Some of the most talked about issues when it comes to widespread adoption of electric vehicles are the vehicles’ range and the availability of charging infrastructure. While the electricity used to charge an EV will cost a user around 60% less than a tank of gas, especially in the current market – the time it takes to charge an EV, as well as the amount of range a driver will get from that charge, has been a point of hesitation for potential converts.
This concern is commonly known as Range Anxiety – the fear that an EV won’t have the range necessary to take a driver where they need to go, and that drivers won’t have access to charging once their battery runs out. A survey from the Electric Vehicle Council found that 45% of users see range anxiety as a factor deterring them from making the switch to electric. This is why solid charging capabilities and networks are very important to the growth and success of electric car adoption moving forward.
Charging an electric vehicle, at the end of the day, is comparable to charging a cell phone, or any other consumer electronics. The batteries are made up of lithium ions, millions of charged metal atoms that can pass a small amount of electricity through them, combining into a flow of electricity strong enough to power a cell phone, flashlight, or even a car. There are three different levels of charging, with different charging speeds depending on power output:
Level 1 Charging is the slowest, but also the easiest to use. Using a regular wall outlet, it requires no setup, and oftentimes can fully charge a car overnight, making it a great at-home option. Level 2 Charging requires an installed charging unit, whether it be in an owner’s garage or at their place of work. Similar to household appliances like clothes dryers, Level 2 Chargers require a 240V connection to a house’s electrical system, but in turn charge much faster than a Level 1 Charger. Level 3 Charging, most commonly referred to as DC Fast Charging, is the fastest option. In the INDI One, Fast Charging can take the battery from empty to 80% full in just 45 minutes.
Fast Chargers usually cost drivers a fee, but are still significantly cheaper than a tank of gas. For example, the average EV driver spends between 30-70 dollars a month on electricity for charging, whereas many gasoline cars cost more than $70 to fill just one tank, something that happens multiple times a month. Fast Chargers are commonly seen at malls or grocery stores, though standalone Fast Charging stations do exist. Soon, dedicated Supercharger stations for Tesla vehicles will open up to charge EVs from other manufacturers, improving Fast Charger accessibility.
This is particularly convenient for local commuters, as they can leave their car to charge while they shop or see a movie, and don’t need to stay with the car for the entire charging process. If a driver does choose to stay in their car while it charges, there’s no better way to spend that time than working, gaming, or enjoying the metaverse in the INDI One.
Charging speeds overall are less of an issue than made out to be in most modern reporting. Fast Chargers are quick enough to allow users to charge their vehicle during their errands runs, and Level 1 and 2 chargers are sufficient for at home and at work. Longer distance traveling, and travel in areas where EV adoption is not as advanced, are where problems are introduced.
Earlier this year, the U.S. government reported it had installed about 1.1% of the charging stations it would need to support nationwide EV adoption. There are, of course, large networks of privately-held EV charging stations, but these are often concentrated in urban areas and pass on a relatively high cost to the consumer. While road trips are certainly possible in EVs – for example, the INDI One can make the trip from our Los Angeles headquarters to the heart of Las Vegas without stopping to charge. A truly electrified America requires a strong charging infrastructure implemented nationwide. That is why INDIEV has committed to working with local legislators to help our hometown of Los Angeles become a leader in this field, and a model for the rest of America to look to.
Additionally, there are other measures in modern EVs that help mitigate Range Anxiety for new EV drivers, especially in the INDI One. Regenerative braking systems like those found in the INDI One, where the energy produced by a car’s brakes is funneled back into the vehicle’s battery, helps extend the range of electric cars.
Modern electric vehicles, especially vehicles focused on a tech-forward user experience, will alert drivers to a low battery, and also guide them to charging stations when necessary. With the connectivity and technological integration provided in the INDI One, drivers can know at a moment’s notice what the current state of their charge is. The INDI One makes finding new charging stations simple via internet searches, and the open-source nature of the VIC gives users the power to find and develop their own solutions to ensure they have the knowledge they need to make the most out of their ride. Along with a 300-mile range, the INDI One makes sure that drivers will always be prepared, and will never be blindsided by a dead battery.
These tools, alongside a growing public infrastructure and the accessibility of at-home charging, are turning Range Anxiety into a thing of the past. As charging gets faster, and battery technology continues to develop, concerns over range and charging time will continue to improve. The world is full of electric possibilities, and INDIEV is ready to move into an electric future alongside drivers and passengers.