The risk for an epidemics of a new kind is populating the nights of medical and industrial organisations with nightmares. An epidemics which a the direct son of technological developments, and adds itself to the already large number of highly developed societies psychological syndromes and illnesses. As if we did not have enough with urban life stress and anxieties and phobias, now there is range anxiety, a malady brought on by the electric car.
The fear of running out of fuel is something all drivers have been dealing with in their life. Raise your hands if you have never ever, not even once in your lifetime, peeped nervously the fuel indicator . I don’t see many hands raised, most likely none. Well, recent studies indicate that many electric car drivers suffer the fear of running out of power and being stranded with a dead battery. This fear is actually the greatest problem these innovative vehicles have to overcome if they want to enlarge the ranks of electric cars addicted.
In the United States, where the new syndrome has been identified, there are an estimated 1,400 vehicle charging stations, and the number is growing. Even though most people drive less than the 100 miles a day allowed by many EV’s, range anxiety remains a logistical – and largely psychological – impediment to widespread electric vehicle adoption by consumers. One 2010 study showed range anxiety even caused EV drivers to modify their driving behaviors, decreasing the travel range and limiting most trips to no more than 25 miles.
These studies sounded an alarm bell to carmakers. Geopositioning technology comes to the rescue, indeed, helping carmakers install alert and assistance applications on their cars.
The navigation system in the new electric Ford Focus finds electrical charging stations nearby and can help the driver conserve power by suggesting turning off the A/C or taking a more leisurely route. Google Maps, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently added electric vehicle charging stations to its popular platform, allowing users to search for and pinpoint more than 600 charging stations.
PlugShare, a new free app from Xatori, goes one step further with a personal touch: eVs users can enlist their home charging stations as shared, allowing PlugShare subscribers read their position on the navigation monitor and turn to them for assistance – and a free recharge – when in need. A modern-style desert oasis, we might say.