Why range anxiety is a thing of the past


Range anxiety entered our lexicon a few years ago, as a term used to describe the worry of an electric car running out of charge before reaching that coveted charging point or destination.

The early makes and models of electric car had smaller batteries and ranges of around 80-100 miles. Nowadays, over half of all battery electric cars have a range of over 200 miles, and over one third will go for over 250 miles on a single charge.

That’s not to say that range anxiety has disappeared entirely. I’ve experienced it myself. It’s not often I go on long car journeys – most of my travel is local, or well within the range of the electric car that I drive, which has a healthy real-world range of 280 miles (a little less in the colder months). I charge at home most of the time, which is super convenient, cheap and green, thanks to being on a renewable energy tariff. 

But in December 2019 I was invited to the opening of the UK’s first ‘electric forecourt’, a site dedicated to over 30 electric car chargers of varying speeds, from rapid to ultra-rapid, with an impressive café, shop and meeting centre to boot. 

charging an electric car

As an electric car driver, I know to plan ahead, and there are some great apps out there to show you where the public charging points are. So I knew where I’d need to stop and charge en route. No problem. Except it did turn into a problem, as the first two sets of charging points I stopped at were not working. And by the time I reached the third charging point, my brain was fogged with range anxiety and I plugged in the wrong connector, which delivered those electrons so slowly, it was hardly worth the bother. 

To cut a long story short, I did reach my destination, and the charging experience on the way home was far better. Possibly in part down to my state of mind, which was more relaxed and not worried about being late.

"I’ve been driving electric cars for almost a decade. I’ve owned an electric car for three years and I’ve experienced range anxiety just once in all that time. I don’t think that’s too bad going." (Gill Nowell, 2022)

Most UK journeys are under 100 miles. The average daily mileage driven in the UK is 20 miles. That means that electric cars are suitable for most journeys, most of the time. 

I say let’s go for it. If you haven’t driven an electric car yet, why not book a test drive? You might just like it. 

Or, take our quiz to see if an electric car is right for you?

Article written by Gill Nowell, Head of EV at LV= General Insurance.