19 Feb 2023

What’s Your Range?

One of the questions that people ask about electric vehicles (or EVs) is, “does it meet my needs, especially on range.” In many ways, it’s a question that is becoming less and less relevant. On a fully charged battery, EVs can comfortably meet the range of the average commuter’s daily requirements, if not the weekly ones. This greater range capacity is thanks to massively increased battery capacities over the last few years.  Having an EV charger installed in your garage or driveway reduces range anxiety as you can leave your home fully charged daily. Overnight home charging is key to the routine of an EV owner, allowing you to “fill up” and go on your way with a full charge that will last the whole day without the hassle of visiting a petrol station.

Longing to hit the road? When planning a road trip, mobile applications (useful apps for the country/region include Electromin and Shahnat) or navigation maps built into your car will indicate where direct current (DC) fast charging stations are located, allowing you to park up and recharge while you grab a coffee (DC fast charging can give you up to 80% power within 15 minutes). Public EV charging spots are increasingly available at highway gas stations and commercial centers. Examples include charging spots at Sasco stations and even at shopping malls like Riyadh Front, where EV owners can already find their preferred charge points today.

Saudi Automotive Services Company has launched the EV charger project for electric cars in some of its stations. Source: @SASCO_KSA

Infrastructure and battery investments

Investments in charging infrastructure over the coming years will lead to a major expansion of charging points throughout our cities and highways. You will be able to find public chargers for use in major cities in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf. The expanding charging network was prominently highlighted at Saudi’s first electric car show last year.

As governments around the world are adopting green mobility roadmaps, drivers can look forward to the expanded deployment of charging infrastructure plans in an increasing number of urban and inter-city environments.

And then there’s the power underneath you. As battery technology improves, the cost-to-quality ratio of EV batteries will be more advantageous. The range of EVs has increased by nearly threefold—comfortably improving the daily and weekly charge capabilities for EV owners’ commutes. EV owners increased by around 15% in the last few years, aided by breakthroughs in battery concepts. Ongoing breakthroughs in new battery technologies should mean continuously faster charging and longer ranges.

Smart driving 

An EV owner’s driving style also optimizes battery range. Drivers can save battery power and increase their range through how they drive. Systems in the car are designed to recycle power from the vehicle’s movement back into the batteries. Regenerative breaking is smart physics; essentially, as you decelerate, kinetic energy is fed back to the vehicle’s battery.

City driving offers many opportunities to benefit from regenerative braking. Good examples include recovering the energy from stopping the vehicle at a traffic light to recharge the battery. The friction of the brake pad and discs slows the car down. This heat and energy are lost in a regular vehicle, but EVs recover this energy with the added benefit of much-reduced wear and tear on the vehicle’s brake system, which saves you money.

There are many questions that potential EV adopters may have. Battery technologies and expanding infrastructure will allow for longer distances and quicker charging, leaving behind the issue of range anxiety for good. Already, the range of EVs for sale today is more than sufficient for consumer needs. All you need to do is enjoy the ride.

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