The most commonly stated issue holding back public acceptance of electric vehicles continues to be range anxiety, the fear that one’s car battery will run out of power mid-drive leaving the driver stranded on the side of the road. Despite numerous studies which have shown that most commuters hardly ever exceed 40-50 km/day, commuters have somehow developed a certainty that range estimates below 100 km/charge will never prove sufficient for the needs of a daily commuter. A group of Norwegian researchers have set out to combat these concerns not through development of battery technology but, rather, a novel approach which seeks to inform and educate consumers as well as develop additional features and tools to assist in battery management.

Researchers attempted to address these concerns through a wide range of complementary strategies, these included recommendations and conclusions made based on an in-depth study of driver behavior, as a result of which researchers concluded that the ideal EV driver is one with at least a year’s worth of experience driving an EV. The researchers determined that a driver’s familiarity with the unique traits and limitations of EVs was crucial in determining their comfort level with driving the vehicles, particularly under the taxing conditions posed by the harsh Norwegian climate. Researchers also recommended that automakers and related automotive technology companies focus their attention on developing more advanced means of tracking and reporting battery usage statistics, in order to not only assist drivers in monitoring battery levels but also in planning trips and charging breaks, through apps and tools which combine GPS route planning technology with detailed automatic scheduling of battery charging intervals.

Alongside the group’s research into combating range anxiety, the researchers also addressed the role which EVs will play in public transportation and freight hauling in the future. Additionally, researchers engage in discussions with knowledgeable EV critics regarding concerns of the overall greenness or sustainability of EVs when integrated into today’s non-clean-energy systems. Rather than aiming for new technological patents or conclusive recommendations, this study sought to provide the grounds for further discussion in public forums, serving as a primer for the public to combat misinformation regarding such issues as range anxiety and energy supply.

Source: EV World summary of the study 

Read more: More information on the Norwegian research program, headed by Norwegian research organization SINTEF.

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