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Charging Anxiety

Navigating the Future: Overcoming Charging Anxiety in the World of Electric Vehicles

By March 4, 2024May 2nd, 2024No Comments4 min read

Introduction

In the not-so-distant past, electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts were plagued by the infamous “range anxiety.” But the conversation is shifting. Most drivers are confident that their electric vehicles can cover longer journeys on a single charge. However a new concern has emerged – charging anxiety. As owners celebrate electric vehicles’ extended range, a new set of questions arises: Will there be available charge points at my next planned charging stop? How long will it take to charge? What’s the cost, and how do I pay?

Evolution of Concerns From Range Anxiety to Charging Anxiety

Once upon a time, the primary worry surrounding EVs was the constant fear of running out of battery power before reaching a charging station – a phenomenon known as range anxiety, and we have covered these concerns in previous posts. However, more recently we have seen advancements in battery technology. Contemporary EVs claim ranges of up to 300 miles on a single charge, relieving some of the concerns relating to range. Yet, as one worry fades, another takes its place – charging anxiety.

Unravelling the Charging Challenges

One of the major issues and contributors to charging anxiety is the lack of standardisation across existing charging networks. The infrastructure is complex and inconsistent.  Variations in plug types, payment options, communication protocols, and charging speeds, turn the seemingly simple task of plugging in and charging, into a complex, bewildering and often stressful, experience.

In addition to the prospect of managing multiple subscriptions and apps, EV drivers face the challenge of unreliable information about charging points. Apps may direct users to seemingly available chargers, only to find them broken or occupied upon arrival. Miscalculations in charging speed can also leave drivers stranded for longer than anticipated.

EV drivers have a lot to consider and understand. Charging prices, speed, and the availability of charging points. It creates layers of complexity that drivers of traditional internal combustion engines haven’t previously had to contemplate.

Solving the Predicament of Charging Anxiety

Charging anxiety isn’t just a headache for individual EV drivers, it creates a substantial barrier to mass adoption of electric mobility. Recognising this, public bodies and policymakers are taking action.

In the United Kingdom, the government is taking several measures to address EV charging anxiety and promote the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

It has committed to expanding the public charging infrastructure, including the installation of more rapid charging stations along motorways, major roads, and in urban areas to ensure that EV drivers have convenient access to charging points.

Local authorities are encouraged to implement on-street residential charging solutions. This involves installing charging points in residential areas to make EV charging more accessible for individuals without private driveways or garages.

The Council of the EU recently adopted new legislation set to come into force in 2025. These rules aim to address current pain points by expanding charging infrastructure along Europe’s main highways, enabling app-free payments, and requiring transparent communication of pricing and charger availability.

Conclusion

In the journey towards a future predicted to be dominated by electric vehicles, overcoming charging anxiety is vital. As industry leaders collaborate with policymakers, technological solutions, and community engagement, we must all hope for a landscape where the complexities of EV charging are simplified, making electric mobility more accessible to all.