Does 'Range Anxiety' Stop You from Buying an Electric Car?

Aug 19, 2013

When Chevrolet unveiled its electric car, the Volt, in this country, its TV commercials reassured would-be buyers that the car also has a gas tank, so it can still get them home if the batteries die.

Lake Effect parental figure Al Teich, in front of his Tesla
Credit Al Teich

It’s a phenomenon called “range anxiety.” And it’s an issue for the Volt and the other major electric car on the market, the Nissan Leaf.

Both of those cars have limited ranges, and appeal mainly to city commuters. But the makers of the Tesla say they’ve built an electric car that functions just like any other car on the market – drive it to work, or across the country. And critics have been pretty impressed.

Lake Effect’s auto contributor, Mark Savage and our Dan Harmon spent some time in a Nissan Leaf recently. For sake of comparison, they wanted to find a Tesla owner, and in a coincidence of electrical proportions, they found one in the dad of Lake Effect's Mitch Teich.

They talk to him about his experiences, and Savage shares his impressions of the Leaf. Savage also writes about cars for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and his own website.

There was some controversy over a critical New York Times review of the Tesla – Mark Savage and Dan Harmon talk about that below.