Electric cars: how to beat range anxiety

It’s time to talk about range anxiety.

Over the past year or two, electric car naysayers have quoted the typical electric car range – often in the region of 100 miles – as a major stumbling block when buying an electric car.

This was highlighted in a BBC trip in an electric Mini concept car that caused controversy because many thought the target of travelling from London to Edinburgh was unrealistic compared to the use most owners of electric cars would put their vehicles too.

And this will be an issue with electric cars while the range stays at the 100 mile level. The fact is, the electric car is a very specific car for a very specific purpose.

If you drive the short journey to work each day – and the journey realistically needs to be 30-40 miles – then an electric car could be ideal.

The low running costs will be a huge benefit to those with short commutes, particularly in city traffic. Remember, electric cars are exempt from the congestion charge as well, and in some areas qualify for free parking.

If you’re considering an electric car, the following could be a very interesting tool for you to use. This map of the UK shows every electric car charging point built so far, allowing customers to see if it is possible to own a car and be within range of enough charging points to rid them of range anxiety.

Of course, there are wider benefits to electric cars too, with zero tailpipe emissions contributing to higher air quality in the city.

Plus, if the car is simply used to commute to work or for short, local journey’s, it can be charged overnight, taking advantage of lower energy tariffs and saving hundreds of pounds of fuel.

Range anxiety will not go away in the next few years. It will take a huge leap forward in electric technology to reach 200 and then 300 miles, but electric cars still have a place on the UK roads today.

City driving, a second car, a low-mileage driver; all will reap the benefits from driving an electric car such as the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn.

The rest can get their green fix through any number of other options, whether it’s a low-CO2 diesel engine such as the Citroen Airdream+ models, a low-CO2 petrol engine such as the superb Fiat 500 TwinAir, or a hybrid option instead, matching electric power with more convention means of propulsion.