New data suggests range anxiety will soon become a ‘thing in the past’

The chance of an electric vehicle breaking down because it has run out of power is at a record low, figures suggest.

The AA said that only 2.3 per cent of the EV callouts it received in the year to the end of October were due to batteries having limited or no charge, down from 8.3 per cent in 2015 and 4.3 per cent in 2021.

The breakdown company predicted that range anxiety, whereby EV drivers are concerned they will not have enough power to complete their journey, will become a “thing of the past”.

The AA attributed the decrease to enlargement of the public charging network, the improved range and reliability of newer EVs, and better information for drivers. The company expects the figure to ultimately drop to 1 per cent, equivalent to the proportion of petrol or diesel car breakdowns due to running out of fuel.

Edmund King, the president of the AA, said: “There are still lots of myths being peddled about EVs running out of charge on almost every long journey. At the AA we have the evidence to show this is not the case.

“Our polling shows that drivers generally aren’t hostile to EVs but they are hesitant to switch. This is not surprising as the combustion ­engine has been with us for well over 100 years. Once drivers have made the switch they will not look back.”

The AA figures show it received 83,000 callouts by EV drivers in the 12 months to the end of October. The most common faults were related to tyres (21.5 per cent); problems charging the battery used for driving the vehicle (19.8 per cent); and the 12v battery (16.8 per cent), which is the same type used in conventionally fuelled vehicles.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that 16.3 per cent of all new cars bought in the UK during the first 11 months of the year were battery electric versions, up from 15.1 per cent during the same period last year.

Under the government’s zero-emission vehicles mandate, at least 22 per cent of new cars sold by each manufacturer in the UK next year must be zero-emission, which generally means pure electric. The threshold will rise annually until it reaches 100 per cent by 2035.

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