Range anxiety is a term used to define the fear of not being able to find a place to recharge your electric car before the battery runs out. Concerns about the mileage an electric vehicle can cover on a single charge and worries about the lack of public charging infrastructure lead to this phenomenon, called ‘range anxiety’. So if you have ever felt like you feared your car might not reach its final destination due to insufficient charge, or you ever wondered if batteries degrade over time, welcome to the team.


Why is range anxiety serious?

Addressing range anxiety is a critical part to accelerating EV adoption in cities and more generally as a concept across our society, as consumers’ trust becomes essential - no matter where they travel, it feels better to know you will be able to find a reliable place to charge on the road. 


In the long run, we know that this issue will likely solve itself autonomously due to a power increase and efficiency in batteries and an organic expansion of national point charge networks. However, this is the future. At the moment, unless you are driving other types of cars, like a hydrogen fuel car, this issue still represents a matter of concern for a potential buyer. 


What is the range of electric cars?

The electric vehicles currently on the market have a range of 160 km for a small city car to over 600 km for the top-of-the-range saloon. Sufficient to meet most of your daily travels needs, 95% of cases range from 40 to 200 km (National Household Travel Survey).


How can range anxiety be eliminated?

One way to eliminate range anxiety is to install a home charging station so you can recharge your vehicle overnight. 

It may sound obvious, but ensuring the EV infrastructure is modified to become more accessible and seamless - as comparable to petrol stations - will be a good thing.

Network expansion, the complexity and combination of multiple types of chargers, EV-related software, and the various charging use cases can cause significant stability issues for regular drivers who are not super-experienced in the field. 


Is range anxiety unwarranted?

Even though many drivers fear their car will stop mid-trip, this scenario is relatively implausible in the real world. Of course, if you drive for long periods without charging, you should be careful that your car might die. But isn’t this the same for diesel cars, after all?


Autonomy is the key to all-electric cars, even if they tend to be more efficient in the city as compared to the motorway where the number of km covered on a single charge is lower.  One should also bear in mind that in the next few years, the infrastructure will grow to be more extensive, and the spread of fast-charging stations will allow much shorter stops to gain many more km, probably making heavy, bulky and expensive battery packs unnecessary.  All of this will benefit the list prices of cars, which will become increasingly more competitive in terms of their energy efficiency thanks to the lower weight that will eventually affect consumption, and ultimately provide a better environmental impact through these green cars.

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Silvia Iacovcich 21/06/22