How to battle EV range anxiety
You might not have heard of range anxiety, but if you drive an electric car you may have felt it.
Range anxiety is an EV driver’s worry that their battery will run out before the destination, or a suitable charging point, is reached. Basically, it’s the fear of running out of charge while on the road.
Drivers of petrol cars can typically run for a fair few kilometres on an almost-empty tank, knowing they’ll stumble upon a gas station sooner or later. For EV drivers, charging stations aren’t quite as frequent – yet – so seeing your battery drop might make you anxious.
To help you hit the road in your EV without fear, we’ve put together a few tips on how to battle range anxiety.
1. Charge your electric vehicle at home
Having a dedicated wall mounted charger (or just a standard wall socket charger) for your EV means you can plug in overnight, so you’ll be fully charged before hitting the road. While they’re a bit of an investment up front, wall-mounted chargers can charge up to eight times faster than a regular outlet.
2. Use apps to track EV charging stations
With the help of apps like Plugshare, you can find your nearest EV charging station in seconds. So if you ever find yourself getting low, it’s quick and easy to find somewhere to charge up.
3. Plan ahead
Before you even hit the road, plan ahead and figure out where you can tie in your charge with a lunch, coffee or supermarket stop. There’s a handy app to help you do that: The Power Trip. It predicts how much charge you’ll use during your trip, and helps you plan your journey around your charging needs. There are some great deals and discounts to be had, too!
4. 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 extend your electric car’s range, giving you more time to make it to the next charging stop or your destination. Cruise control can help with that, too. A constant speed with less brake action will buy you more time.
5. It’s the little things
Small things like switching off your air con, killing the radio, and unplugging your phone can help save on power if you’re running low. While they aren’t likely to save you stacks, turning them off could buy you that extra 500m that makes all the difference.
What to know more about electric vehicles?
What’s the best electric car range?
It all depends on what model you’re buying! We’ve put together a list of the most popular electric and plug-in hybrid cars in New Zealand, what they cost, and how far they go. Spoiler: the Tesla Model S takes the cake - but you’re also looking at a price tag that reflects its impressive range.
How many kilometres will my electric car go before it needs a charge?
Again, this completely depends on the model you’ve got. A plug-in hybrid car in New Zealand can run on the electric battery alone for anywhere between about 50km to 200km. For an electric car, you’re looking at between 150km and 600km.