How to Plan the Ultimate All-electric Road Trip Through New England This Fall

What better way to see the fall foliage than with an eco-friendly ride?

An electric car driving down the Kancamagus Highway in Northern New Hampshire

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There's nothing quite like witnessing fall in New England. It's a place and time that defines cozy; a region where breathtaking foliage views go on forever. It's also a destination that's long been chosen for a fall road trip.

But times are changing, and we're living in the future. Now, it's the perfect moment to take a New England fall road trip in an electric vehicle (or EV). 

Electric cars used to be an idea we dreamt about while watching The Jetsons. But thanks to a few forward-thinking moguls, there are more than two million EVs on the road today, and that number is only expected to grow. Even car rental companies are switching to electric, slowly swapping out their fleet of gas guzzlers.

There are, however, a few things to consider before hitting the New England roads for some leaf-peeping in your EV. Here's how to plan the perfect EV fall road trip.

Pick your route and destination.

Halloween decorations in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston in autumn.

DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

New England isn't a singular destination. Instead, it's made up of six spectacular and distinct states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Though they all share in the magic of fall, each one comes with its own seasonal happenings, including fall festivals like the famed Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island, the Warner Fall Foliage Festival in New Hampshire, and the over the top Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta, in Maine, which sees massive pumpkins turned into "boats" that set out on the river. 

These events, along with the local sights, make each spot worthy of exploration. Though you could technically get from the capital of Connecticut to the capital of Maine in just a few hours, it's worth slowing down, picking some key locations, and taking your time. 

Spend a few days in Old Lyme, Connecticut, a town tucked along the coast where you can see the changing leaves and the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean. Then, drive a few hours north to Newport, Rhode Island, to watch the trees transform into new colors above the famed mansions. Once you have your fill, drive about 90 minutes north to end the trip with a city escape in Boston, making sure to walk around Beacon Hill to admire the brick homes on cobblestoned streets covered in leaves. 

Tom Lishness of Windsor motors during the Powerboat division of the Pumpkin Regatta, part of the Pumpkinfest in Damariscotta

Carl D. Walsh/Portland Portland Press Herald/Getty Images

If you want to head even further north, make your way to New Hampshire to drive along the Kancamagus Highway, a scenic road that snakes through the White Mountains for some 34 miles. It's an ideal spot to take things slow in your EV, as pull-offs are just about at every turn, so you can step out, see the view, and keep going with ease.

Keep the good times going with a stopover in Stowe, Vermont, to hike Mount Mansfield before the snow comes, then head to Maine towns like Boothbay to witness the last glimpses before the trees go bare. But ultimately, it's up to you how and where you spend your New England road trip. The good news is there are no wrong choices.

Understand when the leaves change.

Properly timing a fall road trip through New England means understanding when the leaves change. Get there too early, and you'll only see the deep green hues of summer; go too late, and it will already be closing in on a winter wonderland. 

Luckily, much like how your EV represents the future, so, too, do the plentiful fall foliage tracking sites across the internet. For example, American Forests has a national tracker, which you can use as general guidance for timing the peak foliage season. According to the website, it's looking like a usual year, with late September into early October being the prime time for New England. For a more localized view, check out's version, which hones in on the states we discussed above. This provides a greater level of detail for those hoping to follow the leaves north to south as they transform. 

A man crosses a stream in Maine's Northern Forest. Fall.

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Plot out the charging stations.

Another critical element to plan is where to stop to charge your EV along the way. There are numerous websites that can help, including Chargemap, which pinpoints charging locations all over the globe. Plus, the website has a handy app that will allow you to plot your route on mobile, making it easier to get up and go. There are also state-specific websites you can use to cross-reference your changing stations, like ChargeHub's Massachusetts page or Efficiency Maine's charging locator. You can even double down and book a hotel that offers charging stations for guests. Find a few on your route, like The Garrison Hotel in Dover, New Hampshire, on PlugShare.

Pack the right gear.

Look, this is still a road trip, which means some things never get old, including bringing along the essentials: good snacks, a fun playlist, and the right weekender luggage.

But on a fall foliage trip, there are two things you can't forget: a great set of binoculars so you can take in every inch of the view and a fantastic camera to capture every nuanced color. And maybe sneak in a selfie with your electric car, too, since it's how you got to see all this majesty in the first place. 

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