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What’s next 720 mile Range EV?

Currently the Tesla Model S and its list of owners have achieved some of the longest Electric Vehicle miles of range per charge than any other car maker. What's next?

Recently Elon Musk was interviewed by a Danish TV station and he said the current record was over 487 miles (800km) albeit driving less than 30 miles per hour. So what does Elon, the electric vehicle king, expect the range distance to be in 2017? He predicts it will be over 600 miles of range and by 2020 it could be as high as 720 miles.

So how much gas would that displace even in you were sipping gas like the Toyota Prius does? Let’s find out and make some assumptions here. My 2005 Toyota Prius with 170,000+ miles on her has been averaging around 45 miles per gallon. If you divide 720 miles by 45 miles per gallon on the Prius you get 16 gallons of gas displaced. With its roughly 12 gallon tank, the Prius can travel 540 miles on a single tankful of gas. So even a gas sipper like the Toyota Prius won’t have as much range as a 2020 Tesla according to the figures and predictions made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

With this kind of electric vehicle range, it’s hard to imagine how far this actually is. Take for example the average miles per day that are driven in the USA. Today that stands at only 40 miles of vehicle travel. You could charge your car up every 18 days provided the 720 miles range battery pack could be successfully charged overnight. Let’s take the Tesla Model X that is rolling out tonight as a test case. It contains a 90 KWH battery pack and the stated driving range on that pack is 240 miles. So with the Model X we are looking at 2.6 miles per KWH of electric vehicle range. In order to get 720 miles of EV range at 2.6 miles per KWH, the car would have to store 277 KWH of energy in the battery pack. I don’t know about you, but that is a significant leap in terms of energy density that will need to be overcome by 2020 which is only 5 years away.

I’m not sure whether or not the Tesla EV profit has this prediction 100% accurate but I can tell you this, if he can manage to fit 277 KWHs of energy into a Tesla S size car and bring the cost down to the 30k to 50K level, you are looking at disruption like you have never seen before. There will be no excuse at all to kick the gas habit and finally pronounced gasoline dead!

Danish Elon Musk Interview