Range anxiety is alive and well in Central Massachusetts.
What is range anxiety? It’s nervous energy a driver of a fully electric vehicle feels when the dashboard signals a dangerously low power level and there are few, if any, charging stations nearby.
Panic can set it because the thought of running out of juice and being stuck along a busy highway or in the middle of nowhere can grate on the nerves.
There is a workaround for the charging station challenge on the Pike, said Joseph LaRusso, senior advocate and manager of clean grid initiative at Acadia Center, a Boston-based nonprofit that develops clean-energy solutions.
That workaround is good planning.
LaRusso drives his EV on the Pike on the way to visiting in-laws in Utica, New York, and plugs in at home by way of a home-based charger to make sure he departs with a full charge.
“I’ve never relied on chargers on the Pike. There are too few of them,” said LaRusso.
Using his mobile application, LaRusso said he’s located plenty of fast chargers just minutes off the Pike, including in Auburn and Chicopee. With a quick stop to power boost, LaRusso has the confidence to reach his destination.
LaRusso is a savvy EV owner, with good planning skills. But what about the inexperienced EV owner who doesn’t think ahead and relies on chargers in places like the Pike to reach a destination? Or those, like Mills, who are planning especially long trips?
“If people hear in the news that a major artery in the commonwealth is without chargers, they might say, ‘Oh, gosh.’ They likely will pause about purchasing an EV. They might go with a hybrid instead.”
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