range anxiety: noun: worry on the part of a person driving an electric car that the battery will run out of power before the destination or a suitable charging point is reached.
Put simply, Range Anxiety is the fear of running out of juice while on the road. Drivers of petrol cars can typically run for a fair few kms on an almost-empty tank, knowing they’ll stumble upon a gas station sooner or later. But for those behind the wheel of an electric car, charging stations aren’t quite as frequent (yet), which can lead to a serious case of the palm sweats when running low on juice. So to help you hit the road in your EV without fear, we’ve put together a few tips to on how to battle Range Anxiety.
1. Charge up at home
Fixing a home charging station (a dedicated wall mounted charger) for your EV means you can charge up overnight, so you’ll be fully charged before hitting the road. And while it’s a bit of an investment up front, wall-mounted chargers can charge up to eight times faster than a regular outlet.
2. Pace yourself
In the same way driving fast in a petrol car burns through gas, speeding in an electric car drains your battery quick smart. So aside from being a whole lot safer, easing up on the accelerator will give you more battery life and more time to make it to the next charging stop.
3. Use apps to track charging stations
With the help of apps like Plugshare, you can find your nearest charging station in seconds. So if you ever find yourself getting low, it’s quick and easy to find somewhere to charge up. Better still, why not plan ahead and figure out where you can stop before you even make tracks? Just search for a station by price, location and connector type. Plus, if stations are busy, the app lets you book a spot in advance, which means less time in line and more time cruising.
4. Cut back on power
Small things like switching off your A/C, killing the radio and unplugging your phone can help. And while they aren’t likely to save you stacks of power, turning them off could buy you that extra 500m that makes all the difference.
5. Hit Cruise Control
Make the most of what’s left in your battery by sliding into cruise control. Keeping at a constant speed with less brake action will buy you more time. In saying that, cruise control works best on flat roads. So if you don’t have regenerative braking and are tackling something steep, it might be better to switch it off.
See you on the road.
There are plenty of things you can do to make sure you never run out of power on the road. A bit of preplanning and you’ll be away laughing. Plus, with more and more electric cars hitting the roads each year, (some with longer ranges – the new Nissan Leaf boasts 400km), the number of charging stations is only going to rise. In fact, we reckon it’s not long until Range Anxiety is a thing of the past completely. But for now, hopefully you can sleep easier knowing you’ve got some handy tools to tackle it.