EXPERIENCE makes the difference between range anxiety and range awareness

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Daily we all hear the most incredible stories being spread out by EV-skeptics, but the most persistent one is about range anxiety.

First long distance drive with Tesla Model 3 LR, RWD, December 24th, 2018

Honestly, we experienced some concern about reaching a long distance destination with our first electric car or finding a charging station too, but this happened before we drove it from Motor City to Baltimore. Once we had the first 1000 km behind us and realized how smooth the entire experience is with our Model 3, range anxiety was just a distant memory.

The same kind of story was shared recently by our daughter from her first trip from Vegas to California in a long range Model 3, together with three co-workers, who never got even a short distance a ride with an EV.

Tesla Model 3 recovering energy during the long descent to California

Many “beginner” questions are pointing at the capability of an electric car to take you from A to B, if the distance is longer than the average range projected on the screen. However, the concept of recovering energy during descents is unknown to most non EV drivers.

Teslas find and show on the screen the SuperCharger stations on the road to your destination and make recommendations, based on the shortest charging time, contributing to the shortest overall trip.

Hyundai Ioniq charging at 50 kW DC station in Deva

But our other vehicle, a Hyundai Ioniq EV used for project Electromobility in Romania, does not have this feature as most OEMs do not have their own charging networks, like Tesla does.

Finding a charging location on Plugshare in Sibiu: Porsib 22 kW AC tpe 2

There are many apps available, we use Plugshare, and even google started recently indicating the charging stations on the map. However, you never know if the station works, if it is occupied for charging by another EV, or simply “ICEed”, this means blocked by an Internal Combustion Engine equipped vehicle.

As our partners from Porsib Sibiu learned the hard way on their first long distance trip with the Ioniq on December 1st at – 10 C, using too much heat for the interior takes a heavy toll on the range and makes the trip extremely uncomfortable.

However, once the range in different weather conditions, driving styles and altitude variation is understood, the joy of electric driving is a solid feeling of comfort, economy and doing something good for our planet.

Ionica’s long distance travels cumulated over 1200 km this spring

With its tiny 28 kWh battery, our Hyundai Ioniq, nicknamed “Ionica”, took several longer trips this spring. Sibiu to Tragu Mures or Brebu or Brasov are anywhere from 250 to over 500 km trips, mastered with one or two additional charges by our frugal electric friend.

Where did range anxiety disappear ? … Anxiety is a sentiment generated by lack of knowledge in general and is quickly replaced by range awareness, once the driver understands the real range of the vehicle and the major range reducing factors, like driving style, heating and cooling, altitude variation.

Porsib’s team experience, was replicated by our own. After the drive from Detroit to Baltimore, during the 4300 km trip from Norway to Timisoara, we did not experience range anxiety anymore, but had to plan carefully test drives and next trip segment each day.

After her experience driving to California, our daughter planned her next long distance Model 3 trip to Colorado and Utah. More about that trip in another article dedicated to managing long distance EV trips based on RANGE AWARENESS.

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Dan Boboescu

My lifelong automotive career started with design and testing of ICEs, continued with service and sales, followed by 20 years of global seat design, requirements and knowledge management. My recently found passion for electric vehicles found its home at www.24auto.ro and electromobilitate.

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