Have you ever been out of the house and noticed that your phone battery was low with no charger in sight? If you’re an EV driver, you’ve likely experienced something similar to this called range anxiety: that sinking feeling that you might just run out of battery in your car. Drivers want to know that they will always make it safely to their destination in a reasonable time frame. Let’s take a look at what range anxiety really means in order to learn how drivers can maximize EV range and ease any charging concerns.
What Is Range Anxiety?
Like the name suggests, range anxiety for EV drivers is the feeling of worry that the vehicle battery will be completely drained before a charging station is found. And range anxiety is real: J.D. Power surveys indicate that EV range and charging infrastructure are consumers’ primary concerns when choosing an electric car. EV drivers are less likely to worry about range on a typical day than during a road trip or other longer drives. Even though the average American drives less than 40 miles a day, nobody wants to worry whether they can make the drive home or not.
3 Factors That Can Lead to Range Anxiety
So what factors affect EV range and cause anxiety for drivers? From individual vehicle performance to local charging infrastructure, there are many aspects that affect how long a driver can go before finding a charge.
1.) EV Range
Not all EVs are created equal when it comes to driving range. While aspects like speed and weather can affect driving distance, an EV battery’s overall capacity has the largest impact on how far the vehicle will go between charges. According to J.D. Power, range is the number one factor contributing to customer satisfaction. While some newer luxury EVs boast excellent driving ranges, many electric cars on the market are still developing to go farther than the competition.
2.) Charging Infrastructure
Drivers of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles also face the potential for range anxiety, but traditional gas stations are still more prevalent than EV charging stations. From home charging to public stations, drivers need widespread access to electricity in order to be secure in their EV’s range. If a driver does not have level 2 charging at their home, they likely will not be able to fully charge their vehicle overnight. That means their vehicle’s range is further limited, and in the case that there is no reliable charging at work, their range may be stretched even with a daily commute.
3.) Lack of Software Interoperability
EV roaming is the ability to access other charging networks from one open network application. For example, EV Connect pairs with other charging providers to allow users across platforms to charge with one network. However, not all providers allow for this level of flexibility. When networks are closed or limited, drivers have a harder time finding nearby stations, and thus have the potential to become more anxious about their vehicle’s range.
How To Avoid Range Anxiety
The prospect of being stranded on the side of the road with no way to move is stressful for anyone. For EV drivers, there are a few tips to ensure that fear does not become a reality. Let’s take a look at how to avoid range anxiety, or rather, maximize EV range.
Buy for Your Needs
It may sound obvious, but fitting your electric car to your individual needs is one of the best ways to avoid range anxiety. Whether you live in a cold weather climate, drive many highway miles or don’t have consistent charging access (all of which will reduce range), making sure your vehicle’s battery capacity can tackle or exceed the mileage you throw at it is crucial to assuaging range concerns.
Install a Level 2 Charger
For charging station owners and managers, installing a level 2 EV charging station at multi-family properties and other places of business is a great way to help drivers with range anxiety. Because most EVs hooked up to a level 2 charger will be fully charged overnight or over in the course of a work day, drivers with reliable access to these chargers will not have to worry about running low on battery.
For road trips and other increased driving days, having a solid plan is the best way to avoid range anxiety. Mapping out your stops for a charge based on your vehicle’s range is great peace of mind, but it is also great to have a backup plan. Additionally, being aware of factors like weather, speed limit and elevation will help you understand how far you can go between charges.
Use the EV Connect Driver App
Skip the basic search tools like Google Maps and instead find charging stations using the EV Connect Driver app. Whether you are on a long distance trip or simply popping around town and wanting to charge while you do some errands, the EV Connect app will help you find the charging you need. Due to the aforementioned network interoperability, the ease of payment and user-friendly functionality, the EV Connect app is an excellent means to avoid range anxiety.
When it comes to alleviating range anxiety, there is a ton of exciting news on the horizon. On a base level, EV ranges continually increase with new battery technologies. Additionally, as EV smart charging continues to develop and EV computers become more sophisticated, soon your electric car and charging station will do much of the range consideration for you. Not to mention EV charging infrastructure is expanding daily. So what are you waiting for? Help relieve range anxiety by providing your tenants, employees and other drivers with the adequate power they need for daily commutes and beyond.
J.D. Power – What Is Range Anxiety With Electric Vehicles?
Automotive World – How To Say Goodbye to EV Range Anxiety