Today, owners of electric vehicles (EVs) are early adopters in the truest sense. They’re prepared to plan their routes carefully, manage battery resources diligently, and choose strategic rest stops to recharge those batteries. They are enthusiastic pioneers in the nascent EV ecosystem future.
But to cross the chasm from these early adopters to the mass market, EV manufacturers must appeal to a different kind of consumer—one who is less independent more cautious, and just wants the damn car to get them where they’re going without fear of being stranded, juiceless.
In fact, 44% of EV shoppers recently surveyed by Autolist said range anxiety was their reason for delaying their purchase. And 36% cited concerns about access to charging stations, which amounts to the same thing. Most consumers tend to resist change, and getting into an EV feels like stepping into the unknown. With fossil fuel-powered cars, we’re confident we’ll find a gas station when we need one. But with EVs, timely access to a battery charging station is far less certain—unless you’re one of those early adopters, willing to put in the effort to make sure you never venture out of range.
Notably, range anxiety is not a purely logic-driven fear. Far from it, in fact. Most drivers put no more than 50 miles on the odometer on any given day. That’s a fraction of the range of a fully charged EV, so range anxiety only comes into play when buyers think about longer trips.
So for many, rare long-trip scenarios become a defining factor in the decision to purchase (or even rent) an EV. This use case that can be addressed by an enhanced EV ecosystem, as shown in Figure 1, and intelligent trip planning (ITP). At Cognizant, we envision an ITP system that would use artificial intelligence (AI) tech and driver-supplied data to plot a route, optimize battery use, and schedule recharging stops. By creating ITPs, manufacturers would reduce or eliminate the range anxiety that has been holding back the EV market, benefitting consumers and carmakers alike.