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Range Anxiety and BEV – Will it ever go away?

Let’s forget the technologies for a minute and talk about the source of range anxiety and what it will take to eliminate it.




Robert Wingrove

Principal Consultant / Founder

“Range anxiety is a state of uneasiness and apprehension about having insufficient battery charge, thereby stranding the vehicle’s occupants before reaching their intended destination.”

Articles discussing range anxiety usually take one of two forms. Discussion of techniques to circumvent the present inherent constraints of battery size/weight/cost though discussing ‘free loaners’, battery swapping and mobile recharging. Or, discussions of how much range is enough to eliminate range anxiety. After reading a few of these articles, I have some questions.

While it is possible to minimize range anxiety on known routes such as commuter passenger cars, city buses, commercial vehicle rounds. But will increased battery capacity remove range anxiety, or is the anxiety more complex than contemporary authors have imagined?

The drivers of conventional ICE vehicles don’t experience range anxiety. But, do drivers of plug-in battery vehicles equip with range extenders such as the Toyota Prius PHV, Mitsubishi Outlander PEV and the Chevy Volt experience range anxiety the same way a Tesla and Leaf drivers do?

Is the availability of charging stations and the speed of battery charging more critical than vehicles equip with larger and larger batteries?

Liquid fuels like gasoline are highly available, and passenger vehicles that are fuel by them are refuelled in less than 5-minutes. Battery charging is neither highly available today nor quick to charge. Is it the recharging time that is the fundamental source of the anxiety?

On The Other Hand, vehicles fuelled by hydrogen, while still giving range anxiety, are similar in refuelling times to those of gasoline. However, station availability is the fix for this anxiety.

We may have a long way to go before we can perform the walk of shame back to our car with a can of electricity or hydrogen in our hand.

What will it take to eliminate your range anxiety?

Range Anxiety battery electric

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