Range anxiety is a term that, to some, might sound like a fleeting concern of the past. But what is it? Why has it become a buzzword in the EV world?
What is Range anxiety?
Simply put, range anxiety refers to the fear EV drivers have of their battery depleting before reaching a charging station or their destination. It's like watching the gas needle hover precariously above the empty mark in an ICE car but with the twist of less ubiquitous refuelling stations. Research from AAA suggests 95% of EV owners report they've never run out of charge, and 77% of those initially concerned about insufficient range becoming less or no longer concerned post-purchase.
The psychology behind range anxiety is deeply rooted in the historical perception of early EVs, which indeed had a limited range. However, with evolving EV technology and infrastructure, this fear may be growing obsolete. Still, old notions die hard.
Range anxiety vs. Charge anxiety: What's the difference?
While range anxiety revolves around the fear of depleting the battery before reaching a charging point, a new term, ‘charge anxiety’, has arisen. This concern is about the reliability of these charging points once they’re reached. Fears encapsulated under charge anxiety include long waiting times, faulty equipment, and even charging spots taken up by non-EVs.
- Range anxiety: Worry about the battery running out before reaching a station.
- Charge anxiety: Concerns over the accessibility and reliability of charging stations.
Is range anxiety still relevant today?
To put it bluntly, for many, the answer is "No." Despite the increasing popularity of EVs, with Europe witnessing a 66% YoY growth in the plug-in EV market in 2020-2021, some apprehensions linger. But recent data might help put minds at ease:
- Actual usage: Most daily commutes, especially in Europe, fall well within the range of even the most basic EVs. Eurostat pegs the average daily driving distance in Europe at 50-70 km. Compare this to the average EV range of 354 kilometres, and it's clear that for the vast majority, range isn't a pressing issue.
- Charging infrastructure: As of 2022, there were approximately 535,700 public charging stations in Europe, Monta’s 400k roaming chargers included. With such extensive coverage, it's becoming easier than ever to find a charge when needed. Add to this the fact that around 75% of EV charging happens at home, and the notion of being stranded begins to seem implausible.
- Real-life testimonies: Research from AAA has shown that 95% of EV owners have never run out of charge. Furthermore, post-purchase, 77% of those initially anxious about range reported decreased or vanished concerns.
Factors driving range anxiety
- EV range: While modern EVs offer commendable ranges, not all EVs are on par. Variables like speed, weather, and battery health can affect performance.
- Charging infrastructure: Charging infrastructure has grown, but it's not yet as ubiquitous as gas stations. Home charging, public stations, and workplace charging collectively play a role in easing range anxiety.
- Interoperability issues: Not all charging networks are compatible, making it harder for drivers to find available charging points, thus increasing anxiety.
So, is range anxiety a relic of the past? For many, the answer is yes. With improvements in infrastructure and battery technology, coupled with a growing understanding of real-life EV capabilities, the shadows of doubt are receding. Listen to Monta’s In-Between Charges podcast episode where we talk about how range anxiety is not a real problem.
Perhaps the most telling antidote to range anxiety? Owning an EV. As many new owners discover, what was once a source of worry soon becomes a non-issue in their daily lives. As the EV revolution accelerates, it's time to toss aside range anxiety and embrace the future of transportation.
What is range anxiety?
Range anxiety refers to the concern or fear that an EV will not have sufficient battery life to reach its intended destination before running out of power.
What affects an EV's driving range?
While the primary determinant of an EV's range is its battery size, several other factors also play a role. This includes driving speed, temperature, and the use of electric-powered features like heating and cooling.
Is charge anxiety the same as range anxiety?
No. While range anxiety pertains to fears about an EV's battery depleting before reaching a destination, charge anxiety revolves around the reliability and accessibility of charging stations. This can include concerns about long waiting times, faulty equipment, and non-EVs occupying charging spots.
Are there any solutions in place to mitigate range and charge anxiety?
Yes. The rapid expansion of public charging stations allows users to access multiple charging points and apps as Monta helps locate more than 400k charge points. Additionally, many EVs now come equipped with sophisticated range estimators and integrated maps showing charging station locations.
Does driving speed affect EV's range?
Yes. Faster driving or aggressive acceleration can drain an EV's battery more rapidly. Maintaining a consistent, moderate speed can help maximise range.
Do EVs lose range as they age?
Yes, but not as drastically as some might think. EV batteries slowly degrade over time, averaging a 2.3% decline in capacity annually.