Range anxiety is still a big problem in electric cars

Range anxiety is still a big problem in electric cars

While we’re encouraged to embrace the use of electric cars, they remain an impractical solution, even for relatively low-mileage round trips

I had the pleasure of experiencing the Volkswagen e-Up recently, although the enjoyment was brief.

It’s a handsome car the Up, its quietly elegant style suiting its aim of providing affordable transport, a mission it carries off with quiet civility. The e-Up in question was white with a white interior, a clean look that particularly suits its zero-emission ambitions.

But on the move, you’ll spend far more time glancing at the remaining-range gauges than you will its tasteful furnishings; its battery charge diminishing at a depressing rate.

There’s nothing new about this of course, and it applies equally to the Nissan Leaf, for example, if slightly less to the lightweight BMW i3. But trying to make use of this VW for a week rammed home the reason why conventional cars are the success that they have been for the past 100 years-plus, and electric cars, so far at least, are not.

The car is freedom – the freedom to go where you like, when you like with a minimum of inconvenience.

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