The Challenge of Range Anxiety for EVs

The latest edition of the Charging Index reveals a significant shift in the behaviors and preferences of EV owners, particularly concerning public charging. As electric vehicles (EVs) gain traction worldwide, customers' reliance on public charging infrastructure has grown, leading to a persistent issue of range anxiety that continues to plague the industry.
The survey conducted for this edition of the Charging Index brought forth some concerning findings. More than half of the respondents indicated that they expect EVs to manage at least 500 kilometers on a full charge, highlighting the growing demand for extended driving ranges. However, despite technological advancements, 56% of the EV owners confessed to experiencing high or very high levels of range anxiety. Surprisingly, Asian EV drivers seem to be the most anxious about range, while Europeans appeared to be more relaxed in this regard.

One of the core issues contributing to range anxiety is the inadequacy of public charging infrastructure. Measuring the frequency of visits to public charging networks provides an incomplete picture, which is why the vehicle-to-public-charger ratio is a more accurate indicator of public charging sufficiency. The survey exposed that regular public chargers still exhibit poor sufficiency, emphasizing the need for improvements in charging accessibility.

China, which has witnessed a surge in EV sales and a growing car parc, experienced an increase in the vehicle-to-public-charger and vehicle-to-DC-charger ratios during the second half of 2022. This suggests that despite the country’s efforts to expand public charging infrastructure, it is struggling to keep up with the rising demand. In contrast, Europe and the Americas showed better progress in improving their ratios, although they still lag behind China in terms of charging infrastructure expansion.

EV owners’ increasing dependence on public charging is a clear indication that the industry must take swift action to address range anxiety. Governments, companies, and stakeholders must collaborate to enhance public charging infrastructure, ensuring it matches the pace of EV adoption. Building a robust network of public DC chargers seems to be a viable solution to alleviate range anxiety and improve the overall charging experience for EV owners.

As the world transitions to a sustainable future, understanding and addressing the concerns of EV owners is essential. The Charging Index serves as an invaluable tool in assessing the current state of public charging preferences, offering insights that can guide policymakers and businesses in meeting the needs of this rapidly growing market.

In conclusion, while EVs continue to gain popularity, addressing range anxiety and improving public charging sufficiency are pivotal to ensuring the seamless adoption of electric mobility worldwide.

Source: EV Charging Index 2023 | Roland Berger

Bar chart titled "Degrees of Range Anxiety Among Global EV Owners," surveying users in various countries. China's anxiety levels mostly "Very High" (79%). Germany's anxiety mostly "High" (55%). Italy's least anxiety (18% combined); Netherlands follows with 34%. Data source: Roland Berger.
Source: EV Charging Index 2023 | Roland Berger
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