The transition to cleaner, more sustainable mobility is well underway. One of the key components of that transition is the switch from internal combustion engine vehicles to fully-electric vehicles, or EVs. However, the road to electric mobility is one fraught with challenges, and not all of them are technological. As drivers, we mentally have to adapt to this new future. Enter, range anxiety.
The term ‘range anxiety’ refers to the fear of running out of battery on a trip and not being able to make it to a charging point. The phrase itself dates back to as early as September 1997, when San Diego Business Journal reporter Richard Acello used it to describe one of the worries with the General Motors EV1. In Norway, a country with an exceptionally high rate of electric vehicle adoption, ‘range anxiety' was named Norwegian "words of the year" for 2013.
But how rational is the fear of running out of power and becoming stranded while driving an EV? And is there a way to overcome range anxiety? With these tips, we’ll help you feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel of a fully electric car.
Back in the late 90s when the term was coined, range anxiety was justified with those early electric cars. Today, it is more to do with psychology than the actual real-life range of EVs. Take a look at some of the ranges of EVs in the SHARE NOW fleet, for example. The BMW i3, up to 260 kilometres. The Fiat 500e, up to 320 kilometres. That’s plenty for venturing out of the city for a road trip - and that’s on a single charge.
Once you’ve realised that your EV is indeed capable of your desired range, use the wealth of real-time data available to reinforce this belief. Modern electric cars offer statistics such as your remaining battery charge, your remaining kilometres and data letting you know how optimal your driving style is. There are also live traffic updates, maps and charging station locations available at the touch of a button. Use the data. Trust the data. Range anxiety is often irrational.
It goes without saying that a little planning goes a long way when it comes to a road trip, but this is even more important when you’re driving a fully electric vehicle. Pre-planning your route, and where you will stop to charge, can help you tackle range anxiety head on. Give yourself a generous buffer to account for weather or driving style variables in your range if you need to. Once on the road, go back to that real-time data to double-check your plan is actually going to plan.
One of the biggest hurdles electric vehicles face in terms of rising adoption is that strength of the charging infrastructure. As well as having a solid plan for where you are going to charge, you will need to factor in that not all charging networks are universal. Tesla, for example, uses its own charging network. However, as of November 2021, Tesla allows non-Tesla drivers to charge at its Superchargers in select locations including France, The Netherlands, Spain and Austria. Car-sharing services like SHARE NOW use a network of partner charging stations.
Still not convinced by better ranges and a growing charging infrastructure? Battery swapping could be about to cure your range anxiety for good. The technology is still fairly new but Chinese multinational automobile manufacturer, NIO, claims to have developed the world’s first battery swapping solution for electric vehicles. Enabled by over 1,400 patented technologies, NIO Power Swap, allows you to swap out your drained battery for a fully charged one in three minutes. Battery swapping is already common for electric scooters and mopeds.
Battery swapping is something for further down the road, but one thing we can be sure of is that the electric mobility revolution is coming. In Europe and around the world, internal combustion engine vehicles will soon be banned and the switch to greener, more sustainable transport will be phased in. As EVs become even more mainstream and charging infrastructure further expands, range anxiety will fade. With every successful trip, confidence grows. Start your healing today with an all-electric car-sharing trip.
Car-sharing services are not only good for building confidence in the range of your EV, but they also offer a reliable safety net if you do make a miscalculation. We've got your back if you run out of battery when taking a road trip in an electric car with SHARE NOW. Thanks to our partnership with ARC Europe, you'll have Roadside Assistance available as standard. In the worst-case scenario, we'll get you out of a tight spot and back on the road. ARC is the European market leader in roadside assistance and is available 24/7.
Sr. Editorial Content Strategist
"Own less, share more."
David is on a mission to improve the quality of life in cities through modern mobility solutions.