Range Anxiety: How the Right EV Charging Station (and You) Can HelpMar 27, 2023 | 6 MIN READ
Americans have long had a love affair with the “open road” and road trips. From historic Route 66 to every generation’s road trip movie, we have romanticized long distance car travel, but for many, owning an electric vehicle has threatened to put a stop to everything from family road trips to piling in the car with pals (and snacks) for a multi-state trip.
Car manufacturers boast that with a single charge, some EV models can travel up to 500 miles, but what happens then? That love affair with the road and road trips is, in part, about oceans being the only boundaries, not batteries. So let’s take a quick look at who plays a role in helping create the infrastructure that will open the roads for EVs and how we can help that happen.
- How Do You Travel Long Distances in an Electric Car?
- Finding EV Charging Stations on the Road
- What is Range Anxiety?
- How the Right EV Charging Station Can Help Reduce Range Anxiety
How Do You Travel Long Distances in an Electric Car?
Much like road trips in the early days of Route 66, traveling long distances in an electric vehicle means planning ahead. On any road trip, drivers need to plan for overnight stops, but gas stations are abundant. When it comes to taking an EV on a long trip, drivers will need to map out when and where they’ll need to stop to charge their vehicles and plan to spend some time there. This is why charging stations at hotels and other hospitality or tourist venues are a fantastic option for both drivers and business owners.
Finding EV Charging Stations on the Road
While hotels and other destinations, like tourist attractions, are a great option for charging, finding an EV charging station isn’t, yet, that simple. While some states fare far better than others, EV charging stations are, sometimes, still few and far between. Once a driver has identified charging station locations, they’ll need to be able to access the charger. And, given the amount of time for some vehicles to charge, a charging station may not be readily available when a driver needs it whether it’s in use or just not working.
More specifically, EV charging station reliability is still an issue. So, once a driver finds a charging station, there’s not even a guarantee that it’s working properly. While charging applications can help, data regarding the station’s status may not have been updated for days. Sadly, that means it may show as available and ready to charge, but upon arrival, it’s as dead as the car’s battery is about to be.
In contrast, the ChargeUP charging platform management system (CPMS) by NovaCHARGE, not only updates EV charging station status in real time, but it's active AI-driven NovaBOT handles level 1 issues and alerts station owners and hosts of more serious issues so they can be rectified. That means that ChargeUP not only offers a consumer platform that allows drivers to find charging stations in the places they will be, but it also offers unparalleled reliability.
What is Range Anxiety?
Now, imagine you’re on a road trip, and you’re watching your battery drain, available miles decrease, and charging station options are limited in the area you are traveling. If you’ve ever come close to running out of gas, you know this feeling. But, when you run out of gas, you have far more options than if your battery dies. That, in a nutshell, is range anxiety.
Range anxiety is, in short, the fear EV drivers have that their battery will run out before they find a charging station or are able to charge their cars enough to continue to their original destination.
How the Right EV Charging Station Can Help Reduce Range Anxiety
Let’s start at the beginning. The right EV charging station is, first and foremost, in accessible and useful locations. That means all the places a traveler might stop and spend some time from retail locations and restaurants to hotels and long-term rentals and even tourist attractions and theme parks. Ideally, what EV drivers are looking for is a location with a reliable unit that has dwell time, meaning some place they intend to stay for at least a few hours.
That kind of accessibility is, in most places, unheard of and one of the obstacles has been reluctance on the part of owners and hosts to invest in charging stations, but there are significant reasons for that to change. In fact, if The Graduate were made today, Benjamin wouldn't be encouraged to pursue plastics; the future, instead, is EV infrastructure.
Simply put, the right EV charging station is the one that’s in place because there’s incentive for it to be there, and that means return on investment for station owners and hosts and the kind of functionality and reliability that all stakeholders, including drivers, demand. That’s where NovaCHARGE stands apart, like those lonely gas station oases on fabled Route 66.
With ChargeUP, station owners and hosts have remarkable flexibility and depth of control when it comes to usage and power control as well as charging fees which can be adjusted based on time, user, demand, and more. Imagine offering guests at a long-term stay hotel special rates as an incentive or simply lowering charging fees during the off-season to encourage guests. Have VIPs? Include free charging with their stay, meal, or visit. The levels at which you can control the EV charging experience are seemingly endless.
And, when other EV charging stations in the area are down, you and your guests can count on NovaCHARGE to be available. As mentioned, our NovaBOT does predictive maintenance which means it pings your charger in real-time to test for uptime or at regular intervals (which you can set) to check for issues. With our network, we have 99.999% reliability, which mandates service will be unavailable for no more than 5 minutes and 15 seconds per year. In the context of availability, that is often referred to as "perfect uptime" because it is so close to 100%.
If NovaBOT detects a non-responsive charger, it initiates an algorithmic decision tree for troubleshooting and, if it can’t solve the problem, it’ll generate a ticket and send it to the support team. Everyone gets an alert, so on the rare occasion there is a problem, response times are decreased. That means your EV charging stations are reliably generating revenue for you and providing power for your guests.
Finally, one of the best options you can provide for guests and others looking for EV charging stations is flexibility. While some charging stations are limited to the types of vehicles and the types of charging available (Level 2 or Level 3/DC fast charging), NovaCHARGE provides both. And, with open standards, we’re both accessible and future-proof meaning so are you.
With incentives and rebates for EV infrastructure still available, and first round funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation already underway, now is the time to reach out to our team to talk about how we can power you up for change, help you attract and retain customers, and join the sustainability rEVolution.
Let’s start talking today so we can change tomorrow.