Magazine article Sunset

Power Trips

Magazine article Sunset

Power Trips

Article excerpt

think plug-in cars are just for short errands? No wonder. In 201S, the Tesla Model S was the only widely available electric vehicle that could make it from L. A. to San Diego without stopping to recharge. Over the past few years, the ground has shifted. Tesla is still the range leader, but the newest Nissan Leaf now estimates a very respectable 151 miles on a single charge, and the 2018 Chevy Bolt EV is up to 238. Meanwhile, rental companies are jumping on the bandwagon, and hotels are beefing up their EV parking spots. Find a DC fast-charging unit (chargepoint.com), and you can often be back on the road in 30 minutes. Suddenly, the wide-open spaces that define much of the West are well within reach. If you're itching to ditch the pump on your next voyage beyond city limits, these three routes will spark the imagination.

Wallea, HI *» 121 mila* *» Hana, HI

As the crow flies, the island of Maui is only 48 miles long, and its western half is loaded with charging stations. Rent a 2016 Nissan Leaf from Bio-Beetle (bio-beetle.com) and they'll deliver it to the resort area of Wailea. Set out toward Ma'alaea, then follow the semiarid coastal hills to Kā'anapali Beach Hotel (kbhmaui.com), where you can power up while you walk down to the white sand for a quick swim. After you finish rounding West Maui, hightail it for the populous city of Kahului on the north side of the island, where you'll find lunch for yourself and more electricity for your ride-enough to take you along the twisting rain-forest highway to Hana and, thankfully, straight back to Kahului. Once you reach the remote east coast, look out toward the crashing waves and inhale the refreshing air that you've helped keep a bit cleaner. …

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