Potential EV buyers – and a good deal of anti-EV luddites – are obsessed with the potential range of an electric vehicle. This has become known as ‘Range Anxiety’. However if you know how far you can drive on a full charge you can work that in to your journey plans just like you would with a petrol car. The main factor is that recharging takes longer than topping up with petrol but this can also be factored in.
You might see people arguing that an EV offering only 150 miles range is ‘just not enough’. But this ignores the fact that the average car journey is just 8.4 miles (according to government statistics) and the average family car covers only 130 miles per week. So going by these figures the EV offering 150 miles range only has to be plugged in once per week.
When travelling on longer journeys – the Luddites seem to be obsessed with driving non-stop from London to Cornwall – it is now very easy to plan recharging stops along the way. Everyone on a long journey will need to stop for a toilet break or cup of tea at some point, so just get used to the idea that these pit-stops could take a bit longer. Stopping for an hour to recharge is not that much different to stopping for lunch.
If you imagine a journey of 300 miles, an EV might take 7 hours (5hrs driving time at an average 60mph plus two one-hour recharging stops) whereas a petrol car might complete it in 6 hours (the same 5hrs driving time plus two 30 minute toilet and tea breaks).
That extra one hour travelling time is more than made up for by the fact that it probably cost you £20 in electricity as opposed to £70 in petrol. Even allowing for buying coffees and lunch you’re still in profit.
Another factor is the proliferation of public chargepoints in places such as supermarket car parks, high street locations and other public car parks. If you spot these it is always worth plugging in even if its for a quick top-up. If the car is going to be parked up anyway you might as well charge it.
As mentioned earlier, what is required is a change in driving habits. Before you know it, making allowances for these additional recharging stops will become second nature.