• Tom Amiro

Range Anxiety

Here's a tip. Chelmsford would make a good vacation destination because it has so many charging stations. We already have chargers at the library, town hall, senior center, high school, Roberts field, Vinyl Square Common, and the DPW building. More on that later.


The thing preventing most people from buying an electric car is range anxiety. You know, the fear of not being able to go on a long trip without having to recharge on the way. And we all know there aren't too many changing stations.


For a premium price, you can buy a Tesla and get about 350 miles on a full charge. Also, the Tesla network of chargers, which other brands of EVs cannot use, is the most extensive. It also has a much higher percentage of superchargers, which can add about 80% of the maximum range in 40 minutes.


Even a common man's EV, like the Chevy Bolt I have, has increased its range (238 in 2019 and 259 in 2020) enough to make most trips possible. I drive about 245 miles to Madison NJ and only have to make one stop on the way. Luckily, I found a DC Fast Charger that adds about 90 miles in an hour right near a good restaurant.


I learned the hard way that vacation destinations need to have EV chargers. When you go to visit someone, best case, they may have a home charger that adds 25 miles per hour. So overnight you are all set. Or you find a charger in the neighborhood and charge up before going home. But if you are vacationing and there are no chargers near where you are staying, that makes it tough. You may have had the range to get there, but now you want to fill up so you can drive around and see the sights while on vacation.


I got an idea. Does someone make a portable battery I can put in my car to add a little range? That would take the edge off my "running out of juice" anxiety. Technology is moving fast. GreenTown Labs in Somerville, MA has invented a product called SparcCharge that is mobile and modular. It can add a mile a minute. But their business model is Business-to-Business. In the near future, if you actually run out of electricity, you may be able to call for roadside assistance and they will come out to you with a SparcCharge and get you back on the road.


So with so many charging stations, the lovely town of Chelmsford makes a great vacation destination. We should advertise to the EV world, “Come and enjoy the copious charging opportunities In Chelmsford.”

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