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Welcome to our educational section on range anxiety demystified!
Looking at all the benefits of electric vehicles, there is still a fair percentage of people who are hesitant about switching to EVs. One of the top reasons cited is a concept called “range anxiety.” A recent survey of 1,982 shoppers, conducted by Autolist, indicated that EV cost was the top reason for avoiding an electric vehicle (48%). Range anxiety came in close as the number two reason (44%).
The majority of vehicles that we see on the roads are still running on ICE (internal combustion engines), even though EVs have taken the vehicle world by storm. What exactly is range anxiety, and is it something you should really worry about? Let’s discuss!
What is range anxiety?
Range anxiety is the fear of not being able to find a charging point for your EV or running out of power on the road. EVs and charging networks are still relatively new, leading to uncertainty with the general public. In reality, the anxiety has more to do with psychological aspects than it does with EV range and charging station availability.
Potential EV buyers also hold concerns about the reputation of early electric vehicles regarding their claimed vs. real-world range. For example, early adopters of EVs sometimes found their cars running short of the stated range. Missing the range mark occurs due to a variety of factors, including driving habits, temperature, and charging practices. We cover this topic extensively in “A Guide On Electric Vehicle Range.”
This unfair image of EVs, together with range anxiety, likely leads to such survey results and a slower curve to electric vehicle adoption. However, due to expansion in the EV sector, along with a dramatic increase in the range of electric cars over the past few years, range anxiety will hopefully soon be a thing of the past.
In parallel, the infrastructure for charging points is developing rapidly. For example, Tesla claimed that about 99% of the people in the US live within a 150-mile radius of superchargers. As such, if you plan on taking a longer road trip chances are very good you have many different options to charge wherever you may go. This doesn’t even include the current ability for newer Teslas to charge at other DC fast chargers or the upcoming change to allow non-Tesla owners to charge at superchargers in the US.
8 in 10 drivers cover a distance of fewer than 100 kilometers
To better understand the relevance of range anxiety, we must also understand driver behavior. According to a study done on nearly 700,000 vehicles, the majority of cars travel around 62 miles (under 100 kilometers) each day. The same study showed that 6 out of 10 drivers cover a daily distance of less than 30 miles.
In 2020, according to the EPA the average range for EVs was 259 miles, which means that it exceeds expectations for most drivers on the road. Charging your electric car at home or using an efficient charging station on the road or at work should ease range anxiety for the majority of us.
You can charge many new EVs in under 30 minutes
Another factor leading to range anxiety is how long it takes to charge your electric car. While older EV models took countless hours or even an entire day to charge, many newer EVs can achieve full charge in about 30 minutes. Latest technologies like the DCFC (Direct Current Fast Chargers) or the Superchargers by Tesla make this possible.
Fast charging technology changed the game for EVs and only continues to improve. DCFC brings down the charging time by 70% for most EV drivers owning models like the Tesla Model 3 or Audi e-tron For example, where older Audi models took 90 minutes, the new Audi e-Tron requires average time of only 30 minutes to fully charge.
Tips to reduce range anxiety
If you are someone who is planning to make the transition from ICE to electric vehicles but suffers from range anxiety, then the following are some of the ways that will help you get over it.
Know what your EV can do
Knowing how far your electric vehicle can go in a single charge is essential. Most EVs have an average range of over 250 miles. This level of range makes most daily commuting hassle-free. However, if you go on a long journey or road trip, then you should familiarize with charging stations on the route but do realize that many have built in navigation to your charging stops and there are plenty of apps to download to show even more options.
External factors like traffic, weather conditions, and driving speed can also affect the range of your electric vehicle on a single charge. Before setting your route, look at the day-to-night weather conditions and plan your trip accordingly.
For most EV drivers, the first long trip will end up easing range anxiety significantly once becoming aware of the capabilities of your vehicle. What we hear time and again is that range anxiety is short lived after purchase of your first EV.
Always charge your EV before leaving
It sounds like common sense, but charging your EV before leaving the home will reduce range anxiety. Consider this similar to charging your phone before heading out. Using a home charging station to charge your EV overnight gives you peace of mind in the morning.
Make it a habit to put your EV on charge before going to bed every night so you won’t have to panic about low battery issues the next day. Although a home charging station costs money, you will likely be thankful for the investment in years to come.
Plan out your path
As a driver, you automatically feel more confident if you are familiar with the road ahead. With clear planning of the path and familiarity with charging points of the way, you will have reassurance about the upcoming journey. Real-time information, traffic updates, live maps, and charging networks enable you to predict the range possible with your electric vehicle.
All in all, EVs offer us and our environment a better future and the possibility to reduce impact on climate change. The EV revolution is on its way. Let’s gear up for it by demystifying range anxiety and instead seeing a range of benefits that come with electric cars.