Many reviews of electric cars mention the concept of “range anxiety.” Why would one be anxious? After all, if you know you have 62 miles of range, as I did in this week’s 2014 Mitsubishi iMiEV. You know how far your commute is and simple math tells you how many round trips you have before you need to charge. No biggie, right?
Oh no. Oh no no no no no! It turns out that the actual miles driven very rarely have a direct correlation with the drop in range miles.
I’ve been in EVs before, but they had always been quick takes, where range was not an issue. Now, I found myself monitoring my driving, keeping my acceleration as gentle as possible, keeping my speeds slow, and yet after every trip my range miles dropped more than miles driven.
|Miles Driven||Decrease in Range||Conditions
|3.0||7.0||city, a/c on, regular mode|
|2.6||6.0||city, a/c on, regular mode|
||10||city, a/c off, eco mode|
You can see why I was getting anxious. So far I’d only driven the car 9.1 miles and had already eaten up 23 miles of my 62 mile range. There are only two (!) 30 minute charging stations in Washington DC. Level 2 chargers are more prevalent, but that takes 7-8 hours. I ended up charging in the garage at work via a 120 volt outlet, at a time of 14-16 hours for a full charge.
With my car rapidly losing juice, my plans had to be modified to account for my transportation. If you’ve seen my videos, you know I’m a footloose and fancy free kind of gal. Having to actually plan and consider the constant needs of my vehicle was a new experience for me. I felt hindered. I felt tethered. I felt like the car, which is supposed to give me freedom and independence, was actually doing the opposite.
I’m sure other folks don’t place the same importance on personal independence as I do, so maybe range anxiety won’t have the same meaning to them. As for me, the iMiEV was suffocating. Until the infrastructure offers quick fill ups like we currently have with gas and diesel power, I can’t see myself buying an EV.
Check out Roman and Nathan as they experience range anxiety of their own in the Nissan Leaf.
Emme is a driver, reviewer, rabble rouser, and Gazelle who can be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and either one of her blogs.