Longer Range EVs Are On The Horizon

When electric cars first started hitting the mainstream just over a decade ago, most criticism focused on the limited range available and the long recharge times required. Since then, automakers have been chipping away, improving efficiency here and adding capacity there, slowly pushing the numbers up year after year.

Models are now on the market offering in excess of 400 miles between charges, but lurking on the horizon are cars with ever-greater range. The technology stands at a tipping point where a electric car will easily be able to go further on a charge than the average driver can reasonably drive in a day. Let’s explore what’s just around the corner.

Going Further…

The longest-range version of the Tesla Model S has an EPA-rated range of 402 miles. Something as simple as choosing a different wheel size can cut that by tens of miles, however. Credit: Tesla

The newest EVs on the market have more range than ever before. Under the EPA range test, the latest Tesla Model S can hit 402 miles, while the cutting-edge Mercedes EQS450+ makes it to 350 miles on the same test regime. These long-legged cars are packed with batteries, boasting packs of 100 kWh and 107.8 kWh capacity and operating at 450 V and 400 V respectively.

These two vehicles are two of the longest-range mainstream electric vehicles presently available. Both are able to quick-charge another 200 miles of range in just 20 minutes under the right conditions. Driving at a continuous average speed of 75 mph, either car could easily handle eight hours of driving in a single day with only a short stop to recharge. Interestingly, too, private testing shows the Mercedes itself to be capable of far exceeding its EPA test result, with Edmunds finding it to be the longest range car it’s ever tested with a real-world run netting 422 miles on a single charge.

Despite this, a tiresome few continue to protest that electric vehicles are simply incapable of taking long trips. With ranges already reaching above 400 miles in premium vehicles, and all manner of lower models capable of 300 miles or more, it’s becoming an increasingly difficult position to defend.

New vehicles only promise to further destroy this argument, though, by posting bigger numbers again. The prime example ready to burst onto the scene is the Lucid Air, the debut car from electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors. In its longest-range trim, the Dream Edition model achieves a EPA-rated 520 miles of range. The company has only just started vehicle deliveries to customers, but the range of the Air is already a leap far beyond that of its rivals.

The futuristic-looking Lucid Air Dream Edition stole Tesla’s crown of having the longest-range EV on the market. Customer deliveries are currently at a trickle as the company ramps up production, however. Credit: Lucid

This huge figure was not achieved by simply using a larger battery; the Lucid Air features a pack only a mite bigger than the competition at 113 kWh. With range a primary selling point for EVs, Lucid are being a bit canny about exactly how they achieved such a figure, with most coverage of the car putting the result down to a focus on “efficiency.” One number does stand out, however, and that’s the fact that the Lucid Air relies on a 924-volt battery architecture.

Running at higher voltage can bring significant advantages. For the same given power in a system, as voltage goes up, current goes down. Resistive losses in conductors are proportional to current squared, these losses go down as voltage increases, meaning efficiency improves. P = IV = I^2 R .

Lower losses means greater range when driving the car. There are also benefits to charging as well; lower heat build up from resistive losses is important when charging batteries that are sensitive to high temperatures. Lucid claims the Air can add 300 miles worth of charge in just 20 minutes when connected to an appropriate DC fast charger of 300 kW or more.

It’s a mark of Lucid’s commitment to its goals; back in 2019, Lucid’s chief technical officer Peter Rawlinson noted the company was aiming to push for a new level of efficiency in electric cars, rather than simply relying on ever-larger batteries.  As far as aerodynamics were concerned, the Lucid Air managed an astounding coefficient of drag of just 0.21. Overall, Lucid got close to its goal of an energy efficiency of 5 miles per kwh, with the Dream Edition launch model hitting 4.6 miles/kWh in production trim.

And Further Again…

The Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept utilizes a sleek, streamlined teardrop shape to help minimise energy lost to drag. Among other measures, this helps it achieve an astounding 620 mile range on a sub-100 kWh battery. Credit; Mercedes-Benz

As far as the future is concerned, Mercedes also sees value in the efficiency-first approach. The German automaker recently unveiled its EQXX Concept, claiming a 620 mile range from the prototype design which features a battery of under 100 kWH capacity. It’s an efficency in excess of 6.2 miles/kWh, marking a serious leap forward.

Mercedes achieved this by going back to the drawing board and doing everything possible to maximise range. Unlike many of the premium luxury EVs on sale today, the EQXX Concept eschews four-digit horsepower figures and multi-motor setups for a relatively tame 201-horsepower single-motor drive unit. This would make a production model a harder sell, as the market has become accustomed to electric vehicles with ridiculous acceleration figures. A heavy electric vehicle hauling a big battery with only 200 horsepower to propel it along won’t be competing with cars like the Lucid Air or the Tesla Model S Plaid edition, and it could leave buyers cold.

The drag coefficient leaps to a even-more ridiculous figure than the Lucid Air, to an astounding Cd of just 0.17. It’s a small vehicle too, taking up far less space compared to the EQS road car, being closer to the size of a compact sedan. A solar panel on the roof is even pressed into service, helping to power the HVAC and infotainment system, and reportedly can add a whole 15 miles of range to the EQS on a particularly sunny day.

Startup Our Next Energy (ONE) managed a 752-mile drive with a modified Tesla Model S, thanks to a high-capacity 203.7 kWH battery pack of its own design. Credit: YouTube/Our Next Energy

As much as Lucid and Mercedes hope to achieve with their high-minded efficiency focused approach, however, some believe that simpler methods are the way to go instead.  A startup by the name of ONE has done just that, equipping a Tesla Model S with a battery of its own design of an astounding 203.7 kWh capacity. Just over double the standard capacity of the Model S battery, the startup were able to achieve a range of 752 miles in a long-drive test of its own devising.

The project essentially ignores efficiency improvements entirely. ONE made no mods to the Tesla in this regard, and the system is technically less efficient as a whole, making only 3.69 miles/kWh versus the 4.02 miles/kWh of the stock car in EPA testing. What is astounding is how the team were able to fit a battery pack of double the capacity in the same space as the original pack – marking a huge increase in energy density. The team were reportedly able to do so without much of a weight penalty either. The ONE pack apparently required no active cooling during its drive test (albeit run in cold weather). The production battery that ONE hopes to bring to market, known as “Gemini,” will reportely rely on LiFP (lithium iron phosphate) technology, something already used in many EVs today, and production samples should be available around 2023.

Mystery Gains

As capable as these vehicles are, perhaps the most frustrating part is that the engineering used to achieve these feats remains a little opaque to the public. It’s only when these cars start hitting the market en masse, and getting disassembled by inquisitive engineering teams and individuals, that it will become clear exactly how these improvements to efficiency and energy density are being achieved. Whether it’s exquisitely-prepared motors that cut down on even the tiniest of losses, new high-efficiency semiconductors, or bigger moves like jumping up to work at higher voltage ranges, it all adds up. But the real big gains are much more of a secret weapon that automakers will aim to keep as a competitive advantage for as long as is possible.

At best, we get little hints here and there, pockets of insight when an automaker wants to boast of its achievements. A great example is Tesla, which has invested heavily in some of the most advanced EV motors on the planet. The company has previously openly discusssed with Car and Driver how improving motor efficiency by 8 to 10 percent helped it boost overall range by 15 to 18 percent. Other players are typically less forthcoming, choosing to talk in broader terms as to the source of their gains rather than discussing real engineering details. Tesla somewhat stands alone in this area, often going into great detail on its new technologies as a marketing tool, though it tends to announce big things well before they ever come to market.

In any case, whether by improved efficiency, increasing energy density, or simply by stuffing more batteries into a car, it seems that electric vehicle range will only continue to improve at a rapid rate in coming years. EVs with huge range are just around the corner, and the ones we have today are already posting some serious numbers. Range anxiety may soon be a thing of the past for all but the cheapest, shortest-range EVs, or those with batteries nearing the end of their useful life. It may be that running out of charge becomes as rare for the average EV driver as running out of petrol is for those of us with conventional ICE-powered vehicles. Come what may!

165 thoughts on “Longer Range EVs Are On The Horizon

  1. “when connected to an appropriate DC fast charger of 300kW or more” – and if you charge three cars at that rate, you’re eating nearly a megawatt of power. Where are these chargers going to be situated? Not outside your house, presumably, as that’s something like twenty times what a whole house is wired for! If it’s going to be a public facility, an electric equivalent of a filling station, it’ll probably need its own transmission line.

    1. Batteries last longer when you slow charge them. Why do you want to fast charge at home? Let it charge while you eat, sleep and do all those other fun things that happen in the house. You can use that 300kW charger on the days you forgot to plug in at home and have to stop at a charging station. That’s something I would try to do as infrequently as possible because I’m not patient and wouldn’t want to wait even at those speeds.

      Speaking of which, just the other day I stopped to fill my wife’s gas tank.. it was below zero out and that d@mn pump was barely moving. It took forever and I was freezing! Yah, I’d rather plug in at home!

    2. I suspect the number of houses that need to fast-charge 3 vehicles at the same time is rather small. Charging 1 (or 2) vehicles overnight sounds more likely.

      Also, the cybertruck is rated at 500 miles of range. Tesla isn’t making the cybertruck yet, but most of the announced vehicles aren’t being made either.

      I think the new 4860 batteries will have a big effect on this, and a bunch of other battery improvements are coming down the line as well. Solid electrolytes will greatly reduce the chance of catching fire, for example.

      Also, Tesla is switching to LFP batteries, and probably most of the other manufacturers will as well. That should also have an effect on range.

      Range hysteria is probably a good thing: it’s caused auto manufacturers to focus on range, making batteries better and everything more efficient generally.

      1. Switching to LFP will have the effect of reducing range, since the energy density is less. They also have other undesirable properties such as lower voltage, inability to charge below 0C, etc.

        1. Tesla is using LFP in their standard range cars, and sticking to their existing chemistry for the longer range models. LFP is a way for them to get down the cost of the standard range models into mass market territory.

          The issues with charging temperature can be addressed easily. If you stop at a charging station during a road trip, your battery will already be well over 0C because of heat generated during driving. At home the car will use some of the power from your charging station to heat the battery so it can be safely charged.

          Lower voltage? Use more of them in series. Problem solved.

          1. The heat generated inside the battery during normal driving is something like 100 Watts and it weighs half a tonne, so it’s going to take forever to warm it up starting from curbside to high enough temperature that you can use a fast charger. This was already an issue with the Volkswagen eGolf which didn’t have active battery thermal management. When you drive up to the charger, it defaults to L1 charging and you’re stuck there.

            It takes several kWh of energy to heat the battery up to charging temperature, which cannot be done too rapidly so the charging times are extended in the winter even at dedicated charging stations.

            And adding more cells takes up more space, and complicates the battery manufacturing, adding cost. Tesla is doing the opposite with adding bigger cells and reducing the number to shave off cost.

      1. That’s how the “Gridserve Electric Forecourt” in Essex, UK works.

        It has an onsite 6MW battery store, and is also connected to the company’s own solar farm around 40 miles away. it has 36 chargers split between 22kW AC, 90kW DC, 350kW DC & Tesla superchargers.

        They’re currently either building or planning to build 99 more across the country, alongside smaller charging “hubs” at motorway service stations, also with battery storage.

        One Californian manufacturer (Freewire) even makes a 150kW DC charger with 160kW of onboard battery, which can trickle charge itself from a 27kW grid connection between vends.

        1. “it has 36 chargers split between 22kW AC, 90kW DC, 350kW DC & Tesla superchargers.” This aspect of EVs concerns me. Seems like they’ve diverging standards, not converging standards. Does anybody know if there is a push from anywhere in the industry for greater charger standardisation?

          ICE vehicles accept fairly standardised fuel ports (outside of special use cases – e.g. motorsport). Making a hurdle as trivial as charger ports will hurt uptake.

          1. It is the case that all cars on the same continent use the same AC medium speed plug. (NA plugs do 120 and 240 single phase, EU has 240 single, and some higher voltage three phase. I don’t know what China does)

            In the case of the high speed DC chargers, for the US market anyway there was much wrangling at the standards committee. It was a bit of a pitched battle between Japan, and the rest of the world, with Tesla present. Tesla said “we can’t wait” we need to start building the network, in order to convince buyers. They did supercharger, and spent their investors money setting up their own stations.

            So it was Japan vs SAE. Then someone observed that all three systems used similar amounts of DC (around 450 volts). The differences were shape of plug and the communication channel the car uses to control the charger. A second or even third cable was a tiny part of the cost of a high speed charger, regulating 100kw of power takes some pricey parts. So now it is the norm for the high speed chargers to have both public schemes, and some that support all three formats exist

    3. In New Zealand we have public 300kW charges. I plugged in my Kona charging 75kW fast as it can. Downside, the charge cables are heavy as. Not something my wife would want to lift.

      1. My air cooled pack (VW, 24 kWh pack) will only take 40 kw. I know that to 150 kWh, water cooling isn’t enough, they use the air conditioner to chill the water.

        The cables for 300 kw would be even heavier, but they water cool the cables. I have seen a self attaching cable system. Looks like a chrome plated boa constrictor. Would solve the handicap accessibility issues.

    4. Most of us generally charge our electric cars overnight.
      That allows 10 hours to accomplish what the 300kw charger does in 20 minutes.
      So you can divide the power consumption by 30.

      My wife and I have a Tesla M3P and most nights it consumes about as much power as two toasters.

      I’ll admit it would need twice that if I was still driving to my old office, and 4x if my wife was still commuting too, so the grid may need some upgrades as BEVs become more popular. But it’s going to take a couple decades for the current fleet of ICE vehicles to age out, so we’ve got time to work on these problems.

      I’m guessing we’ll see a lot of gas stations installing turbines and batteries, so that they can fast-charge EVs using energy from their existing fuel tanks. Yes that still creates pollution, but much less per mile than ICE vehicles. The next step will be synthetic fuels, brewed right next door to next to nuke plants, for a carbon neutral system.

  2. Extra low CdA, skinny tires, doing your mileage test in Spain instead of Oslo, driving slightly under the speed limit… all sorts of gimmicks are used to inflate the range numbers while actual on-road tests show that EVs consistently underperform their WLTP rating by -25% to -50% especially in the winter when heaters are needed.

      1. No, but that hardly matters. Plus, ICE vehicles don’t suffer the same from environmental conditions. For example, an engine gets a few percentage points better efficiency in the cold, and the heat is free.

        50€ worth of diesel fuel and 10 minutes of your time is another 1000 km of driving.

        1. And just how much does the rapid charger and a few extra mins of your time really work out – sure the battery and charge can’t take you as far for the time taken to refill it, but you are going to need to do so almost never as most of the time you should be able to plug in while you do whatever you traveled for anyway, so as long as the rapid chargers are not priced too stupidly its not much of a big deal.

          Its also far less relevant if you have a home charger
          – just how much fuel do you waste on the round trip to get more fuel?
          – How many hours of life have you spent driving specially to fill up, or out of your way to fill up?
          – How often do you do anything like the 200 miles in a day that would make you visit a charging station with most battery EV?

          Unless you actually live at the petrol station or regularly commute a vast distance for some reason (do traveling salesmen still exist?) your cost in time will be much higher with the ICE powerunit as you always have to waste time traveling out of your way when getting new fuel rather than just plug and have it magically full while you slept, and your price for distance should be vastly better – domestic energy rates are generally orders of magnitude less than the cost of fuel…

          1. IF there is a rapid charger, and IF it isn’t already taken by someone else going the same way.

            A service station with 10 pumps can serve about 100-120 customers per hour. A service station with 10 Supercharger plugs can serve 10. Now imagine a highway with thousands of cars per hour going the same way – all of them electric, all of them having to stop at key points to pick up more charge…

          2. Ah but Dude almost none of them will have to stop, as almost all EV owners will be able to charge at home and they are almost all of them just popping to the shops, work etc on their daily short range loops, and as they start every trip with a full tank just plain don’t need more energy… Of your thousands of cars only a tiny percentage will need a recharge on this trip, and an even smaller number will need a recharge at any particular stop along the way.

            If EV still had tiny ranges that would make range a stress even on local trips it might matter, but now even the smallest crappiest battery EV do something like 100 miles, which is way way more than 99% of the trips taken need… If you are one of those strange folks that does do more mileage than nearly everyone else does on their longest trips every damn day or don’t have a charge point at home the battery EV isn’t ideal for you, but for almost everyone else its damn nearly magic a vehicle you will almost never need to go out of your way to feed…

            Also most supercharger are supposed to be capable of 20 mins (or less) to a rather high charge state that puts hundreds of miles back on, so the 10 superchargers are serving something more like 30 in an hour. Even the older slower spec fast chargers are not an hour, more like 40 mins…

          3. >as almost all EV owners will be able to charge at home

            Yes, for the moment, since you need to be a homeowner to even afford an EV in the first place. I live in an apartment – my car is outside on a detached parking lot. When people like me start to own EVs, it is no longer the case that most EV owners will be able to charge at home.

          4. And when lots of folks like you start buying EV the parking lot will have charge points fitted… Its not like its actually that hard or expensive to retrofit your basic slower chargers for an entire multistory carpark even.

            But there is no point in doing so while there are not enough battery EV out there among folks like you demanding it.

          5. >the parking lot will have charge points fitted

            They’d have to do that first before I buy an EV. Chicken, meet egg.

            Also, it’s neither cheap nor easy to fit a parking lot with charge points for everyone because the power draw of an entire field of EVs is enormous. Who’s gonna pay for ripping it up and installing the cables? Not me if I can help it.

            It has ripple effects up to the power company who has to upgrade the cabling to the premise and the distribution transformers to account for the fact that A) you’re more than doubling the overall electricity consumption per household in the area, and B) the design peak power goes by the number of outlets and their rated output. Eventually there will be the day when everyone is plugged in at the same time.

          6. Of the cars on that busy highway, wonder what percentage of that traveling base would be going beyond the single charge limit of their vehicles, so that the overnight charge would require a stop? If the charging station could only handle 1/10 the number of customers per unit time, how much would we have to expand the infrastructure to accommodate them. Safe to say that charging stations will make good sites to locate eateries!

        2. While the engine does better when cold, you lose mpg to winter blend gas. In cold areas, they put a higher proportion of the light, more easily vaporized fractions in the mix. Helps with cold starting, lowers the energy density.

      2. Actually, EPA ratings for ICE cars became strict enough that it’s fairly easy to get the EPA highway range or beat it. My 2009 Outback routinely beats EPA if I restrict myself to driving exactly 65 MPH, winter or summer, no matter how warm I keep it in winter.

        My Bolt, on the other hand, loses more than 1/3 of its range in winter despite a lower temperature setting, manually riding the climate controls just on the edge of fogging, on an average commute that is 55 or less.

        Go 65 on the Bolt and it won’t make EPA even in the mildest weather.

        The EPA highway test for EVs is a joke, that does not go anywhere near real highway speeds anywhere in the United States.

        Interestingly, one of the best solutions some Bolt owners have found for this is to make the Bolt a PHEV with an extreme bias towards the battery – by retrofitting a diesel hydrionic heater. Combustion used solely for heating is 80-90%+ efficient, vs. even the most efficient ICE engines in the most optimal operating scenarios being in the mid-low 30s. A single gallon of diesel lasts a few hundred miles in winter.

        1. That matches my experience. At 65mph my diesel SUV gets around 27 MPG strictly highway vs a rated 21.

          The EV Fiat goes for 40~45 miles *without* the heater on in sub freezing weather vs an 80 mile rated distance (that really should be higher at 22kWh of charge). And that’s at lower than posted speed on the highway. Average 50~55.

      3. Yes and no. No because we don’t use MPG here and yes because –

        I get exactly what is advertised and what I pay for. If I don’t then I report it as a crime and people / companies get prosecuted for deceptive advertising. Advertising is evaluated in the context of “how a reasonable person would evaluate what is advertised” so that basically means all the “tricks” used to give false impressions are not lawful excuse and prosecution is likely to be successful in these cases.

        The problems you have in the US is because your constitution treats your legal systems as if you have 50 countries within a country. Suing a company in a different state is more like how it would be for states in other countries trying to conduct a case in international law.

        It’s seem that it’s other countries that sort out the legal messes that come from the US. Germany is onto the right to repair. Australia and other western countries are onto facebook / google taking media content (and destroying the income for professional journalism). Other countries are moving to regulate other walled garden enterprises from the US for privacy breaches and the use of personal information (data) without specific consent.

        Now I’m not having a go at my good friends – Americans – but your constitution certainly leaves your people with a lot of challenges.

        In my country the federal government can do a lot with regulation weather the state likes it or not. There are some problems with territories but there is only one territory that runs against the grain and they agree on most of the important issues anyway.

        So where an actual metric is quoted, for example Miles per gallon then that has to have meaning to the customers reasonable interpretation.

        The only case I have seen here (decades ago) that was not successfully prosecuted when I expected it to be was a linear battery charger.

        The front of the device stated “4 AMP Battery Charger”. It was about 1400 mA or 1.4 A and there is the problem and you just missed it to. The Si unit is “A” and not “AMP”. The company claimed that the model was AMP and it was never implied that it was 4A. I doubt such a tactic would be successful today.

        1. >and people / companies get prosecuted

          They haven’t been so far, yet the “MPG gap” and the equivalent WLTP gap do exist even though the entire test was newly designed to give a more realistic view of how cars would perform. The trick is that the fuel consumption is true for the test, not for how you or anyone else is driving it, so there is no false advertising.

          The deeper issue is that cars and car companies in the EU are taxed and regulated according to nominal gCO2/km figures, which depend on the WLTP fuel consumption, so everyone up to the politicians is in a double bind: the numbers are complete fantasy but if they fix the test to reflect the real world, car prices will go up and many models will fail to meet the emissions regulations which in themselves are no longer connected to any physical reality. This means car companies would have remove many of the popular vehicles off the market or pay huge penalties to keep selling them, commuting would suddenly cost a whole lot more, which introduces labor mobility issues, economic troubles, taxpayers and voters getting really angry… so good luck.

          Also on the point of false advertising: Varta – a German company – is still selling the L20 “4 Watt” LED lanterns that operate on 3xD alkaline cells claiming 40 hours runtime. At that power there is not enough energy in the batteries to run for more than 16 hours in the ideal case, but the reality is that the lantern does not actually supply that power even at full output. I’ve reported them but nothing has ever happened.

          1. Well it doesn’t work that way in my country.

            The difference is fact/fiction vs reasonable perception / expectation.

            If a car company suggests that their car has xMPG and I buy it expecting it to achieve xMPG and it doesn’t then if I am driving the car as a person normally would then I have a case. It doesn’t matter if the car actually can get xMPG driving downhill with a tornado tailwind in Siberia. We don’t see xMPG advertised here.

            What matters is that it says xMPG so I should get that unless I’m rally driving in a desert or some such “unreasonable” case.

            The same applies with ridicules TOS and such rules on websites.

            A barrister for the defense of the web company can say … but page 1356 of the TOS states … and I can just say no reasonable person is going to read over a hundred pages of TOS let alone over a thousand. End of case.

            In my country we are not hell bent on arguing with each other and we are not hell bent on throwing unreasonable sums of money at barristers and the like. I can’t say the same for the government here when it’s their ass needing saving but generally speaking we tend to solve problems without resorting to the courts.

            I realize most American share this perspective however America has many there who are willing to take another American to court over what to many others seems like a trivial matter.

            This doesn’t cover every situation of course. But at least consumers enjoy some protection. I can’t wait to see what happens with the IoT mess that results from hardware as a service. I’m already pushing this envelope.

          2. Yes, but they don’t suggest it gets x MPG, they say it has an EPA rating of x MPG, or x liters per 100km WLTP. Once they include that little magic word^, they can say whatever the test says, and whatever the test says does not have to have anything to do with reality.

            ^(Or footnote)

        2. You absolutely do not understand the US legal system. What state you are in makes no difference with the auto makers because they do business in all states making them subject to every state’s jurisdiction.

    1. For example, air density at -10 C is 1.30 versus 1.15 at 25 C so simply going from cold to warm will decrease the power demand by -122% at high speeds where air drag dominates the energy consumption. Then, driving at 55 mph instead of 62 mph subtracts another 21% for a total of -30% less energy needed to fight air resistance. Not running a heater and fans to keep the windows clear also reduces energy consumption by another -10% to -15% for a total reduction around -40%. Then take low rolling resistance tires instead of all-weathers, level roads instead of hills, no stop&go traffic…

      This is why when manufacturers want to demonstrate low fuel consumption, they go to Saudi Arabia or California to run the demo. It’s easy to make an electric car drive a long distance by a gimmick, but it has nothing to do with real world driving.

    2. You are the guy the article is talking about. “If an EV isn’t a 1-to-1 replacement for every possible scenario my super inefficient ICE vehicle handles then it is completely useless”.

      Firstly, your estimates are wildly incorrect. In real world tests, the average EV performed within 10% of their range estimates. Many even underestimated their range by as much as 30% compared to real world tests. [1]

      99% of trips taken are less than 70 miles [2]. Almost every EV sold in the US would cover that. Are you buying your vehicles for the 1% of the time you travel longer distances? Even so, the vast majority of EVs works still get you to your destination with 1 or 2 stops. Think of the fossil fuel and pollution reduction if we traded 99% of our road miles driven to EVs. Last year 40% of electricity in the US was produced from renewables+nuclear [3], and even coal/NG produced electricity is more efficient and less polluting than ICE vehicle [4]. I don’t understand why some people are so obsessed with worshipping the ICE when better solutions are already here.

      [1] https://insideevs.com/reviews/443791/ev-range-test-results/

      [2] https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1071688_95-of-all-trips-could-be-made-in-electric-cars-says-study#:~:text=But%20of%20the%20179%2C848%20cars,an%20average%20of%2048.6%20miles.

      [3] https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/electricity.php


      1. Quote [Procrastineer]:
        “[4]. I don’t understand why some people are so obsessed with worshipping the ICE when better solutions are already here”

        It’s called disparity of wealth.

    3. The EPA test is a much better measure of real life range; drivers can usually match the EPA range of an EV in real world driving. It calls for specific speeds; no cheating by keeping down speed is allowed. It’s still true that range drops in the winter.

  3. Someday I’ll have an electric car and when I do I’ll have a charger at home. Not getting up extra early (or arriving to work late) because I am low on gas this morning… No stopping for gas at the end of a cold day when I really just want to get home… priceless!

    I don’t really get those distance arguments now. The very first models, I would have needed a charger at work just to get home. But now? How many miles does a person normally travel in one day? At some point you can’t possibly commute that far, work and still sleep.

    Yah, Yah, trips, I get it. My first answer to that is a second car. Drive the gas burner when you need it plus just often enough to keep it maintained. But I know that not everyone has room or money for two cars. You city people and your tiny, minimalist living spaces!

    So how about one of those little trailers with the gas powered generator on it? Sure, it’s just re-inventing the hybrid, most likely poorly. I’m sure that’s not the best answer for either gas money or environmental concerns that one chooses an electric car for. Who cares? It’s just for the occasional long vacation. How often are you going to need it? Once or twice a year? Three times… lucky you!

    I didn’t think such a thing existed. Nor that existing electric cars would accept power while running. My day-dream was to build my own electric car with the electric system designed to do exactly that and put my own generator on a small trailer. But I guess someone beat me to it. https://gajitz.com/little-generator-trailer-lets-electric-cars-go-the-distance/ Way to go!

    Somebody should start a rental service with those generators. That would be better than buying, storing and maintaining one just to take a couple trips per year.

    1. Believe it or not, there are people that need over 700miles of range per day on one trip.
      And yes, I’m thinking in vacation. If that’s what you want a car for, then a car with a range of 300 miles is not an option.

      Of course, this could be ‘solved’ by using replaceable battery packs (or something like that. I’m even thinking of using H2 eventually). This wouldn’t solve the range problem, but it would solve the time it takes to charge the vehicle and or add the possibility to carry an extra pack of batteries/energy/fuel.

      1. But if you are thinking in vacation then that is what once or twice a year, even if its once a month it is completely irrelevant to your normal use, and thus just a minor inconvenience of the longer than splash and dash rest stop is easy to work into your day of travel. When you are going 700 miles even at the higher speeds allowed on some European motorways you are going to have to stop at least once just to stretch your legs, find a bathroom and have a cuppa, as long as there is a charge point anywhere near the right spot on your route that longer stop isn’t going to be relevant and already there does seem to be at all the service stations on the major roads some EV charging, so the spot(s) you would have stopped anyway is/are almost certainly still fine.

        It is already taking you a whole day of travel to get there, and at worst is extending the journey time by a handful of minutes over your normal rest stop, lets call it adds an extra hour, big deal you were already spending the entire damn day driving…

        Also for those rare occasions you must drive further than your normal day to day car does you can hire something nicer, some folks do that anyway because they don’t feel like driving their noisy little city car for long anyway…

        1. It’s going to be difficult if EVs get any more popular than they are, because one car hogs up a fast charger for 30-45 minutes per stop instead of 5 minutes at the pump and then park. The service stations can’t actually serve as many customers.

          You may be able to stop for a charge, but it may take you a lot longer than expected. The issue is already visible with the more popular Tesla Supercharger stations which get crowded with multiple hour long waiting times around holidays.

          1. And the several hour ques that can form for the petrol pumps isn’t at all the same thing? With a spike of demand supply always falls at least a little short, and right now the infrastructure for everyone and every journey to be battery EV isn’t all that developed – it takes time to find the places that are problematic, or time (and a bit of luck) in the analysis of peoples habits to correctly predict them and provide enough resources in advance…

            Also the service station on the major motorway where you stop for the beverage, food etc is already a huge parking lot, just because the actual fuel pumps are not where the cars park up for this period is pretty much irreverent – the space for them all is already there, you are just shifting from everyone having to navigate around the complex to get to the fuel pumps, then find a spot to park to simply finding a spot they can park and plugging in…

          2. I have not seen hour-long lines at the pumps in my lifetime. Sometimes I’ve had to turn back and drive to another service station 2-3 kilometers away, but that’s about it.

        1. unless an electric car can go around a track like a two-seater sportscar, comfortably carry 10 people, go offroad, pull a 10ton trailer, and has a range of 2000miles all at the same time it is clearly inferior /s

        2. > a tiresome few continue to protest
          > you ICE people
          Yep, sounds like the typical EV bigot.
          Can’t look down on the masses from a private jet so an overpriced meme-mobile will have to do. Hope you like driving in the slow lane with no heat or AC so you can brag about your “EPA range”.

          1. Thank you quarterturn for highlighting the essential silliness of these comments – I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking this.

            I have, essentially, no axe to grind about EVs – I’d like to have a car that I could afford with could do a few hundred miles between charges, that didn’t cost a fortune to service and that I could recharge from my own solar panels even if it took a few days. However, what I need is information, information to help me make decisions, information which is trustworthy and absolutely not opinions.

            By saying “ a tiresome few continue to protest ” the author has made it clear that he has a personal interest in a particular viewpoint and that this is colouring his article. And, of course, this makes anything he says suspect and generates a need for verification and which seems to me to spoil the whole point of writing something which is supposed to be news.

            How difficult can it be to make clear the difference between fact and supposition? By all means have an opinion but at least make it obvious by something other than rather childish snide remarks.

            Really ! tiresome indeed. How rude.

            Doodle pip

        3. LOL, In Australia your “next door” neighbor can be more than 700 km away and there are no shops or fuels stations along the way. Not really much more than kangaroo’s along the way.

          1. Well it’s a half bell curve just like a half bell curve in your country. So at 700 km, not too many. But at 100km very many. It’s a feature of our country. The capital city of my state is 2000 km away and there’s another 700 km I could travel to be even further from the capital.

          2. 100 km one way is no big deal. At the US median new car price (US$38k) Chevy will sell you a Bolt, with a 60 kWh battery and a 400 km range.

            If you are driving 100 km, to get anywhere you will have a place to put a 7.2 kw EVSE (charge at -50 km/h), so overnight recharge isn’t an issue. (And even if you are at a place without a level 2 charger, your non wimpy 240 volt wall outlets will still charge at 15-20 km/h)

            The best of the DC level 3 chargers with 200kw or more on tap will charge at speeds above Mach 2. Impressive bits of kit, at those levels, never mind the batteries, they have to actively cool the charging cables, otherwise they would need large enough wires that they would be too heavy for some owners to move.

      2. Doesn’t have to be per day – only that you don’t have proper charging options at the destination.

        Charging up a 100 kWh battery from regular wall power takes two whole days. If you drive somewhere far away and then expect to get around at the destination, you’re out of luck if there isn’t a compatible fast charger.

        1. Dude, You clearly have no clue what you are talking about. Assuming a 90% charging efficiency it will take 111kWh to charge a 100 kWh battery. A regular 120V outlet will supply about 1.44 kW so by simple math 111kWh/1.44kW=77.16hours That’s a bit more than 2 days.

          The other thing you fail to realize is that nobody except an idiot that doesn’t care about their battery’s longevity charges to 100% and runs down to near 0% before charging.

          I only charge my 73 kWh EV to about 60% for my daily needs and it usually takes 2 to 3 days to get down to 35ish% when I will plug it back in overnight. It takes me a whopping 10 seconds to refill my EV 5 sec to plug in and 5 sec to unplug. That is a hell of a lot more convenient than making dedicated stops to a stinky unsanitary petrol station where my CC could be compromised by a CC skimmer.

          My home charging is pretty slow as it would take 12 hours to go from 0% to 100% but then again nobody but an idiot would charge like that. 3 – 5 hours is all it usually takes (approx 33 miles per hour of charging). I could have a faster charger at home but why? I’m usually home a minimum of 13 hours after I am home in the evening before I leave the next day.

          Last year I Cannonballed 1300 miles down to Houston in 22 hours. Sure I could have saved 2 hours by driving a gas car but I would have paid well north of $300 in fuel vs the $130 i paid to supercharge. For the inconvenience of having to plan my stops ahead of time I saved $180 to $220 in fuel. I will gladly make that sacrifice for the money saved. FWIW most of my charging stops were 10 to 25 minutes. Since fast charging speed really starts to taper above 60% SOC I would typically arrive at a supercharger with 10 to 20% SOC and leave with 60% to 75% SOC. Also unlike a gas car where you have to stand there while refueling, it takes 5 seconds to plug in and then you walk across the parking lot to use the restroom or grab a snack. Usually by the time you go back to the car you are ready to roll or have maybe 5 minutes to wait till you have enough charge to continue. It actually makes the trip more enjoyable getting to stretch your legs more often than you would in a gas car every 2 to 3 hours.

          For people like yourself who do not have home charging capabilities or those with steel bladders than want to go 400-600 miles non-stop, EV’s don’t make much sense. For the overwhelming majority of the new car buying public it does make a lot of sense. Especially as costs come down and EVs finally become more mainstream. Assuming you are not an EV hater, I have a feeling that as EVs become more mainstream land lords will begin to offer charging options for their tenants to attract more customers. Plus I think we will start to see more slow charging offered at our typical destinations like grocery stores, employers, etc where even if you can’t charge at home you can top up while you are at work, etc.

        1. Well, assuming the cost comes down. Right now any “affordable” electric car still has a real-world range of about 70 miles (100 miles on paper). Practically speaking, you can’t even get to the next large city let alone taking a road trip across the countryside.

          Batteries aren’t getting any cheaper. The materials are in short supply, the demand is going up everywhere, and the industry has to spend all their profits on expansion or get left out of the game, so EV prices aren’t going down in any hurry. Unless something truly miraculous is happening, regular folks simply can’t buy long range EVs for decades to come.

          1. I get by quite happily on a “theoretical” 40 mile range 90% of the time in my EV Ranger. When I need that butt busting 1000 mile one day trip I use the other car or the F250 both of which exceed 650 miles per tank.

            There are people that do and people that just whine.

          2. Dude are you high or just willfully uninformed? One of the most affordable EVs right now is the 40kWh Nissan Leaf with 149 miles of range. IMHO still not practical for long distance road trips.

            Batteries have gone from over $1,000/kWh to under $100 over the last 10 years or so. A quick google search will find you exact numbers if you really care.

            Why do you hate EVs so much?

          3. I’m buying a new car this year. The cheapest Tesla model 3 with the same range costs 2x more than a Prius Prime. Even with the slightly cheaper per km driving costs of the EV it doesn’t make economical sense to buy one. One Tesla will not outlast two Priuses. For short trips I can plug in the prime at night and drive in ev mode during the day. For long trips it only takes me 5 minutes to fill the tank. No range anxiety required. EV’s aren’t on my radar anymore, just doesn’t make sense when I can buy a new Prius Prime in 5 years time and give away the first one and I’ll still be ahead of the game considering any car would probably be toast after 10 years in our cold and heavily salted Canadian climate.

      3. Did you even read what you replied to? Sure, if vacation is the ONLY or even the main reason you own a car then you are kind of making sense. Otherwise everything you are saying is addressed in the commend you replied to.

        And if going on vacation once or twice a year is what you own a car for you probably shouldn’t own a car at all. Just go rent an ICE car when you need it. It’s not good for a car to sit unused too long. And occasional rentals will probably cost you less overall when you consider registration fees, maintenance, insurance and probably parking in an expensive city lot if you are someone who rarely has to drive.

    2. Yeah, people with the money to take so many trips rarely drive thousands of kilometers a day anyway. It was a viable argument when the average EV had a practical range of 150 km; not anymore. It’s just tired now.

    1. It usually takes battery technologies about 15 years to mature. This appears to be done in the lab, so it’s likely going to take even longer than that. Maybe it’ll be all the talk in 2040.

        1. Any heat pump, Peltiers included, will have the same problem at extremely cold temperatures – the big benefit is that at that point, they’re basically just resistive heaters in efficiency and production. Otherwise, they’re not as efficient in normal situations as fluid heat pumps, and significantly more expensive to produce.

          Best option would probably be to add resistance heaters to the heat pump that engage when the temperature is below a certain minimum.

      1. Although ironically the Tesla heat pumps don’t work very well in the cold. There’s now dozens of complaints about not getting any heat at sub-zero temperatures because the heat pump freezes over and goes into a fault mode.

        1. In order for a heat pump to work, there must be a thermal differential on the cold side – the low-pressure gas needs to be colder than the outside air, so that it can warm up to ambient and move that energy to the hot side. If it’s too cold out, this occurs slowly or not at all, thus producing no heat for the hot side.

          1. There are other problems to. In my country we have a high fuel tax that pays (in part) the expense of maintaining roads. How does a government solve that problem without looking like against low carbon advances.

          2. Economies of scale are talking about a few dozen to a few hundred units – when you’re making stuff in the tens of thousands already it doesn’t reduce cost to make a million – on the contrary. You run into marginal cost of production where it starts to cost more to make more because you have to expand the whole supply chain and manufacturing infrastructure.

          3. economy of scale down the rare earth metals for your batteries.
            economy of scale down the reality of burning tons of coal to charge your posturing holier than thou vehilcle

      1. >Every major car manufacturer is currently making EVs now which is a first.

        Not if you look back to the 1910’s. By 1920 though Ford came along and everybody was driving on gasoline. We’re waiting for a similar effect here, where everyone’s waiting for green fuels to take off, so we wouldn’t have to make the compromises of battery electric vehicles.

        The electric car is primarily a political phenomenon. Absurdly high fuel taxes, onerous regulations and demands on fuel economy and efficiency, and government subsidies are forcing the adoption of electric cars which otherwise would be just a curiosity.

        1. Even in that the eariest era of the motorcar when electric was reasonably common you had nowhere near all the brands, even if you restrict yourself to only the bigger producers that would make more than one or two models at a time making electric, some would be exclusively making steam powered still!

          Never has electric been good enough to be practical for the modern connected commuter filled world till now (and back in the early 1900’s it wasn’t really practical no matter which type of energy source and all types were equally crappy really – that was the age of the railway and boat)

        2. The big thing that got gas engines to dominance was the electric starter, then the gas pump. Before that gas engines required a strapping young lad (owner or chauffeur) to start the thing, and pick up the 5 gallon cans that fuel was delivered in.

  4. “Efficiency” can be defined in different ways. Are you talking about highest speed for the amount of supplied horsepower? Farthest range per kWh? Cargo capacity mass per mass of the vehicle? There are plenty of ways to optimize for a particular characteristic. Light weight and aerodynamics is the preferred method for aircraft and autocross racers. Even Colin Chapman (founder of Lotus) said, “If you want to go fast in the straights, add horsepower. If you want to go fast everywhere, add lightness.”
    I’m probably wrong on the quote, but it’s still right.

  5. Some of the mechanical hacks, low Cd, low rolling resistance, can be applied equally to ICE vehicles too, which counters the argument somewhat, as they would then be capable of 1000mile-plus range.

    But even if the Merc has “only” 200hp, with that low Cd, the top speed would be quite something.

    1. Speaking as a former speedoholic who is now older, I’m not really sure that everyone really needs 0-60 times under five seconds. I wonder how many people here have actually floored their relatively modern cars. My efficient 300HP 4-door midsize sedan actually scared me when I did this. It felt faster than the supposedly fast cammed Camaros that I had in the 70’s. I think that there would be a place for an electric car with 300+ mile range, modest performance, and reasonable price. Hopefully GM will get the Bolt straightened out. It was getting close to those parameters.

    2. Yes, but you may not want to. Low CdA for example requires long sweeping A-pillars with reduced visibility down the road to get the “Cd” factor down, and building smaller cars to get the”A” factor down. You get stupid things like cameras instead of wing mirrors, roof line so low you can’t see over hedges or low fences… etc. Skinny tires means worse handling and the first thing you actually have to do is swap in proper winter tires and ruin the whole trick.

      For the top speed question, with single-speed gearing, lifting the top speed up sacrifices low speed efficiency a lot, so EVs are typically speed limited regardless. The motor is geared to be most efficient around highway speeds or below, and past that it runs into field weakening mode where the motor starts to lose power rather quickly. Regardless of how much power it has, it’ll probably go about 120 mph max just like every other EV.

      1. Yeah, the tires can have an enormous effect on gas/electron mileage. What you “want” is an incredibly stiff and non-“squirmy” tire for low rolling resistance that is comfortable to drive on, handles well, lasts 50,000 miles, and works great at all temperatures and loads in rain and snow. Such a tire is impossible to construct, and all tires compromise on some of the above factors in order to improve others. In order to get the best EPA numbers, many new cars are supplies with pretty nasty tires/rim protectors that accentuate gas/electron mileage.

        1. The biggest problem is that low rolling resistance tires don’t have much dynamic traction, so they’re pretty much on/off in terms of losing control in a hard brake or cornering situation. As long as the tire is rolling, everything is alright, but slip a little and it all goes hang.

          It’s got the same properties as those old cigar shaped race cars with motorcycle wheels, except you’re 2000 lbs heavier with the battery and everything, so you REALLY have to trust the traction control system to keep you on the road.

  6. When BEV’s hit 1200mi range including a couple of 1hr breaks to charge, eat a meal, etc, then I’d consider it as an ONLY mode of transportation. And yes, I have done trips that long without an extended break of more than an hour, on multiple occasions, for vacation trips. I like to spend most of my vacation AT my vacation, not driving to/from it. And no, air travel isn’t an option when the trip is four people. Last trip to Florida (1200mi, 24hrs door to door) cost about $250 round trip for fuel, vs at least four times that to travel by air for four. Hybrids still shine for those sorts of trips ;)

    1. Last year I did 1300 miles in a cannonball trip to Houston. Took me 22 hours one way in my EV and round trip fuel cost me just under $130. It would have been 2 hours quicker in a gasmobile and cost $300 to $350 in gas. For saving $180 to $220 I will gladly suffer the inconvenience of having to plan my charging stops ahead of time and spend 2 more hours on the road.

      Being an early adopter, I’m under no delusion that cost wise I would break even anytime soon compared to if I had bought a gas car instead. The reduced maintenance, convenient fueling, and low cost of travel are more than worth it to me. The purchase price difference alone would buy many years worth of gasoline. Since I keep my vehicles probably 3-5x longer than most people I just might break even or get out ahead by the time it is time to retire my EV.

  7. Not sure how things are where you are, but here in NL/EU you have the multitude kWh fast chargers along the highway. But around every town and village, getting to the, around every public parking there are 11kWh or 22kWh ‘slow’ chargers. After driving 350miles one way, you connect it, do your business, and return. You should be able to reach the next highway fast charger if needed.

    Of course, there might not be a slow charger everywhere just yet, but demand is exploding and so is EV ownership. Thus we see more and more charging stations being placed, so that there’s always one within walking distance.

    And even private parking lots (condo/apartment buildings, gated communities) are getting them too, for those who don’t have a driveway.

    Its not perfect yet, but its getting there. For day to day use, EV’s are fine. For people making a lot of daily miles, its possible, but can depend. Vacations where you want to drive 350 miles without a 15 min break every 2 hours (you don’t have to charge the whole thing every time ya know).

    Just us poor slobs that can’t afford these long range vehicles yet have to suffer longer. But if you can afford it (or your boss cause he wants you to drive lots) EV’s are a solved problem, where we just make them cheaper, easier and convenient for the masses :)

    1. I was baffled and confused reading some of the comments about lack of chargers and range anxiety, but then I remembered that I live in Norway, where there are plenty of chargers low and high powered ones, housing estates have dedicated low power chargers for the residents and even some work places offer them, not to mention hotels.
      I used to be sceptical of electric cars and range, but after going on a 1000km work trip with my boss in the winter, I was sold. I now own an EV and regularly drive 400 km round trips to visit family, with no anxiety whatsoever.

  8. Having just purchased one, I firmly believe plug-in hybrids are the (near)-future for most American households. Enough battery range for most day-to-day commutes, but no issues with long-haul trips.

    1. Absolutely. I was waiting to read such a comment.

      I intend on buying another hybrid for my next vehicle. If I can get a plug in hybrid for the model I’m choosing, even better.

      What those who insist that EV is the answer are missing is that until the battery technology and safety systems are proven to be no worse for the environment in the construction of and disposal of the battery its absolutely NO BETTER for the environment.

      I worry about accidents as the amount of EV increases. Lithium fires are no joke. How do you put those out? The economical AND environmentally friendly disposal of spent Lithium batteries is a topic with NO answers!

      If we focus on efficiency and using hybrid technologies for now we can make a dent in the amount of CO2 emitted yearly. Using ammonia is a possibility in an ICE. No CO2 emissions there.

      When the batteries in the Electric Vehicles are proven SAFE, proven to be not a hazard to the environment, and properly tested for range (in all temperatures, with full use of environmental controls and comfort systems) and meet my needs, I’ll definitely consider them. Right now?? NOPE.

      And what of those of us who own and enjoy the open road with a Recreational Vehicle? ICE vehicles are going nowhere for a few decades at least.

      Petrol is a great way to transport and use energy. We understand it, we can improve upon it, and with smart planning we can minimize the effect on the atmosphere. Don’t villainize it, understand it.

        1. There’s nothing ironic about it.

          Millions of devices using petroleum every second of every day would seem to point to the effectiveness of the product as an energy storage system. Compared to how it was used when it began deployment the efficiencies are many, many times higher. Also if we used diesel and industrialized the production of biodiesel for use we could make it carbon neutral.

          When and EV runs out of power on the road, I can’t just walk up to it and pour in energy and get it to a place where it can recharge. I can, however, do that with a hybrid vehicle.

          When I speak about smart planning I am referring to perhaps using research money to eliminate the byproducts from the atmosphere. Some companies are using reformation technology to make Carbon fibers for use in industry from CO2 that is captured from power plant exhaust.

          Until you can prove that the life cycle of the lithium batteries will economically and environmentally be less damaging when deployed on the same scale as petroleum, I do not subscribe to the EV everywhere idea. When taken to scale the problems it produces will be no better than the technology it seeks to replace.

      1. You’re talking about minimizing the rate at which we increase the rate at which our extinction comes. I mean, I was with you: don’t let perfection become the enemy of improvement, but that last paragraph…. Eeeeh.

        1. Really? The distribution of EV right now is at less than 1%. We haven’t any useful data on what happens to those batteries when they have outlived the ability to charge. As far as I know no industrial process exists to recycle them and safely put the byproducts into storage or reuse them. Lithium is not a chemical we want leaching into the water table.

          Then add the amount of accidents that will occur when EVs are at 50% or more market saturation. Fires that can occur after damage to the batteries will make a bigger mess than petroleum of the same energy density. And we can put out petrol fires. Not an easy task with Lithium.

          So, what I’m after is real data and responsible recycling of the power source for the EV.

          Too often we claim that something is the best thing ever, and we don’t understand what goes into it. Solar cells have come a long way, but until their efficiency is increased is the cheap price really worth it? The amount of water and mining needed to make a solar panel have to play against the energy they can provide. Are we realizing the “free sunshine energy” that the makers promise? Or do we find out that all the energy put into making the panel will never be recouped over the life of the panel?

          If there isn’t a net positive when we deal with the construction of, fuel sourcing of, and disposal of any item, then it’s not really saving anything, is it?

          So you’ll forgive me if I need convincing. I think EV technology has come a long way. I think there is a definite future for it to serve as transportation. But I will not be so blind as to think that the only way we’re going to go forward is electric everything. I will not listen to those who want full electric who insist that only renewables should be used to get the energy. The universe provides us with a roadmap of how to use all the energy that’s made. Some we cannot yet harness. Some we can. Anything we choose to do has an energy price tag. Don’t pay too much for “clean energy” just to find out that it’s as deadly or even more deadly than the devil you know.

  9. Yeah, let me know when EVs work at -30C and can charge up completely in 3-5 minutes without frying their batteries or the local power grid. Oh, and also let me know when someone manages to convince my landlord to install 100 charging stations in the middle of our parking lot that somehow magically won’t get plowed into oblivion after the very next snowfall.
    I find it hilarious how the richer folks all want to tell everyone else how they should live. Take your battery-powered toy cars and leave the rest of us alone to drive how we choose, thank you very much.

    1. At that temp most ICE vehicles won’t just work either, that far below freezing and you need to modify or design from scratch for the conditions, even more so if its constantly in such temperature, not just having to stay running/not be damaged by storage in them…

      Also 5 mins ‘recharge’ is actually a very doable thing – in some places at least – whole battery swap drive up and its just dropped off the bottom and replaced – can’t see it coming to ‘the land of the free’ any time soon though, as its not an easy buisness model, who owns what, liability, the need for everyone involved to have the same battery etc.

      1. I’ve lived here for half a century, and never have had any trouble starting my car, not even after it had been spending 2 weeks outside in -30C weather. Yes, a few people had trouble getting their cars running during those times (maybe 5%), but the highways were every bit as full as they were during warmer months.
        No electric toy car can do that. Even if it functions at -30C it won’t do so for long, or the current draw from heating the batteries will reduce range to single digits.
        No thanks.

      2. I live in Montreal and grew up 600km north in a region called Abitibi. We quite frequently got -30C in the winter and the cars start just fine. Most cars around there have a block heater and they get plugged in the evening to help with starting them. With full synthetic oil and no block heater I never have any issues and we get quite a few -25C in Montreal every winter. had a couple mornings like that just this week. Usually, the first thing to go is the 12v battery itself.

        1. And that right there is my point, the norm is adding a block heater, using fluids with the lower temperature working ranges and for good reason as it improves reliability, along with removing the battery and keeping it inside etc – you are doing things or modifying from the default design to make it work better in the more hostile climate.

          I was mostly thinking of the battery and block heaters, and have never actually lived anywhere so cold, so my understanding is entirely theoretical. But you also have to realise that go back a few decades then getting an ICE to work in those conditions at all or stay working in them wasn’t trivial – as the demand for such harsh condition powerplants is low the effort put into developing electronics, oils, the mechanical design, material science and production tolerances to cope isn’t a high priority – what happens is the mods done and tricks developed for specialty designs to cope with such conditions prove useful/cheap to implement in normal situations so it goes from the specialist vehicle to the general eventually, in the same way technologies pioneered on racetracks move into production cars…

          As it stands with nearly all of the worlds population NOT living anywhere that gets even remotely that cold ever, let alone stays there you don’t have any great need to develop EV for those condition or develop working practices that make the EV as built work better, yet anyway, so for now the battery powered EV probably isn’t for those few that do.

          Not sure what those mods for EV could be with how tightly integrated the designs tend to be – I guess adding some insulation to the battery packs, perhaps with a bit of extra thermal mass to help maintain good working temperatures (build in different materials that hold more thermal energy?) which perhaps means bigger or better active cooling to stop the pack getting too hot) – so a cold weather battery pack spec rather than changing all the working fluids, adding the heater etc… Different battery chemistries also do better at lower temps, so maybe just swapping that – with so few moving parts and most of them in common with regular ICE power trains nothing else but the battery really is any more bothered by the cold at all…

          1. I live less than 100 miles south of Montreal and have similar weather, and have never had any issues with the cold.
            I use cheap oil, cheap cars, cheap coolant, no block heater, and cheap batteries.
            You can keep your EVs. I don’t want them, don’t need them, and don’t care about them. I outgrew battery powered cars more than 30 years ago.

  10. The big prob we have in Aus is distance and emptiness.. And ” further on a charge than the average driver can reasonably drive in a day.” is very unlikely to happen anytime soon – I regularly do 1000km a day, and only stop for a few minutes a couple of times (petrol and toilet). Then do it again the next day. And I have done 1600Km in a day…

    You also – and this is true with my current car to – can’t try and drive to the limit of the tank, as you may run into road closures or even the next (and only) service station doesn’t have fuel (or EV charging might be broken..). If you don’t use a safety margin like this you can be stuck out the middle of nowhere – and yes, no phone reception either..

    So it’s difficult to see EVs working outside cities or higher density countries like EU or USA…

    1. I’m willing to bet that even in Aus the vast majority of people rarely drive more than 300km per day. Obviously there have always been vehicles designed for different purposes, and your purpose doesn’t suit the design of current EVs, but most people aren’t driving Perth – Adelaide and back all that often.

        1. live in Aus you will find that many many people do way more than 300km a day during the school holidays when they go away. What are they supposed to do then, hire a petrol car?

          Even when I’m at my end location, I often do more than 500km in a day just running around doing things in the country area..

          My point is EVs are fine for the city – I’ll probably end up with one. But for country not so good, and a country like australia it will be no good for a long time – it was only about 15 years ago I even got petrol in the right spot for one of my drives!

    2. Technically, with an EV you can bring solar panels with you in case you get stuck, and charge your car (very slowly) to get yourself out of the middle of nowhere. Can’t do that with a gas car. Just sayin’.

  11. The two major problems with EVs, which aren’t really focused on enough are:
    1. How we will charge them when everyone has one. It works fine now, because there might be a couple of them on the average block of suburban detached homes, but when your small apartment building has 30 electric cars that all want to charge, major upgrades would be needed to even supply them standard 1.5kW circuits, never mind something that charges quickly.
    2. Cost of battery replacement. A 100kW battery is never going to be cheap to replace. Even if the economies of scale and subsidies dropped the price enormously, you’re still talking about a big expense every 10 years or so, and that’s substantial. EV zealots always use ridiculously short “life of the vehicle” when they’re comparing ICE to EVs. Essentially, they usually compare for the same lifespan that an EV’s battery will last.
    I bought 1999 used car for $3k, and put on some nice new tires and brakes, bringing it up to $10k for a new battery in fairly short order.

    I’m not saying EVs aren’t a good thing, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, either. They do have their downsides, and the important ones aren’t “How far can it go?”, “and how fast can it charge?”, which seem to be the only two problems most people look at.

    1. 45kW isn’t so high of a demand, that’s standard 3 phase power in Europe for a home (well, it’s closer to 36kW).
      I think your way of thinking is not exactly how it happens in real life. In reality, you need to fill the car as much as they are depleted (taking out the charger efficiency). So for a standard 40km trip per day (average daily distance in Europe), and a standard 15kWh/100km, it means that a user will drain ~7kWh. On a 10 hour time, it’s more like 700w required. Your TV might consume more than that.

      It’s very important however that EV communicate with each other to limit themselves on their current consumption (or have the building limit the charger’s current). That something that’s clearly already supported in J1776 protocol, just need to stop selling dump chargers.

      1. Sure, it’s true that a lot of people always assume charging a full charge every night, and that worst-case is rarely true, but when thinking about infrastructure, you can’t just plan for the best case, either.

        You can’t really rely on battery chargers (or their owners) to know exactly how much time they have to charge, so they can sit at their minimum charge rate and finish just in time for tomorrow’s commute.
        People with the 40km/day usage you’re talking about, and charging on a standard 120v outlet will be charging at ~1.5kW for 6 hours or so on the average day, and much longer after any days where they drive much further.

        You still need the 45kW, even if average draw is around half that.
        And, realistically, everyone I know with an electric car has decided to upgrade to something faster than a standard outlet, so clearly it’s at least occasionally necessary for them.

        yes, something that can keep currents reasonable can help, rather than everyone trying to charge at max-rate as soon as they get home from work, but you still have to account for the fact that of those 30 cars, most probably drive 30-50km, but a few will drive much further, and might be planning other long trips the next day, and will need a decent charge rate to keep up, even if it’s not a frequent occurrence.
        Really, this kind of optimized charge scheduling would need to take more input from people, and would rely on those people not to just be greedy all the time, and say they need full charge asap, etc.

        Additionally, you need to consider oversubscription. If every house on your block has a 36kW service, that doesn’t mean that they can all pull 36kW at once. Sure, this problem could be reduced by smarter charge scheduling, but it doesn’t change the fact that there’s some challenges here that will need to be dealt with.

        I just find that they’re typically these issues are just hand-waved away, while people focus on putting bigger and higher charge rate cells into the cars.

        1. I think the main reason you go for a dedicated EV charge point is the convenience and its outdoor rating – charging off a domestic plug socket something sat on your driveway may well mean running a chord through the window… (Yes outdoor rated sockets etc exist but they are far from common outside of the caravan parks and marina full of boats wanting shorepower – so when you have to fit a socket in the convent location to charge your car anyway, it might as well be able to charge it faster too…)

          Its also just more convenient to be sure that in short order you can head out again with a pretty full ‘tank’ if you need to.

          You are not wrong on there being issues to work around, that will be obvious if suddenly everyone served by substation A goes EV tomorrow the demand will spike, probably way above supply capacity. But that isn’t how the world works, over the next year, 5 years the substation and infrastructure will get upgraded to meet increasing demand as needed as part of the routine maintenance works, and that demand caused by EV’s will be gradual enough for it to be adapted to – you are not going to sell your nearly new or new to you ICE powered car and go EV, heck my Dad has as far as I know sold a working/ economically serviceable car exactly once – because I grew too tall to fit in the old one…

          The bulk power generation is a slightly bigger problem, or the lack of large energy stores for grid leveling the massive surge in renewables on their boom days – but both of those can be somewhat fixed just be having the EV do some electric trading while idle – demand is too high => price is up I sell down to x% charge, and the reverse to some extent too, oh its really cheap compared to normal now, lets make sure we get up to 100% charge, something that for most EV users you won’t ever actually need in a day anyway.

          1. And if we schedule things, most of the substations and generators can cope as they are. It just takes shifting charge time to after midnight. You do this with a discount on the rate, combined with the delay start timer that every EV and some EVSE include.

            The baseband generation plants (big nukes or other things that use steam turbines) can’t change output very quickly (an hour or more to reduce, several hours to increase). The turbine blades have very tight clearances, so you have to adjust them very slowly, so the bits all are at the same temperature. They get too different in temp, and thermal expansion will cause them to come into very expensive contact. (A steam turbine will have many rows of blades, alternating between ones attached to the shaft, and ones attached to the outer casing)

            Net result the more responsive sources get the night off, the steam based ones only get a slight reduction.
            So in the middle of the night, they wind up with power with nobody to sell it to. With the big industrial customers who can control their demand (all the electric metal melting operations) they almost get it given to them. Sure some will go to pumped storage, and in a few places into grid scale battery storage, but…. In places with household off peak pricing available, and it’s typically more than half off for retail customers, people learn rather quickly how to set their timers.

    2. While battery replacement is going to be expensive- they are by no means useless at the end of their life- an 80KWh pack at “eol” in a tesla is a 60KWh pack that can still be used- for things like grid storage

      1. Yeah, it’s a nice thought, but it’s not as if the decline is smooth and linear.

        While that pack that has lost 1/4 of its capacity still has plenty to work with, unless you’re willing and able to do cell replacements to maintain it, they won’t stay that way long. Often the weakest cells which are limiting the capacity are the ones which continue to be driven to their limits, and the capacity quickly falls off a cliff.

        1. You pull the packs apart, and test/sort the cells. You recycle the bottom 10%, and put the good ones into the much simpler power wall cases. (Road use battery cases are well armored against puncture, etc. The pricier Teslas include a titanium plate as part of the armor)

          Even with the labor, it’s still noticeably cheaper than new cells.

          If you are a hobby off grid builder, you do the same, except you isolate bad cells in place.

          No this is not hot air, the junkyard owners learned years ago, there is real money to be had at the end of those bright orange wires. If a car comes in with a traction battery, it is immediately pulled, and listed. They are even gentle by junkyard standards, they use wrenches not torches, use a pallet rather than bare fork blades, and store it indoors for the few days before it gets shipped off

        2. A Nissan Leaf pack has 24 x seperate modules (each one has 4 cells inside) and the BMS tells you the state of each cell, the modules are easily replaced. Not sure about say a Tesla the early ones I have seen are a mass of 18650s glued together.

  12. its still early days for BEV,auto,marine,and aircraft,oh and now trains,the total market for battery power is vast and includes mega size batteries for solar/wind grid power,grid balancing,and
    our 4 billion phones and laptops. every last bit of this market
    is under pressure from end users to increase capacity while reducing cost,size and risk.
    currently battery research and development is happening at every
    university and at a huge number of tech companys.
    at stake is the whole energy market,or enough of it that whats left
    is ultra specialized(space),or holdouts
    did somebody say CLIMATE CHANGE,sorry must be hearing things

      1. We keep hearing/reading comments like this like we have not done anything about climate change in the past.

        I know people who remember the campaign “Plant a Tree in 73”. Plastic grocery bags became a thing because cutting trees to make paper bags was the wrong thing to do while trying to combat what used to be called global warming. My earliest memory of “we need to make changes to avoid global warming” was in third grade, in 1981.

        Sure, more could have been done and wrong things were done, like thinking plastic bags were the way to go.

        Don’t forget though, that whatever we did 30, 20, 10 years ago, was always based on the science we had access to at the time. It took time for certain things to become a thing, like getting everyone to recycle paper so we could have paper bags without needing to cut as many trees. It took time to understand the impact plastic bags cause.

        Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s everything was shipped in heavy glass bottles. Coke was sold in 1 litter glass bottles, and if I recall correctly, they were at least 1/2 thick and were almost as big as today’s 2 litter bottles. The move to plastic was a big deal because it meant the very inefficient truck engines at the time could spew a lot less smoke in the air because they had to hall less weight around to distribute stuff. Today people want to move back to glass because plastic is bad (not all plastic, I know).

        These things maybe the second nature, “duh!” type things to the youth of today, but they are “duh” type things for them today because we in the older generations had to go through them, many plain experimental things, some of with worked, some of which did not.

        But don’t think for a minute that global warming/climate change is something we didn’t start caring about until 10 years ago.

        Meanwhile, ICE have come long way since they were considered machines for making toxic smoke that were also useful for moving vehicles around. Why was that? Oh, yeah, because in the past, we, the guys blamed for not doing anything about climate change, demanded ICE be cleaner, more economic and cars lighter so they need less fuel to go farther.

        Were it not for groups like Green Peace (and other tree hugging groups – and I’m using the term in a positive way here) that scared the crap out of everyone with their idiotic views on nuclear power, we’d all have gobs of electric energy today for very little money and we would have stopped burning coal and oil for power generation quite a while ago. Not to mention that having a cheap and abundant source of electric power would probably have meant we’d all be driving electric cars by now as it would’ve kicked off battery research a lot sooner too.

        So, yes. Come talk to me about EVs to fit my needs when I can pull into an electric station and drive away with a full batter in less than 5 minutes. Until then, the ICE of today, is the only thing that fits the reality and needs of most around the world today. And I’ll also keep on rolling my eyes every time a young know it all person comes around talking like we were a bunch of morons who did not give a damn.

        1. Exactly. The population that insist that electric is the only thing to use think that we don’t care. I do care, which is why I won’t let their narrow minded idea about how to tackle the problem be the only one. I am an engineer. I insist on math to back things up. Problem is the math they use is very flawed and only looks at one thing or a small amount of things. Never on the whole picture.

          I’m telling you, large scale adoption of lithium battery technology will become a worldwide ecological disaster from which we may never recover.

        2. The charging time of an EV is nearly always irrelevant as it happens while you are sleeping/working/shopping as at a great many places already (with ever more spaces going online) there are chargers for the workers cars, chargers in lampposts, chargers on the driveways, shopping center etc. For nearly all people the EV is actually going to be more convenient as you don’t have to go find a petrol station, ever, the magic pixies gave you a full tank with no effort from you at all. The small lifestyle change required to accommodate the few times most folks might need more range than the EV has and actually have to stop and wait those extra few mins for a charge are a tiny lifestyle change.

          I’d also say that what was done decades ago, and what is done now is often not what the science was/is saying at all, it is usually but a tiny element (often the easiest, least effort to do one) not really the whole shifting towards more circular and self-sustaining industry, farming, climate etc that the science was screaming about… Nothing wrong with shifting to plastic bags for instance – those ‘bags for life’ are often plastic and a great choice, but what you need to do is not replace disposable paper sourced from unsustainable forestery with disposable non-biodegradeable plastic, but make the transport and packaging of goods largely reusable first.

          A pretty minor lifestyle change in the right direction here and there makes a much bigger difference than the big song and dance number over one tiny destructive element of modern life being made different, usually differently destructive rather than actually better too… (like why do you need to fly/drive across the longer distances between states/nations/cities – for most of the ‘developed’ world trains are far better, often going to be quicker (certainly less stressful and effort than driving), may well be cheaper (though UK trains are often stupidly pricey) and already exist – need a car at the other end too you can always hire or buy one for the time you are there.)

          p.s. I am not at all saying battery EV are fit for every possible user, just that they are generally speaking, for most people they are actually a more convenient form of transport as well as being less destructive to our poor planet…

          p.p.s Also I agree nuclear power has been vilified by ‘environmental’ groups almost always with no connection to the realities of nuclear power at all – it is all ‘on no its got the word nuclear in it, that is bad those things blow up!’ or ‘Radiation lasts ‘forever’, and doesn’t exist like this in nature at all!’ Both of which have no bearing on reality… There are some valid points against, but on balance compared to what such power stations would be replacing, its no contest in nuclear’s favour (as long as you are using the reactor types that are very safe – as in not designed to generate weapons grade stuff, and actually work with it properly).

          1. For instance lots of tree replanting has been and is being done… But its often all bloody mono culture planting, in neat regimented rows, which is wrong for some many reasons, if you want to get the full benfits of replanting the native woodlands plant more than just x or y native tree but the whole range that should be there (or at least a variety of the native ‘pioneer’ tree species that can thrive in the current probably rather poor soil).

          2. three mile island,fukashima,chernoble,cancer plague,
            rotting nuklear subs in the russian artic,hundreds of
            “spent fuel” holding sites,hundreds of disaster on the edge nuke plants,north korea can go oopsie and melt
            some extra hinky plant down and you get to glow all
            nukes are safe like,
            how many bombs?,hiroshima,nagasake,hypersonic
            in real enginering,say aircraft,there is something called
            the failure mode,nukes are literaly the same equipment
            used in old coal fired plants,except useing concentrated death for heat and we are cursing our decendents and planet with it.
            The potential of a combined disater,earthquake,with
            sunami,and then nukes melting down is a civilization
            ending failure mode.
            Have you met your electrical power company?
            And now we can be assured that software,something,
            something,algorythim,ba ba buhmp buhmp,our first
            priority is,bla bla bla,onward to glory ye captains of
            ya no

            Solar uses nice bright light from our sun that is also good to see with,Wind uses lots and lots of air which
            you can breath,bit less so all the time,and hydro power uses water that is excellent for drinking or swimming or just messing around in boats on.

          3. By that argument, siting ancient nuclear power station designs, and ones designed primarily to make weapons not be effective, reliable, safe and robust electric generators in the first place you can argue against anything… The failure mode of many modern electrical nuclear power station designs is damn nearly entirely safe from even deliberate vandalism and acts of god…

            Oh there was a rail disaster in the early days of steam when the locomotive exploded through poor handling combined with lower boiler specifications and took down a building, clearly all steam power and railways should not be built! Or oh no the front fell off an oil tanker, the store of fertilizer exploded, etc, etc…

            North Korea is pretty much entirely irrelevant to the power supply of any nation but itself and perhaps its few near neighbors (assuming it ever ceases being quite so isolationist), so what they want the bomb, as do various nations rather hostile to each other, if we build nuclear power stations or not is of no benefit to a nation you wouldn’t sell or help get the technology and materials…

            The ‘spent’ fuel rods are far from out of useful energy, put them back in another reactor design and get more energy out… The cooling ponds and nuclear material storage facilities are usually significantly lower than normal inner city background radiation levels even way way closer than you are allowed to actually get to the storage site anyway, and actually monitored for that risk a very poor argument…

            Don’t get me wrong I do like the renewables as a power source, but there are pretty hard limits on those in terms of usefulness for the very energy hungry way of life you almost certainly have ‘metalman’ – they are not that compatible with them being the sole source of power, requiring too much area to produce enough power.

          4. @metalman

            materials and technology can give us very safe fission plants that can burn up the old fuel rods to get almost all the energy out of them. the resulting byproducts are safer to handle and only need to be stored for a few decades before they are safe in the environment.

            if you’re going to tout solar panels, which have a 30% energy production efficiency against nuclear please understand that the mining and manufacturing necessary to get those solar panels is NOT environmentally cheap at this time. The poisons the manufacturers of CHEAP solar cells put back into the environment make solar one of the more oxymoronic methods of Green Energy.

            You speak about nuclear, but have no real information to back your concerns up other than every buzzword that’s been killing that industry since Three Mile Island. Not that Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima and the other material handling accidents that have occurred aren’t important, but please don’t point out the downside to nuclear without the cost of green technlogy on the environment being discussed.

        3. Oh I know, there’s a long history there, & going back long before my time. And yet it’s still not been enough.

          I think part of the problem is that so much of it has been & still it’s so focused on individually responsibility. Which is important & has it’s place, but it also ends up acting as a deflection from it being a systemic issue that needs addressed at a higher level, and the largest responsibility lying with companies being allowed to exploit natural resources without ever needing to pay back that debt. Which, sadly, yes does to some extent include certain materials needed for current generation tech in EVs etc.

          I live in New Zealand, so the nuclear issue is frustratingly close to home for me. NZ has a total nuclear weapons ban, but much of the population here makes no distinction between nuclear weapons & nuclear energy. Ask most people here about nuclear energy and all they know is 70s technology & Chernobyl. So while nuclear energy isn’t technically banned here, in practice it may as well be.

          I actually just bought a hybrid car 2 days ago. It’s a series hybrid – so although it still has an ICE engine, it’s *far* more efficient. We’d wanted an EV – using an EV is entirely practical for us here now (in fact, more practical than an ICE car now for us). And would have saved us much money in the long term. But sadly it was made impractical thanks to NZ’s immature & limited market. It’s another area NZ is behind the curve on & suddenly trying to catch up on, but also our market is a dumping ground for other country’s unwanted cars. In fact, we’re only just now getting some modern requirements for emissions control. NZ is at least 20 years behind on that, and yet it’s still been controversial and has resulted in certain car manufacturers attempting to blackmail the govt into significantly loosening the requirements to allow them to continue dumping cars here that they can no longer sell in other countries.

    1. Not even being that facetious with the mile thing. I have no idea how this equates to common units of measurement (ie, metric) anymore without looking it up. It’s something that I never encounter in daily life.

  13. Here are a few numbers to think about. Somewhat US centric. For Europe, average distance driven is much lower, and their wall outlets charge twice as fast as ours do.

    For those wondering about popularity, last quarter and for the first time, in Europe, new passenger car sales had EV ahead of diesel powered.

    Yes, the initial cost of an EV is currently higher, but the long term price is lower. Just compare, an IC engine has hundreds of moving parts, many reciprocating. Parts of the engine are hot enough to glow red. Peak pressures exceed 100 bar. The whole thing depends on a pressurized oil system, lose pressure, and the engine makes expensive noises. (And that oil it depends on it is contaminating with combustion byproducts, requiring frequent changes). To match the output to the differential you need another box full of gears, with friction clutches and often a fluid coupling.

    Compare with an EV. The motor has one moving part, and that rotates in a pair of ball bearings. There is no transmission or clutch, the motor is geared (single stage usually) directly to the differential. Everything is at atmospheric pressure, and the highest temperatures are at most the boiling point of water.

    The average American car drives less than 40 miles a day. This means you could recharge it from a ordinary wimpy US wall outlet while you sleep. Yes, this presumes a place to plug it in, and for those with on street or lot parking, it is an issue. There are some solutions out there. But with such a facility, charging takes a perceived 30 seconds or less. 10 seconds to plug the car in when you are done for the day, and 20 seconds in the morning to unplug and hang the cord up.

    For example, apartments around here have started adding chargers. They even put it on the “now leasing” features banners along with the gym, laundry machines on every floor, etc.
    Some offices are also doing this, and consider it a perk that might snag them some fresh grads.

    Right now everyone has the model that you have to go to a specific place and wait while your car is fueled. The EV (with overnight charging) model translated to ICE, there are gnomes that come around every night while you are sleeping, and top up your tank.

    For most people the only time they need a seriously fast charger is on the rare occasions that you would need to hit the gas station to fill your car twice in one day. (On a trip basically). There is data to support this, Tesla knows what percentage of power comes from their high speed chargers, and from any other sources. The result, less than 10% of charging happens at level 3.

    So yes, we do need to build out high speed charging. And we need it at interstate adjacent facilities. Things like hotels need medium speed chargers, 6-10kw (electric stove outlet) enough to get a full charge overnight.

    But it is more important that we come up with solutions for for routine charging for those that only have on-street and separate lot parking.

    I have been driving an EV for 7 years now. (No, not a Tesla). I use fast chargers a few times a year. For the first year or so, I used wall outlets only, before installing the level 2 charger. (Over the last few years it’s tallied just under 7 megawatt hours)

  14. “EPA test result, with Edmunds finding it to be the longest range car it’s ever tested with a real-world run netting 422 miles on a single charge.”

    The longest EV range car, not the longest ranged car. A Prius Prime gets 640 miles of range.

  15. range,charging time and availibility,plus initial purchase price and percieved saftey,seem to be the recuring objections to EV’s,oh and now “choice”,which has somehow been asossiated with not
    getting an electric,ok then,drive a so so slow dinosaur bone burning choice-a-mobile,all good by me.
    Realy I just cant wait till there is real choice in electrics,with the
    availibility of drive train componenents for retrofitting good ICE
    chassis.Quiet,smooth,re-charge from my solar.
    Oh and there are citys with examples of disributed “charging”,
    where the parking meters have plugs to power engine heaters
    for cold weather starting,50 below at the corner of portage and
    main,plug in whatever you choose

  16. Didn’t the linked article on drag coefficients prove that Cd is not the full story as you must multiply it by frontal area – on paper ISTR the VW Type 2 bus had a “lower” drag than an e-Type Jaguar but I think we know which one rolls along the road more easily.

    Also, I didn’t see any significant breakthoughs in this article – squeezing ever more marginal gains out of aero and other little tricks in ways that ICE vehicles just don’t have to bother with is not exactly news.

    1. Gee, my 7 year old battery would disagree. It’s still at 93% of original capacity.

      In the US, batteries are warranted for 8 years/80,000 miles as a piece of emissions equipment. If you live in one of the states that adopted the CARB standards it’s 10 years/150,000 miles.

      When the first hybrids appeared, the exact same projected lifespan was given. Guess what, there are some of the original batch to arrive in the US, still running on their original packs, said packs now old enough to buy booze in the US.

  17. My new favorite comment trend on Hackaday is “This [project] doesn’t suit MY specific needs, and is therefore useless!”
    That seems to sum up many of the negative comments on EVs here as well.

  18. For those of us in the U.S.: Maybe we’ll have to change the way we do things. For our once or twice a year vacation, instead of driving 24 hrs straight to Florida, maybe we’ll ride in a hydrogen powered bus carrying a whole bunch of people. Maybe a train. Maybe some of us will take 2 days to drive to Florida and stop and look at some things along the way. Maybe we’ll spend some time in a restaurant enjoying our meal while the car charges instead of using the drive-thru. Maybe with the money we save owning only a small commuter car, we can afford to fly to our vacation. The idea that exactly nothing can ever change in the way we use automobiles seems a poor assumption.

    1. There’s nothing like the freedom of an unexpected detour, or even just the simple cleanliness of your own vehicle. I really hope that they do come up with something better. I think there are a lot of other people that aren’t ready give that up. An 800 or so mile EV might be the sweet spot in my opinion and it seems like it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. That would at least make it to the point where the driver should really be getting some rest anyway.

      I understand where you’re coming from, but it pains me to think about road trips being a thing of the past. While I hope this country gets their act together to make public transportation more usable, I hope its not at the cost of being able to make your own way somewhere.

  19. Who needs that kind of range??? 99% of consumers would need under 100 miles/day. Why drag all that extra battery with you every day, for no reason? You want to talk about efficiency, then reduce the size of the main battery. What EV’s need are addon batteries you can rent and install in the frunk or wherever. You need to do a long road trip? Rent a fully charged addon. Need more range, pull into the swap station and get a new one on your way. This would take care of the edge cases that need more range. But for your daily commute, 100 miles would be more than enough.

    1. I agree (for the most part). I would want a 300 mile range to drive around 100 miles a day personally. My biggest anxiety is stressing that battery out every day until it cant do 100 miles anymore.

      I do think add-on batteries are a great idea. Maybe even as a low-profile tow along one that will charge and power your car as you drive along, then you can drop it off at your destination or along the way.

  20. Without that kind of range, the kind of trip planning required becomes QUITE onerous.
    Swap stations don’t exist. They HAVE been attempted and take far too long to accomplish a swap… And where DOES one store the mass of very heavy battery packs that implies? After all Tesla carries a 1400lb pack. Other full BEVs vehicles have similar packs.
    Mass charging stations? Those begin (begin?!) to look like fairly large parking lots to accommodate the number of vehicles that need charges. How much does land cost to rent or buy? Yeah, right.

    1. Go look at aerial pics of the areas around interstate off-ramps. Gee, there are big parking lots clustered there. Shopping malls, fast food joints, motels. We have the parking spaces, we just need the electronics.

      In the case of the “fast casual” chain restaurants, (99’s, Applebees, and that ilk) a number of them have paid to install medium speed chargers, and for the most part offer them for free (for now anyway) as a lure to customers. It gets them a customer that isn’t in a big hurry to get out of there, and can be sold a dessert or a second cocktail. All for about a quarters worth of power. Better return on your marketing $ than a bogo appetizer deal.

      In the case of the Tesla network, most of the early round of places were set up on the basis of Tesla supplies hardware, and pays for the power, the location lets them have the spaces on the outer edges of the lot, without a rental fee, with the promise of expensive car owners with a half hour to kill. Those days are gone.

      Soon the pitch to the rest stops will be, “install our super fast chargers, and monetize the parking spaces you now provide for free”

      As for planning a long trip, the mapping software will handle it for you. Put in grandmas address in Florida, and the computer will plan a minimum charging time route for you. (And it will try to do charging stops so you leave before the charger has to slow things because a near full battery can’t be charged as fast as a mostly empty one.)

  21. I cant help but to think the “mystery gains” could be something like pushing the battery to the limit to go as far as possible today in spite of tomorrow. We all have enough old cellphones, no one needs a even more expensive piece hardware that wont hold a charge.

    I wonder if thats what ONE is doing with their pack. It seems hard to believe that Tesla left so much capacity on the table when it fit in essentially the same form factor.

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