
Plugging your car in overnight is the way most EV drivers charge their car’s battery. If you have a charging station at home, you can charge up overnight while you’re sleeping.
John plugs in at the end of each day. “I don’t have to wait anymore in line at the gas station,” he says.
His vehicle, like most electric or plug-in hybrids, has a setting to tell the car to warm up in the morning. “When it’s cold outside, I program it to warm up while it’s still plugged in.”
#5 Get Some Exercise
Some charging stations are located near parks and recreation areas. If you have young kids, you can take them to a park to play outside for a while. You can also join a gym that has chargers nearby.
Alternatively, you can easily head out for a stroll while your car is plugged in. It’s a great way to get a little exercise and fresh air, and you can see different parts of your city.
#6 Add Information About the Charging Site to Online Databases
EV drivers tend to be helpful and are very happy to share information that will make the charging experience easier for other drivers.
While you’re plugged in, you can take the time to take pictures or share information about the charging site with other drivers online.
John manages a group for his local EV drivers on social media. “Whenever I see a new station, I’ll let everyone know where it is,” he says.
#7 Do Grocery Shopping or Run Errands
Charging is an easy time to get some errands done. You can do your week’s grocery shopping or do other odds and ends projects you’ve been waiting to do. In fact, some grocery chains in both Canada and the US have EV charging right out front.
Remember, you can easily find charging stations in your area on the FLO app.
Things to Do While Your EV Charges
Driving an electric vehicle represents a slightly different lifestyle than with a gas-fuelled vehicle. “Whatever I’m doing, or wherever I’m going, I always try to find a charging station nearby,” says John. “This helps eliminate any range anxiety I might get.”
The lifestyle changes are worth it. After John’s first year of owning his PHEV, he went from paying $5,000 a year in fuel down to a $450 annual cost of charging.
“We’re all stewards of the planet,” says John. “We can reduce what comes out of the tailpipe. If we all do our part, it’ll make a real difference.”