Overcoming electric vehicle range anxiety
November 02, 2023
One of the most common concerns about electric vehicles (EVs) is range, which can lead to range anxiety - the fear of running out of charge before reaching your destination. However, with advancements in technology and infrastructure, as well as strategies to optimize range, this is becoming less of a problem for EV fleets.
OEM technology advancements are improving EV range
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) technology advancements are pushing the boundaries of what EVs can do. New technologies are extending vehicle battery range and accelerating the charging speeds of EVs.
- OEMs are revolutionizing the industry with Over the Air (OTA) software updates and car electronics reengineering. Their investments in software tools have not only improved business operations but also achieved a remarkable 32% reduction in capital and operational expenses over the past five years. These advancements have also boosted productivity and efficiency by an impressive 33%.
- Moreover, to alleviate range anxiety, OEMs are actively investing in software transformations aimed at improving vehicle efficiency and performance. Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) reveals that the average range of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) nearly tripled between 2010 and 2021, while Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) almost doubled their range in the same period.
Strategies to maximize your EV range
Fleets can consider several strategies to optimize electric vehicle range and alleviate range anxiety:
- Route planning – GPS and road trip planning applications can help you locate the optimal charging stations along your trip. This ensures that you have sufficient charge to reach your destination.
- Cabin preconditioning - if available for your vehicle model, use the cabin preconditioning feature. It heats or cools your vehicle's cabin while it's plugged in, saving battery power for driving. Preconditioning before driving can improve range, especially in extreme weather.
- Regular EV maintenance - factors like tire pressure and alignment can impact power consumption and range.
- Telematics and advanced analytics – by using real-time fleet data, you can actively monitor your EV's performance and driving behavior. This empowers you to identify areas for improvement, thereby optimizing performance and maximizing range.
- Driver training - instructing drivers on energy-efficient driving habits like smooth acceleration and deceleration, maintaining constant speeds, regenerative braking, and avoiding unnecessary idling can result in substantial energy savings.
How regenerative braking optimizes EV energy and extends range
Regenerative braking systems are an innovative feature in electric vehicles that transform the conventional understanding of energy efficiency. This process optimizes energy usage and extends the vehicle’s range, enhancing operational efficiency. As you slow down or stop your EV, the regenerative braking system is activated. Unlike traditional braking systems that waste kinetic energy as heat, this advanced mechanism recaptures that energy and converts it into electricity to recharge the vehicle's battery.
Can EVs handle winter conditions?
A common concern about EVs is how their performance is impacted by winter conditions. The truth is that all vehicles, whether gas or electric, do not run at peak performance when temperatures fall below freezing. Due to the characteristics of lithium batteries, EV driving range is impacted in cold weather. More electricity is needed to maintain battery temperature and supply heat to the cabin. A study from AAA suggests that EVs can lose about 40% of their range when the temperature drops from 75°F (24°C) to 20°F (-7°C). Drivers should pay close attention to the range on their battery as colder temperatures set in to make sure they have sufficient charge to reach their destination or a public charger.
However, this doesn't mean they can't handle winter conditions. In fact, some electric cars can handle snowy and icy roads better than gas-powered cars because they have better stability in slippery conditions. EVs have a lower center of gravity due to their heavy battery pack, making them less prone to skidding or fishtailing.
The crucial role of charging infrastructure
Investing in dedicated charging infrastructure is becoming an essential step for fleets transitioning to EVs. By having dedicated charging stations at fleet depots or drivers' homes, vehicles can always be charged and ready for their next trip. Smart charging solutions, such as charging during off-peak hours, not only reduce electricity costs but also enhance the financial feasibility of EVs. In addition to these options, public charging infrastructure complements the charging ecosystem and addresses concerns about vehicle range. The rapidly expanding public charging networks provide convenient and strategic locations for quick charging, significantly reducing the charging time for electric vehicles.
Tailored solutions for a confident EV journey
At Element, we provide customized solutions that inspire confidence throughout your EV journey and make the complex simple. We understand the importance of tailored strategies in addressing challenges like range anxiety. With our EV expertise, we make the transition seamless. We offer comprehensive driver training, smart charging strategies, and advanced analytics to maximize EV range over the long term. Visit our fleet electrification solutions page for insights on transitioning to an EV fleet.
Never miss an update
Subscribe for more news and thought leadership from Element.