EV Range anxiety: dream or reality?
There are two main psychological determinants of EV range anxiety, and they can be largely predicated by a complex and subconscious human sciences algorithm, much like any anxieties and phobias. What's more, some fears are eminently reasonable, and others are highly irrational:
Type 1 (rational fear type): "My electric car can only travel 100 miles at 60 mph, normally I only drive 30 miles a day, but I need to travel 250 miles every month or two. Are there enough reliable rapid chargers en-route to ensure that even if one or two fail, I will still reach my destination"?
Well, the answer is Yes, or No, isn't it? Most reasonable people , given a lack of reliable chargers, would take the bus or train. Or even a plane. I do this when required: and as a Leaf owner for five years, with 50,000 uber-clean miles driven, so far I am mentally undamaged and my pride is intact.
Type 2 (irrational fear type): "My car can only travel 100 miles at 60 mph, and I might need to visit my auntie in Outer Mongolia if she gets sick, which is 6,000 miles away. I am umbilically connected to my four wheels, and anyway, I might need to do some shopping or sightseeing whilst I am out there."
To which, the best answer is probably to practice looking like Eddie Murphy, and say, in a slow, deep, drawl, : "Ma'am have you left half your brain behind in the Shopping Mall? And have you ever considered fly-drive "?
So: how to treat these rational - and irrational - anxieties? Rob Kay of Paperclip C.N. spoke exclusively to Dr Humbertus Fixalot, MD, PhD, controversial Professor of Mycology at the prestigious Vienna Psychotropic Institute, on a week-long vegetarian retreat in the High Alps.
In between raving about the mind-altering qualities of the local wild mushrooms, he revealed that his research into range anxiety led to only one conclusion:
"Americans are fixated on Independence: they loathe any form of dependency on others, as part of their cultural ethos. That is why they love guns so much, and they think they need cars that can travel right across the USA without ever fuelling up. Ironically, the only cars that can do this today are solar-powered, but they believe that solar power is for 'snowflakes'. This is because they mainly left school at the age of 14 to work on the family farm raising pigs and corn. Most of them do not actually travel across the USA, they stay rooted in their own townships because they never learned to read a map, but they just like to think that one day they might break free ...when the Washington Government finally gets rid of Big Government".
However ...we also spoke to Prof Yuri Kuri of the Kute-shi Mazda-McDonalds Technical University, an expert in mind-control. He said:
"Europeans and Japanese understand only too well that most urban traffic moves at about 6 miles per hour, and they only use a car in preference to public transport because it has a better sound-system and hands-free mobile phone connectivity, plus you do not have to smell your fellow passengers armpits on a skanking hot day, desu-nee"?
"Here in Japan we conquer so called: 'Range anxiety' through (a) Zen meditation on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Also (b) We have more Chademo rapid chargers than coffee shops or McDonalds."
So: we conclude: If you really think that you can be entirely self-contained and live in the wilds, be American, buy a solar car, a fishing rod and a rifle, but if you want to live like the common people, live in Tokyo, Reading or Oslo, buy a sensible Nissan Leaf, eat crap food because there is no alternative, and accept that you will need to stop every couple of hours for the toilet and a cup of tea.
Green tea, sourced from organic, Fair Trade plantations, obviously, to reduce your stress levels. You may need a thermos flask.