We know that range anxiety is the biggest barrier to the wider take up of pure electric cars and vans. While the fear of running out of charge maybe very real, I believe its both overblown and mentioned far too much in the media. Research shows that 87% of us could do our daily commutes in an EV with a battery range of 100 miles, charged just once at night. In five years of driving EVs daily I’ve never once run out of juice or had to change my plans because of range anxiety. Sure, we need many more charging points but with home and workplace chargers plus the growth of Rapid Chargers its perfectly possible to stretch the battery range of the electric car or van to a feasible 200 miles per day simply by repeat charging.
But the biggest complaint made by anti-EV commentators is that electric cars and vans can’t do long motorway journeys. That’s not strictly true as the new Rapid Charging network on motorways now makes this possible with a couple of half-hour top ups. But the reality is that most of us only need that long-distance journey ability once or twice a year. Large numbers of drivers are denying themselves the financial savings of EVs because of those twice-a-year trips. This is something carmakers and the government need to look at and make conventional cars available to EV buyers for occasional holiday or longer business journeys. And if you’re one of the 30% of households in the UK with more than one car then an EV is an obvious choice. There are also car clubs that rent cars by the hour of day as well as the well-known rental companies. So the solution to range anxiety is already out there if we’re prepared to make the effort.
Ask any EV driver and they’ll tell you that their fear of range anxiety declines the more they miles they’ve covered. And many of us hardly worry about range at all. Tesla owners with their 250-mile range and network of Superchargers smile at the mention of range anxiety while they strobe up and down the motorways. And if range anxiety was such a real issue wouldn’t our roads be lined with conked-out EVs with flat batteries? We’ll they’re not. So keep an open mind and understand that charging stations are multiplying, battery range is improving (the new Renault Zoe has a 250 mile range) and the vast majority of drivers actually don’t travel more than 100 miles a day. Because there will come a time when children will be asking their parents to tell them those hilarious stories about Range Anxiety.