Holding Electric Vehicles To a Higher Standard
The last few conversions sparked on the comment sections of some articles highlighted an interesting point, according to your budget, range is not an issue for most people. What is also obvious is that gasoline car buyers care less about range than they seem to do about electric vehicles. After all, calculating range is a tricky thing and depends ultimately on the conditions of roads, urban or highway traffic and of course, your driving style. So how did we get so bogged down by range with electric vehicles, EV?
Is Range Such An Issue? That is the question carmakers need to assess. Unfortunately when EVs were re-introduced a few years ago, the marketing started centering around the range issue, even if 40 miles a day is what most of us seem to do, something practically every EV can do. GM embarked on its famous “Range Anxiety” crusade, which certainly has not helped further the cause. What’s done is done. Carmakers are now struggling to market EVs toward the right segment, namely city dwellers and light urban traffic.
The Point. The point made previously is that those who can afford $50,000 and onward rarely think about the range of their cars. After all, someone who buys a BMW M3 or 5, a Subaru WRX, a Porsche, Maserati, Mercedes or Ferrari won’t usually know, nor care about the theoretical range of their cars. Yet, when it comes to a $50,000 or a 100K Tesla Model S, that is the first thought on everyone’s mind. While range is important overall, it isn’t the most crucial aspect of buying a car, especially at that price range. It becomes more so in the $20,000 to 30K segment.
Low Range For Cities. This is where the early marketing tactics really failed EVs in general. Had carmakers concentrated on city dwellers and urbanites who travel short distances, EVs would have had better sales numbers. They certainly have done well in the middle of this economic quagmire compared to the introduction of hybrids over a decade ago. Do we need to redefine EVs and target them for short trips and daily commutes? Certainly. Do they meet 90% of our daily drives? Absolutely. So why expect a car to go 400 miles when rarely do so? Go figure.
It’s too bad in the end because EVs are just another strength of the automobile market. It’s just another choice. It brings competition and as with any choice, it only applies to someone and not everyone. Yet, so many people get bent out of shape because the range of an economical to operate car is a third of a regular gasoline car. Ultimately, the only real problem with EVs currently is price. Yes, they are that much more expensive to buy but yes, they are lower to maintain overall and you can recoup in most cases your purchase within a few years, depending on where you live.