Written By Suzanne Stougie
Range Anxiety: NOUN / informal
a concern, experienced by the driver of an electric vehicle, that the battery may be fully discharged before a suitable charging point is reached.

It's been called 'one of the major psychological barriers preventing many people from getting an EV', making it an important concern to tackle in our quest to go electric. Range anxiety, or the worry that you won't make it to your destination (or the next available charging unit) before your EV's battery runs out, is a barrier for many drivers when seriously considering an electric car.
Limited Edition Polestar Photographed at the Dealership in Marin, CA. (Photo By Dllu for Wikimedia Commons)
Are you one of the many drivers skeptical about EVs because of their limited driving range? You're not alone. Around 30 per cent of potential drivers struggle with concerns about being able to find a charger. The same number of drivers are worried they won't know how long their car battery will last.

Of course, a mere decade ago, you would have been totally right to worry. Early EV models had some serious limitations when it came to driving range. The 2011 Nissan Leaf, for example, managed about 84 miles on a full charge. Not very practical, unless you're living and working locally and don't get around much otherwise.

But that was then. Nowadays, the driving range of EVs has shot up as car battery prices have dropped sharply. A standard Nissan Leaf now boasts 149 miles of driving range (or 226 miles even, if you upgrade the battery to 60 kWh). Plus, charging units are popping up all over the country, thanks to our government's Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan.

Having said that, driving an EV over longer distances does take some more planning and preparation than driving a gas-powered car. The fact that there aren't quite as many EV charging units as gas stations (yet) may make the more nervous drivers among us, well, nervous. But really, stick to the following simple rules and range anxiety is no longer necessary.

Charge to full before a big trip
It may sound obvious, but it's the best antidote to a troublesome trip.

Download your favorite charging app
With a charging app like Chargehub or Plugshare you'll have all chargers in your area at your fingertips, including information on availability and functionality.

Top up when you can
Rather than driving until you can drive no more, give your battery some juice whenever you are taking a break from driving, even if it's just ten or twenty minutes.

Use the regenerative braking system
Braking gently when going downhill, and braking smoothly rather than abruptly will help put some energy back into the battery, recharging it as you go.

Be kind to others
When encountering a problem at a public charging unit, report it to the network operator via the app or by ringing their customer service department. This ensures the quickest fix, keeping the charging network up and running for everyone.