Going Places: Electric Vehicle Driving Range

Does range anxiety make you reluctant to invest in an EV? Today's models can go farther on one charge than you might think.


Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are growing nationwide, but range anxiety is one reason why many potential buyers are reluctant to make the switch. Range anxiety is the fear that an EV will run out of power and leave you stranded.

Improving EV technology and the growing number of charging stations should help put those fears to rest. Most new EV models can travel more than 100 miles on a single charge, with some topping 300 miles. That's far more than the 29 miles that the average American drives in an entire day. Plus, there are more than 50,000 public charging stations across the country, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and that number keeps growing.

So, you can stop worrying and start enjoying the many benefits that EVs have to offer:

  • Lower operating costs. EVs are less expensive per mile than gasoline vehicles. Also, electricity rates are consistent over time; no more worries about jumps in gasoline prices.
  • Fuel efficiency. EVs convert about 60% of electrical power to the wheels, while conventional vehicles convert only about 20% of the fuel stored in gasoline.
  • Convenient home charging. Charge your vehicle overnight with a standard outlet in your garage. For faster charging, you can hire a qualified electrician to install a Level 2 charging station.
  • Improved performance. Electric motors provide quiet, smooth operation and stronger acceleration and require less maintenance than internal combustion engines.
  • Reduced emissions. EVs have no tailpipe emissions, although there are emissions from generating electric power. On average, all electric vehicles produce nearly 65% fewer emissions per year than gasoline fueled vehicles, according to the DOE.
  • Self-Driving. Although only a few EVs have this capability to date, autonomous driving technology integrates better with electric vehicles. You will be able to choose up to five levels of autonomy from no automation to conditional automation (on certain roads) to full automation and in between.

A variety of all-electric vehicle types are available: affordable mid-sized cars, wagons, SUVs, sports cars and luxury sedans. That means there's an EV available to fit your budget and driving needs. See the DOE's Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Search for more information about individual models.