As electric cars become a commonplace in society, and as infrastructure and accessibility begin to improve, new terms are being devised in order to help us navigate through the minefield of new innovations: one of those is ‘range anxiety’.
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 distance an electric car can cover on a single charge, and worries about the shortage of chargers - particularly in the more remote geographical areas of a country - can lead to this psychological fear that your car will come to a stop. This is known as range anxiety.
Is range anxiety a justifyable concern?
Addressing range anxiety is one critical part in helping to accelerate EV adoption in cities, and more generally, as a concept across our society. Consumers want to know that, no matter where they are travelling, they will be able to find a reliable place to charge on the road. In this regard, consumer trust is the key component in helping to neutralise the psychological barrier brought on by range anxiety.
In the long run, we can have confidence that the issue will likely solve itself autonomously. Charge point providers are beginning to roll out ultra-rapid 800V chargers for the latest flock of EVs, and manufacturers are constantly exploring new ways of harvesting more efficiency from their batteries. Couple this with the natural expansion of national charging networks and grids, and the future looks bright.
What is the range of electric cars?
The range provided by electric cars has come leaps and bounds over the last decade. For some measure, the world’s best-selling electric car last year, the Tesla Model 3, has a claimed range of 374 miles. Even a tiny urban crawler, such as the Fiat 500 electric, can travel up to 199 miles before needing a recharge. These figures seem more than sufficient when you consider that the average car trip length in the UK is around 8.4 miles.
It goes without saying that everybody’s daily commute, or distance that they cover in a car everyday, will differ from one another. But if you travel long distances by road everyday, the infrastructure has improved so much that you’re more often than not going to run into a charging station on the way - or you’ll be able to plan accordingly so that you can rendezvous with one.
And if you’re wondering what sort of range future EVs could have, Mercedes tipped the scales back in April 2022 when its Vision EQXX became the first all-electric car to travel a distance of over 1,000km (621 miles). By combining a lightweight chassis, with streamlined aerodynamics and a 117-cell solar panel roof, Mercedes managed to break the world record: and if 621 miles of range is the future, range anxiety may truly become a thing of the past.
How can range anxiety be omitted?
If you still feel that range anxiety is something that often occurs to you, here are five of our tips and tricks to help overcome the issue:
1. Use charging station apps to plan your journey - There are a number of dedicated smartphone apps that can be used to plan your journeys in such a way that you pass by charging hubs. Making use of these could not only make you aware of stations that you didn’t know existed, but also ease the stresses brought on by range anxiety.
2. Remove unnecessary weight from the boot and cabin - This is advice that stretches throughout all forms of cars, be it electric or combustion engine. Weight upsets the fuel economy of a traditional ICE-powered car, and in the same way it uses propellant to carry excess load, the same happens for electric cars. So, leave anything that you don’t need at home.
3. Make use of your regenerative braking - Regenerative braking has been one of the most ingenious developments with the emergence of electric cars. Essentially, kinetic energy that is lost during braking is instead retained and stored, helping to preserve a fraction of a car’s range in the process.
4. Drive at steady, slower speeds - Simply put, the faster you drive an electric car, the more energy it uses. This also means increased battery range consumption. Avoiding harsh, unnecessary acceleration and sticking to a composed speed can help to stretch your range on long drives.
5. Install a home charging station - Perhaps the most reassuring way to ensure that you’ve always got full charge is to have a dedicated home charging dock installed for yourself. With Government schemes available, and a whole host of providers to choose from, installing a home charger is becoming more commonplace by the day.
That was Karfu’s explainer guide on range anxiety. Do you still have queries about the topic, or are looking for further advice? Engage in the comments section down below, and we’ll be on hand to answer your questions!