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Mythbusting the world of EVs: will range anxiety be a constant fear?

If you're looking to get your first EV, you'll think of range. But *own* an EV? It's a different story...


Surveys say that among people thinking of a new car, the thing that mostly puts them off electric is range anxiety. Fair enough; if you had a petrol car and had to stop and get petrol every 200 miles it'd be a pain. But among people who actually have an EV, range isn't the number one concern. They charge up at home, or at public points near home, and nearly always drive within their out and return range. Like petrol owners seldom go beyond that same distance.

Range anxiety? They plan for a charge stop if they're going on a trip longer than that. It's not hard. So when Zap-Map, the chargepoint finder app, surveyed EV drivers, their number one worry wasn't that there are too few charge spots or that they're too far apart.

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By far the biggest concern was reliability. When you plug in, you need to be sure you'll actually get a charge. In other words, the thing you can't plan for is the thing that's the worry.

Experience teaches me this is nowhere near as bad as it was. In 2018 and 2019 when I first started driving electrics with much frequency, it was a massive gamble. And the next option might be too far away.

These days it's rare but by no means vanishingly so to find a duff charger, and if you do there's likely to be a handy alternative. Still, one bad experience can leave you worried for years.

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