One of the biggest obstacles to widespread adoption of EVs is range, or lack thereof.
So what minimum range will be needed for the public to feel more comfortable driving EVs? Is it the 200 miles being promised by the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3?
Green Car Reports put out a poll to its Twitter followers on what the minimum range would be, and over half said 200 miles. The second most, though, was 300 miles, and 150- and 120-mile ranges both polled under 10 percent.
That suggests that 200 miles may be a minimum, and readers may want 300 miles while also having the awareness that 300-mile ranges aren’t practical for most EVs at this time. A 300-mile range would be on the lower side for most gasoline-powered vehicles, save for sports cars, large trucks, and large SUVs, so EVs have a ways to go. Given that over a third of the readers voted for 300 miles, consumers may feel the most comfortable at that range.
Only Tesla offers more than 200 miles of range with its current products, and neither one of those – the Model S or Model X – is affordable for most consumers.
Only one in five vehicles is driven more than 40 miles per day, but Americans tend to buy based on maximum range. This is due to urban and suburban sprawl, lack of alternative transit options, and range degradation in poor weather, as well as other factors.
So even if a 200-mile range is enough 99 percent of the time, most buyers may not feel comfortable with that. On the other hand, maybe consumers will find that 200 miles is enough in all but the most rare of situations. We’ll find out what consumers really want, versus what they say, over the next few years.