QOTD: Range Anxiety

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

qotd range anxiety

Hyundai announced today that the maximum range in the Ioniq6 will be a tick over 360 miles.

Not bad!

Range anxiety has always been a concern with EVs, but we're reaching a point where EVs can get over 300 miles to a charge -- this Hyundai isn't the only one. It wasn't that long ago when 300 miles was pretty good for an internal-combustion-engine vehicle.

Of course, technology advances, and now most ICE cars, crossovers, and trucks get more than 400 miles of range. That's usually because cars are simply more fuel-efficient now -- though sometimes it's a function of a large tank. That latter bit tends to happen with gas-guzzling large trucks -- it is possible for a vehicle with poor MPGs to achieve a decent fuel range if the tank is big enough.

The few ICE vehicles I test now that have a range under 300 miles are dedicated sports cars and cars with tiny tanks. That said, 300 miles still would give me, if I had an average commute of 40 miles per day, seven and a half days of driving before I needed to refuel. Or in the case of an EV, seven and a half days before needing to recharge. Yes, yes, I am simplifying things here -- no one is driving exactly 40 miles a day each day, I'm not factoring in weekends or non-commuting trips, and I'm not factoring in the effect that weather and driving style have on EV range -- but the point is, 300 miles of range means you won't need to worry about charging on the daily.

To be fair, most EVs aren't yet at 300. All-wheel drive seems to sap range, and in some cases, one must fork over more dough for a battery pack that can provide more range. Right now, ranges of 200-250 miles are more common, and having even 50 fewer miles available to you can make a difference.

This leads, after this long preamble, to my question to you -- what range, be it fuel or EV charge, would make you the most comfortable? Even when driving an ICE vehicle, I find myself eyeing the gauge a lot more when the max range is under 300. Even when gas is cheap -- and even when I can expense it. Same with EVs -- I was more relaxed testing the Mercedes-Benz EQS than I have been with other EVs because I knew the range was over 300 miles.

What say you? Sound off below.

[Image: Southworks/Shutterstock.com]

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6 of 63 comments
  • Surakmn Surakmn on Feb 03, 2023

    Wrong question, for a lot of people even a PHEV has enough range for commute or errands. The problem is lack of a cost effective, speedy and available charging infrastructure. With an ICE you're usually never more than a few miles away from a ten minute fill up. THAT is what makes me comfortable on a cross country trip. Electrics can manage more routes than many people realize but you have to plan it out and allow for charging times and pray charging stations are real and working shopping the way. It's a few years out yet.

    • See 2 previous
    • VoGhost VoGhost on Feb 06, 2023

      Bullnuke, The Tesla supercharger network is extremely reliable. Plus, the vast majority of charging stations have 8-12 chargers. Your vehicle can tell you how many are available on the nav sys. They've literally thought of everything. You just pull up, plug in, and do what you need to do. No credit cards. No phone apps. Go to the bathroom, grab a bite, and you are set to go.

      Maybe wash your hands, too.

  • Surakmn Surakmn on Feb 04, 2023

    True anyone who tops off nightly has plenty of range for their commute, that's not the point. Tesla's proprietary network is an asset but moot for the majority that doesn't plan to buy a Tesla. And to the previous comment's point, charging stations aren't ubiquitous. When fast charging becomes as quick, as cheap and as readily available as gas stations an electric will be viable as an only car in the garage.

    • VoGhost VoGhost on Feb 06, 2023

      Maybe those are your needs, but they don't represent what most of drivers today need. It's like saying, "I'll buy an ICE vehicle when I can leave the house with 300 miles of range every morning" or "I'll buy an ICE when I spend less than a minute a week refueling" or "I'll buy ICE when I no longer need to stand outside in the weather at gas stations every week."

      Once you experience the advantages of EVs, most people realize those supposed disadvantages are actually fake.

  • MrIcky Seems like a Mustang for Mustang fans to talk about with other Mustang fans. I just went to the Corvette configutor and built a 2LT Z51 for 79,540, a base 1LT is $65k. Both are arguably nicer, and certainly better performers than this. If a Mustang is going to play in that bracket it has to do something different to beef up the emotional appeal. The supercharger did that, the flat plane crank that revved to >8k (if they worked out the bugs) does that. A 'regular' Mustang V8 with some parts out of the Ford Catalogue doesn't seem to be worth the >60k range.
  • Kcflyer For anywhere over 60k I'm buying a C8 which will run rings around any mustang ever made. I'm a huge mustang fan but......sorry. Now show me a GT with the "good" manual discounted to 40 grand and we can talk.
  • Analoggrotto Somewhere out there a certain Obama couple is smiling.
  • EBFlex 80k is about $30k overpriced. But for some reason Ford thinks the garbage they produce is worth paying a premium for. And especially this thing. This reskinned Mustang is awful inside and out. There was a reason ford was hemorrhaging sales to the much older Challenger. The Mustang sucks. And this looks like it’s half Camaro. Yet another project done by the interns. But, at least it’s a real Mustang
  • EBFlex Ford historically gave their worst effort here in the states. Alan Mulally changed that, a bit, and gave us some world cars like the Kuga, Fiesta and Focus. But by the time they got here they were crap. Or we just would never get them at all.