If you’re thinking of trading in your petrol or diesel car in favour of a more eco-friendly electric vehicle option, but you’re worried about running out of charge (or “range anxiety” as it’s known), this article is for you. Let’s take a look at how electric vehicles (EVs) work, how your driving and charging habits affect your range, and ultimately why an EV may well be the right vehicle for you.
How do EVs work?
The battery is the heart of your EV and behaves like a smartphone battery - you can top it up wherever there is a suitable charger, whether that’s at home or on the move, without worrying about what level of charge it has when you plug it in.
Whilst you can of course charge the battery up to 100% to get the maximum range out of your battery, this is usually only recommended if you are going on a long journey. Charging your battery to 80% is normally more than enough for most journeys and helps to prolong the lifespan of your battery. Most EV’s give you the ability to set a maximum charge level, so you can plug your EV in and not worry about having to stop charging when it gets to 80%.
The average EV will give you about 200 miles of range on a full charge (so 80% of this would give you 160 miles); however, over 94% of car journeys in the UK are less than 24 miles (one way), making a typical round trip commute less than 48miles (or around 24% of your battery’s charge) - this means you could go 3 days or more without needing to charge.
How long do EV batteries last?
The lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars are engineered with built-in safety features such as thermal management, which prevents them from overheating and catching fire like some other types of batteries do when they fail. And these batteries were specifically developed for electric vehicles so they can withstand extreme temperatures—both hot and cold.
Tesla batteries, for example, are expected to last for over 8 years or 200,000 miles of driving before needing to be replaced.
Where should I charge my EV?
You can charge your vehicle anywhere there is a compatible charging point, but by getting an EV chargepoint installed at home, you will be able to keep your vehicle’s battery topped up and minimise how often you need to use public charging stations. It is almost always cheaper to charge at home than on the move, and if you have solar panels and/or battery storage (and a compatible charging point at home) it could be even cheaper still.
If you do need to charge on the move though, there are over 28,375 public charging points in the UK, with over 5,156 of them being rapid chargers. Depending on your vehicle, rapid chargers could take you from 10% to 80% charge in as little as 30-60 minutes - just long enough for you to take a break and recharge yourself on that long journey.
An electric vehicle can meet your every day driving needs
On average in the UK, cars typically cover 12,000 miles or less in a year - that’s an average of 32 miles a day (though a more reasonable estimate would be 50-60 miles in a day, as most people don’t use their car every day).
As we saw above, charging a typical EV to 80% would give you about 160 miles of range, so unless you drive more than 160 miles in a single journey on a regular basis, an EV may well meet your needs whilst being far more environmentally friendly than a combustion vehicle.
Even if you do need to drive longer distances, with a little planning and a charging stop to break up the journey, an EV could still be the right choice for you.
We hope that this article has helped you to understand that range anxiety is now a thing of the past. Electric vehicles have come a long way in recent years, and it’s time for people to start thinking about them as viable options for everyday driving. The fact is that EVs are just as good at going from point A to point B as any other type of car out there - and they don’t emit harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere on the way, either. With their quiet operation and smooth acceleration capabilities, these cars are an ideal choice for commuters who want something more pleasant than conventional petrol or diesel vehicles without sacrificing performance or safety features.