Charging anxiety is the fear or apprehension that an electric car driver will not be able to find a charging station when they need it, or that charging will take too long. While this type of anxiety is not unique to electric vehicles, it is a concern that has been largely ignored by the wider automotive media.
One of the main causes of charging anxiety is range anxiety, which refers to the fear that an electric car will run out of battery before the driver reaches their destination or a charging point. In addition to range anxiety, other factors can contribute to charging anxiety, including:
These factors can be incredibly frustrating for electric car drivers, and they can undermine the many benefits of electric cars, including their environmental impact and lower fuel costs.
Charging anxiety is having a very real impact on electric car adoption rates. A 2019 survey conducted by the International Energy Agency found that 66% of prospective electric car buyers were deterred by the lack of charging stations. This is a significant number of potential buyers who are not making the transition to electric cars – even though they may want to.
Another survey conducted by British Gas found that charging anxiety is causing anxiety levels to rise in many electric car drivers. This anxiety is caused by concerns over the availability of charging stations, long charging times, and the fear of being left stranded if a charging point is out of service.
To alleviate charging anxiety, auto manufacturers and charging companies are working hard to improve the accessibility and reliability of electric vehicle charging points. Some of the initiatives and advancements that are being made include:
These initiatives are ultimately designed to boost the take-up of electric cars, by making it easier and less anxiety-inducing to charge them.
While range anxiety is a well-known concern among electric car drivers, charging anxiety is not as widely recognised – but it’s still an issue that could be causing harm to the electric car adoption rate. Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:
Given that electric vehicles have many benefits over traditional petrol cars, including their lower carbon emissions and lower running costs, we need to make sure that charging anxiety is not preventing people from making the switch. And with the latest advancements in electric vehicle technology, it’s clear that the electric car revolution is well underway.
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