Range anxiety refers to a worry that the battery of an electric vehicle will run out of charge before a driver reaches their destination. It is often cited as one of the main reasons why people are hesitant to buy or use EVs, but the question is, is it still a valid concern in 2021?
According to the Australian Electric Vehicle Council (AEVC) , consumers historically have underestimated the driving range of an EV, contributing to this notion of range unpredictability. However, the results from AEVC's survey this year paint a different picture, revealing that consumers have a more accurate understanding of the average driving range of EVs this year compared to previous years. The majority of respondents (76%) responded correctly, that a full charge will deliver them a range of more than 300km.
The true average range of battery-electric vehicles in Australia is 395km, which goes to show just how far electric vehicle literacy has come in the past year. Interestingly, the average Australian drives 36.4km per day, and most of this driving is from home to work. This means that generally, EVs already exceed most drivers’ everyday needs.
In addition to these figures, the battery technology for electric vehicles is constantly evolving and improving, with car manufacturers developing innovative batteries that fuse silicon nanowires onto commercial graphite powders as well as solid state batteries increasing battery capacity, safety and longevity.
Although attitudes towards battery longevity and the technology itself is improving, there are still some advancements that could be made to further reduce battery anxiety among EV drivers. An introduction of a minimum battery range of 300–400km for car manufacturers would be a start, and could be enforced under agreed national standards.
Further, more nuanced charging infrastructure, for example a network of public fast-charging stations, as well as 'destination chargers' for drivers travelling long distances(eg. hotels, holiday parks, ski resorts and leisure centers) could be implemented in Australia to ensure EVs can be charged anywhere you go, no matter how far away you are from a capital city.
Although Australians are becoming more and more knowledgeable about EVs, strategic policy and infrastructure changes could drastically increase the adoption of EVs in Australia and ease that common feeling of 'range anxiety', driving Australia towards a cleaner transport future.