Folks, the one question people have about owning an Electric Vehicle (EV) is ‘How far will it go before I have to recharge?’
Manufacturers, salespeople and battery powered enthusiasts have nicknamed this ‘Range Anxiety’.
Basically, potential EV buyers are concerned about running out of power and being stranded on the side of the road in some remote part of the country… and in the silence they’ll hear the banjo’s a-twanging from the nearby bush just before their lives take a horrible turn for the worst.
Let me just make a couple of points:
Firstly, country folk are generally the nicest, most helpful people you’ll ever meet, and yes, while there is a small Nutjob Element wandering about most necks of the woods, I can personally vouch that the ‘Nutjob to Nice People Ratio’ is nowhere near as bad here in the sticks as it is in our concrete jungles.
Secondly, Range Anxiety has been a very real concern for Australian motorists since people saw the first petrol powered vehicles waay back in the day, and scoffed.
The general consensus was, motorcars were simply smaller versions of trains; basically unable to leave main roads/tracks where there is a plentiful supply of fuel.
Why buy a car when a horse which, admittedly is much slower, but can go virtually anywhere as long as you have grass and water?
Plus, if you needed a new horse, you simply got a Mummy and Daddy Horse, who loved each other very much, to go on a quiet date in the back paddock.
Anyway, motoring enthusiasts, kitted out in driving jackets, gloves, caps and goggles, soon proved even the staunchest horse fans wrong. They managed to take those early, heavy, wooden wheeled cars into and, most importantly, back out of, places many owners of expensive 4WD’s would fear to go today.
Within two decades the country’s horse population plummeted as cars took over our cities, towns and eventually, the planet.
Life without a car for most Australians these days is unimaginable. This probably has a lot to do with the way modern city’s, towns and suburbs have been designed around the car, such is its’ domination of our modern lives.
So when I hear people proclaim they’d never own a fully electric vehicle because of Range Anxiety, I have a silent chuckle.
Because last week, I was at a car dealership where the sales team said Hybrid and EV sales are off the charts. New car buyers have seen the future and they want to be part of it.
Hell, I want to be part of it!
But not just yet, and not because I have Range Anxiety issues. I have ‘Inner Scotsman’ issues.
My canny, wee, ‘Internal Jock’ knows that very soon the price of EV’s will be lower, the battery range much longer and the recharging times much less. In fact it’s happening now, and at a pretty quick clip too: Electric car batteries with five-minute charging times produced | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars | The Guardian
So, I’ll continue to wander life’s highways and byways in my 20 year old Camry, until the day comes when it finally putters off to Car Heaven.
Or, I may simply rip out the old ‘infernal combustion enjin’ and replace it with an electric motor? This is also on the cards as the big car manufacturers look into the viability of this option.
In the meantime, Jock and I will count our pennies while we wait.
This article first appeared in the Regrow Qld e-zine: Regrow Qld (substack.com)