The notion of a monthly vehicle subscription service like Facedrive’s Steer that hangs its hat on providing a superior recourse to traditional car ownership through environmentally-friendly transportation may well appeal to many people, but it also brings to the forefront the No. 1 concern regarding electric vehicles: Range anxiety.
Precisely what it sounds like, range anxiety is worry over the specific range (how far a car can travel on a single battery charge) of an EV. It is the factor most cited when consumers are deciding on what to buy, according to a recent survey from J.D. Power: the 2021 Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study.
Ultimately, it’s a factor that is less rooted in pragmatism than it is in peace of mind. No one feels especially thrilled about the idea of winding up stuck in the middle of nowhere without a place to charge a car battery, even if that is an extremely unlikely scenario — the majority of lower-range EVs (193 km on a single charge is a common example here) are perfectly suited to meet the needs of the average consumer.
Even so, Steer is particularly attuned to this consumer concern and has put an ample plan in place to make certain its subscribers feel as satisfied with their EV experience as possible.
Beginning with the vehicles themselves, Steer offers three types (battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and hybrid electric vehicles) via its virtual garage, all of which contain models with more than enough range to quell any nervousness of the typical consumer.
The Tesla vehicles, as an example from the battery electric category, typically have upwards of 450 km of range and have multiple models that did better than the average satisfaction score on the Overall Customer Satisfaction Index.
To make things especially simple, Steer has consumers pick a driving occasion (such as a daily commute) and a concierge (a go-to person who is always accessible by phone, email or text, and who will deliver, swap, and educate users on their vehicle) expertly matches them to a ride that fits their requirements, taking into account things like appropriate size, style and, yes, range.
Each and every one of Steer’s vehicles also comes with that model’s respective charging cable and adapter, which can be plugged into any outlet. If making use of such tools is a new experience, consumers are free to solicit the advice of their concierge or seek out a charging brochure that resides in each car’s glove box.
As for where consumers can actually charge their EV when taking a trip, locations which host electric car charging stations are more easily discoverable than one might think — municipal offices, stadiums and arenas, malls, airports and more are all places looking to appear as leaders on environmental impact, and therefore have often put in free charging stations.
It would be foolish to suggest that the overall utilization of EVs is as simple as gas-powered ones (purely because of the amount of gas stations as opposed to charging stations), but what this really comes down to is taking a bit more time to prepare for trips.
And when considering the value inherent in such a decision, that extra planning is evidently a worthy trade-off. Not only will the trip be smoother, but it will be more beneficial to the environment and more cost-efficient.
Steer stands tall as an innovator in forging a path towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future, but it certainly won’t be tossing aside consumer concerns to get there, range-related or otherwise.