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The truth about electric car range anxiety

9 August 2022 | 2 Min Read

You may have heard about range anxiety in the media and between your friends, but is it a phobia that’s logical? What even is it? You’ll find all the answers here.

What is range anxiety?

With the advent of new technology comes the fear of change, and electric cars were no different. As the technology started, many cars had “short” ranges, with some even staying under 100 miles (we’re looking at you, original Nissan Leaf). 

 

The fear and anxiety for many come with the idea of being stranded in their new electric car with no way to quickly charge up. You can’t get a Jerry can and top-up at the side of the road easily like a combustion vehicle. Amazingly, over half of American adults have cited it as a reason they wouldn’t buy an EV. 
 

Can over half of the adult population be wrong? Yes. We think so anyway, and the numbers are also suggesting that range anxiety is something to put to the back of your mind if you’re considering moving to electric! 
 

Why electric car range is more than enough

How many miles per day do you drive? How many do you think most people do? The United States Department for Transports has found that the average person travels 39 miles per day in their car, totalling over 14,000 miles per year. You may think that’s a lot, and that you’re bound to be caught short someday in your new shiny EV. But, let’s think about those journeys and the electric car logistics within this equation. Even the moon buggy had a long enough range for your daily driving habit!
 

Let’s look at the modern electric car market options. The shortest range by some margin appears to be the Smart EQ ForTwo, travelling up to 58 miles on a single charge. For the short commute, this vehicle is suitable for daily charging at home like you would do with your mobile phone. Many of us don’t just drive to work and back, and we like the flexibility to travel much further. So, how far can we go on a single charge with current technology? 
 

The current crown sits with the Mercedes EQS, with an impressive 485 miles of range on a charge. Simple maths: if you travelled at 60mph constantly, you’d be okay for 8 hours of non-stop driving. Even long-distance truckers, Cannonball drivers or Le Mans racers don’t do stints for that long! 
 

However, coming in at over $100,000 it’s a pricey option. In the more reserved range, Tesla’s, BMW’s and more can offer 300 miles or more range quite happily. 

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How does charging up compare to refuelling?

The only technical issue we see with electric cars that reduces their viability for long-distance driving is the charging infrastructure in our current societies. The time to “fill up” is also a current topic of contention too. Take a Tesla on a supercharger - you can get roughly 80% charge in 40 minutes. So let’s say that’s even 250 miles in a 40-minute charge. Sounds great right? Think about how long it takes to fill your current gas guzzler of any shape and size, and how long that process takes. 2 minutes for the same or more range. And look at how easy it is to get to a pump for gas compared to charging up when you’re out and about! 

 

Electric cars are getting smarter guidance systems for finding charging ports, and charging times will get shorter as technology advances. Current Tesla’s in particular are well known for plotting your route around superchargers en route, so you barely have to think about that issue. 
 

In conclusion, electric cars aren’t perfect, but for the majority of us on the vast majority of days, it’s going to be fine to live with. Range anxiety shouldn’t be at the front of your mind, and in 20 years, you’ll probably wonder why you ever worried. Just remember, when you drive electric you’re doing just a little bit more for the environment, and keeping your neighbourhood emissions lower. 

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