Range Anxiety is the fear of running out of fuel for your car before arriving at a refueling point or final destination. While usually absent or low in gas-powered vehicles, this anxiety is a salient consideration when buying electric vehicles (EVs). This and the fact that there are fewer charging stations available compared to gas stations have been offered as hypotheses for why EV sales are low. Previous research has found that those with more experience driving EVs, felt less range anxiety as they can when and where to charge their vehicle in their daily lives. EVs are more environmentally friendly and safer for the driver, so it important to better understand range anxiety and find ways to mitigate it in order to lift one of the barriers for greater adoption of electric cars. In this study, we plan to provide EV drivers with an EV on low charge. They will be asked to drive around for as long as they feel comfortable, up to 30 minutes. As they are driving, their heart rate and galvanic skin response (a measure of emotional arousal) will be monitored to measure their anxiety as they watch the battery percentage of the electrical vehicle decrease. After driving around in the vehicle, participants will be asked to complete a survey evaluating their habits and their daily use of the vehicle. Some of the questions asked will query the type of electric vehicle they usually drive, their perception of etiquette around unplugging another person’s charging electrical vehicle in a public location if their own battery is low, and how comfortable the person is driving at a low percentage in their electric vehicle. We anticipate seeing an increase in heart rate and galvanic skin response, and therefore range anxiety, as the battery percentage gets lower.
Tolia-Shah, Maiia; Gutierrez, Brenda; Wong, Sook Mun (Alice); and Maoz, Uri, "Characterizing Range Anxiety in Electric Vehicle Users" (2019). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 424.