range anxiety
n. Mental distress or uneasiness caused by concerns about running out of power while driving an electric car.
In the 1990s, long before Better Place and others like it had formed, Christensen laid out the reasons the electric car was failing, using as evidence the old Chrysler electric minivan. The vehicle required 1,600 pounds of batteries, which slowed acceleration. … It traveled less than 100 miles before needing to refuel, creating so-called range anxiety for drivers, and recharging required hours.
—Amity Shlaes, “Disrupt the G-20 Summit With This Technology,” Bloomberg News, June 23, 2010
For example, when we started, 87 per cent of the owners said 'range anxiety' — a concern that the car would run out of power and strand them — was their biggest concern about an electric car. "Now that they have some real-world experience with (the 135 km range of ) the car, they know how far (or, actually, how little) they drive, where they can recharge, and so on. (Now) only 17 per cent still have that concern.
—Jim Kenzie, “First electric Smarts arrive in America,” The Toronto Star, June 18, 2010
1997 (earliest)
"Range anxiety" is a common reaction among new EV1 users, said Levin. He added that the industry is working on new battery technology which holds the promise of a 100-mile range.
—Richard Acello, “Getting into gear with the vehicle of the future,” San Diego Business Journal, September 01, 1997