Most electric vehicle owners are unfazed by the prospect of getting stranded with a flat battery, according to a poll by Flip the Fleet, a member group of 238 EV drivers from all across New Zealand.

The poll found 72 per cent of drivers experience none or only very occasional so-called "range anxiety." A quarter of drivers are anxious about running their battery flat, and 7 per cent feel this quite intensely, at least at first. Risk of being stranded increases in winter when range drops due to the cold, and when driving outside urban areas, it noted.

However, drivers noted it is little different from making sure you don't run out of petrol in a conventional vehicle and said it is more of a mind set and perception issue than a real problem.

According to Flip the Fleet, the car's dash gives adequate warning when the charge is low and predicts how far you can go before you need a charge. There are enough fast chargers in most parts of New Zealand for long trips, but 95 percent of charging happens at home.


The poll was sent on July 9 to 203 electric vehicle owners and 127 members responded by July 17. Flip the Fleet shares data on the performance of electric vehicles in New Zealand conditions, to accelerate the uptake of their use and to reliably counter misperceptions about EV constraints and benefits.

Flip the Fleet has logged 447 randomly selected trips by full electric vehicles. According to the data, the average trip out and then back to home base was 54 kilometers and the median distance was 27km. Around 8 per cent of trips have EV drivers going over 100km before returning to home base. These figures are not much different from those for trips in conventional vehicles, it said.

It said many families retain an old petrol car for long trips but transfer most of their short range travel to their electric vehicle. Others keep two electric vehicles, one more expensive one for longer trips and a smaller one for around home base. The roll-out of rapid chargers and arrival of less expensive long-range electric vehicles is quickly reducing this residual risk of running out of energy on long trips.