Inspiration for a Brighter Future

Less Range Anxiety or Faster Fill-Ups? My EV Ownership Experience

EV charging

I’ve been driving an EV for the past three years and absolutely love it.

The quiet ride, the instant torque, and knowing that I’m not polluting the places I visit are just a few of the perks.

However, it’s time to start thinking about my next EV, and once again, I’m facing that familiar question: Do I prioritize maximum range or the fastest possible charging speeds?

The Long Range Lure

There’s undeniable comfort in seeing a 300+ mile range on your dashboard.

It’s a buffer against unexpected detours or changes in driving conditions. Range anxiety fades away, easing those “Will I make it?” worries on longer journeys. This opens up possibilities – road trips feel more spontaneous and you might be less reliant on meticulously planning every charging stop.

However, EVs with those big battery packs typically come with a higher upfront cost. They also carry extra weight, which can slightly impact efficiency, meaning you might get fewer miles per kilowatt-hour used.

The Fast Charging Appeal

The idea of ultra-fast charging is hugely appealing.

Imagine regaining hundreds of miles of range during a quick coffee break. This changes how you think about long trips – they become a series of short hops rather than one marathon drive. For those without easy home or workplace charging, fast charging can be a lifeline.

But this convenience depends on a widespread and reliable network of fast-charging stations along your routes. Even then, factors like weather and the current state of your battery can influence how quickly your car can actually charge.

My Experience: When Faster Would Be Better

I love my trusty Kia Soul EV (2021 edition), and its 77kW maximum DC charging speed is decent.

However, those occasional road trips highlight the difference. I watch newer cars with lightning-fast charging speeds breeze in and out of stations while I’m still plugged in and waiting for my target charge to show on my dashboard.

For me, faster would definitely be better!

The Decision: It Depends (As Always!)

There’s simply no one-size-fits-all answer.

Consider these factors:

  • Your typical drives: Commuting in the city? Fast charging might be perfect. Love those spontaneous road trips? Long range could ease your worries.
  • Home charging: Do you have a reliable home setup? Overnight charging can lessen your dependence on public charging speeds.
  • Budget: EVs with larger batteries usually cost more.
  • Driving habits: Even cars with massive range will need more frequent charging if you have a heavy foot on the accelerator!
  • Future-proofing: Battery capacities and charging speeds improve every year. A 300-mile range car now might be commonplace in a few years.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right EV is all about understanding your priorities. So you need to be brutally honest about your driving habits:

  • How far do you typically drive in a day? If it’s mostly short commutes, a huge range might be overkill, allowing you to save money and potentially get a faster-charging car.
  • Do you take frequent road trips? If so, consider how much time you’re comfortable spending at charging stations. Longer range EVs might be more appealing, even with the slightly slower charging.
  • How accessible are fast chargers in your area? Check out those mapping resources and see if there’s a reliable network near your regular routes. This can influence how heavily you weight charging speed.

Remember, while technology is constantly improving, there are currently plenty of fantastic EVs with a great balance of range and fast-charging capability. Once you have a clearer picture of your needs, you can start comparing models, calculating those fuel savings, and exploring lease or purchase options.

Your dream EV might be closer – and more affordable – than you think!

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Craig Jonathan Todd – Freelance writer with a passion for tech, trends and simplicity.

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Craig Jonathan Todd

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