200 miles of "true" range (and ubiquitous rapid charging) is often said to be the tipping point that would get most people on-board with EV's, and I tend to agree with that.daviemck2006 wrote: ↑27 Jul 2017, 12:13I wouldnt be happy with a range of just 60 miles or so, but wouldnt need 500 miles at 70 mph! A range of about 150 miles would be plenty, that would do an Aberdeen shopping trip comfortably without having to worry about getting the top up charge when I am there.
60 miles range in my Ion is enough for my day to day activities but it wouldn't be adequate for my one and only car. I was recently thinking what range would an EV need to have to replace my Xantia completely, if the EV was also as large as the Xantia in terms of luggage and people carrying, (which the Ion most definitely is not) and the figure I came up with was around 150 miles.
A major problem with trying to do long distance trips in a 60 mile EV aside from the number of stops required is that whilst there are rapid chargers about every 30-40 miles or so in most routes in Scotland making it theoretically possible, if tedious to do long trips, if you encountered one that wasn't working there generally isn't a second redundant charger either at the same location or within short driving distance, so if you arrived with say 5-10 miles of range left and the next nearest rapid charger was 20 miles away you're stuffed.
Your choices are then either limp to a nearer, much slower charger and wait a couple of hours to get enough charge to make it to a rapid charger, or make an embarrassing call to the AA for rescue...
Ideally there would be a redundant charger either at the same location, (which also helps avoid having to wait behind someone else...) or nearby, but that's not the case today. However once you get to a range of about 150 miles you're no longer having to stop at each rapid charger you come across - you can skip to say every 3rd charger, cutting your number of stops down to 1/3rd, AND have enough range left when you get there to move onto the next charger if you come across one that isn't working. So with 150 miles of range and a little common sense you can avoid ever getting into a situation where you arrive at a faulty charger without enough range to get to another one.
On our recent trip up north I also discovered that at 41, 150 miles is about all that I am willing to drive without stopping, especially with a child in the back... After that I found I was having to stop for a short snooze/rest to fight back tired eyes that were trying to close on me. And about 250 miles was all I was comfortable driving in a single day. So a range of 150 miles before needing a rapid charge actually suits me just fine - as long as the charger was in a good location where we could park and go get something to eat and have a walk around for 30 minutes I'm perfectly happy with that, and I was doing that even in the Xantia when I still had half a tank of petrol left...
200 miles would be great of course, but I think I could make do with 150 without any real inconvenience, as long as the rapid chargers were quick and reliable. 200+ miles range requires at 60kWh battery or larger, while 150 miles requires about a 40kWh battery or larger. Currently the only 40kWh EV on the market is the new version of the Zoe, which does manage about 140 miles, the only cars with 60kWh+ batteries at the moment are the Tesla's (60-100) and the Chevy Bolt (60kWh, 238 miles range) which is not available in the UK. Keep your eyes peeled in the next 2 years though for a number of 40/60kWh cars to come out, some in the UK.
Lack of off street parking for such a large percentage of the UK population is actually my biggest concern for EV adoption. Issues like battery capacity/range, charging speeds and public charging infrastructure will all improve over time until they are essentially solved problems, however lack of off street parking to charge your car at home is a very intractable problem with no clear solution. Very few UK streets have lamp posts that are both sufficient in number and on the road side of the pavement (to avoid cables being trip hazards to pedestrians) to make upgrading lamp posts a ubiquitous solution, and as you say, you have no guarantee of being able to park outside your own house anyway.And charging at home, I am ok as I live in a house with a private drive, but that could be a problem if one lived in a block of flats, or even in terraced houses with no drives and no guarantee of parking at your house.
One of the major advantages of an EV is being able to "fill up" every night at home by just taking a few seconds to plug your car in as you get home. It literally takes me under 10 seconds to pull the charge flap, grab the cable off the hook on the wall and plug it in - which I do every night, instead of a 2-3 times a month detour to a petrol station which takes me 15-20 minutes. In terms of time spent, plugging in at home is a very small time investment compared to buying petrol.
I suppose if affordable EV's get ranges up into the 200-300 mile range and public rapid chargers become ubiquitous and very fast to use then the old model of taking your car somewhere to "fill up" a few times a month will work for those without off street parking, but it certainly won't be an optimal experience compared to plugging in at home each night where you leave each day with a full charge, and it certainly won't be as cheap either.
Another option would be to charge at work, but I doubt that will ever be ubiquitous, especially when a majority of employers don't provide any parking in the first place.