FOMI Unplugged : The Electrifying Fear of Making It!

Will Fear of Making It in an EV Spark a Highway Hazard or Power Through to Rescue?

In the electric dawn of the EV era, where the hum of combustion engines is increasingly drowned out by the silent surge of electric motors, a new kind of anxiety charges through the hearts of motorists. It's not the traditional fear of missing out (FOMO) that haunts our social media-saturated lives, but a more potent and paralyzing dread: the “Fear of Making It” (FOMI). This isn't about success, fame, or fortune but rather the simple, primal quest to reach your destination on a single charge.

Imagine the scene: a crisp morning, the sun barely peeking over the horizon, casting a golden glow on the N4 Highway. Known not for its scenic beauty but for its darker, more sinister reputation as a hotspot for spiking and hijackings, this stretch of road is no place to be stranded…

Now, I am busy testing a rather special EV at the moment and had planned to recharge the vehicle to full capacity the day before—an intention as good as any road to hell, paved with them. Life, as it often does, intervened, leaving me with a range of approximately 95km, which would be enough to head to the mall for a full quick charge. But then...

You should ALWAYS make sure your spare is inflated!

A call for help from a friend in distress with a flat tire, stranded approximately 20km away…on the N4 Highway of Danger! Simple math: a ±40km round trip, well within my dwindling range. But here's the twist! Continue reading…»

The return trip, thanks to the treacherous logistics of highway travel, ballooned to 68km—a number mockingly out of reach. Now, you might think that I would have around 5km left on the charge, but do I? Let’s think about this for a second. Driving conditions, the uphills, the traffic…are you SURE you can make it?

Yet, there I was, on a mission, testing the limits of an electric vehicle (EV) with a promising range of ±350km odd. However, promises, as we know, are only as reliable as the electricity that charges them...and we have the best infrastructure in the country, right? Sometimes Eskom has power, and other times the EV has more! Let’s keep in mind that I am still busy testing the vehicle and of course it’s range

The actual wheel damage… Did some damage to the rim as well

Now, we arrive at the crux of our electrifying tale of FOMI. After changing the destroyed piece of rubber, I packed my rescue kit in the boot and got in the EV to head home.

The choice: (Remember that I am not at any “crossroads”, I'm on the highway, sitting with a shocking problem…)

  • To continue down the highway, embracing the risk of being stranded somewhere along the road and risking becoming another victim of the road's notorious dangers (being robbed, hijacked, or harmed).

  • Reverse 2km on the highway against oncoming traffic, a manoeuvre as dangerous as it is desperate. The stakes? Life, limb, and the lingering question:

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

The irony is thick—a predicament NOT of the car's making but of my own. An EV, with its silent promise of a cleaner, greener future (this is a discussion on it’s own), suddenly morphed into a metal cage of anxiety. A reminder that in the age of instant gratification, some things like charging an EV still require patience and planning.

Metal Cage of Anxiety : Uber would not have worked here…

This is not a tale with answers but one that asks you to ponder. In an emergency, with adrenaline clouding judgment, what decision emerges? Do we fall back on the familiar, lamenting the absence of a quick-fill gas tank, or do we embrace the new, accepting the limitations and planning around them?

Who bears the blame? Is it the driver, caught unprepared, or the still-evolving infrastructure for electric vehicles, which promises so much yet still leaves travellers anxious about making it to their next charge #FOMI? Or perhaps it's the broader societal shift toward electric vehicles, a change fraught with growing pains and the occasional, electrifying fear of not making it...

As we now stand at the “crossroads” of this electric revolution, stories like these are more than cautionary tales, they are sparks in the dark, illuminating the challenges and choices facing the pioneers of this new frontier. So, as you navigate your journey, whether it be on the perilous paths of the N4 Highway or the uncertain roads of life, ask yourself :

How do I face my FOMI?”

Till next time, stay ACE!

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