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Range Anxiety Boils-Down to a Tow

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by gavine, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    I was thinking about the idea of range anxiety and that it really just boils down to a tow. Why do people consider it such a big deal? Any car can break-down at any time and require a tow. Is that a huge deal, especially nowadays when everyone has a phone?

    So, people panic about running out of battery (rarely happens by the way), but if they ever did, a tow truck and save the day, not to mention a stop at a charging station that is likely nearby if getting low.

    Is range anxiety really that big of a deal then? Perhaps it's more a fear of being embarrassed than the actual inconvenience of being towed?
     
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  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    #2 dhrivnak, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
    I have a tow hitch on my Tesla and when people ask I tell them I added it to tow gas cars to the gas station then they run out of gas.
     
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  3. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    range anxiety is cured by proper pre planning of your trips. knowing your charging options en route. you should also be carrying extension cords and adapters in case you need an emergency charge.
    waiting for a tow can be extremely long and should not even be considered!
     
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  4. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    I'm not saying you shouldn't plan your longer trips, but it's really kind of difficult to get stranded and, if you plan but still run-into some kind of issue where you can't charge, then a tow as a last resort isn't that terrible....at least not so bad as to choose an ICE over an EV for fear of some day maybe needing a tow.
     
  5. gabeincal

    gabeincal Enjoying Napa life the electric way

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    It's a change of mindset. That's it. You see the same type of stuff when you try to convince people to go vegan (which I have). But what about my protein? What about my B12? What about my red blood cells?

    When you're educated and informed, you have the power to make the decision. And plus, society is really just built on a single mode of transportation, therefore you never really worry about running out of gas (since stations are everywhere). Unless you're in Death Valley or such, where people do tend to forget the lack of gas stations....
     
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  6. 182RG

    182RG Free The Service Manuals From Tyranny

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    So, it's not a tow. It's a rollback. Time, cost, risk of damage. Getting rollback service to a charging station can easily cost you $150-$200, and several hours of time. I agree with @kort677....better planning.

    For me, living in a less densely populated area on the east coast, I'll need an ICE as a backup where an EV doesn't make sense.
     
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  7. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Getting a tow takes a significant and unknown amount of time. Even if it doesn't cost you anything extra, it's still a chunk of time stuck somewhere that you don't want to be. Here's a story about a guy that did something that I would not have considered.

    VW offers free towing, up to 100 miles, for e-Golf owners when you run out of charge. A guy in the north-east was driving about a 200 mile trip and he had planned out a route that would use DC Fast Chargers along the way. The weather took a turn for the worse and he slowed down and tried to preserve his battery the best he could. He came up short and the car stopped 2 miles before the fast charge station. He waited an hour for the tow truck. Instead of telling the tow truck to take him to the charging station, he told him to take him home, which was 90 miles away. The tow truck drove 70 miles per hour on the interstate directly to his home. He actually arrived home at the same time that he expected to arrive before he got stranded. The reason is that the range of the e-Golf would have required that he drive a longer way home to stop at a second fast charger in order to cover the distance in the cold weather and the total charging time was more than the waiting time for the tow truck. I never would have thought to do that because I would have been focused on the 2 miles that I came up short to the charging station.

    So, long story short, the tow was not a big deal.
     
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  8. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    A tow is a huge inconvenience, particularly if you are traveling with a family. Not only will you be a late to your destination, but you'll be stuck by the side of the road for quite awhile.
    For me the anxiety comes in all the planning that is required, as well as constantly monitoring, recalculating, and considering possible options if I do have an issue.
     
  9. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    I am the opposite, I enjoy the time I spend mapping, planning, doing quick calculations on the fly and even pushing the limits of range. I've had many instances of arriving at SpCs with less than 10 miles to go.
     
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  10. cdub

    cdub Future Model 3 owner / Current original Leaf owner

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    What about smoked brisket?
     
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  11. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Great discussion and I agree with almost everything being said. I still think "anxiety" is too strong a word for this. Anxiety is a serious emotion in which some people take medication to alleviate. Concern over maybe some day needing a tow truck shouldn't qualify for anxiety. I understand if it does, but I'm saying it shouldn't.

    Maybe it should be called "range concern" or "range awareness" instead?
     
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  12. cdub

    cdub Future Model 3 owner / Current original Leaf owner

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    In all seriousness my Leaf didn't charge one night because of a faulty blink charger and I barely made it to a CHADEMO fast charger on the way to work.

    Thank God there are a TON of them now compared to when I bought the Leaf in 2011.

    I'm looking forward to the model 3 where not charging one night will not be a problem whatsoever with my commute.
     
  13. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    I was just talking with someone the other day that has the money to buy any kind of vehicle, they like nice cars and are looking at a Jaguar F-Type or a Maserati Ghibli. I said what about a Tesla Model S and her comment was that she does not want to wait for an hour to charge 300 miles. Also not interested in the green thing or not buying gas, my comment to her was when you take a trip don't you stop to go to the bathroom or have a snack. For some people Electric has a connotation of limiting your options, just need a change of attitude and some more education.
     
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  14. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Active Member

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    Sounds like you're just arguing semantics now, for me its certainly anxiety though. The possibility of getting stuck by the side of the road for an hour or two waiting for a tow truck, is not something I can just easily brush off.

    It does very much limit your options, its just a question of if the limitations are worth the other benefits to you or not.

    Roadtripping in a Tesla is not a great experience. Its doable sure, but you are still forced to stop more frequently than with an ICE. You are also forced to stop at very particular spots. And you are forced to stop for a fairly long period of time, which can be quite irritating, but may not matter at all depending on your style of roadtripping.
     
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  15. BestRadar

    BestRadar Member

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    You can plan accordingly but if you get to a supercharger and its down what do you do? Its not like you can just go to the next station down the road. Superchargers are not placed that close to each other.
     
  16. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

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    As an experienced 'towee' (by none other than Missile Tow of Ardmore, OK), I have both hand my anxiety diminished and increased by the experience. Let me 'splain.
    The tow was done by the operator of a flat-bed tow truck in flat, dry-weather, daylight conditions -- optimal as near as I can tell. He had never towed a Tesla, and among the tools he was instructed to use by Tesla was.... his credit card. Apparently, that plastic has the right stiffness to pop the nose-cone off. I handed him the tow-hook, and, after about 3-4 minutes of winching the car onto the ramp, the car was secured, with the nose-cone placed into the frunk. Generally, anxiety reducing, now that I'd seen it in action.

    Now the anxiety bump. After the car was serviced, I was about to drive off in the car, when I asked, from the driver's seat, "hey service tech, did you put the tow-hook someplace in the car?" He said, "Pop the frunk." After about a minute looking there, he said "Yeah, your tow-hook is here." Since I never hopped out to look over his shoulder, I was amazed, a few days later, to see nothing but the carpet/liner in the frunk. Some kinda Tesla magic?

    Fast-forward six months. I'm scouring the internet, and I get this hint from the Danish Tesla boards:

    So, now, my anxiety has returned to normal. This is what happens when you've been Missile Toad (heh!).
     

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  17. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    no, anxiety is the right word. when you're in the middle of a charging desert or even on the way to a planned stop and the weather, unplanned grade changes or something else has conspired to rob you of miles that you thought that you had. now you are trying to figure out how to make it to a place to charge because it looks like you miscalculated and will not make the next planned charger. believe me it is anxiety.
     
  18. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    finding the SpC down is not something that happens often. I certainly wouldn't consider not making a trip because a SpC along the way might suddenly go off line.
    there have been outages that were well documented and those will show up on your trip planner and can be planned for. it is rare but you might encounter an unexpected local power outage that has shut down a SpC, those are usually temporary one off situations that will be resolved by the local power company restoring service to the area.
    overall the SpC network is quite reliable and can be counted on to work when you need it to.
     
  19. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

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  20. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Range anxiety mostly kicks in locally. Well, most people do drive locally so that is not a surprise.

    Let's say you need to go 35 miles to get to a store. And your EV has 82 mi of EPA range. You should make it, you can always hypermile. You will feel the anxiety when you arrive at your destination and the meter says you have 35 miles left.

    Tesla has reduced the anxiety, but has not eliminated it. They moved up the combat radius, and there are fast chargers in many areas, but it's not going way, it's just lessened.

    Fill in the numbers as you see fit. It occurs when the range is not coming up to what you thought it should be. High winds, detour, rain, cold, accident or construction delay, etc. Gasoline cars seldom experience it, because in the same 35 mile situation, and your guessometer says 82 miles, you stop for fuel on your way, it takes 5 minutes.
     

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