Wednesday, January 27, 2021
News Is EV Range Anxiety Irrelevant? Ultimately, Humans Are The Limiting Factor

Is EV Range Anxiety Irrelevant? Ultimately, Humans Are The Limiting Factor

The “need” for a 600-mile (1,000 km) range is rooted in fear, as the human is the limitation.

  • How often do you drive more than 300 miles (485 km) straight with your ICE vehicle?

  • Many modern EVs offer 250 miles (405 km), and up to 400 miles (650 km) of range.

  • Charging networks are multiplying in most regions, further reinforcing that range anxiety is a thing of the past.

Range anxiety is still a limiting factor for many thinking about switching to an EV. This video makes an interesting point: In reality, you don’t need 600 miles (1,000 km) of range as the driver will need to stop before the car needs a charge.

Discussions surrounding range anxiety in 2020 are nowhere near as prevalent as they were only two years ago. This is due to car and battery manufacturers pushing battery technology development in order to meet demands for more range. The following video draws a very realistic portrait of what our real needs actually are.

The point of the video is to demonstrate that, on average, in the UK, most drivers end up taking a break before the vehicle’s range runs out. The 65-70 mph (105-115 km/h) average is likely realistic for both Americans and Canadians who live in larger urban areas.

Considering that the nearly affordable Hyundai Kona manages a 258-mile (415 km) range and the Chevrolet Bolt offers 259 miles (417 km) of range, the very vast majority of trips taken fall well below these cars’ capabilities. There are obviously EVs that offer posted ranges in the 400-mile (650 km), from Tesla for example, but they are far more expensive. Another point brought up in the video is whether or not paying for more range is actually worth it.

2018 Chevrolet Bolt | Photo: Olivier Delorme
Chevrolet Bolt | Photo: Olivier Delorme

These are EVM’s viewpoints and they are well taken. He does not address charging and the time required to do so, but that’s the only weakness in his argument. Even so, given that stops are all but inevitable after three or four hours of driving, a 30-minute pause can “reload” the vehicle to a near 80% state of charge depending on the type of charging station, and the vehicle’s capabilities, of course.

Perhaps all that really remains for carmakers is to make EVs more affordable. Is range anxiety holding you back from buying an EV? Is it pricing? Selection?

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Tesla Model Range: Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y | Photo: Tesla

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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