‘Range Anxiety’ – Should I be anxious

‘Range Anxiety’ – Should I be anxious

One of the biggest fears people have about owning an Electric Vehicle is if it will get you to where you need to be without running out of charge. Or should I say fuel?

“worries about the range of electric vehicles is one of the biggest concerns of drivers”

Depending on the make and model of EV that you decide to get, will determine on how far it will go in one charge. Older models with a 24kWh battery will do around 70 to 100+ miles. Bigger batteries like a 30kWh will get you somewhere in the region of 120/130 miles. However newer EVs that are on the market now can do 150/200+ miles in a  single charge, and some that are still to be released claiming ranges of up to 300 miles.

some electric cars already have up to 150 miles of range, and even older EV’s can do over 80 miles.

The fact that there are lots of different types of vehicles available means that right now there is an electric car that suits, pretty much, all needs. If you tend to use your motor as a round-town-run-around, then an EV with a smaller battery should suit you fine. If you are the type of driver that has a long commute or you’re continuously doing a lot of miles then a larger, newer model would be better.

“there is already an electric car that can suit every need and regular range requirement”

We really are coming up to the stage where there is an electric vehicle for everyone. It all really depends on the mileage you do in a single day. Something that often gets forgotten when discussing range anxiety is the actual mileage that most of the UK tend to do in one journey. The average daily usage for someone in the UK is 20 miles, way under what the EV used market can offer, and even lower than the EV new market.

“as the average daily journey is under 20 miles, even the very earliest EVs are more than adequate for most people’s daily commute.”

For example, a 2015/16 24kwh Renault Zoe holds an average of 100 miles in one charge. This means that it could cover a lot of people’s daily drive for 3 days before needing a charge. A 2014 30kwh Nissan Leaf could cover about 6 days before needing a charge, after doing 120 or so miles.

Obviously, everyone has different driving habits. Varied commutes, picking kids up from school, driving to distant relatives, getting across the country for work, the list goes on. However, this may not be that big an issue, because there might just be a car that could suit you, be it used or new. The main problem is whether it is affordable or not, something that is, unfortunately, a big issue for the New EV market.

a 100 mile range, 2 year old electric car can cost as little as £6k

On the flip side, the Used market is very accessible and affordable. With prices ranging from £6k to £25k there might just be a vehicle that suits you and your needs.

Overall though, range anxiety is soon to be a worry of the past, but in the meantime, figure out what type of driving you tend to do in a normal week. How many miles do you do in a day? How often do you go on those longer journeys? Are there alternatives, like a train, to get you the distance instead of driving?

“ the key question to ask yourself is how many miles you ‘actually’ drive in a typical day?”

Even if you do need to drive, or would prefer to drive the longer distances, we must remember that the public charging network is there. There are rapid chargers at every motorway service station and the infrastructure is getting better and better. It’s all about planning. Make sure you know the route you are wanting to take and find the best points to stop and charge, ideally a bit before you completely run out of juice.

“all electric cars are capable of doing longer journeys, you just have to be prepared to plan your journey and make some brief charging stops.

If you plan your journey well, and you drive your EV correctly, being anxious about how far your car can get you shouldn’t be an issue. Also, something to bear in mind, Range Anxiety is something every new EV owner has gone through, but after your first long drive behind the wheel, it will vanish like an internal combustion engine vehicle in your rear-view mirror.


Author Details: Dave Marston, ‘Completely Green’ and ‘Drive Green’ green technology and electric vehicle advisor, musician, and sustainable living enthusiast.