When I started to look into buying an electric vehicle, I came across the concept of range anxiety in the press. Having a slightly anxious disposition, the idea of constantly worrying if I would have enough of a battery charge concerned me. I bought an electric vehicle and learned that EV range anxiety is mostly a myth. I want to clarify some misconceptions about owning an electric car.
Range Anxiety Does Not Apply to Daily Commutes
According to the United State Department of Transportation, the average driver commutes 29 miles daily. Of course, your commute could be longer depending on whether you live in an urban or rural environment. Regardless, most electric vehicles today have a battery range that can travel 200 miles or more on a single charge. So even if you were commuting 100 miles daily, most electric vehicle batteries could easily handle such a daily drive. Therefore, you could surmise that most driving should be free of range anxiety.
Anxiety could be an issue on longer road trips where the distance traveled is greater than your battery range. We will discuss longer road trips later in the article.
EV Charging and Daily Commuting
Something else to consider with your daily commute is electric vehicle charging. Most daily commutes involve driving to work and back. Electric vehicles typically charge at home using a level 2 charger. EV charging occurs overnight, and the driver begins each day with a full battery in the morning. Starting the day with a fully charged EV battery and the typical daily driving distance eliminates range anxiety for most commutes. Sometimes people may forget to charge one day. If you forgot to charge, there are plenty of opportunities to charge away from home. Many shopping centers, workplaces, and other destinations have chargers. While eating or doing your errands, you can charge with little waiting time and be back on the road with enough of a charge to get you to your destination.
Range Anxiety and Road Trips
The less common occurrence of range anxiety becoming an issue is on road trips where the distance traveled exceeds your electric vehicle’s battery range. On such road trips, your electric car must stop and charge along the way. The duration of the charge will depend on the availability of chargers along your trip route and the speed of your electric vehicle charger. But your electric vehicle can tell you where to charge and how long. Tesla Superchargers and Electrify America are two major electric vehicle charging infrastructure providers.
On-road trips with fewer EV chargers along your route are when you may feel some range anxiety. But, again, reducing your speed will help you get the most out of your battery range. Personally, my family has taken our EV on many road trips to various states, including Arizona, Utah, and, most recently, Wyoming. Only in remote areas has the feeling of range anxiety crept in, but the rest of the time, electric vehicles have been convenient and a time saver.
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