It’s late at night and you’re on a dark road in the middle of nowhere. You’re looking down at your dashboard and have only 3% charge left on your EV, and there is no charger around for miles. What do you do? It’s the scenario that every EV driver worries about, it’s called range anxiety and it’s real. Well, the anxiety part is real, but let’s stop to think for a moment, how likely is this scenario…really? Part of being an EV driver is thinking about your driving habits differently and by embracing those differences, this scenario shouldn’t happen to you.
The Reality Isn’t That Scary
From the automaker’s perspective, the solution to range anxiety is simple, add larger and more efficient batteries that provide drivers with more range. The challenge with bigger batteries is the higher prices that go along with them, making EVs less available to the masses and slowing adoption. So, what other solutions are out there?
The truth for many EV drivers is that our current charging infrastructure is more than adequate. Many new electric vehicles available today can go around 300 miles on a charge. According to the Federal Highway Commission, the average driver in the US goes about 37 miles each day. At first blush, that means most EVs have plenty of range for just about every situation.
Let’s also remember that there are almost 60,000 public charging station locations with over 150,000 charging ports in the US today. Additionally, the federal government is spending $7.5 billion to get to a national network of 500,000 chargers along highways and in communities by 2030. So, there’s already been huge investments made with plenty more to come.
Cost Per Mile
Consider this familiar scenario: The driver of an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle decides to fill up their 15-gallon tank which may cost them as much as $75. Given normal driving, this $75 might be good for 270 miles assuming an average 18 miles per gallon SUV. No one questions this math or this behavior because we’re familiar with it, and gas stations are so commonplace that no one considers where they are getting their next fill-up.
Now think of this situation from an EV driver’s perspective. For most EV drivers, 80% of charging is done at home with a simple level 2 wall charger. Of course, not everyone can install a home charging unit, but EV owners who can, will almost certainly have up to 200-300 miles in their “tank” every time they leave home. Even if you don’t leave home with a full battery, a partially charged pack will easily provide enough range for a day’s worth of driving at a fraction of the cost. That’s not a bad deal versus our friend in their ICE vehicle spending $75 on gas, but some people may question this behavior because EV stations don’t appear to be commonplace.
A New Way of Thinking
Of course, there are public EV chargers around, perhaps more than you are aware of once you start to look around. The EV charging landscape just requires a new way to think about “refueling” a car.
Instead of thinking that a 30-minute DC fast charge takes a long time, remember that the actual process of plugging in and starting a charging session with the FLO app only takes a few seconds. Additionally, many fast chargers are located where people tend to spend some time anyway (i.e., shopping malls, plazas, and community centers etc.) In these situations, the time “spent” charging isn’t wasted, it’s productive time doing other things.
Another way to think of it, when you spend an hour shopping at a big box store, an ICE vehicle can’t get an additional 20 miles of range as it’s sitting in the parking lot. An EV can. It’s like the electric version of putting a few bucks of gas into the tank when you can afford it, but we spend small amounts of time instead of money.
It’s also worth considering what we mean by fast charging. The new generation of DC Fast chargers such as the FLO Ultra, can recharge a vehicle from empty to 80 percent full in about 20-40 minutes, depending on the EV’s rate.
Looking toward the future, the EV charging experience is absolutely going to improve. New fast-charge stations are preparing us for future EVs with even larger batteries. Finding and connecting chargers is easier than ever using the FLO app on your phone or through your Apple CarPlay or Android Audio system. The app combines all the features you need as an EV driver: a vast network of chargers, an easy way to locate nearby charging stations, real-time station availability, and a simple way to pay. Not to mention there are thousands of chargers being added to the network each year. So, rest assured, our public charging infrastructure is fast and works for millions of EV drivers each and every month. Still afraid of public charging? You shouldn’t be.
To find an EV charging station near you click here.