So what is range anxiety?
Range anxiety has been one of the most hotly debated topics in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. But, as EVs continue to improve, it's important to look at reality to understand that range anxiety doesn't need to be an issue.
Simply put, range anxiety is the fear that your electric car will run out of charge before you make it to your destination, leaving you stranded. But here's the thing: range anxiety is essentially a myth.
The average commute in the UK is under 10 miles, so that's 20 miles per day. And, outside of the commute, average journey lengths are also low, at around 8.5 miles. So, in most cases, drivers have more than enough range to get them to where they need to go.
As batteries improve, concerns about charging are becoming more of an issue. Termed ‘charging anxiety’, the SMMT suggest that anxiety about finding a charge point is now the second biggest barrier for people when considering whether to buy an EV.
So, do you need to worry about range or charging? We don’t think you need to worry about either, so let us explain why.
What about longer journeys?
Whilst the average commute might be short, there are times when longer journeys are needed. But, even then, EV drivers don't need to worry. Electric cars have come a long way in the last few years. As technology and batteries improve, so does range.
The longest range EV on the market can now travel over 450 miles on a single charge; overall, the average is 200 miles. The list below ranks the top 10 EVs by range.
Mercedes EQS - 485 miles.
Mercedes EQE - 410 miles.
Tesla Model S - 405 miles.
BMW iX - 380 miles.
Ford Mustang Mach-E - 379 miles.
BMW i4 - 367 miles.
Tesla Model 3 - 360 miles.
Tesla Model X - 360 miles.
Volkswagen ID.3 - 336 miles
Polestar 2 - 335 miles
What about charging out and about?
It's estimated that there are around 400,000 charging points at homes and offices in the UK, so for many, home or work is where most charging happens. But, if home charging isn't possible, there is no need to worry, there are lots of public charging options that you can take advantage of.
The number of public chargers is rising rapidly. Figures from ZapMap show that more than 34,800* public charge points are available in the UK, an increase of 35% year on year. In contrast, the number of petrol stations is falling with less than 8,400 now open.
Charging your EV isn’t difficult but it does take a little more planning. Unlike a traditionally fuelled car you'll require a bit of extra time and you might also need the right app.
It’s worth using sites like Zap Map or Open Charge to plan your trips to make sure you know where the chargers are, what brand and how to pay. That way if you do need an app you can make sure you’ve downloaded it and signed up in advance. Some apps cover one charging network but apps like PodPoint and Bonnet cover multiple brands.
*Correct at the time of publish
Simple tips to maximise your range
If you're worried about running out of juice, there are a few things you can do to maximise your range.
Plan your route ahead of time and make sure you know where and when to break up your journey and where the charging stations are on the route. This way, if you do start to run low on power, you know where you can go to recharge.
Make the most of regenerative braking. By removing your foot from the accelerator, you can capture the wasted energy from the process of slowing down and use it to recharge the car's batteries.
Make sure your tyres are correctly inflated. Underinflated tyres increase rolling resistance and that lowers the number of miles you can drive on a charge. It can also lead to uneven wear which costs more in maintenance in the long run.
If possible turn off or turn down climate control. Heating and cooling put a big drain on the battery. Using heated seats can be a more economical option in winter. And whilst opening the window will affect aerodynamics, and therefore, range, the impact on range is less than using the AC on full.