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How far does an EV have to go before it will sell?

Discussion in 'News' started by NigelM, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    or...

    How far must electric vehicles travel between charges before you’d consider buying one?

    Interesting article on wheels.ca

    Provokes some thought as I personally also want my Models S to have the maximum range possible but will probably rarely travel more than 150 miles in a day. After 6 months with my Roadster I almost never go over 100 miles in a day, but I always would have guessed I drove further than that.

    This article bodes well for the Model S.
     
  2. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    People also surprise me when they implicitly assume that all their vehicles need to meet all their potential needs. Like many American families, we have more than one car. Even with a 300-mile pack, there will be trips that my Model S will not be suitable. That's when we'll take the BMW.... (I'm also considering buying an old 4WD pickup with a tow hitch to move boats, debris, etc. -- and I won't be worrying about whether it has a premium sound system and 4G connectivity.:smile:)
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Like you Nigel, I want the biggest range, but will rarely use it. I like the buffer. I mean, even with gas stations as ubiquitous as they are now, can you imagine if your tank could only hold ~100 miles of fuel?
     
  4. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    My RX8 barely gets me ~200 miles before refills driving mostly in city. In city, it maybe averages 15 mpg and if I fill up at 1/8th of a tank, it's about 14-15 gallons. It's annoying only because it's an extra stop to get gas. If were full every night, I wouldn't care if the range was even less.
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Not quite a fair comparison, since you typically don't have a gas pump in your garage.
     
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Doesn't matter Doug, I want to know I can go the distance without needing to fill up or plug in. This survey proves others feel the same way.
     
  7. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    It seems that the masses will not be happy about EVs until they go 500 miles or more on a single charge and charge within five minutes. I do think that TM has really pushed the technology of EVs to where 400 miles on a single charge is in reach soon. Let's see what the near future holds for EVs and TM.
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I've always held that even if they can't get huge range, EVs could be more acceptable with more chargers and faster charging. If you only have 200 miles of range but can stop just about anywhere and juice up in 10-15 minutes I think more people would see having an EV as less of a compromise.
     
  9. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    What's this 5 minutes charge crap? You can't get in an out of the gas station in 5 minutes, much less get to and from your normal route in that amount of time!

    Yes, I actually started using a stop watch the last few months I had the 911. 8 minutes minimum.

    Funny enough though, I agree about 500 miles - for the second car. I'd be able convince Susan to ditch the gas wagon with a 500mi battery and fast charging available - if it had comfy seats with adjustable or replaceable headrests (with a bad back, seating position became a primary factor, and only Mercedes got it right). We do road trips, with the dogs, and that's what it would take to polish off that use case / user story.
     
  10. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I think this is more a case of not needing what we think we need.

    -If a two-car family, almost nobody would need this for one of their two cars.

    -500 miles is about 8 hours of driving. 500 miles AND a 5 minute charge is useless. I don't know many people who can or who want to drive 8 hours with only a 5 minute break. That's just dangerous driving and asking for a "fall asleep at the wheel" accident.

    I think with 500 mi charge, recharge times could easily be 45 minutes or more and people would still be perfectly fine with it--even though they don't THINK they would.
     
  11. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    That again assumes you will want or be able to plug in everywhere you go. Off the bat, I can think of a trip I take about once a month for meetings. About 70 miles one way from my office, no charging while there, 70 back. In the model S I'd be at about half range, and I'm not even home yet. Say I forget to charge that night, or can't (with that Noreaster, ironically, we're one of 2 houses in the neighborhood that actually has power), then I'd actually feel OK knowing I've got about 150 miles of range left before I NEED to charge. So there, I've got about 1-2 more days of normal driving before I NEED to charge.

    Again, for me, it's not about needing range to do one long trip, it's about being flexible enough not to be tied to a plug if I can't or for some reason don't WANT to be. There are a lot of EV enthusiasts here so it may all seem like crazy-talk, but I'd be willing to bet once EVs hit the mainstream, that becomes a consistent theme.
     
  12. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Sure, I understand that view, but how often do we forget to go to the gas station, or plug in our cell phones at night? How often is the power out at our homes? Personally, it happens so infrequently as to not be worth worrying about.

    Why do soccer moms buy minivans? They usually only have one or two kids. How often do they REALLY need to lug the entire team around in one van?
     
  13. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Your point is completely valid and logical. We're dealing with human psychology though, not Vulcan logic :smile:
     
  14. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    [video]http://www.youtube.com/embed/sghncnGkFAo[/video]

    A few whacks on the head outta' fix that psychology.:biggrin:
     
  15. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Hi,

    Until recently I was agonizing over the range battery I should get for my Model S. I drive very little and at first I thought that I could get by with the 160 mile range battery pack. However, if you take a look at the attachment* I've prepared, at legal highway speeds of 70 mph that reduces the range to 113 miles. At typical actual Florida highway speeds of 80 mph the range is only 94 miles. Even the 300 mile battery is reduced to a range of 176 miles when driving at a realistic highway speed of 80 mph.

    I think that initially EV battery ranges will increase to about 400 miles to attract adoption and overcome range anxiety, real or imagined. Then as fastcharger infrastructure is rolled out, and as most folks realize that they don't need as much range as they thought, I think the average EV will only have a range of about 250 miles to sustain continued adoption in reasonably priced cars.


    *Note:
    The chart was derived by assuming that the Model S batteries would have range versus speed performance the same as the Roadster. For each speed I eyeballed the range off of this graph and calculated the percent increase or decrease from the ideal EPA range. That percentage was applied to the Model S battery ranges to estimate the ranges at various speeds.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. surfingslovak

    surfingslovak Member

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    Larry, great post and an interesting and thoughtful approach. Just a quick comment, which may or may not be relevant to you. I'm seeing about 130% of EPA range at 50 mph in the Leaf, yet your chart only assumes about 100% of EPA range at that speed. I did not validate the rest of the table, but you could be underestimating the range of the Model S by a significant factor.

    Please have a look at the range chart Tony Williams compiled for the Leaf. This is based on real-world data from multiple owners. Please keep in mind that the EPA estimate for the Leaf is 73 miles.

    LEAFrangeChartVersion7b.jpg
     
  17. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    #17 Larry Chanin, Nov 5, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
    Hi,

    Thanks for the response. I did make an error in the EPA range. Here is a corrected chart that shows a slight improvement in range.

    I'm sure that there are other minor errors in the the chart due to having to eyeball the range vs. speed graph. However, the point I was attempting to make was that range concerns should occur when taking long trips, and long trips are usually at highway speeds, and realistic highway speed reduce range considerably below ideal EPA range.

    Larry
     

    Attached Files:

  18. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I think the bulk of the market at this point for the BEV are people with two or more cars and a garage. Then the EV can be used as a commuter. The market can be extended somewhat to people with only one car and a garage, that like to rent a car for long trips in the first place (I know some people who do this).

    That's a pretty sizable market in the US that'll probably last for 10 years (assuming similar adoption rate as hybrids).

    It's not that we don't have the technology to make 300 mile range BEVs and quick charging stations, but the problem is the cost. That's why most manufacturers are starting with less than 100 miles of range.
     
  19. surfingslovak

    surfingslovak Member

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    #19 surfingslovak, Nov 5, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
    Larry, yes this looks better. I agree that EV manufacturers have an incentive to overstate the range of their vehicles and they usually don't set the right expectations. I was quite vocal about in on the Leaf forum and I would be the last one to try to convince you otherwise.

    I think part of the confusion stems from the fact that you label the ideal range estimate Tesla provides as "EPA". I think this is incorrect. My understanding is that these ideal miles are based on a light urban test cycle with little to no freeway driving. The EPA uses a more realistic blend and their estimate is usually 30% lower than the ideal range the manufacturer gives you. However, this estimate will only be available once Tesla has a production car and officially submits it for evaluation by the EPA. For the 160-mile Model S, I would expect an official EPA range of 109 miles and I would be shocked if you didn't consistently see at least 100 miles of range under real-world conditions.

    I had a Model S reservation earlier this year, and I was eyeing the 230-mile model. I think it provides a comfortable range at a viable price point. I would consider 160 miles of ideal range to be the minimum I would accept. The Leaf has an ideal range of 100 miles and in my experience it falls short of my needs in metro driving often enough to look for other solutions.
     
  20. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Hi,

    Very true, but don't you agree that the cost to roll-out fast charger infrastructure is going to be orders of magnitude less than what it took to build the gasoline station network?

    Larry
     

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