Range anxiety.courtesy:loop.homes

What is Range Anxiety? What are it’s effects? How the Electric Vehicle owners save themselves from range anxiety? Find details and more.

Anxiety of Electric car Owners

A Range Anxiety meme in imgflip.com

Last time my friend was going to travel in her village home. It was a bit away from her flat in the heart of the city. Though my friend owned a brand new electric car, she insisted on hiring a cab running on petrol because she had to get back to the city before evening. Later when I asked her why did not she take her electric car and showed it to her village folks, she said sadly that she really wanted to take her new electric car with zero emission of which she was so proud but she could not trust of getting back on time with her pride possession. The range of her electric car battery was just around the total mile of her distance from the city to the village and back to the village again. She was anxious that she could not return for the dinner party at her boss’s place if she took her battery powered car with her.

image courtesy:Gewiss

This feeling is not new with with the electric car owners. In fact most of the the electric car and bike owners suffer from the anxiety related with the range of their vehicles. It is called range anxiety. It is considered to be one of the major psychological barriers to large scale public adaptation of electric cars in the society.

Range Anxiety

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Range in case of electric vehicles refers to the highest distance that a car or a bike can run with a full single charge.The battery that runs the EVs are responsible for the range.

Range anxiety comes when an electric vehicle driver gets scared when the charge of one’s power source is low and one is in doubt that the battery may fail before reaching to a charging point. It may be a self-experienced situation or just an imaginary one. According to Collins dictionary “range anxiety is a concern experienced by the driver of an electric vehicle that the battery may be fully discharged before suitable charging point is reached.”In this super busy world the fear of getting stranded in midway of journey and wasting time because of one’s vehicle and related stress of the journey; all these add up recurrent worry and anxiety.The availability of charging service and the time needed to charge the vehicle are the two factors connected with range anxiety.

image courtesy:Telegraph.co.uk

The term “range anxiety” was first reported in the press on September 1, 1997, in the San Diego Business Journal by Richard Acello referring to worries of GM EV1 electric car drivers.On July 6, 2010, General Motors filed to trademark the term, stating it was for the purpose of “promoting public awareness of electric vehicle capabilities”.The Norwegian equivalent ‘rekkeviddeangst’ was assigned second place in a list of Norwegian “words of the year” for 2013 by the Norwegian Language Council.

The Anxiety Effect

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Bill Reinert, the National manager of advanced technology at toyotas U.S. arm had said in 2010 that “The range anxiety will limit the the ability of of the the all electric car to be used in certain specific applications even if the battery costs come down.” He argued that the hybrid vehicles will stay for a longer time. Along with this there are certain questions like millions of people live in the apartments and where will they charge? Or a more pertinent one like, if somebody’s battery runs down in the middle of a lonely highway how would he come back home with his car? It is observed that range anxiety and charge times are among the two greatest factors that are affecting people’s mind to avoid buying EVs. But with the introduction of long range electric vehicles in the present time or in near future is supposed to allievate the range anxiety of the drivers.

image courtesy : avc.com

The range of Electric Car Batteries

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Though the range of electric cars depend on real world climate, vehicle load, vehicle speed, condition of the roads, temperature, battery models and different other external considerations , long range cars have become a reality today. In today’s world with the the high end infrastructure and extensive research to produce truly long range batteries that can power up electric cars for nearly 1000 km do not seem impossible. Many automakers are promising to provide power sources that will drain out after at least 1000 km.China’s Envision claims to be working on such batteries.Norweigian car maker Fresco Motors claims soon to bring a 8 seater car that will give 1000 km range.

Cure to Range Anxiety

Many measures can be taken to allievate or to lessen the range anxiety in the electric vehicle owners.

Firstly, the myth of anxiety is to be broken. An average electric car owner drive around 40 miles or 65 km a day but has anxiety or doubt on the performance of 300 miles range of cars. One has to remain in peace and confident on the ability of one’s own vehicle.

Secondly, the easy availability of charging stations on the highways in frequent distances can rule out the fear of losing charge and being stuck. Appropriate infrastructural development and public private partnership is needed for this.

Turbocharger range extenders.courtesy:Forbes

Thirdly, the use of ‘range extenders’ can greatly help to mitigate the range anxiety. Mitsubishi Turbocharger and Engine Europe B.V. (MTEE) has already introduced such chargers like RANGE+ that can rapidly charge the battery of an electric vehicle very fast while driving.It can generate 30kWe to charge a car in a few minutes. More development on such type of range extenders are going on.

Fourthly,Futuristic innovations like wireless charging using a process called electromagnetic induction. Induction charging is already standard for toothbrushes and some mobile phones – but WiTricity, a Massachusetts company, has developed a system that can safely transfer large amounts power over much longer distances in near future,charging a car with such system will not be a surprising phenomena.

Swapping stations are the future

Fifthly,The battery swapping practice.Battery swapping gives the EV owners freedom to replace the discharged batteries at the swap stations with a fully charged batteries. The batteries can be replaced on the return trip. It will largely address the problem of setting up costly charging stations on the roads at frequent stops and also reduce range anxiety of drivers.

The problem of range anxiety will no longer prevail with the introduction of various innovative ways to fulfill the zero emission vision taken in the society in a few years.Next time I shall visit with my friend at her village home and she has promised me to take me there to meet his grandmaa on the new electric car driving on her own.

Green vehicle means zero emission

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