Range Anxiety Is Mostly BS


GM's Attempt at Trademarking Range Anxiety

GM’s Attempt at Trademarking Range Anxiety


More Public Chargers Are Key to Eliminating Range Anxiety

More Public Chargers Are Key to Eliminating Range Anxiety

A neurologist once explained anxiety to TeslaMondo thus:

“You have two brains, a primitive one and a more advanced one. Sometimes the primitive one keeps sounding an alarm. The advanced one knows it’s a false alarm, but there’s still that initial reflex response that’s hard to stifle. Alarms are alarming. And so a struggle ensues.”

That’s why you find yourself talking to yourself, during bouts of anxiety, like so: “Cut it out. Cut it out. Calm down. Breathe. This isn’t a problem. Man this is so stupid. Will you stop with the heartbeat and the fast breathing? It’s exhausting.” It’s your two brains duking it out.

This MIT study about the electrification of personal transport says range anxiety hasn’t a toe in reality for most people. We’re dogs with plenty of unused leash. This makes perfect sense to your advanced brain, but try explaining this to your caveman brain who thinks you’re going to be stranded. It’s the same brain that reminds you about the distinct possibility that your headache is actually a fatal aneurysm in the making, and going grocery shopping means sniffing that smelly pet food aisle. You don’t even have a pet and have no reason to visit that aisle? Exactly. That’s anxiety for ya.

Stress: Portrait of a Killer.

*Editor’s Note: This and other Tesla-related posts appear on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

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30 Comments on "Range Anxiety Is Mostly BS"

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Where’s the article about GM attempting to trademark “Range Anxiety”. Sounds like BS to me.

*sigh* seems like GM should be focusing their considerable resources into moving the needle more than they have and stop jerking about with non-sense like this.

My two cents worth. EV range anxiety IS BS!!!

I drive my ICE vehicle and I don’t have Gas Anxiety?? I simply watch my gas gauge and when it gets low, I fill up.

When I get my M3, I will not have range anxiety. That’s because just like the gas gauge on my ICE, I will be watching how much battery power I have left. When it needs more gas, recharging, I’ll simply pull up to a public charger or supercharger and fill up the tank.

This thing called range anxiety stems from people not knowing where they can fill up their EV’s tank. They feel confident knowing where to get gas for their ICE, but don’t have a clue where the chargers are.

There are way too many sources of information out there that tell you where to get your EV charged for anyone to ever have range anxiety.

And when I get my Model 3….

That’s just it, you buy a vehicle with a comfortable range cushion to account for the vast majority of your travels and there is no need to have “range anxiety.”

However, buy an 80 mile commuter EV with a 60 mile round trip with no charger access at work, and when the weather gets real cold, your stress level goes up too, because you bought the wrong tool for the job.

Thank you, Mark. I think you summarized the situation rather succinctly.

Those who say YOU should buy an EV, that anxiety is BS probably have no plans to buy one themselves.

Big Oil will kindle the fire but soon the bellows will blow on ashes.


It is very real!

The real anxiety is paying $100/hr to be told such BS!!


It’s good that range anxiety isn’t real. Now we can stop trying to increase EV range, recharging speed, and the availability of fast chargers.

Eduardo Pelegri-LLopart

Does that mean I cannot boast when I get to drive from Mid-Peninsula to Monterey Bay in one charge on my 500e? I had to drive 55mph and do some drafting but did it. It felt good…

Thank you, Breezy.

The ongoing attempts to deny that range anxiety is real, and claims that it’s just a figment of neurotic imaginations, are merely annoying. We EV advocates aren’t going to convince the general public to seriously consider buying an EV by pretending the very real limitations of EVs don’t exist.

Anyone who actually believes that range anxiety isn’t important should read this detailed analysis, especially section 3: “Why electric cars lose range”:


TeslaMondo is doing a real disservice to the EV revolution by publishing this cabbage.

As someone who has run out of juice twice, requiring a tow in both instances, I can assure you range anxiety is very real. Cars are supposed to give you freedom, and limited range combined with slow and rare charging opportunities takes some of that freedom away. That loss manifests itself as anxiety.

Perhaps you mixed stress with preparation or experience.
For my part I’m happy to use the useful brain.
I have to say, that with the actual charging infrastructure it getting easier all the time to forget about,…what that name again?

Few years ago they where none and only guy like me would go out just about everywhere and be able to charge in any way that I could find.
Luckily, electricity is almost everywhere, it’s just the end connection that is missing, but being an electrician help a lot.
But now, in more and more place, the trail is open.

I am at a complete loss as to how you managed this. Surely you departed on your journeys with sufficient range? What went wrong? Most people panic when they start getting to the point where their ‘range remaining’ starts getting down to near the ‘distance to go’. Some even speed up and this is fatal. What you should (always) do is compare the 2 – right from the start – and maintain some sort of sensible gap, 5 to 10%, or 10 to 20 miles, say. If the gap starts reducing below your buffer, then *lower you speed*, by 5mph or so. Monitor the gap for another 10 minutes and if the gap doesn’t change then you are at the right speed. If it gets bigger you can speed up a bit – if it lowers then slow some more. If you have heat or aircon on reduce the load on the battery by turning these down or off. Radios and lights etc will not affect things significantly – unless you are stuck in a jam for hours and hours. If you are on a fast road and you have to slow to the point of causing danger, then get… Read more »

There’s a difference between running of electricity and running out of gas. You can walk with a 5 gal can and get some more gas and be on your way. Not so much with a pure EV.

I told my artist wife exactly what you said in the above comment. No more anxiety.

Range anxiety exists. There may not always be a good reason for it, but it definitely exists. When I got my first Leaf in 2011 I suffered from it quite a lot the first week or two. After I had a chance to travel to all of my usual destinations I eventually stopped worrying about it.

If I get a pure EV, here in Michigan, I will feel more comfortable after I go to all my usual destinations. But I will still have some worry on those days when it’s -10 degrees out. Even worse is if I’m away from home in my EV, and then the temps drop. If I’m at home, I can at least rent a car in a jam.

Range anxiety happens when you travel beyond round trip range on a new route with chargers you have never used before. If a charger that you need is down, you may be stuck.

We need a lot more fast chargers so that there are always several within a few miles. That will solve it.

Take a look at the plug share map of Japan and compare the density of chargers to the u.s. It’s not even close. No one in Japan with a Leaf has range anxiety.

SparkEV-Fiat500-Leased - M3 Reserved - Bolt- TBD

SMH – tell that to the hoards of ICE drivers who NEVER let their tanks lower than 1/4 tank. That translates in their minds unfortunately to ~20-25miles on the EV. Heck, even our EVs all turn orange/yellow at 25miles adding to the fire.

Range Anxiety absolutely is BS “Most” of the time.

But the rest of the time, besides “Most” of the time, it is absolutely real.

That is why Most of EV Research and Development is currently is being sunk into improving batteries, improving range, building more PHEV models, and figuring out how to make categories of vehicles (like heavy trucks) actually work with current battery technology.

Range anxiety is indeed overblown by many people who are against EV’s. But that isn’t to say it is BS.

Leave it to mondo to talk to the wrong type of doctor for mental matters.

As an 8 year EV driver I can tell you that range anxiety is real however much range your EV has. But it is absolutely manageable. If you use your EV like the vast majority of car drivers, you have a routine that you do – usually the same Monday to Friday and maybe a bit different at the weekend. But whatever you circumstances, once your fully charged EV has got you through your typical day and you get home again with anything more than 25% range remaining, then the anxiety evaporates. The only problem is, sometimes the typical day becomes non-typical – an emergency or diversion off to wherever. This is why rapid chargers are an absolute necessity as they provide a safety buffer for ‘one of those days’. They also provide a reasonably practical way for those who cannot charge whilst at home or work to own an EV in the first place. What really are a complete waste of time are street-side chargers that supply anything less than about 7kW, unless they are everywhere (and policed and maintained). So, whilst I don’t deny the ‘2 brains’ theory exists it doesn’t really matter to EV drivers (or ICEV… Read more »

Range anxiety is BS for a neurologist driving a Tesla.

But for people driving the ~80 mile range commuter EVs . . . it is a real thing.


Cars are an anxiety-rich environment.

Last month the 12 volt battery died without warning in my 4-year-old Volt in a remote location. Now I have 12 volt battery anxiety.

I got a flat two years ago and all I had was that danged compressor/fix-a-flat goop kit GM includes with Volts. Managed to limp to the tire shop, but I kept thinking about what woulda happened if I had had that flat in a a variety of other places I drive…now I’ve got flat tire anxiety.

And there’s car-payment anxiety…oh boy, sometimes there is more month than pay check!

Well, I’m sure how ‘anxious’ you have to be to have ‘official’ range anxiety, but since I ran out of juice once in my Roadster, and ALMOST ran out 3 other times (Including one time when I was SURE I couldn’t make it, but did) – then Range Anxiety is a real issue. GM cannot patent RA at this late date for the same reason I’m allowed to say Band Aid, or Kleenex since the word has come into generic usage (That a plaster, and facial tissue for those not familiar with those particular brand names). We have very few public chargers in my locale, and they are not equally spaced, and when your run out in a BEV, the tow-trucks do not have charging facilities so an expensive flat bed is the only option, or else you can use the ‘ArmStrong’ method and PUSH, as I did the time I actually ran out. If there were a surfeit of charge points, and only a gas station every hundred miles, then the situation would be reversed and people might have gas anxiety if they only had 3 gallon gas tanks. Murai, and Clarity drivers will have H2 anxiety for good… Read more »