THERE’S been a lot of media chatter about ‘range anxiety’ putting consumers off the purchase of an electric vehicle. But recent data from rightcharge.co.uk has shown that EV drivers expect to cover higher distances than their petrol and diesel-powered counterparts.
The perception that EVs are just urban runabouts is a myth because customers searching on rightcharge.co.uk for the most economical home charging tariff are looking to travel an average 10,948 miles a year.
In comparison, a study released by the RAC in 2020 showed petrol-powered vehicles are now completing an average of just 7,490, whereas pure electric cars are completing an average of 9,435 miles per year in the first three years.
The average mileage expected by customers driving an EV has grown at 7% as the UK prepares for the unwinding of lockdown, suggesting EV car drivers are more confident about living with electric vehicles.
High-milers were more likely to live in the East Midlands with an annual average of 11,685 miles, closely followed by those in North West England (11,654 miles) and the West Midlands (11,496 miles). Drivers in South Scotland were expecting to cover the least ground in their EVs, with an expected annual average of 10,263 miles.
Charlie Cook, founder of rightcharge.co.uk, said confidence in the distance EV drivers will travel is constantly being reassessed upwards.
“It is interesting that EV drivers are planning more journeys and it’s further evidence that confidence in electric vehicles is going up. These high-mileage EVs aren’t just located in one or two regions of the UK either – our customers across all mainland areas of the country are looking to complete at least 10,000 miles a year in their battery-powered vehicles.
“I think this demonstrates that electric vehicles are now seen by many drivers as a viable alternative to petrol-powered cars. The expected yearly mileage of our customers supports this as they look to replace their current internal combustion engine vehicles with battery-powered ones.”
Regional Breakdown of estimated EV annual mileage
Region Average mileage
East Midlands 11,685
North East 10,432
North Scotland 10,388
North Wales 11,066
North West 11,654
South East 10,583
South Scotland 10,263
South Wales 11,044
South West 11,144
West Midlands 11,496
Total average 10,947
New AA ‘freewheeling’ hub lets patrol vans tow electric cars
Towing an electric vehicle is a big problem that needed a bespoke solution. With electric motors mechanically and permanently connected to the wheels and with no true ‘neutral’ gear, you can’t just tow an EV if it breaks down.
The AA has come charging to the rescue by inventing a new kind of wheel that allows patrol vans to tow electric vehicles.
Created by the AA’s chief engineer, Steve Ives, the system allows cars that could not previously be lifted and towed on two wheels, such as those with electric motors or four-wheel drive, to be hooked up to AA patrol vans.
The breakdown organisation says it has also been unable to tow some vehicles if they have seized brakes, failed wheel bearings or electric handbrakes. But the new wheel turns independently of the axle, allowing otherwise stranded vehicles to be towed to the nearest garage.
With its own high-speed bearing, the hub is paired with the AA’s Multi-Fit wheel, which was designed to let patrols fit temporary spare wheels to almost any vehicle. The bearing allows the wheel to turn independently of the axle, so the vehicle can be towed without damaging the mechanical components.
The AA says the idea, which was created in collaboration with presswork and prototyping specialist AE Oscroft, will also enable the movement of vehicles in confined spaces that cannot be reached by larger recovery vehicles.
“I love the challenge of coming up with solutions to seemingly impossible situations,” said Ives. “I worked on the concept for many hours in my shed at night and eventually crafted a wooden prototype. This has now been further developed and put into production with our partners AE Oscroft, and is working well.”