The biggest barrier to buying electric cars is the fear of running out of power.

But a new British study suggests that “range anxiety” as it is called is a thing of the past.

The fact is most drivers could probably drive for a whole week without needing to recharge their vehicle.

That’s the finding of a British study by DrivingElectric.com, an independent consumer advice website on electric vehicles.

The surprise finding shows most drivers cover fewer kilometres over seven days than many typical electric cars can manage on one single charge.

DrivingElectric.com analysed the habits of almost 500 drivers.

Researchers found the total average mileage covered by most drivers in a typical week, including travel for social, leisure, shopping, school runs and commuting, falls well within the published ranges of the latest generation EVs.

Only business trips or occasional holidays take drivers far enough to require a mid-journey top-up, but normal usage patterns suggest even a mid-week top-up could be a rarity for electric car drivers.

The findings suggest one of the main barriers to wider adoption of electric vehicles is based on a mistaken belief that we travel greater distances than we actually do.

In reality, even a shorter range EV like an e-Golf that covers between 230 and 300km between charges needs only one top-up to cover a full the average total kilometres for a full week.

But the higher weekly average total of 426km, covering commuting, social and leisure, shopping and school runs, can be accomplished without topping up at all in a Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh, which has a range of between 470 and 545km.

“So-called range anxiety is consistently named by motorists as a main barrier to going all electric, but the facts suggest that range really shouldn’t worry most of us,” DrivingElectric.com’s Vicky Parrott said.

“So while many people worry about being able to easily charge-up during a journey, the truth is that electric cars now need charging less frequently for normal use than many of us realise.”

Analysts crunched the numbers for a typical week’s driving among 480 motorists and found that the average weekly work commute totals 112km.

School runs add up over a week to 24km. Journeys for social or leisure purposes come in at an average 39km per week. And shopping trips typically total 132km.

If all of those journeys were taken in one car, that adds up to a total of 426km — a distance that could be covered by four of the cars in DrivingElectric.com list without re-charging.

Even for lower-range cars, only one top-up should be needed during the course of a normal week.

CHECKOUT: Sunroofs to become solar panels

CHECKOUT: An electric Mustang . . . who would have thought?

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.