Taking the range anxiety out of EV driving
Life with a regular car is easy: when the needle of the fuel meter enters the red zone, it’s time to go to a petrol station. Not with EVs: once your battery is nearly empty, finding a charging station and in time is very stressful. Moreover, the range they offer is hardly sufficient for most drivers, right? Not quite, as Benjamin Huvé – International Senior Consultant at ALD Automotive explains.
Mr Huvé, what are according to you the perceived obstacles towards electric driving that need demystifying?
“First of all, we notice that drivers are not familiar with the charging network to the same extent as they are familiar with the petrol stations. They fear they will not be able to charge when they need to. Still, there are a lot more public charging points out there than is commonly assumed and the density is increasing day by day. Also, you don’t need to plug in your EV as much as you might think.”
Doesn’t driving an electric car mean you have to plug it in at every occasion you have to avoid running empty?
“It is a natural reflex for many EV adopters, but once they get to know their car and how much real range it gives, they realize that constant charging is not a must. You could compare it with a smartphone: you don’t plug it in all the time. Today’s EVs give between 250 and 600km on a single charge, incidentally. The majority of commuters drive less than 50km per day. Even with just 250km of total range, you only have to charge every four days. Once you realize that, range anxiety disappears like snow in the sun.”
How do I choose the best EV for my needs?
“Again, you could compare EVs with smartphones. The product offer ranges from affordable no-frill models to high-tech devices. Choosing the right one comes down to determining your needs. Today, the offer of electric vehicles is rather limited, but there are a lot of new models coming to market this year and next year, especially in the small and the compact segment. Electric driving is becoming accessible to more people.”
So there is an electric vehicle for everyone?
“Yes and no. Electric vehicles can be a good choice for many, but high-mileage drivers will find that diesel vehicles are usually the better option, both from a practical and a TCO perspective. We estimate that diesel will stay around for quite a few years in the D and the E segment because of this. That does not mean you cannot use your EV over long distances – there are plenty of fast chargers available along motorways in Europe. On average, 20 minutes is enough to give you 100 km of range today, but the next-generation fast chargers will add 300km in the same amount of time.”
What alternatives to the electric cars should be considered?
“Choosing the right powertrain all comes down to driver profiling. There is a right solution for every profile. In many cases it could be electric, but not for all. Sometimes a petrol car gives the best TCO, or natural gas, or a combination of a fossil fuel with electricity, i.e. a hybrid. If electric is the right option for you, but you still worry about the occasional longer distance, then ALD Switch may be the ideal solution for you. For a number of days per year you can change your EV for a conventional car, which is delivered to your doorstep. Yet another way in which we facilitate your transition to a more sustainable mobility.”