Electric Vehicle range anxiety (EVRA - I'm pretty sure I just made up this acronym) is the term applied to drivers of electric vehicles who get anxious when they see their battery level meter (as opposed to the gas gauge) drop without an ev charging station in range. Unlike a gasoline powered vehicle, you can't just walk to the gas station in a worse-case scenario (unless they have a really, really long extension cord). Only people who have a battery electric vehicle will experience EVRA, because a plug-in hybrid alleviates these fears by relying on a gasoline engine for backup. An example of a plug-in hybrid is the Chevy Volt, while an example of a battery electric vehicle is the Nissan Leaf, or the Tesla Roadster, invented by Elon Musk and Tesla Motors.
But fear not fossil-fuel-free drivers, Mapawatt has created the three steps necessary to prevent Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety:
- As in any period of anxiousness, take a deep breath (If immediately after this step, you release a manic scream, you probably need to make sure you have a plug-in hybrid electric, and not just a plug-in battery electric vehicle. You aren't cut out for all-battery cowboy/cowgirl.)
- Highlight on a map or make a custom Google Map you can access on your smart phone of all the locations around you with charging stations. Or just view the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations map put together by the Department of Energy.
- Drive efficiently to the nearest charging station and breathe a sigh of relief once you arrive.
CNN recent had a great article on Electric Vehicle range anxiety and I noticed a great idea in the pictures at the top of the article for an EV charging station/parking meter. What are parking meters good for anyway? Why not have them do something useful (like charge your car) instead of just sit there and suck down all your money. The city still makes money from selling the electricity instead of just spelling road space.
And yet there are those who will never want any type of electric vehicle, because the payback just isn't there and they don't want to deal with EVRA. I say to them, there is more to the payback of an electric vehicle than just the straight economic one. My text from the earlier EV payback post:
People don’t buy Lexus because it saves them money. They buy Lexus because they want heated leather seats, and wood-grain, and xenon headlights, and nice sound systems, and navigation, and etc. etc. etc. The first electric car buyers aren’t simply buying them to save money; they are buying an electric car because they value having a car that uses less gas for the way it makes them feel. They view an electric car or plug-in hybrid as a luxury; just like some people see chrome wheels as a luxury.
The quote at the end of the CNN EVRA article addresses those who may worry too much about range anxiety:
While the general public may still look at the electric car as a novelty, its advocates see the coming wave of new models and stations as a big step toward eliminating this country's use of oil, especially foreign oil, and helping the planet. Stopping to get a charge away from home is a small price to pay, said Scott, the Plug In America vice president.
"If you care about the environment, if it bothers you that you are polluting everybody's air, if it bothers you that you are sending lots of money out of the country," he said, "then it's worth it to you to spend 20 minutes" recharging.
So what do you think? What is a bigger impediment for you to buy an electric vehicle: the cost or the range anxiety? And if it is the range anxiety, has it convinced you to buy a plug-in hybrid as opposed to an all-electric?