The future of the automobile and its electrification presents a common barrier – Range Anxiety.
Range Anxiety is a real barrier to electric vehicle (EV) adoption. It is the fear a driver experiences when the battery charge is running low, and the usual compatible charging stations are unavailable and inaccessible. Range concerns complicate and challenge society’s advancement towards clean driving.
Types of EVs and Battery Capacity
In Singapore, there are three types of electric vehicles currently available:
- Fully Electric Vehicle (FEV) or Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV),
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), and
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)
The average range capacity of a fully charged electric car is about 250km, with figures from the Land Transport Authority showing that the typical driver covers about 48km a day. This is more than enough range for the average driver in Singapore.
Battery Capacity of EVs on the Market
Battery capacities and charging rates may vary by vehicle. Here is a list of electric car models ranked with the longest mileage range for electric cars in the local 2021 market.
Currently, the best range electric car in Singapore would be the Tesla Model 3 — an electric four-door sedan developed by Tesla.
Here’s a list of the top electric cars in Singapore and their respective battery range:
- Tesla Model 3 – 547km.
- Hyundai KONA Electric – 482km.
- KIA Niro EV – 455km.
- Audi e-tron Electric – 417km.
- Porsche Taycan 4s – 412km.
- BYD e6 – 400km.
- Renault ZOE – 367km.
- MG ZS EV – 335km.
- BMW i3 Electric – 335km.
- Hyundai IoniqElectric – 311km.
- Nissan Leaf Electric – 311km. en in hybrids such as Toyota.
An electric car battery usually comprises many small cells individually arranged in a series/parallel configuration to achieve the desired voltage and capacity in the final pack. For instance, Tesla Model 3 batteries run at nominal voltages of about 350 volts.
Barriers to EV Adoption
It is evident that “range anxiety” or “charging anxiety” issues are one of the biggest mindset barriers to the adoption of electric cars. To lessen range anxiety, an Israeli start-up has developed a first-generation lithium-ion battery that could eliminate the hours required to recharge an electric car.
Beyond convenience, ultrafast charging could ultimately reduce range anxiety and improvement in the driving range may also be expected.
Additionally, there are various initiatives by the Singapore government to expand the current charging infrastructure and propel the successful transition to electric cars.
By 2050, all Housing and Development Board (HDB) car parks in at least eight towns will be fitted with electric vehicle chargers. Charging points will be available and installed in a variety of public car parks islandwide to facilitate the ease of electric vehicle charging.
6 Ways to Maximise Your EV’s Range
While the number of charging stations is at least on the rise, we could also learn to optimize our electric vehicle’s range and override range anxiety. Here are some tips to maximise your electric vehicle’s range.
1. Check your tires
Whether it is a conventional or electric vehicle, proper tire inflation can ensure that your vehicle is running safely and efficiently. Under-inflated tires consume more energy, increasing unnecessary rolling resistance. This leads to poor efficiency and depletes your electric car’s range.
2. Plan your routes well
Although not always possible, it will be best to avoid high-traffic areas, climbing hills and high-speed roads. Try opting for a route that is more direct instead.
3. Charge strategically
The better your phone battery’s health, the longer the lifespan of your phone battery right? Similarly, ensure that your vehicle’s battery is not plugged in past full charge. Time your charges well to slow the degradation of your battery.
4. Pack lightly
Avoid storing unnecessary heavy items or cargo in your car. Reducing a vehicle’s weight definitely helps to boost energy efficiency and maximise range.
5. Maximise your regenerative braking
This feature is a system that utilizes the electric motor as a generator to send energy back into the battery whenever you lift off the accelerator or brush the brakes. You may minimize your energy consumption by decelerating using regenerative braking and avoiding the traditional friction brakes.
6. Drive steadily
Constantly accelerating and slowing down drains your electric vehicle’s battery faster than you think. The faster you go, the higher the energy consumption. Whenever possible, drive at a steady, slightly slower pace. If you need to speed up, gradually accelerate until you attain your ideal speed instead.
As electric cars gain popularity in the local market, potential buyers will be deterred from purchasing an electric car if they cannot be assured of having readily available and compatible charging stations. This potentially results in range anxiety.
However, such concerns can be alleviated by installing more charging stations and enforcing charging time limits to prevent hogging from users. Improvements to charging can be implemented simultaneously to lessen range anxiety and increase electric cars adoption in Singapore.