Edmunds.com Explores Consumers' "Range Anxiety" and Electric Cars

Edmunds.com Explores Consumers' "Range Anxiety" and Electric Cars

Edmunds.com Explores Consumers' "Range Anxiety" and Electric Cars

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — November 8, 2010 — The term "range anxiety" refers to the fear that some drivers supposedly have about driving an electric car and ending up stranded with a dead battery. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, investigated the topic of range anxiety and what it could mean as more electric vehicles enter the market.

After commuting in the Long-Term Road Test blog, "The Mini E's 100-mile range was frequently on my mind, and may weigh heavily on the minds of those considering an all-electric vehicle. Electric vehicles will not be for everyone."

But Tom Moloughney, who has driven a Mini E for a 65-mile roundtrip commute for 16 months and is the subject of an electric vehicle driver profile called "An Electric Car Driver Who's at Home With His Range" at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/an-electric-car-driver-whos-at-home-with-his-range.html, says the anxiety goes away once you live with the car — and especially once you begin to appreciate the savings in gasoline.

What are the automakers doing to address range anxiety?

  • As part of its marketing strategy, GM plans to trademark the term "range anxiety" and may use it to tout the advantages of the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt. GM refers to the Volt's gasoline engine as a "range-extender" that kicks in to recharge the battery after 40 miles of electric driving.
  • The Nissan Leaf, a less expensive car that is only electric, has an onboard navigation system that tell drivers if they have enough power for their trips, based on the destination they enter.
  • Coda, an electric car maker based in Santa Monica, California, has a "range phobia" tool on its Web site to show potential buyers that their car has more than enough range for most everyday driving needs.

"Like it or not, many of us buy vehicles not only to fulfill our actual driving needs, but all our imagined or possible needs, too. As someone once observed, Americans buy four-wheel-drive SUVs to tow the boat they don't own up the mountain they never climb," noted Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed. "It would be fitting if the availability of electric cars helps to shift that perspective to a greener one."

Read more about electric car range anxiety at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/finding-the-cure-for-range-anxiety.html.

For more information on electric cars and other alternative fuel vehicles, check Edmunds' GreenCarAdvisor.com at http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/.

About Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)

Edmunds publishes Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site and hosts the most established automotive community online. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.edmunds.com, makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. InsideLine.com is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.insideline.com, features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. AutoObserver.com provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/edmunds.

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