How many miles would you say you get from your EV? How many miles do you drive on an average day? Many of us are still a little uncertain, and it’s in this grey area that a common worry of new EV drivers can fester. You’ll know it as “range anxiety”, or the concern that you won’t have enough battery charge to reach your destination.
As an EV driver, you often hear people saying they won’t buy an electric vehicle because of range anxiety. New EV drivers can find it to be a tough transition as they get to know the real-world miles they can travel.
In this post, we unravel some common misconceptions to help people still on the fence about EVs let go of range anxiety once and for all.
1. “I drive too far for an EV”
You probably don’t drive as far as you think. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration calculates that the average driver in the U.S. travels under 13,500 miles a year. That works out to less than 37 miles a day. Even if you doubled this mileage, it would still be way below the real-world capabilities of any EV on the market.
While the older EV models had a limited range, battery technology has developed rapidly and the new breed of EVs can easily achieve more than 200 miles on a single charge.
Of course, you’ll want to allow for the odd times a year that you need to go further than normal, and that’s where the old range anxiety can kick back in. But, when it comes down to it experience is key. When asked, most experienced EV drivers say they feel comfortable traveling to new destinations in their EVs.
2. “There’s not enough public charging infrastructure”
Firstly, public charging really isn’t as important as some might think. That’s because the vast majority of EV owners charge their vehicles at home. In fact, the overwhelming majority of SmartCharge Rewards survey respondents said they rarely, if ever, use a public charging station. With the increased ranges of today’s EVs, most drivers find they don’t have to plug in until they get home at the end of the day.
Secondly, if you don’t have access to a home charger, then you’ll be supported by a fast growing network of public charging points. There are currently over 96,000 public charging ports in the U.S. Lots of workplaces provide charging ports for their employees, and many hotels have installed level 2 chargers for their guests.
3. “An EV won’t handle our vacations”
In 2019, OnePoll and Quaker State looked at the roadtrip habits of 2,000 Americans and found that the average person drives up to 3 hours to reach their vacation destination. Assuming an average speed of 65mph to allow for some freeway and some non-freeway driving, that’s only 195 miles.
For those EV drivers traveling further away, DC fast charging stations are a great option, with more of them popping up all over North America. In 2019, the charging network Electrify America installed more than 120 DC charging stations at Walmart stores across 34 states. Most of these were just off major highways, making interstate travel easier for EVs.
4. “I don’t want to worry each time I get in my vehicle”
Like most things in life, the worry fades as experience grows.
A survey of SmartCharge Rewards participants found that the longer people had been driving electric, the less range anxiety affected them. After four years, barely anyone said they were very concerned about their EV’s range, and over two thirds said that range was seldom a concern.
We all know that feeling of range anxiety, and we’ve seen how it fades away with experience, but as EV technology keeps improving, it’s going to become even less of an issue. And in a few years from now, no one will be talking about it at all. But, just in case you’re still trying to convince your old-school uncle or stubborn coworker to give EVs a chance, be sure to send them our way.