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Electric car range anxiety - why you shouldn’t worry about it

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It’s time to make range anxiety a thing of the past. Let’s dive into the reasons why there’s really no need to worry about your electric car running out of power.

Article Contents 

  • Understanding electric car anxiety
    • What is EV range anxiety?
    • What causes EV range anxiety?
    • Is EV range anxiety still relevant today?
  • Steps to combat EV range anxiety
    • Understand EV range 
    • Choose an EV with appropriate range
    • Invest in EV home charging 
    • Take advantage of EV public charging 
    • Download EV app
  • Range anxiety FAQs
  • Northern Ireland’s electric vehicle future 

 

Understanding electric car anxiety 


Electric cars are growing in popularity in Northern Ireland, the UK and globally. 

This shift is an important part of the move towards renewable energy, lower emissions and cleaner transport. For drivers who are new to electric cars, the change to a new way of doing things can create some fears. But in this guide, we’re going to show that those common misconceptions are no longer relevant in 2023.

What is electric car range anxiety?

Perhaps the main misconception about electric cars relates to electric car range anxiety. Car range is the distance a car is capable of travelling before it needs to be refuelled or recharged. It’s an important factor for convenience and peace of mind when driving a car.

The term range anxiety first appeared in an article in the San Diego Business Journal in 1997. It described the reactions of the owners of the first generation of electric vehicles to having ranges of less than 100 miles. As electric cars have become increasingly popular in Northern Ireland and the UK, range anxiety has also come to express concerns about the charging network not being extensive enough.

What causes electric car range anxiety?

There are a few key reasons for electric car range anxiety. The main ones are fear over insufficient EV driving range, concerns about there being too few public chargers or too few fast chargers, as well as a lack of knowledge about how charging works among drivers who are new to electric vehicles.

Is electric car range anxiety still relevant today?

Electric car range anxiety is far less relevant today than it was when the phrase was coined back in 1997. There are several reasons for that. Firstly, the electric cars for sale in Northern Ireland and the UK today have a far greater range than earlier generations. That makes most journeys easily achievable on a single charge.

Increases in the number of public EV charging stations and the availability of home EV chargers have also helped to ease range anxiety.


5 Ways to combat electric car range anxiety 


If you still have any fears about electric car range or if apprehension over range is preventing you from making the switch to an electric car, there are measures you can take to overcome this. Let’s look at five practical steps you can take to combat range anxiety.

1. Understand factors that affect EV range

The first way to deal with EV range anxiety is to understand the factors that can reduce range. Familiarising yourself with how range can be affected will help you to take them into consideration when driving.

  • Driving Speed - Driving at higher speeds — such as motorway driving — reduces EV range.
  • Weather Conditions - Cold, wet and windy weather can reduce the EV's efficiency which reduces range.
  • Tyres  - Just like conventional vehicles, incorrectly inflated tyres or low tyre pressure can reduce efficiency.
  • Battery - Older EV batteries may not hold as much charge as newer batteries (though most batteries are under warranty for 100,000 miles).
  • Heating/Air Con - Using your car’s air conditioning and heating system uses battery charge and therefore reduces range.
  • Car Load - Heavier vehicles have a lower range than those carrying a lighter load.


2. Choose an EV with appropriate range 

Electric vehicle range varies significantly between different vehicles. 

You can overcome a lot of range anxiety simply by using a vehicle with a battery capacity — and therefore range — that is suitable for how you plan to use your EV. Understanding what your vehicle is capable of will instantly alleviate range anxiety. Some typical electric vehicle ranges are:

  • 0.6 kWh e-scooter (Gmax Ultra): 45 miles
  • 9.8 kWh Electric Scooter (BMW CE 04): 80 miles 
  • 24 kWh electric car (Fiat 500e): 135 miles
  • 55 kWh electric van (Mercedes Sprinter): 95 miles
  • 95 kWh Electric Car (Tesla Model S): 560 miles


3. Invest in EV home charging 

Perhaps the easiest way to tackle EV range anxiety is to invest in a home charger. Charging at home gives you the convenience and peace of mind of charging overnight to make sure you’ve always got the range needed for the next day’s journey. 

You can also take advantage of electric vehicle tariffs to bring down the cost of charging your EV. Take a look at our guide on how to charge an electric car at home for more ideas and information on home charging.

With the Power NI EO Mini Pro 2, you can schedule and monitor charging sessions from an app for extra peace of mind. It’s also the smallest smart home charger, which makes for convenient and discreet installation, while its locking feature prevents others from using your charger. It works with Type 1 or 2 connectors.
 

4. Take advantage of EV public charging - 

There are far more public electric vehicle chargers in Northern Ireland than there were a few years ago. The public EV charging infrastructure is being improved all the time. 

There are more than 300 chargepoints in Northern Ireland and the UK Government recently announced a £3.27m investment to upgrade Northern Ireland’s electric vehicle charging network. There are lots of places to charge an EV on the go, such as:

  • Car parks: Many car parks and on-street parking spaces have EV chargers so you can boost your range while going about your business.
  • Workplaces: An increasing number of businesses are installing charging points as a perk for employees, so you charge during your working day.
  • Supermarkets: You’ll find chargers in the car parks of shops and supermarkets — top up your range while picking up groceries.​​​​​
  • Hotels: Many hotels offer EV charging for day and overnight guests, making it convenient for you to top up your charge when you're on holiday. 
  • Filling stations: Break up your journey in the traditional way by using a charger at a service station.
  • Public places: There are EV chargers at many council-owned offices, car parks and park-and-ride facilities in Northern Ireland.


5. Download EV apps 

Instantly remove the fear of being unable to find an EV charger by downloading an EV phone app. In a couple of taps, you’ll be able to find numerous public charging stations on a map.

This is useful for planning ahead before long-distance road trips or visiting unfamiliar areas. It also helps you to quickly track down chargers urgently and make sure that a charging station has the connector and charge speed you need. Some apps to consider include:

  • Zapmap - Search more than 40,000 charge points across the UK.

  • ecar Connect - Explore a map of more than 1,350 charge points across the island of Ireland.

  • EO Smart Home App - Works with the Power NI EO Mini Pro 2 so you schedule and monitor EV charging at home.

 

EV Range Anxiety FAQs  


What should I do if my electric car runs out of charge?
Your electric car shouldn’t really run out of charge given the amount of charging options now available. In the unlikely event that it did, you should pull over somewhere safe and put on your hazard warning lights. You can then call a breakdown service for recovery to a nearby charger or another destination. 

Is EV charging anxiety the same as EV range anxiety?
No, EV charging anxiety is different from EV range anxiety. While range anxiety relates to how long your EV battery will last, EV charging anxiety is about the charging process itself. It might include anxiety about waiting times for a public charger, charger reliability or vandalism to a charger.

How far can an electric car go on one charge? 
That is totally dependent on the battery capacity of the electric car in question, as well as how it is being driven. The typical EV range for one journey can be anything from 135 miles for a 24 kWh capacity vehicle like the Renault Twingo Electric to 635 miles for the 120 kWh Mercedes EQS 450+.

How far can an electric car go on one kWh?
That depends on the battery capacity of the EV and how the vehicle is driven. An efficient EV with a 54 kWh battery will travel around 4 miles per kWh used. This distance will be less if the electric car is being driven at high speed.

How far can electric scooters go on one charge?
As with all electric vehicles, how far an electric scooter can go on one charge will depend on its battery capacity. Electric scooter range can be anything from 8 to 90 miles, depending on battery size and how it is being ridden. 
 

Electric vehicles are the future in Northern Ireland 

There are lots of reasons why range anxiety is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Given how crucial electric vehicles are for the future of clean, emission-free transport in Northern Ireland, it’s important that we continue to overcome EV range anxiety. If we build our EV knowledge, choose electric cars that are right for our needs and find EV charging options that match our lifestyle, we can say goodbye to range anxiety once and for all.