Real electric car experience educates drivers on range confidence, dispels range anxiety

Does familiarity breed contempt, or confidence?  That depends on a lot of factors, but a recent study showed that after about 3 months of electric vehicle ownership, EV drivers gain confidence and drive further afield.  Familiarity can breed range confidence rather than range anxiety, so please don’t buy into the range anxiety crap being sold to you by some car companies.

The study, published in November 2013 in Transport Policy, gave a MiniE to 87 drivers and tracked their behavior over several months.  After three months their assessment of driving range increased quite a bit.

As we see in this chart, a large portion of them realized their real driving needs are small, with 50% or so driving less than 100 kilometers a week, and 80% driving less than 70 kilometers a day.

What happened over the course of the trial is the participants adjusted their perceived range requirement downward.  In other words, real experience with electric car driving gave real practical education about real driving range needs.

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This reminds me of my early days of owning an electric vehicle.  I’d take it out for a spin just to experiment with riding range – that is, a “range test”.  I hear of others doing the same thing, and I think what’s going on is a testing of this new thing to see if we can trust it.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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