Range Anxiety and Length of Daily Trips

Range Anxiety and Length of Daily Trips

How Does Service Availability Fit in?

Range anxiety, described as a driver’s uncertainty about the vehicle’s ability to reach a destination before fully depleting the battery’s charge, still is a roadblock in the shift from vehicles with internal combustion engine to EVs.

In general, we look at range anxiety from the perspective of a given vehicle’s range, availability and types of charging stations, time needed to charge, weather and the need for heating/cooling, and the lengths of trips. How about the availability of service?

Last week, the Department of Energy Vehicles Technologies Office* highlighted a new study looking precisely at the length of common trips. Intuitively, we were expecting to learn that most trips in the United States are short. The results are still surprising: in 2021, 52% of all trips, including all modes of transportation, were less than three miles, with 28% of trips less than one mile. Just 2% of all trips were greater than 50 miles. For this study, a trip was defined as a “movement that includes a stay of longer than 10 minutes at a location away from home”. The trips in the statistics included driving, rail, transit, and air. Also, multiple stays of longer than 10 minutes before returning home were counted as multiple trips. 

While most daily trips are short, and EVs available in the United States today average between 200 and 300 miles per charge, range anxiety is real. Drivers would like to be able to rely on the EVs for longer trips and vacations. For those trips, another aspect we think about at EV.THRIVE is the availability of service. Making service available away from the dense urban areas is one of our goals, and we are here to help repair shops prepare for the transition.

*Vehicle Technologies Office, FOTW #1230, March 21, 2022: More than Half of all Daily Trips Were Less than Three Miles in 2021

Source: Estimated for the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by the Maryland Transportation Institute and Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory at the University of Maryland. The travel statistics are produced from an anonymized national panel of mobile device data from multiple sources.



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