Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeNewsRange anxiety: When battery will get you nowhere

Range anxiety: When battery will get you nowhere


I WROTE last week in TCW about Boris Johnson’s mad rush to ban petrol and diesel cars and replace them with electric vehicles after 2030. 

As a follow-up, here’s a Guardian story that’s instructive and perhaps cautionary. It’s headlined: ‘Why did it take nine hours to go 130 miles in our new electric Porsche?’  

It’s the distressing tale of the trials and tribulations of Linda Barnes and her husband trying to get home to Kent from Bournemouth in their Porsche Taycan 4S (starting price £83,580).  

After a nerve-jangling hunt for suitable chargers en route as the battery level dropped, you’ll be heartened to know they finally made it home with 11 per cent of capacity left.  

Linda said the sense of relief was enormous. ‘We ran through the entire gamut of emotions in those nine hours – resignation, range anxiety, annoyance and disbelief that this was happening – and finally elation when we realised we’d get home,’ she added.  

Range anxiety? I’d never heard that one before, but apparently it’s a well-known term in electric motoring circles describing the fear of not reaching your destination before you run out of juice.  

Learned papers and technical analyses have been written about it, and General Motors once even tried to copyright the expression.   

Advocates of electric cars are hoping better batteries will ease range anxiety. However, a new related malady is now said to be on the rise – charger time anxiety. That’s when drivers are exasperated by how long it takes to power their vehicles, even with super-fast chargers.  

It’s simply not as quick as the ten minutes or less it takes to fill the tank of your old-fashioned jalopy with petrol or diesel. Could we be seeing the rise of fossil fuel regret syndrome?  

All that said, I must make it clear that I’m not against electric cars per se. I think they’re a great idea if they can be produced to be as good as, or better, in every way than the internal combustion engine type. But there’s a long, long way to go until then – that’s why Johnson’s 2030 deadline is certainly insane.  

Meanwhile, what do we do about range anxiety and charger time anxiety? It’s a tough one.  

As the psychiatrist guest at Fawlty Towers said when he saw Basil: ‘There’s enough material there for an entire conference.’ 

If you appreciated this article, perhaps you might consider making a donation to The Conservative Woman. Unlike most other websites, we receive no independent funding. Our editors are unpaid and work entirely voluntarily as do the majority of our contributors but there are inevitable costs associated with running a website. We depend on our readers to help us, either with regular or one-off payments. You can donate here. Thank you.
If you have not already signed up to a daily email alert of new articles please do so. It is here and free! Thank you.

Henry Getley
Henry Getley
Henry Getley is a freelance journalist.

Sign up for TCW Daily

Each morning we send The ConWom Daily with links to our latest news. This is a free service and we will never share your details.