Range anxiety: What it is and why we shouldn’t worry

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The transition to cleaner, more sustainable mobility is well underway. One of the key components of that transition is the switch from internal combustion engine vehicles to fully-electric vehicles, or EVs. However, the road to electric mobility is one fraught with challenges, and not all of them are technological. As drivers, we mentally have to adapt to this new future. Enter, range anxiety.

Range anxiety is a term used to describe the fear or concern that an electric vehicle (EV) driver experiences when they worry about running out of battery charge before reaching their destination or a charging station. It is a psychological barrier that stems from the limited driving range of electric vehicles compared to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

The main factors contributing to range anxiety are:

  1. Limited Range: Electric vehicles typically have a finite driving range on a single charge, which varies depending on factors such as battery capacity, driving conditions, speed, and climate. The fear of not being able to reach a charging station or one’s destination within the available range can cause anxiety.
  2. Charging Infrastructure: The availability and accessibility of charging stations play a significant role in range anxiety. If charging stations are scarce or not conveniently located along commonly travelled routes, EV owners may worry about finding a suitable place to recharge when needed.
  3. Charging Time: Charging an electric vehicle takes longer than refuelling a gasoline vehicle. Even with fast-charging stations, it can take a considerable amount of time to recharge the battery. The concern about waiting for an extended period to charge, especially during long trips, can contribute to range anxiety.
  4. Unfamiliarity with EV Technology: Some individuals may experience range anxiety due to a lack of familiarity with electric vehicles and their capabilities. This uncertainty about how far an EV can travel and the efficiency of the vehicle’s energy consumption can create anxiety.

It’s important to note that range anxiety is subjective and varies among EV owners. For some, it may be a significant concern, while others may not experience it at all. The expansion of charging infrastructure, increased driving ranges of newer EV models, and advancements in fast-charging technologies have been addressing range anxiety and making electric vehicles more practical for everyday use.

While range anxiety is a valid concern for some electric vehicle (EV) owners, there are several reasons why we shouldn’t worry excessively about it: 

  1. Increasing Driving Ranges: EV technology has been rapidly advancing, leading to the development of vehicles with increasingly longer driving ranges. Modern EV models are capable of traveling several hundred miles on a single charge, reducing the frequency of charging stops and mitigating range anxiety.
  2. Expanding Charging Infrastructure: Governments, businesses, and utility companies are actively investing in the expansion of charging infrastructure. Public charging stations are becoming more prevalent, and fast-charging networks are being established, allowing for quicker charging times. This infrastructure growth helps alleviate range anxiety by providing more convenient and accessible charging options.
  3. Home and Workplace Charging: One of the most convenient ways to charge an EV is at home or the workplace. By installing a home charging station or utilising workplace charging infrastructure, EV owners can start each day with a full charge or top up during the day, reducing the reliance on public charging stations and minimising range anxiety.
  4. Improved Charging Speeds: Fast-charging technologies, such as DC fast chargers, are becoming more widespread. These chargers can significantly reduce charging times, enabling EV owners to recharge their vehicles quickly, similar to refuelling a diesel vehicle. As charging speeds improve, the time required to replenish the battery diminishes, lessening range anxiety.
  5. Range Estimation and Navigation Tools: Many EVs are equipped with advanced range estimation systems that provide accurate predictions of remaining range based on driving conditions, battery charge level, and other factors. Additionally, navigation tools and mobile apps often include charging station information, allowing EV owners to plan their routes effectively and locate nearby charging options, reducing range anxiety.
  6. Personal Experience and Adaptation: Over time, EV owners often become more familiar with their vehicle’s driving range, efficiency, and charging patterns. With experience, drivers gain confidence in managing their EV’s range and become more adept at planning their trips, optimising charging opportunities, and adapting their driving habits to maximise efficiency, alleviating range anxiety.

It is normal to feel hesitant when it comes to change.  For generations our traditional vehicles have helped us reach our destinations without any hick-ups. It is what we know, rely on, and what has been the norm for a very long time. While the world is busy switching to electric mobility more rapidly than ever before, we will adapt and like with many new things, reality is often far less scary than we expected it to be.

Choose Black Pear EV Charging for your home or workplace charging needs and enjoy the benefits of expert installation, customised solutions, reliable equipment, and ongoing support. Call us today 01905 700490 or visit our website for more information.