What Is Range Anxiety and How Can You Overcome It?

Electric vehicles continue to grow in popularity and offer several advantages compared to traditional vehicles. They sound better, are cheaper to run, and are better for the environment. Unfortunately, they also have disadvantages.

Electric vehicles have limited ranges and need a steady supply of electricity to keep running. They are also a new technology, and the infrastructure available to support them is still growing. For many drivers, this creates something called range anxiety.

So what is range anxiety, and how can you overcome it?

What Is Range Anxiety?

Range anxiety is an emotion that many EV owners experience, particularly when they are new drivers. Range anxiety is the fear of running out of power before reaching your intended destination and being unable to recharge the battery.

It stems from the fact that while a traditional vehicle can be filled up on almost any highway, charging stations aren’t yet as ubiquitous. Therefore, the possibility of running out of power and being unable to plug in is a valid concern.

The range of an electric vehicle is also dependent on various factors. These include the terrain that you drive on, the speed you drive, and the weight of your vehicle. Unfortunately, not everybody understands these factors well enough to trust their ability to predict their battery usage fully.


Is Range Anxiety Warranted?

Range anxiety is understandable, but it’s often unwarranted. Electric vehicles have increasingly long ranges, with many exceeding 200 miles. Because of this, range is not something that matters on short journeys. Many EV drivers only charge their vehicles once per week and this is sufficient for most purposes such as commuting.

While it’s important to consider range when driving longer distances, it’s becoming less of a concern as EV charging infrastructure improves. The number of charging stations is constantly increasing. It’s therefore becoming less plausible that you would find yourself in a location without access to one.

8 Ways to Overcome Range Anxiety

If you own an EV, a small amount of range anxiety is unavoidable. It is particularly common if you haven’t owned your vehicle for very long. There are, however, many ways that you can reduce your range anxiety.

1. Charge Your EV At Home

Range anxiety depends on the amount of power you have. Investing in a home charger allows you to charge your car at night and begin every journey with a full battery. Home chargers are not a requirement of EV ownership. But they are convenient, and if you are often concerned about range, they may be worth paying for.

2. Plan Long Routes

Range anxiety primarily occurs on long routes. If you’re making a short journey that’s nowhere near the range limit, you have nothing to worry about. You can make long journeys less stressful by determining the exact distance before you set off. This not only allows you to predict how much power you need, it may allow you to determine a shorter route.

3. Use a Charging Station App

Charging stations are constantly being built, and there may be more stations available to you than you think. If you know that your route includes access to multiple stations, you are less likely to worry about power. There are now many EV charging apps that include maps of all available stations. They are useful for finding stations both before and while driving.

4. Drive Slower

The speed that you drive has a big effect on EV power consumption. Therefore, making an effort to drive slower can allow you to increase your range. It also has obvious safety benefits. This is useful information to be aware of because if you are ever making a trip close to your EV’s range, you can add distance by simply going slower.

5. Use Regenerative Braking

All electric vehicles offer regenerative braking. In a regenerative braking system, the motor acts as a generator when you apply the brake and uses the energy created from braking to charge the battery. This isn’t going to recharge a battery completely but it does add power to the battery and it prevents energy usage whenever the brake pedal is applied. If you want to use regenerative braking to increase range, you should turn it on to the highest setting.

6. Pack Less Luggage

The range of an electric vehicle depends partly on its weight. If you’re taking a long trip, it isn’t always practical to drive an empty vehicle. But you can increase the range of your car by not carrying anything that you don’t need. It’s also worth noting that an electric vehicle’s advertised range is based on the vehicle being empty.

7. Use Less Additional Functions

If you like to use air conditioning while driving, you might want to open the windows instead. Temperature control, while convenient, uses battery power, and this includes heating. While there’s no reason to be uncomfortable while driving, if you want to increase your car’s range, you should use these features as little as possible.

8. Drive a Hybrid

If you haven’t purchased an electric vehicle yet, one solution to range anxiety is to purchase a hybrid vehicle instead. Hybrid vehicles can be powered by both gas and electricity. They are often used by people who want an electric vehicle for short trips but would prefer a gas-powered vehicle for longer trips. If you primarily take short trips, a hybrid vehicle will still allow you to do most of your driving with electric power.

Reduce Your Range Anxiety

Range anxiety is a common occurrence among EV drivers. EV range is a valid concern when deciding whether or not to buy an electric vehicle. For all the benefits of electric power, charging stations are still not as widely available as gas stations.

Range anxiety, however, shouldn’t put you off buying an EV, and it’s easily manageable if you already own one. Electric vehicles are capable of taking you anywhere, provided you check both route distance and station availability before you start driving

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