We’re a bit of a psychotic society. On the one hand we want freedom, cheap prices and get paid a lot of money to work as little as possible. On the other hand, we don’t want to work too much, want the best quality in the most affordable way and expect cars to run forever, as well as the government to give us tax breaks. But the reality is quite another. You work for what you get. You make money to buy quality and there is a duty for every right.
From Optimism To Practical. If you listen to would-be electric car, EV buyers, the ideal range would be at least 500 miles. While this is not only unrealistic, it’s not what daily drivers currently need. Indeed, 80% of the daily work route in the USA is 40 miles or less. This means, about 95% of electric cars sold today are more than adequate for the needs of 80% of the US population. So what’s the holdout?
It’s All About Range. If size matters less and less with cars in our country, range on the contrary does. The range expected by many is an overly-optimistic 500 miles. As much as it would be nice, it really isn’t needed. First, the battery technology isn’t there yet. Second, the research investment would make it exponentially exorbitant. Few would buy a 500 mile range electric car if available. Let’s not forget that electric car buyers want them to be under $20,000?
The Expert World. Most experts seem to agree on 100 miles being the magical range of an electric car. After all, it isn’t such a crazy number. When the first car broke the 100 mile barrier, we stepped into a new world. It’s all very psychological.
In the recent Plug-In 2012 conference experts seemed to agree that a 120 miles per charge target range is what we need in order to eliminate range anxiety for most drivers. 120 miles isn’t that far fetched, after all some of the more modern electric cars can actually squeeze that much from their battery pack. But do you need to more than 100 miles? What is the point of driving to the limit of your battery pack, or your gasoline tank, for that matter of fact? And anyway, how many of us have bladders that can withstand a 500 mile trip? 120 miles is already two hours on a highway.
All in all, 120 miles makes sense and is more psychological than a practical need. With the advent of fast charging allowing a 75% to 80 recharge in less than 30mn, as well as electric outlets that can almost everywhere, without mentioning charging stations, 120 or less meets the statistics amply. The next generation of electric cars should be able to meet the mystical 120 mile range target with the advancements in battery technology.