EV Range anxiety is the fear EV drivers feel when calculating if they have enough battery capacity to drive the desired route effortlessly. The drivers of “classic” ICE vehicles can also experience range anxiety, but the term has become more widespread with the introduction of electric vehicles in recent years.
Even with charging station networks expanding and EV technology improving daily, range anxiety is still the number one reason electric vehicles struggle to convince the general public.
Table of contents
- Is EV range anxiety real?
- The psychological effect of EV range anxiety
- What range anxiety means for mass EV adoption?
- How to battle the range anxiety?
- How can drivers overcome range anxiety?
- How to plan a good trip with an electric vehicle?
Is EV range anxiety real?
As said, EV range anxiety is the fear EV drivers experience while using electric vehicles. Currently, the fear that a driver and his EV will run out of battery in the middle of the highway or a street is real. At least without proper trip planning.
As we described in our blog, the EV charging infrastructure development is seriously lacking if we plan to see a mass EV adoption in future years. Today, an interstate trip with an EV can prove to be a serious trip-planning challenge. Judging by numerous Youtube videos, EV charging in cities can also be chaotic and a test of nerves.
So yes, EV range anxiety is real and can’t be dismissed as an anti-EV myth.
The psychological effect of EV range anxiety
Psychological perception plays a significant role in EV Range anxiety, a psychological phenomenon affecting how EV drivers perceive things.
Range anxiety influences EV drivers in various ways in response to the limited battery range and available charging stations.
When driving an EV driver will constantly monitor his consumption. Is he driving too fast and using too much power? Is his air conditioning or heating influencing his consumption too much, and does he need to turn it off? Will the charging station he plans to use for recharge be free or even working?
These are some of the concerns drivers of regular cars don’t even think about but can make an EV driver pretty uneasy. Suffering too much from range anxiety can severely influence the overall experience and satisfaction with an electric car.
Electric cars are fantastic to drive, but, as we showed in our blog on smart EV charging station solutions, the charging experience can spoil everything.
EV range anxiety causes fear or unease on long-distance or even short trips when drivers fear their battery will run out before finding a new charging point.
Coping with range anxiety is the most significant difference between driving an electric or regular gas-powered car.
What range anxiety means for mass EV adoption?
Range anxiety doesn’t affect only current EV drivers but also potential ones.
When the topic of electric cars appears in general discussions, the limited range and lack of EV charging stations is the most common argument against owning an electric car, even among people who have no first-hand experience with driving an EV.
It is a serious issue that can discourage people from buying and using electric vehicles. EV range anxiety continues to be the most significant barrier to mass EV adoption, followed by the price of EVs and the fear of possible battery replacement costs.
So to grow EV adoption, the range anxiety needs to be addressed and overcome.
How to battle the range anxiety?
To successfully overcome range anxiety, two things must happen. One is the constant technological development. That means the deployment of extensive charging infrastructure, the development of higher battery capacity at a cost-effective price, battery swapping technology, use of range extenders, accurate navigation, and better range prediction.
The other is the change of the mindset of the EV drivers.
The industry and technological development
Reducing EV range anxiety among EV drivers is not simple or easy. It is so widespread that everyone in the industry is trying to help with this issue.
Even though the average daily drive in the USA is about 39 miles (63 km) and even less in Europe, many current and potential EV drivers still feel EVs have a too low range. So, the EV industry is constantly advancing battery capacities and longevity to reduce range anxiety.
Because recharging takes a lot of time compared to ICE vehicles, faster chargers are being developed. Some global automakers like Stellantis and Volvo are also experimenting with wireless charging.
Cars are becoming lighter and have better energy efficiency.
Building more EV charging stations
The lack of charging stations in strategic locations could be a justified reason for range anxiety at the moment. While an average EV can go for about 200 to 300 kilometers before its battery runs out, if EV drivers don’t have enough charging stations where they need them, it can cause real problems. Thus, widespread charging station networks are still essential to reduce range anxiety.
The EV charging infrastructure needs to grow to meet modern EV demands. Government and car manufacturers must stimulate the EV infrastructure network to install numerous EV charging points. If enough charging stations were available, the range anxiety would be reduced.
The governments are responding with subsidies for buying electric vehicles and installing charging stations. The greatest so far is the US President Bidens bipartisan EV infrastructure bill that includes a $5 billion investment for deploying electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
So new charging stations are being built, and technological development is happening.
Changing the mindset and approach to EV driving
If a vehicle does not have enough electricity, it is usually due to the owner’s wrong calculations and inattentiveness, not because of a lack of charging stations. So the frustration with EV cars and charging comes mainly from the unwillingness of EV drivers to change their mindset about driving an EV.
An EV can’t be refueled in 5 minutes at a gas station on any corner. If a driver can’t accept that, everything else is pointless.
Before deciding to buy an EV, a driver must know that the whole concept of driving changes. Recharging must be done at the right time when the driver can use this time used for something else, productive or pleasant.
A trip from point A to B becomes a journey. If it’s a pleasant one or a nightmare, it’s up to the driver and his planning.
How can drivers overcome range anxiety?
The easiest way to overcome EV range anxiety is if EV drivers work on overcoming it themselves. Drivers who experience EV range anxiety can try to:
Build a home charging station
EV drivers can build a home EV charging station that will ensure charging services at all times. These services would be limited to only residents of that household, meaning the driver will not have to adjust to other vehicles or charging stations.
Find a good Electro mobility service provider (EMSP)
The most an EV driver can do to secure a good EV charging experience is to find a good Electro mobility service provider (EMSP). A good EMSP will ensure his charging network runs well without out-of-service charging stations. On top of that, his charging stations will be located in the best strategic locations. He will also have the best EV charging app with live stations update, trip planning, and automatic charging payments for a stress-free experience. When charging predominantly with one EMSP, EV users can save a lot of money. Good providers encourage customer loyalty with subscriptions, bonuses, and convenient EV billing.
A good EMSP also offers e-roaming services, which means its customers can also charge in other Ev charging networks with the same app.
Buy a hybrid vehicle
Buying a hybrid vehicle is one of the options, although it is not the most suitable one for the spread of EVs. Nevertheless, if you want to have additional security, a hybrid car is a good solution. If a battery is empty or there is no charging point, surely there would be a gas station somewhere along the way.
Plan trips around charging point locations
Before planning a trip, EV drivers should check for charging stations, just as they would with gas stations. Drivers should check the map for charging stations on the road they plan to take and calculate what distances they can safely drive.
But the most important thing is to plan recharging and activities. Why waste time nervously waiting for the car to charge? Plan the trip in a way that enables you to do something in that time. Restaurants are increasingly offering EV charging, so eat lunch during that time. Book a hotel with an EV charging station and recharge the vehicle overnight. Select a tourist spot with EV charging and enjoy some sightseeing in the meantime. Change your approach to driving and create a journey, not a race, from point A to B.
How to plan a good trip with an electric vehicle?
Ideally, before buying an EV, every driver should see for what purposes the vehicle will be used. Is the car going to be used for longer or shorter trips? How many long trips per year would the car have to endure? Is it profitable?
Once a user has an electric car, trips are an inevitable thing. Since EV range anxiety is mainly just unjustified fear, users must do their research before planning a trip. As mentioned above, it should all revolve around a pleasant journey.
Some of the practical steps in planning a stress-free trip include:
Installing the charging apps
Almost every modern vehicle offers in-built navigation. Nonetheless, installing dedicated charging apps to help find charging stations is a smart idea. There are many around, but if a driver uses the services of a good EV charging provider (EMSP), his app should cover all he needs. He can use it for navigation, real-time checking of available charging stations, range calculations, range history, e-roaming, and payments.
Checking up on your EV
A driver should check and maintain his EV regularly. Nevertheless, before a long trip, he should double-check whether the vehicle is “in shape .”One of the factors that can influence consumption is tire pressure, so don’t forget to check it regularly.
Having a backup plan
Even with all the preparations, a driver may come across a charging station that is down for maintenance. Or the road could be closed with a detour. Maybe it’s hotter than planned, and the air conditioning uses more electricity. This is why it is not a good idea to plan to recharge on the last possible charging station. Always make sure to leave some extra range for unplanned events.
EV range anxiety is mostly caused by irrational battery range-related fears. The EV industry is growing daily, and there will soon be more than enough charging stations for everyone. EV batteries will be so advanced that there will be no need to charge a car daily. This is why EV drivers should work on their fears and try giving EVs a chance.
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