An interesting side effect of the growing electric vehicle market is the growing number of surveys and investigations into the industry and drivers. The issue of journey capacity, and the relatively new issue of journey anxiety, were covered by a recent study in Germany. The result of the study is very interesting and while at first glance you may dismiss the findings, if you sit back and think about it, the situation is very relevant.
One of the issues which the researchers looked at was journey anxiety which is effectively the way you react when your gasoline/petrol vehicle heads towards empty or your electric vehicle battery pack is approaching 25% capacity.
Is it all in the mind?
Interestingly, the survey found that journey anxiety became very prevalent amongst electric vehicle users when battery power fell to 25%. The fact that there is still a quarter of the battery capacity remaining seems to go unnoticed by many electric vehicle drivers who begin to show signs of concern. The same emotions were not present amongst those using gasoline/petrol vehicles although the likelihood is that this is because we are more used to these particular modes of transport?
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Do you feel journey capacity anxiety when in your electric vehicle?"
It is a little disturbing to think that for example those driving a Nissan Leaf are effectively dismissing journey capacity from the official 84 miles per full charge to around 63 miles before they start getting anxious. Those who use electric vehicles are in effect discounting 21 miles in journey capacity from the award-winning Nissan Leaf as they flounder to find the nearest recharging station to put their mind at rest.
Feeling comfortable with your electric vehicle
It is not necessarily the fact that battery capacity for electric vehicles at this moment in time does not match gasoline/petrol journey capacity, but more a case of where to recharge and replenish your vehicle. There are many independent gasoline/petrol stations available right across the world, although the number of electric vehicle charging stations is but a small percentage of this figure. Times are changing with regards to recharging networks - it is now possible to recharge your electric vehicle at home and electric vehicle manufacturers, as well as independent service providers are certainly investing big money in this area.
The anxiety with regards to the range of the modern day electric vehicle will start to diminish as battery technology pushes further ahead and squeezes more and more mileage out of the modern day electric vehicle. When you also add in the ever-growing number of recharging stations we will eventually see a significant improvement in the trust factor associated with the modern electric vehicle, something which needs to be worked upon and will not happen overnight.
It is interesting to learn that electric vehicle drivers become very anxious when battery capacity falls below 25%, even though they still have many journey miles "in the tank". If you take a step back this is probably a result of scepticism surrounding the electric vehicle market and the fact that battery power and battery technology have not yet caught up with the underlying EV sector.