Range anxiety is the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination and would thus strand the vehicle's occupants. The term, which is primarily used in reference to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), is considered to be one of the major barriers to large scale adoption of all-electric cars. The term range anxiety was first reported in the press on September 1, 1997 in the San Diego Business Journal by Richard Acello referring to worries of GM EV1 electric car drivers. On July 6, 2010, General Motors filed to trademark the term, stating it was for the purpose of "promoting public awareness of electric vehicle capabilities". The Norwegian equivalent rekkeviddeangst was assigned second place in a list of Norwegian "words of the year" for 2013 by the Norwegian Language Council.
The main strategies to alleviate range anxiety among electric car drivers are the deployment of extensive charging infrastructure, the development of higher battery capacity at a cost-effective price, battery swapping technology, use of range extenders, accurate navigation and range prediction and availability of free loaners for long trips.
Responses to range anxiety
|“||The range anxiety will limit the ability of the all electric car to be used in certain specific applications, even if the battery costs come down.||”|
The concern that users of all-electric vehicles may become stranded due to inadequate battery performance/capacity has led to public calls for extensive public charging networks. As of December 2013[update], Estonia is the only country that had deployed an EV charging network with nationwide coverage, with fast chargers available along highways at a minimum distance of between 40 to 60 km (25 to 37 mi), and a higher density in urban areas.
Electric vehicle manufacturers have sought to quell range anxiety concerns through increased battery capacities to extend the vehicle's range. REVA has a proprietary technology called "Revive", which is a battery reserve that can be released by electric vehicle users by texting or calling an operations center;. Using a range extender solution, as implemented in the Chevrolet Volt or the BMW i3,. Another method is the proposed Ridek modular vehicle approach whereby a vehicle's chassis could be exchanged for one containing a larger capacity battery at a network of chassis-exchange stations before embarking on a long journey.
Since lack of information can be a contributing factor, a good navigation system with knowledge of the battery capacity and remaining distance can minimize the fear. There is also the possibility to minimize the fear before buying a vehicle.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) has started a road-recharge pilot program in six cities, Knoxville, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa. EV-driving AAA members can use the truck’s level 3 charging capacity to recharge a Nissan Leaf to 80% capacity in 30 minutes.
Battery swapping is a strategy to avoid range anxiety that allows electric cars to extend their range through a battery switch station. At the station, the depleted battery is swapped for fully charged battery in about the same time that it takes to fill up a car with gasoline. Battery swapping is common in warehouses using electric forklift trucks.
As the electric car emerged as the main competing technology in the late 1890s until the 1920s, the concept of exchangeable battery service was first proposed as early as 1896 in order to overcome the limited operating range of electric cars and trucks. The concept was first put into practice by Hartford Electric Light Company through the GeVeCo battery service and initially available for electric trucks. The vehicle owner purchased the vehicle from General Vehicle Company (GVC, a subsidiary of the General Electric Company) without a battery and the electricity was purchased from Hartford Electric through an exchangeable battery. The owner paid a variable per-mile charge and a monthly service fee to cover maintenance and storage of the truck. Both vehicles and batteries were modified to facilitate a fast battery exchange. The service was provided between 1910 to 1924 and during that period covered more than 6 million miles. Beginning in 1917 a similar successful service was operated in Chicago for owners of Milburn Light Electric cars who also could buy the vehicle without the batteries.
- Better Place
The Better Place network was the first modern commercial deployment of the battery switching model. The Renault Fluence Z.E. was the first electric car with a switchable battery available for the Better Place network in operation in Israel and Denmark. Better Place launched its first battery-swapping station in Israel, in Kiryat Ekron, near Rehovot in March 2011. The battery exchange process took five minutes. As of December 2012[update], there were 17 battery switch stations fully operational in Denmark enabling customers to drive anywhere across the country in an electric car.
By late 2012 the company began to suffer financial difficulties, and decided to put on hold the roll out in Australia and reduce its non-core activities in North America, as the company decided to concentrate its resources on its two existing markets. Better Place filed for bankruptcy in Israel in May 2013. The company's financial difficulties were caused by the high investment required to develop the charging and swapping infrastructure, about US$850 million in private capital, and a market penetration significantly lower than originally predicted by Shai Agassi. Less than 1,000 Fluence Z.E. cars were deployed in Israel and around 400 units in Denmark. Under Better Place's business model, the company owns the batteries, so the court liquidator will have to decide what to do with customers who do not have ownership of the battery and risk being left with a useless car.
- Tesla Motors
Tesla Motors designed its Model S to allow fast battery swapping. In June 2013, Tesla announced their goal to deploy a battery swapping station in each of its supercharging stations. At a demonstration event Tesla showed that a battery swap operation with the Model S takes just over 90 seconds, about half the time it takes to refill a gasoline-powered car used for comparison purposes during the event.
The first stations are planned to be deployed along Interstate 5 in California where, according to Tesla, a large number of Model S sedans make the San Francisco-Los Angeles trip regularly. These will be followed by the Washington, DC to Boston corridor. Elon Musk said the service would be offered for the price of about 15 US gallons (57 l; 12 imp gal) of gasoline at the current local rate, around US$60 to US$80 at June 2013 prices. Owners can pick up their battery pack fully charged on the return trip, which is included in the swap fee. Tesla will also offer the option to keep the pack received on the swap and paying the price difference if the battery received is newer; or to receive the original pack back from Tesla for a transport fee. Pricing has not been determined.
- Series plug-in hybrids
Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), as opposed to pure electric cars, eliminate the range anxiety concerns because the gasoline engine serves as a back-up to recharge the battery to provide electric power to the electric motor, or to provide propulsion directly. Access to a regular fuel station guarantees that a PHEV has similar driving ranges as conventional gasoline-powered automobile when required.
However, parallels and series-parallel hybrids operate most of the time in blended mode while charge-depleting. Because the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid operates as a series-parallel hybrid, the U.S. EPA estimated its all-electric range for blended operation on a combination of electricity (from a fully charged battery pack) and gasoline as 11 mi (18 km) until the battery is depleted. Other plug-in hybrids that operated mostly in blended mode are the Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion Energi and Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid.
On the other hand, series hybrids, also been referred to as extended-range electric vehicles (EREV) or range-extended electric vehicles (REEV), are designed to be run mostly by the battery, but have a gasoline or diesel generator to recharge the battery when going on long trips. The Chevrolet Volt, Fisker Karma and the upcoming Cadillac ELR are series plug-in hybrids.
- Chevrolet Volt
General Motors describes the Chevrolet Volt as an electric vehicle equipped with a "range extending" gasoline powered internal combustion engine (ICE) as a genset and therefore dubbed the Volt an "Extended Range Electric Vehicle" or E-REV. In a January 2011 interview, the Chevy Volt's Global Chief Engineer, Pamela Fletcher, referred to the Volt as "an electric car with extended range." The Volt operates as a purely electric car for the first 25 to 50 miles (40 to 80 km) in charge-depleting mode. When the battery capacity drops below a pre-established threshold from full charge, the vehicles enters charge-sustaining mode, and the Volt's control system will select the most optimally efficient drive mode to improve performance and boost high-speed efficiency.
In December 2012, two years after the Volt was launched, General Motors reported that cumulative miles driven in electric mode had passed the 100 million mark on November 30, 2012. The carmaker also reported that Volt owners have driven more than 65% percent of the time in all-electric mode, and on average they drive around 900 mi (1,400 km), or a month and a half, between fill-ups. A 2014 analysis conducted by the Idaho National Laboratory using a sample of 21,600 all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids, found that Volt owners traveled on average 9,112 miles in all-electric mode (e-miles) per year, while Leaf owners traveled 9,697 e-miles per year, despite the Volt's shorter all-electric range, about half of the Leaf's.
- BMW i3
BMW i is offering the BMW i3 all-electric car with an optional gasoline-powered range extender engine added. The range extender is powered by the same 647 cc two-cylinder gasoline engine used in the BMW C650 GT motorcycle with a 9 L (2.0 imp gal; 2.4 US gal) fuel tank. The range extender engine only engages when the battery level drops to a pre-specified point, acting purely as a generator to produce electricity to extend the range from 130 to 160 km (80 to 100 mi) to 240 to 300 km (150 to 190 mi) The i3 performance in range-extending mode may be more limited than when it is running on battery power, as BMW clarified that the range extender is designed not for long-distance travel but purely as an emergency backup to keep the electric system going until the next recharging location.
As a mitigation to range anxiety issues, some carmakers are offering the use of gasoline-powered standard car for free with the purchase of an electric vehicle to mitigate, thus allowing their customers to cover long trips on a certain number of days per year.
- BMW i3
BMW i is planning to offer additional mobility packages for trips where the range of an BMW i3 would not be enough to allow customers to cover longer distances, including the provision of a conventional BMW vehicle on a given number of days per year. In areas of high sales, BMW will also offer a roadside assistance program, which, instead of a tow, the assistance vehicle will provide a charge so the i3 can travel to the next charging station.
- Fiat 500e
In April 2013, Fiat North America announced a program to allow customers to cover longer travel distances, as each Fiat 500e purchase includes the use of rental vehicles for up to 12 days a year for free through the first three years of ownership. The program, called ePass, entitles 500e owners to a business account with enough points to rent a gasoline-powered standard car with Enterprise Holdings, which owns Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car. Fiat deposits additional points the following two years to extend the program.
- Better Place
- Charging infrastructure
- Genset trailer
- List of modern production plug-in electric vehicles
- Eberle, Ulrich; von Helmolt, Rittmar (2010-05-14). "Sustainable transportation based on electric vehicle concepts: a brief overview". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- Backstrom, Michael (May 22, 2009). "Comments of Southern California Edison Company on the California Public Utilities Commission Staff’s White Paper, Light-Duty V". p. 4. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Schott, Ben (January 15, 2009). "Range Anxiety". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Rahim, Saqib (May 7, 2010). "Will Lithium-Air Battery Rescue Electric Car Drivers From 'Range Anxiety'?". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- Jose Gomez-Ibane, Prof. Hermann Bennett & Dean John Haigh, Alfred Wiederer & Ronald Philip. "Policy options for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in C40 cities". Clinton Climate Initiative. Harvard. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Gordon-Bloomfield, Nikki (September 16, 201). "Electric Car Out of Juice? Pray for an Angel". TheCarConnection.com. Retrieved 23 September 2010. Check date values in:
- "First public citation of range anxiety".
- Eric Loveday. ""Range Anxiety" in 2nd Place on Norway’s "Words of the Year" List". Inside EVs.
- Årets ord: sakte-tv (in Norwegian) via Quartz, Norway is starting to have more electric cars than it can handle.
- "Will ‘range anxiety’ limit the electric car?". Analysis & Opinion (Reuters). Apr 26, 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Adam Palin (2013-11-19). "Infrastructure: Shortage of electric points puts the brake on sales". Financial Times. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- KredEx (2013-02-20). "Estonia becomes the first in the world to open a nationwide electric vehicle fast-charging network". Estonian World. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- Adam Vaughan (2013-02-20). "Estonia launches national electric car charging network". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- Matthe, Roland; Eberle, Ulrich (2014-01-01). "The Voltec System - Energy Storage and Electric Propulsion". Retrieved 2014-05-04.
- "AVL's Range Extender Allows Electrically Driven Ranges equal to those of Conventional Vehicles".
- "AVL Introduces New Modular Range Extender Technologies and Engineering Services (17 May 2009)".
- "The AVL Range Extender".
- "Driving Electrically: "AVL Pure Range Extender" for Electric Vehicles".
- "AVL introduces its own Wankel rotary EV range-extender".
- Real time driving range display.
- "iEV electric car simulator".
- Better Place. "How we give the electric car unlimited range". Better Place. Retrieved 2014-04-21.
- Ars Technica (2009-03-09). "Industrial electrical vehicle stalwarts head out on the road". simpleNews. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
- Kirsch, David A. (2000). The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History. New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London: Rutgers University Press. pp. 153–162. ISBN 0-8135-2809-7.
- "Better Place. The Renault Fluence ZE". Better Place. 2010-10-22. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- Udasin, Sharon (24 March 2011). "Better Place launches 1st Israeli battery-switching station". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
- "Better Place Delivers For Demanding Amsterdam Taxi Drivers". Better Place. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- David McCowen (2013-02-18). "The rise and fall of Better Place". Drive.com.au. Retrieved 2013-04-14.
- Tim Beissmann (2012-12-13). "Renault Fluence Z.E. launch delayed due to infrastructure hold-ups". Car Advice. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
- "Better Place winding down ops in North America and Australia, to focus on Denmark and Israel". Green Car Congress. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2013-04-21.
- Isabel Kershner (2013-05-26). "Israeli Venture Meant to Serve Electric Cars Is Ending Its Run". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Niv Elis (2013-05-26). "Death of Better Place: Electric car co. to dissolve". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
- Dubi Ben-Gedalyahu (2013-05-26). "Better Place CEO: A missed opportunity". Globes. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Sebastian Blanco (2009-09-27). "REPORT: Tesla Model S was designed with battery swaps in mind". Autoblog Green. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
- Mark Rogowsky (2013-06-21). "Tesla 90-Second Battery Swap Tech Coming This Year". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
- "Tesla Motors demonstrates battery swap in the Model S". Green Car Congress. 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
- Michael Graham Richard (2009-10-14). "Could Range Anxiety Sabotage the Promise of Electric Cars?". Discovery's Planet Green. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- "Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)". Center for Energy and the Global Environment, Virginia Tech. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- "What Is A Plug-in Hybrid Car?". HybridCars.com. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
- John Voelcker (2012-03-13). "2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In: Parsing The EPA Efficiency Sticker". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Toyota News Release (2012-02-28). "Prius Plug-In eligibile for a $1,500 California consumer incentive plus $2,500 Federal tax credit". Green Car Congress. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Eric Loveday (2013-02-06). "Frost & Sullivan Predicts Boom in Extended-Range Electric Vehicles". PluginCars.com. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- Sam Abuelsamid (2009-04-02). "What is a series hybrid/extended range electric vehicle?". Autoblog Green. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- John Voelcker (2012-03-13). "2012 Fisker Karma -Review". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- "Chevrolet Volt Hits Road, Ahead of Schedule". The New York Times. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Jonathan Oosting (2010-10-12). "Is the Chevrolet Volt a true electric car? General Motors defends EV label". MLive.com. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
- Kuchment, Anna (January 2011). "Practically Green: A Q&A with the Chevy Volt's Chief Engineer". Scientific American 304 (1) (Nature America). p. 25. ISSN 0036-8733. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Norman Mayersohn (2010-10-15). "Sorting Myth From Fact as Volt Makes Its Debut". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- Frank Markus (2010-10-10). "Unbolting the Chevy Volt to See How it Ticks". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- John Voelcker (2012-12-03). "100 Million Electric Miles Driven By Chevy Volt Owners". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- Jeffrey N. Ross (2012-12-06). "GM says Chevy Volt owners have logged over 100-million electric miles". Autoblog.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- Gabe Nelson (2015-03-28). "Calif. considers a plea for plug-in hybrids". Automotive News. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
- Viknesh Vijayenthiran (2010-07-20). "First Major Outing For BMW Megacity Vehicle At 2012 London Olympic Games". Motor Authority. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- Jay Cole (2013-07-29). "BMW i3 Range Extender To Offer Up to 87 More Miles, Decreases Performance". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Greg Kable (2013-02-24). "First rides in BMW i8 hybrid sportscar and all-electric i3". Autocar. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
- John Voelcker (2013-03-12). "BMW i3 Electric Car: ReX Range Extender Not For Daily Use?". Green Car Reports. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Benjamin Preston (2013-07-29). "BMW Unveils i3 Electric Car". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Michaël Torregrossa (2013-07-30). "Voiture électrique - La BMW i3 officiellement révélée" [Electric car - the BMW i3 officially revealed] (in French). Association pour l'Avenir du Véhicule Electrique Méditerranéen (AVEM). Retrieved 2013-07-31.
- Eric Loveday (2013-07-22). "Official: BMW i3 Range Extender Option Adds 4,490 Euros ($5,919 US) to Price Tag in Netherlands". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
- Philippe Crowe (2013-03-05). "BMW Reveals i3 Coming This Year". HybridCars.com. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- Jack Ewing (2013-07-15). "With i3 Electric Car, BMW Tries to Ease Range Anxiety". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- Larry P. Vellequette (2013-04-01). "Buy a Fiat 500e, use alternate cars for free". Automotive News. Retrieved 2013-04-07.
- Jay Cole (2013-04-02). "Fiat 500e Purchasers Get 12 Days Of Free Rentals A Year. EV To Be Priced April 13th, On Sale This Summer". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-07.