Friday, March 16, 2012

Range Anxiety...

Range Anxiety: The fear of being stranded in an electric car because of insufficient battery performance.

As if I don’t already have a laundry list of anxiety neuroses, here is a new one to add to my fears: range anxiety! In fact, I’m afraid I already suffer from pre (or anticipated) range anxiety.

And, we don’t even have an electric car. Yet. But, as of yesterday, we do now have step one, a plug-in charging station in our garage.

It sounds like step two is the PG&E installation of a second electric meter, one dedicated for electric vehicles only. At that point we should be ready for our first electric car. Wherein we can test the new phraseology of range anxiety.

Actually, at this point, Brent, who will be the primary EV (electric vehicle) driver commuting from Los Gatos to San Francisco, doesn’t seem overly concerned about this issue. In theory, Brent thinks recharging the car in the city won’t be a problem. In reality, I’m not so sure; but every household needs at least one person to worry about the details.

So, while I have my misgivings about getting stranded; I also have an additional concern. I don’t want to become the emergency rescue squad for any family members who deplete their electric wattage, leaving them who knows where in the Bay Area. For lack of a term (since I might be the first to suffer from this ailment), I’ll call it “EV assistance anxiety” (EVAA), or, the fear of having to rescue drivers experiencing actual range anxiety debacles.

On the upside: I read that Triple A (which we happen to be long time members, whew!) has a pilot program they are testing in 6 cities (which includes SF - yes!) where special AAA trucks can fully charge EV’s in almost 30 minutes. This somewhat mitigates the potential of both anxieties for me. Although, it (of course) brings a new concern: exactly how many road assistance calls do AAA members get each year?