Range anxiety. It’s become such a common phrase that it has its own dictionary entry and Wikipedia page. Tesla’s recent announcement that the new Model S Long Range Plus vehicles have an EPA-rated range of 402 miles may finally end that once and for all.
To be clear: most electric vehicle (EV) drivers know that we rarely, if ever, experience actual range anxiety. The vast majority of driving can easily be accomplished by EVs with even modest ranges. Additionally, EVs can easily be charged at home or at work on a regular basis, so many drivers can wake up to a full “tank” every morning if desired. For those who cannot charge at home or work, the public charging infrastructure is continually improving.
Nevertheless, the perception of range anxiety has persisted. The new 402-mile Tesla Model S is a new milestone in EV range, putting its range on par with many gasoline-powered vehicles. With that many miles, some drivers could go for nearly two weeks between charges!
This is just the latest in the continual improvement in EV batteries and range. Just three years ago, the average range on an all-electric vehicle was 137 miles. Today, the average range on an all-electric vehicle has increased to 235 miles. While Tesla has led the pack in range, the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Bolt, and BMW i3 have also increased their ranges, while new entries like the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro have ranges in the mid-200s at reasonable prices. (Visit Plug In America’s PlugStar.com to compare them all!)
In a recent Plug In America survey of consumers considering an all-electric vehicle, nearly 80% indicated that they want their vehicle to have a range of more than 200 miles and nearly 30% indicated they want a range of more than 300 miles. Americans want long-range electric vehicles and automakers are promising many more options, so they can’t come soon enough.