New data 'dispels' range anxiety concerns

Driving habits survey suggests that range anxiety need not be a worry for vast majority of consumers

New data 'dispels' range anxiety concerns
The average US driver uses only 8pc-16pc of range each day

The average BEV driver uses just 8pc - 16pc of their vehicle's available range per day, suggesting that consumer concerns over range anxiety are unfounded, according to a study from automotive research firm Recurrent.

Range anxiety is often cited as one of the primary barriers to EV adoption amongst prospective first-time buyers, and many automakers have prioritised increased range in their EVs as a result.

The study sampled data from over 18,000 EV drivers across all 50 US states, finding that, while daily driving distances vary, they do not exceed 45 miles per day on average.

"Data from this study suggests that range anxiety need not be a concern for the average daily drive. Commutes, errand runs, and even the occasional road trip fall well within the capabilities of most modern EVs, which often boast ranges exceeding 250 miles on a single charge," Recurrent says.

Range anxiety or charging anxiety?

Range anxiety is often linked to concerns over the availability of chargers, or 'charge anxiety'. Many consumer surveys have found that prospective EV buyers worry about needing to change behaviours to facilitate the charging of EVs.

However, charger anxiety is primarily relevant to long trips. This problem can be solved by a 'cultural shift' in charging behaviour, according to David DeVoe, head of charging at US EV maker Rivian.

"You have to plan trips better. You no longer can go 500 miles between a stop. You can go 250 miles between a stop," DeVoe says.

But the findings from Recurrent's report emphasise that such long trips are rare, and that for average weekly mileages the range driven by EVs is small enough that owners need only charge roughly once a week.

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This challenges the argument that EV ownership is only viable with access to L2 home-based overnight charging.

But range anxiety is proving a difficult hurdle for the EV industry to clear. In a separate consumer survey from November 2023, Recurrent found the best way of combatting the phenomenon was to experience driving an EV.

The survey found that while 76pc of future EV owners worry about range, nearly 59pc of current EV drivers reported no such worries.

"EV anxiety generally decreases over time. In fact, 78pc of electric car owners report that feelings of range anxiety decrease the longer they drive – and learn about – their cars," Recurrent said in a statement at the time.

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