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Range Anxiety is Fake - Read On, I'll Prove it

Overcoming Range Anxiety in the Electric Vehicle Era

As the US prepares for the total ban on gas-powered cars in the next decade, the electric vehicle industry is set for an unprecedented boom in the coming years. However, data show a rather cold reception from drivers loyal to traditional vehicles.

In a September 2023 survey conducted by GoBankingRates, over 70% of car purchases in the last 12 were gas-powered cars. While the EV market share has significantly grown over the past year, the numbers are still far from ideal. Quarter 4 figures for 2023 show an all-time high of 8.1% new sales market share for fully electric vehicles. Around 1.2 million electric cars were sold in the US last year, and experts estimate a modest but steady increase in the next two years.

The seemingly slow uptake may be related to several factors, including higher upfront costs and the overall distrust towards new technology. A persistent concern often cited by skeptics is the so-called "range anxiety" – the fear of running out of battery power before reaching a charging station.

But just how real is it?

Myth 1: Limited Range Equals Constant Anxiety

One common misconception about EVs is that they have a limited driving range, causing drivers to be in a perpetual state of anxiety about when and where they can charge their vehicles. The truth is that the range of modern electric cars has improved significantly in recent years, with many models offering over 300 miles on a single charge. The Lucid Air Grand Touring, for example, has an EPA-estimated range of 516 miles, which rivals its gas-powered counterparts. This surpasses the daily driving needs of the average commuter and is more than sufficient for most weekend getaways.

Myth 2: Lack of Charging Infrastructure

Another concern contributing to the range anxiety myth is the perceived lack of charging infrastructure. Critics argue that EV drivers may find themselves stranded without a charging station in sight. However, the global push for electric mobility has led to a substantial increase in charging infrastructure. Governments, businesses, and communities worldwide are investing in expanding the network of charging stations, making it easier for EV drivers to find a suitable charging point.

In 2022, the Biden administration introduced the Inflation Reduction Act, which incentivizes the purchase and installation of qualified home charging stations. This entitles owners to up to 30% tax rebate per charger (including infrastructure upgrades and installation) up to a $100,000 max. Most recently, the government has earmarked  $325 million for the repair and replacement of existing, non-operational chargers across the country.

Reality: Changing Habits and Charging Convenience

One key aspect often overlooked in the range anxiety debate is the changing habits of EV drivers. Unlike traditional gas-powered vehicles that require a gas station visit for refueling, EVs can be charged at home. Most EV owners charge their vehicles overnight, ensuring a full battery every morning. This eliminates the need for frequent trips to a public charging station, making the charging process more convenient and integrated into daily life.

There are two types of chargers used for home charging: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 trickle chargers come with the purchase of an EV. They plug directly into a standard 120-volt outlet. However, they have a limited output between 1.3 kW and 2.4 kW, translating to about 3 miles of range per hour of charging. Meanwhile, Level 2 chargers come in portable and hardwired versions. Portable Level 2 chargers plug into a NEMA 14-50 outlet for up to 9.6 kW of output, translating to about 29-36 miles of range per hour. On the other hand, hardwired Level 2 home charging stations have to be hardwired into the home’s electrical system, providing up to 19.2 kW of output for up to 75 miles of range per hour.

Moreover, advancements in fast-charging technology have significantly reduced charging times. Many EVs can gain a substantial charge in a relatively short period, making stops at public charging stations more efficient and less time-consuming than ever before. However, frequent rapid charging is seen to contribute to battery degradation due to the amount of heat it produces.

Combatting Range Anxiety

If dispelling myths about range anxiety doesn’t convince you to drive an EV, maybe these tips would:

Understand Your Vehicle's Range:

Familiarize yourself with your EV's range capabilities. Knowing the maximum range on a full charge and how various factors (temperature, driving habits, etc.) can affect it will help you plan better.

Plan Your Route:

Before embarking on a longer journey, plan your route to include charging stations along the way. Utilize navigation apps specifically designed for EVs that can suggest routes with charging stops.

Utilize Charging Networks:

Familiarize yourself with the available charging networks in your region. Many online platforms and apps provide real-time information on the location and availability of charging stations.

Install Home Charging:

Consider installing a home charging station. Charging your EV overnight at home ensures you start each day with a full battery, reducing the need for frequent public charging stops.

Practice Efficient Driving:

Adopting energy-efficient driving habits can significantly extend your EV's range. Avoid rapid acceleration and heavy braking, maintain a steady speed, and use regenerative braking when possible.

While being skeptical of new technologies is inevitable, it's essential to recognize that the electric vehicle industry is continually evolving to address concerns and improve user experience. Range anxiety may have been a valid concern in the early days of electric vehicles but with continuous advancements in battery technology and charging infrastructure, it’s just a matter of time until it becomes a thing of the past.

 

 

Lectron is Leading the Charge

Lectron is on a mission to make electric vehicle charging fast, easy and affordable for all EV drivers. We offer a wide selection of convenient and easy-to-use EV charging stationschargers and adaptersLectron is pioneering ways of eliminating range anxiety and compatibility issues for both Tesla and J1772 EV drivers by making it easier and more reliable than ever to charge EVs at home and on the road.

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