How Many Miles Are Enough To Kill Electric-Car Range Anxiety?

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Range Anxiety

Range Anxiety

Range anxiety, or the fear that an electric car will run out of charge before you reach your destination. is a real and present fear for many first-time electric car drivers and buyers. 

Even though research clearly shows that present electric cars can satisfy the requirements of 95 percent of all trips made in the U.S., many car buyers say electric cars need to travel further per charge before they’ll consider buying one.

Of course, not everyone who thinks electric cars need to travel further per charge actually needs the extra range, but how many miles are enough to kill electric car range anxiety for good? 

120 miles 

At the recent Plug-In 2012 conference in San Antonio, many experts there admitted that a target range of 120 miles per charge would be more than enough to eliminate range anxiety in most drivers. 

At highway speeds, that equates to around two hours of driving, more than enough to cover even the most extreme of daily commutes without requiring a mid-day charge. 

With direct-current fast charging technology, a battery pack that large could easily be recharged in under an hour at a rest stop, theoretically making a 240-mile trip easily possible in one morning. 

2011 Coda Sedan electric car, lithium-ion battery pack, 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show

2011 Coda Sedan electric car, lithium-ion battery pack, 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show

Enlarge Photo

While that’s still a little short for the most intrepid of long-distance drivers, a 240-mile trip in five hours is about the limit of most what most drivers -- especially with young children or pets -- can handle. 

Within reasonable costs

Current electric cars, like the 2012 Nissan Leaf, manage an EPA-rated 73 miles per charge. 

With battery technology improving, building an electric car with a range of 120 miles per charge within the next few years seems technologically feasible. 

More importantly, with electric car battery prices already dropping faster than analysts previously predicted they would, a larger capacity battery pack capable of 120 miles of range per charge is much more likely than it was even two years ago. 

Will 120 miles be enough?

Talk to most current electric car drivers, and they’ll tell you that their car’s range per charge is more than adequate for everyday driving. 

In fact, some advocates joke that the range of their electric car is ‘always enough’, because they modify their driving styles to match the type of trip they are making. 

However, there’s a risk that, like computer hard drives, the more you have, the more you want. 

As of yet, most electric cars cannot compete with most gasoline cars on range. The only one that can -- the 2012 Tesla Model S -- is prohibitively expensive for most Americans. 

More range, or something else?

2011 Nissan Leaf UK Launch

2011 Nissan Leaf UK Launch

Enlarge Photo

Do electric cars need longer ranges, or do car buyers need to be shown how electric cars already satisfy most of their driving needs? 

Are more rapid direct current charging solutions needed instead of expensive, heavy, large capacity battery packs? 

Or should automakers follow the lead of Tesla Motors, Mitsubishi, and Coda automotive, by offering a range of battery packs to consumers when they buy an electric car? 

Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below.


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Comments (146)
  1. 450 miles at 100 MPH and full AC or full heat blasting. No 450 miles with asterisks.

  2. How many ICE cars can do this? Which ones?

    I think it is a short list.

    I think that people will be convinced in several ways: seeing enough EV out on the roads every day, and talking to their friends and family and neighbors, and probably ~200 mile range.

    I think that car builders need to realize that we can get that sort of range right now -- the car itself has to become more efficient. If the EV1 had the Leaf battery, it would go about 200 miles. The SIM-LEI / SIM-WIL cars are coming soon (hopefully) and they have 200+ mile ranges. The A2 with the Kolibri battery went 375+ miles.


  3. I have done 500 miles on a tank in my Mazda6 at 28mpg (17.7 gals) but nothing like 100mph and whoever needs that is joking. Since buying the Volt - this question actually is moot. I can do 80-100 miles in a day and use barely more than 1 gallon. If done at-scale, is a huge impact on cutting back on foreign oil (well, all oil) usage.

  4. I interpreted the question as an opinion question of what would make me 100% comfortable to buy an electric car in today's electric car charging infrastructure and I want something more than I will most likely need so that when I do make long trips I feel fully confident that I will make it to my destination.

    No one here can say that someone who has to drive 75 miles in a leaf in the dead of winter will feel comfortable.

    I am single and wouldn't have another car for long trips so if I were to invest in an electric car it would have to be a long range battery. I have no other choice and a long range battery that goes far in harsh conditions, at faster speeds than 55, and with heat or a/c it a must.

    That's just me though.

  5. Range anxiety is not the question: "When will I run out of juice?", but: "What do I do when I run out of juice?". More fast chargers is what we need most, not more range.

  6. Just to be clear: a longer range sure is nice, but with enough fast chargers, the 'anxiety' turns into an 'inconvenience'.

  7. Fast chargers (HVDC) are hard on batteries, and should be used sparingly. Long-trip emergency use, not routine.

  8. Depends on the chemistry, some, like the Toshiba SCiB, are very tolerant to fast charging.

  9. The faster chargin one are usually better on Power "density" but worse on Energy "density". It is a trade off... It will be improved in the future.

    But a fast charging battery would REQUIRE a more complex cooling system that (all Japanese designs are lacking) would require liquid cooling (all American designs have it).

  10. Yes it is a trade off. I don't know where Toshiba currently is in terms of energy density but Honda has already incorporated the SCiB battery in it's new Fit EV. Toshiba is "aggressively pursuing a product roadmap focused on further increasing SCiB™ capacity, energy density, and power density" and it would appear they have made progress if 20KWH of this battery can be fitted in a small car like the Fit without compromising interior space.

  11. @ Chris, the battery can be much smaller if you don't have run liquid cooling through it as in just about every Japanese design...

  12. Well, electric cars are efficient but @ 3.5 miles per KWh efficiency, a 120 mile range would require about 35KWh battery. 2 240 miles ragne would require 70KWh battery. @ $700/KWh, the cost is prohibitive (ICE can be built for about $2 to $5 per HP).

  13. Who told you that batteries are $ 700/kWh?

  14. Ford and various EV manufacturers..

  15. Not all batteries are the same price. I for one can't imagine the base Model S with 85 kWh battery is 59,500 for the battery and 17,900 for the car. Some batteries are perhaps $700/kWh, but not all and certainly not forever.

  16. Again too simple. Battery "cells" aren't $700/KWh. Battery packs can be. There are lots of costs associated with cooling/heating, charging balancing, temperature protection...etc. That is the overhead cost. So, if you only have 16KWh, then those systems have to be in place, but if you increase it to 48KWh, that system doesn't increase in cost by 3x... Sure, I agree it will be cheaper over time. But that is the price "today"...

  17. No, Anne is right. Manufacturers don't share cost information with the public, they only drop hints occasionally that fit their agenda which usually add to the confusion rather than solving it. For instance Nissan hinted at $375/KWH:

    Not quite the same as $700/KWH which was dropped by a manufacturer that isn't really interested in doing EVs where Nissan obviously is.

    I doubt the cost added by BMS and cooling is so dramatic as Li suggests. Also BMS grows with pack size so isn't fixed overhead.

  18. 200 bare minimum, I live in Colorado, and I want to be able to go to the mountains on the weekends. It's unlikely that I'll be able to charge while I hike. I would prefer 300-400.

  19. And yes, offering a larger battery as an option is a very good idea.

  20. Check out . The 'Teslanomics' comparison shows cost match with many cars in the $30-40K range over 5+ years. Then you can have your 300 miles!

  21. Using Teslanomics - My Volt matches a $25k car this year in its first year due to the rebates and incentives that they also use.

  22. Besides, with EV regen, after you go up the mountain you get a lot of that energy back when you go down the mountain! :)

  23. We need both, a solid range of 120+ miles and fast charge stations. The range will be insurance and the fast stations will be convenience.

  24. Actually it is the reverse :) The range will be convenience and the fast stations will be insurance.

  25. Building a good EV takes years. Building a fast charging network to cover the entire country takes decades...

  26. I think you've got the things in reverse.

    Fast chargers are electronic devices built with today's technology. It's not like we're waiting for a breakthrough, we already have the tech and it is mostly bog standard power electronics.

    You'd probably need about 10,000 of them to get enough coverage to enable people to criss-cross the USA in their EV's. At a cost of $ 10,000 a piece, the total bill would be $100 million. I fail to see the problem for a 15 trillion dollar economy.

    Moving the next generations of battery technology out of the lab and onto the street is the frustratingly slow process that will rather take decades instead of years.

  27. You have made it too simple. To have the "fast charging" network, you would have to have 50KW-75KW facilities providing the power to each charging post. If there are 5-10 charging post per rest stop, that is 250KW to 750KW facilities across the country. Most areas aren't equipped to do that today.

    The EVs are here already. They are just expensive. The fast charging network is non-exist...

  28. Chargers are being installed at an incredible pace. Quick chargers are already available along the 5 freeway through Washington and Oregon at steady increments; and they are working their way to San Diego to link the entire west coast. California recently won a major lawsuit and is putting most of that money toward chargers.

  29. No, the roll out will start with just 1 charger per petrol station. And only after national coverage has been accomplished, and the number of EV's on the road rises, will people start thinking about putting more than one fast charger in one location. Nobody in their right mind is thinking now about installing 5-10, there are simply not enough EV's to justify that.

    And you seem to think that you can only place them at petrol stations. They can be placed anywhere, so no grid modifications are necessary. And even if a gas station needs to reinforce it's grid connection at some point into the future to add more chargers, that is hardly rocket science, is it?

    Getting national coverage with fast chargers is easily accomplished before 2020.

  30. i would change the question to How Many OWNERS Are Enough To Kill Electric-Car Range Anxiety

  31. If I was told I it would take 30 minutes to fill the gas tank in my car, I would be really put out. Why would I want any less in electric car.

    When it come to range anxiety - I don't want to have to think about it at all 99% of the time I.E. I have more that twice the number of mile available than what I'm likely to need. 200 miles seems like a good number.

    What I really want is a 200 mile range in addition to a very small, wimpy, light weight, perhaps inefficient, range extender that can barely push me down the freeway at 55 MPH - shoud I ever mess up. Then I would never have range anxiety!

  32. Why would you want less in electric car? Because overall, your refuelling time is less.

    To start with, you should not apply ICE thinking to an EV. ICE thinking is: drive 'till empty, then fill up.

    The normal way of operating an EV is to drive it during the day and plug it in when you get home. So you start every day with a full battery. At a 120 mile range, most people would be able to complete 350 days per year without ever needing a fast charge. On the remaining days they would need to do some fast charges. Add up all the time and even with 30 minute fast charges you would save time with an EV.

  33. But you're right about one thing: 200 mile is the magic number. That is 2 1/2 hours of highway driving and then pause + fast charge.

    If I do long trips, my pauses for eating, stretching legs, attending other biological needs tend to be 10-20 minutes. So if they could halve the fast charge times to ~15 minutes, that would suffice. 5 minutes seems to be more in the "wouldn't it be nice" zone.

  34. My family members are strongly skeptical of EVs as primary use or one car family vehicles, but even they concede the with DC fast chargers on interstates, 300 miles range is a where 95% of people will have no trouble using every day, including back and forth to grandma's house on Thanksgiving.

    To really alleviate range anxiety for even the most suborn EV diehard, you'll either need 500 miles or for DC chargers to become as ubiquitous as gas stations. For people that live in the midwest its entirely possible to drive 300+ miles without going through a city or hitting an interstate.

  35. 400

  36. Great questions.

    2/3 of Volt miles are pure electric; which is interesting given the Volt's "battery only" range of 35-40 miles. From ~25% of Volt drivers manage to drive 90% electric miles (with >50% of drivers accumulating >80% electric miles). What% with 3x range?

    A statement was made today by Renault and LG Chem on their development of next-generation of battery technology. Sounds like we'll see some changes in battery production between 2015 & 2017.

    Wondering how manufactures will featurize battery packaging. Will they offer us today's 20 - 30 kWh at cheaper prices, or will they offer 40+ kWh at todays prices with larger options?

  37. The goal should be a 100-lb 20kWh pack which could be modular so that 2 or 3 could be used in mid-size and full-size vehicles and a single 20kWh in a Volt, Sonic, Spark sized car. Given a future "smaller size target", battery companies can start to deliver enough packs for all sorts of applications.

    I worry a bit on energy density, though. That is moving to 2-3 times the denisty of today's Li-Poly batteries. Without safety precautions, we don't want to increase the volatility of packs to get this benefit. Today, all the EVs have safe batteries - and they get safer as you move to lower energy-density cells (A123, LiFEPO4 and Li-Ti). Going the other way - what will we get?

  38. The question being "How many miles are enough to kill electric car range anxiety", my answer would agree with 120 miles. Enough for a longer commute, and enough to not worry even as the battery eventually begins to lose capacity.

    People that require a higher mile range would be better served by a range-extended model such as the Volt or C-Max Energi.

  39. Sorry - I meant to thumbs up your comment. (Damn iPad)

  40. Another major issues with EVs beside the range (I would like to have 250 miles for all weather conditions) is availabilities of public charging network.
    Few weeks ago, over 100,000 customers lost power in the mid-atlantic area (MD, PA and VA) for over 3 days after a thunderstorm. If you have an EV as your sole transportation, where would you charge your EV in those days? Take days off from work? Sure, it would be okay if you had a full charge (300+ miles). But what if you are running close to low and you were home charging, the power was knocked out at night and you can't go to work for 3 days?
    That is the problem with EVs...

  41. Never heard of V2H? You can use your EV as a backup power supply. That is the advantage of EV's... :)


  42. Well, that is nice. But you can't go to work with your EV drained and no charging at home, can you?

  43. I guess that’s why you need a backup generator i you are going to rely on electric power solely. Besides what do you do at home with now power for 3 days without backup power??

  44. Edit: I guess that’s why you need a backup generator if you are going to rely on electric power solely. Besides what do you do at home with no power for 3 days without backup power??

  45. Read a book? Many people end up driving to their nearest shopping center and enjoy the A/C there... Well, with an out of power EV, you can't even go anywhere outside your bike/walk radius...

  46. Wirhout back-up power gas stations can't pump gas either. ICE cars are dead also without back-up electricity.

  47. Most BEV owners will be multi car households considering the limitation of the current crop of BEVs.

  48. Well, if there is a power failure, there is not really any point in going to work, is there?

  49. I'm not sure how it works in USA, but in Australia, if there is a power outage, then gas stations can't pump gasoline or diesel. Gas stations here rely on electricity to run the pumps, lights, air compressors etc. Also, in Australia, our gasoline supply is under threat due to another closure of an oil refinery which means we become more dependent on imported gasoline. It only takes a hurricane, tsunami or earth quake to happen overseas to bring motorists in gas powered cars to a grinding halt. Where I live, we have more fuel shortages than electricity black outs (or power outages).

  50. This inability of gas stations to pump, and of the gasoline processors to manufacture gasoline after the storm, was true with recent Hurricane Sandy in the US North East.

    However we have 10 KW of solar panels on our porch roof. Right now the system is not grid independent. It needs battery backup and a small propane generator and some changes in how it is hooked up to keep working if the grid goes down. But it could be grid independent and we could charge our EV during the day.

    I have noticed, through several power outages, that the days following a hurricane are generally quite sunny. Same with days following heavy winter snow storms.

  51. I guess it's there's a major power failure gas stations could be "hit" as well - so if they do, how do you drive your gas car for 3 days if your tank is close to empty :)

  52. ...IF there's a major power... (I mean)

    Ah, yes Al Bunzel explained it before I see as well

  53. There are more comments in this thread
  54. I think range is of secondary importance. Speed of charging is what the automakers should really be pushing, in the form of bigger on-board chargers. I drive a 2012 Leaf, with a 3.3 kW charger, and the 100 mile range would be much easier to live with if you could charge it in 10 minutes, rather than hours. Who's going to be the first with an affordable 10-12 kW charger?

  55. The problem with fast charging is heat. You would require liquid cooling. Most Li-ion can be quickly charged for about 70% of the charge within first 20-30 mins. But that is a lot of power quickly. For 100 miles range, that is about 25KWh of electricity or charge at 50KW for about 30mins or 75KW for 20 mins. 75KW is about 10 household dryers or 6-7 A/C units on at the same time. That is a lot of power. (also, equal to 300 standard solar panels at peak generation or 4500 sq ft of solar panels).

  56. People don't worry about range in ICE cars because all they need is a five minute fill up to keep going. So I think it's also a matter of charge time, if you could go from say 10% to a 100% charge in five minutes at any charger the anxiety would disappear. Range is only a factor if your car doesn't have much of it, it would be very annoying if you had to stop every 100 miles for a charge on a long road trip. I'd like at least 250 miles at highway speeds, my current car does 350 miles at highway speeds.

  57. I think it is both. You dont' see any ICE cars with 2 gallon tank, do you? It is range and speed/availabilities of refueling stations...

  58. this is an absolutely moot issue.

    lack of range is never gonna be what keeps the ev industry down.

    PRICE is the only real deterrent today.

  59. So, you are telling me that if an EV cost $12k but only has 10 mile range, then it will sell like a hot cake?

    Ever heard of ZAP?

  60. please dont make ridiculous statements to me. start with where we are today. we basically already have evs that go 100 miles per charge. or 75, if you want to play it safe. certainly not 10.

    so yes, lack of range is never gonna be what keeps the ev industry down.

  61. It'll change, soon. 2-4 years will start seeing general decreasing EV prices as scale ramps. I bought a 2011 Volt in July of this year for what should be right about $26K after all the incentives are worked out (in my state, using a GM Card earnings, federal credit, etc). That's very affordable and it took work to find the deal but nobody can say a $26K EREV car is too expensive when thousands more Mercedes and BMWs are sold every month. Without the incentives - it is too expensive for my budget, however. The leases are very attractive and at least 1/2 Volt "buyers" are leasing.

  62. That's true that I have not seen ICE cars with 2 gallon tanks, but I have seen a number of ICE cars on a flat bed tow truck because they did not have enough of gas or they went up a hill and the gasoline went to one side of the tank and the fuel pump could not get the gas.

  63. A lot of people tend to forget this - absolutely true!

  64. Well, if you truly run out of gas here in the States, roadside service will bring you couple gallon of gas instead of "towing" your car. couple gallons of gas will get you to the nearest gas station and you will be ready to go in 5 mins.

    Electric car can't do that. That is reality and its limitation.

    Unless we go with "battery swap"...

  65. Really depends on where you are driving. If you are in Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, etc the free off ramps can be 100+ miles apart. In my student days I once ran out of gas in Wyoming and a passing car transport rig gave my car and me a ride to the nearest gas station - 80 miles away!

    There are places out in the big empty part of the US which will probably not be EV capable for a long time but a hybrid will do the job just fine.

  66. Chevy Volt drivers collectively completed 1,000,000 miles of driving. Two thirds of those miles were completed on battery power only. The Volt has a 35 mile battery only range.

    Other mileage information just now coming in is similar. Range anxiety hundreds of thousands (or more) of miles of electric driving has so far been mostly unfounded.


  67. but, but - what about the range anxiety that everyone who does not own an ev complains about ? LOL.

    as you stated, unfounded.

  68. Do you even own an EV or EREV or Plugin hybrid? If you don't, then you got nothing to say about "range anxiety"..

  69. You don't need to have an EV to experience range anxiety, it can and does turn off a lot of consumers before they've even looked at an EV. I've heard people laugh at the Leaf's range, even though the Leaf's range is more then enough for most people. Most of the people who leave comments on this site are well read and well informed on all things electric even though they may not have an EV just yet.

  70. hi cd,

    i was a highly paid professional systems analyst. knowing how systems work, and what it takes to get them to work comes second nature to me.

    the range we have today more than suffices to bring the ice cars to their knees.

    price is our ONLY deterrent.

    you might counter with "but there are some people who wont buy an ev today, because of its range".

    and you would be absolutely correct.

    and then i will repeat to you that "price is the ONLY deterrent".

    now the person who fully appreciates what i am saying is the person i will hire as a systems analyst.

  71. oh my gosh, i needed a good laugh this morning.

  72. 2/3? So, the 1/3 is what anxiety is about...

    I have used only 6.1 Gallon of gas in my Volt for 1975 miles. In my case, my EV percentage is even better than 2/3. But in those 4 times that I needed gas, Leaf wouldn't get me home. Please don't tell me to "rent" a car... Car rental counters don't open at night and I can't exactly plan all my trips days ahead...

  73. That was 100 million miles, 2/3 of which were electric, but now that the volt is selling 2000 units a month people are learning how and where to plug em in mid day and that average is rising , expect the average volt driver to hit 75 to 80%.

  74. There are more comments in this thread
  75. I was having this conversation today with a few coworkers - 200 miles would make me feel much better. Sure 90 miles (driving like a granny) has allowed me to get most places in my Leaf, but there have been many trips I didn't take too. Offering an "extended range package" would be a good idea for Nissan. I'm hoping the aftermarket will soon be full of entrepreneurs creating battery add-ons, and second "boost" motor kits to make these cars really fly off the line (like so many hot rod shops for ICE's already do).

  76. I have a Mitsubishi I-car and have about 85 miles of range every morning after my home charge. On the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, that is more than enough to get me through a normal day of driving. There are plenty of charging stations at shopping centers and hospitals I visit to remove any range anxiety for me. EV range is not a problem here, where we have the highest gas prices in the nation. Our electic rates are 35 cents per kilowat hour though, so my next step is photovoltaic panels at home!!! Aloha.

  77. @ 35 cents per KWh, it is about $0.07 per mile. Prius is almost cheaper with 60mpg...

  78. But you have a gasoline engine to service which means oil change, oil filter change, fuel filter change, spark plug change, air filter change etc etc. That costs money and time.

  79. That's why he's going to install solar pv at home (last sentence of his post). Good to fuel at home and drive past gas stations and have very low electricity prices. HI is a perfect spot for what the Chaplain is doing.

  80. When I drive, I often drive 400-500 miles at a time. You'd have to have close to a 1000 mile range to make me consider an electric car.

  81. "... 400-500 miles at a time...1000 mile range..."

    Does not compute.

  82. Bob, for you - the Volt is perfect. Give it a look.

  83. John how would the Volt be a better choice than the Prius over this mileage ?

  84. 120 is plenty. i live in Olympia and make trips to Portland which is 120 miles away all the time. its an all day affair and we always start real early and stop just over half way to eat breakfast. so, we dont even qualify to do 120 all at one time anyway. but sure, i would think it would fix other people's perceptions of EV limitations that i personally dont really see

  85. surprise surprise surprise!! 61 comments loaded with examples of how that 120 miles would not work for that trip or event that happens 3-4 times a year.

  86. i love it

  87. Or for that matter all those Volt owners bragging about staying within the electric range and not burning any gas,but hey its there to make me feel good.

  88. It is there to be practical. 120 miles is a day long choir as David explained in a Leaf. Volt will do that in 2 hours... When I go to airport to pick up people (110 miles round trip), I don't have the tire or the energy to spend a whole day on it. Sure, you said that you can rent a car. I am NOT going to rent a car just to pick up friends and family from the airport. It is a stupid logic. My daily commute in the Volt uses no gas at all..

  89. You seem to be a mixed up person, you extol the virtues of an EV fully defending the Volt as an EV but you obviously demonstrate symptoms of range anxiety in choosing a car with a gas engine.You then criticise EV choices as inferior because of range anxiety even when they are capable of more EV range than the Volt. Why can't you accept everyone's needs are different and quit trying to tout the Volt is tops over all else just because you drive one.

  90. Don I know Xiaolong Li can be a bit gruff at times but he does seem to be an EV advocate but for the plug-in hybrid type EV at this time. He seems to be playing devil's advocate in this discussion, and many others previously, in his telling of some of the limitations of BEVs. I, you, and most others seem to disagree with him often but I value, usually, his questions and comments on the EV issue.

    Perhaps you, I, and others can eventually persuade him that great EVs are here now and getting much better in a quicker time frame then he seems to think. Next gen Leaf for Xiaolong Li???? :)

  91. Well, I am a supporter of EVs, but just NOT today's EVs. Today's EVs aren't ready for massive market. In my opinion, Volt is a better solution at today's market. Volt gives today's consumer the EV experience without any of the EV limitation and anxiety. Do I wish that Volt has a 60 mile range? Absolutely.

    I fully support Tesla and has defended Tesla in just about every comment section everywhere. In my view, Tesla is as close as an EV gets. (except for its price. Lacking of charging infrastructure is NOT Tesla's fault).

    Well, that is the issue. In order to make EV popular so most consumer will buy (instead of just few segment of the market), it will have to become more worry free and practical.

  92. @Erik,

    I already said in the other comment section related to Nissan Leaf that if Nissan comes with a better battery with capacity warranty, better cooling system, 6.6KW charger and hopefully an universal EVSE for the same price, you will see me driving a Leaf as well...

  93. I'm one of the few that has a 100 mile plus roundtrip commute to work each day & don't have the means to charge the batteries at my workplace. I've been following the electric car initiative since the Volt was a concept car & have been holding out waiting for the one that gets 150 miles plus and is a little more modestly priced than the Tesla S. My miles are almost all highway miles driving 70 mph. I need something that I can definitely depend on to get me home each day without having to charge the battery pack. Workplaces aren't up-to-speed yet with charging staions or I would consider a Leaf. Although the Volt is a hybrid, I refuse to pay for a car that has a supposedly 40 mile battery charge. The 150-200 mile mark will be nice!!!

  94. hi robert,

    obviously your needs are such that you won't be an early adopter.

    but we all will own one, eventually.

  95. While the Volt has only a 40-mile electric range (actually my high is 46.9 miles), it actually does pretty well on longer trips because of the initial electric range. Based on operating cost, it beats the Prius on trips of up to around 90 miles, and on MPG it beats the Prius on trips of up to 160 miles (the difference is due to the Volt's premium gas requirement). In your situation a Prius would still make more sense due to the lower upfront cost, but a Volt does compare pretty favorably.

  96. We have been holding out too Robert. However, it looks like we soon will have to make a choice as one of our ice vehicles is doomed for the junk yard. This may be the perfect time to try a lease for the first time. Leasing the Volt will give BEVs three years to get the range up (cost effectively) so that we can make better use of our solar system. I know we would jump on BEV if real world 150 range was available now.

  97. 40 Miles is plenty for me, however, do people really have range anxiety? Or is it they don't want to spend 30K on a car that they can't take out of the state. For a 2 car family it is a no brainer for people with one car it is a more complicated decision. I think in 5-8 years this will not be an issue at all because I believe we are close to having unlimited mileage with the advances in carbon-fiber frames, battery technology and solar technology. I think electric charging stations peppered throughout the country are a waste because in a few years we will not need them.

  98. Your predictions are more for the decade after next...

  99. 2 things:
    1) A real 100 mile range would do it. Not the 73 that the Leaf has.
    2) A real Fast Charging infrastructure. Dallas and Houston already have a city wide fast charging infrastructure, when is the rest of the nation going to catch up with the progressives in Dallas and Houston? ;-)

  100. all this talk about range is just useless.

    price is the only thing holding back sales.

    and that is the result from 2 important reasons.

    1) cost of battery

    2) lack of supply. gm, ford, and toyota are all doing what they can do delay things. none of them have or plan to have evs that they actually want to sell.

    this lack of supply certainly plays a role in keeping the price of an ev high.

    gm is tied to big oil. i dont know about ford and toyota.

    tesla and coda are too small to have much effect by themselves. nissan is the only major player who actually wants to sell evs now.

    the snowball is gonna take longer to make it down the mountain. and i dont think theother players will make changes until absolutely forced to do so.

  101. so forget about #2. the only thing we can wait for is battery updates. cheaper ones are most important, for right now.

    i think an ev that was cheaper in price than an ice, but could only go 50 miles would be a huge seller. it would fit the needs for over 50% of the vehicles on the road today.

    many, many, MANY people can get by with a vehicle that only goes 50 miles on a charge. many households already have multiple vehicles.

    some are used for school transportation, work transportation, running errands, going shopping, etc. few families have a need for more than one long-range vehicle.

  102. again, as one of the recent articles stated, it is all about getting butts in cars.

    take with a grain of salt about "what people wont do". someone with even the remotest understanding of the human equation knows that "what people wont do" turns into "what people are doing" faster than we change underwear.

    the more evs on the road, the more that people realize how useful they are.

    wilma tells betty how she uses her ev to run errands in bedrock. soon betty (who would never buy an ev that could not go 250 miles on a charge) buys one to do her errands.

    all this because of word of mouth from someone known to someone else.

    this is not rocket science. it merely takes an inkling of the human equation, along with some real life experience.

  103. I respect you EV Enthusiast but you are just high thinking any thing under 100 mile range EVs are going to sell well here in the USA this century.

  104. Sure, Nissan wants to sell EVs now, but Nissan doesn't want to fix its battery issue in hot climate. And Nissan did NOT launch an EVs with all the issue addressed. If this Nissan battery issue doesn't get resolved, it is going to be bring another doubt to the entire EV community.

  105. Here is another "black eye" on Nissan's EV. I guess so called "real EV maker" aren't ready for the Primetime...

  106. let me repeat - nissan is the only major company that wants to sell evs. i did not say that there were no problems.

    if gm got off their big oil behinds and actually did something constructive, i would be okay with them - even if their vehicles had problems.

    the point is - one can not have a problem with their ev, until they actually have an ev.

    gm, ford, and toyota (3 of the biggest) are putting some major delays in the ev system by refusing to join in.

    and if they did, perhaps nissan would be even more motivated to fix their problems.

    so please gm, ford, and toyota - join in the ev community and start producing evs like you want to sell them.

    at this point, ONLY NISSAN has done so. so they get 100% of the big company credit.

  107. we are still ahead of where we were 2 years ago, and hopefully will continue forward.

    coda and tesla have joined in with their cars, even if they are just small fish.

    i highly suspect that nissan will update their battery system in the future for better temperature management.

    and i also suspect that current owners who have problems will be compensated in one way or another.

  108. Like I said, I hope you are right. Nissan needs to fix its battery pack (added cost), upgrade to 6.6KW, 150 miles range (bigger battery--added cost). You will see me buying one too. But before that, Volt is by far the best thing to get you to all Electric car world.

  109. Patience flower...2013 Leaf should have that issue resolved.

  110. I am just surprised that as "committed" as Nissan claims to be, it didn't do nearly as much as it *should* what an oil backed GM (quoted from EV Enthusiast said) did with its Volt. (Battery capacity warranty, battery cooling, buy back offer...etc)

  111. For me, Tesla's approach, which beaturully and conveniently mimics the ICE offers, answers the question. With ICE cars we have all sorts of options - you can get several versions of a model - from a higgh MPG diesel to thirsty turbo. We got the gas stations, so we don't this about the range at all. Same with Model S - you got options - it's just that with EVs (for now) though only Tesla has it - your extra money goes for the range than for the options (which you get anyway with the top battery).

  112. my first GCR comments (finally) - but I have to get used to "no edit" option :)

    typo above - correct : so we don't thiNK about the range at all.

  113. Sure, my day to day commute may be about 30 miles, but I also regularly drive hundreds of miles to rural areas where services are limited. Where you'll have a tough time finding a gas station, let alone a power outlet. And for me, driving to the nearest major city would require a minimum round trip of 120 miles.

    Electric technology as it is is probably just fine if your frame of reference is, say, the eastern seaboard megalopolis. But America is a big place. If I can't drive 400 miles, charge up fully in under 5 minutes, and then drive another 400 miles, then electric cars simply aren't ready.

  114. Electric car has to get to 200 miles between charges before it's comparable to gasoline car. I don't buy a car just for my daily commute; I'll buy a car for all my driving needs. To add one hour to a three hour trip just to charge the battery is impractical.

  115. Until battery and charger technology improves (and I look forward to that), range is not an 'anxiety' or 'inconvenience' issue for me, but a firm requirement. I drive a Chevy Volt (stats at While I try to stay on battery as much as possible (day-to-day in town I use close to zero gas) I do occasionally take trips of 120-250 miles in a single day, and often on trips like that I don't get to recharge overnight, so I'm on gas the next day and usually until I return home. I suspect many people are in the same boat as me - while cars like the Leaf may satisfy the 'average' condition, it's the 'peak' condition that determines the need.

  116. I think people don't want to have to wait to charge up in the middle of the day on a long trip. Based on that, the relevant questions are , "How far will I realistically drive in a day?" and "How long until overnight charging (at hotels) is ubiquitous?". The answers to those questions are 450-500 miles, and 10 years, respectively. Charging during the day is nice but a corner case.

  117. regarding systems analysis, remember that it is of no importance to whom an ev is sold. it just needs to be sold.

    there are all sorts of people commenting on how they wont buy one until it does such and such.

    most of this is just talk. but for all those for which it is actually true, it does not matter.

    over 50% of the vehicles today could be replaced by an ev that gets just 50 miles per charge. people would buy them like hotcakes, if the price was cheaper than an ice.

    in every other aspect, evs are already better than ices. if they were cheaper as well, then 50-mile range cars could and would replace half the vehicles owned today.

    heck, and then look at europe. you go 50 miles and you are in another country.

  118. this is not just an american thing. it is an international thing.


    if prices were cheaper, they would be sold like hotcakes. and in the interim, our batteries would be making advances.

    once we got fully entrenched in the ev-cycle, we might need to start catering to more special needs, like a long-range vehicle, etc.

    but it would be a complete wasted effort to do so, now. nothing else matters until the prices are reduced enough to appeal to average joe.

    it is about as simple as the nose on our faces.

    i would be absolutely thrilled to see a 50-mile range ev that was priced at 12-15 thousand. it would be like the bug of the 60s, when every 4th car on the road was a vw bug.

  119. it is no secret to range - add batteries. both coda and tesla have options for how much battery you want.

    so with battery improvements that are lighter and more efficient, it will be easier and cheaper for consumers to choose how many battery packs they want in their vehicle.

    and something that can be changed even after the vehicle is purchased, should they desire to add battery range in the future.

  120. Thanks for your info but how bout just telling us once all your thoughts about price instead of the freaking three times you did for this article? Why continually repeat yourself?

  121. i have not seen your name before, so i assume that you are relatively new.

    therefore you have not seen the number of articles written about range, nor have you seen the number of responses.

    what that tells me is that people still dont get it.

    and while this confusion continues to exist, i will continue to remind people that range has no importance today.


    does that answer your question ?

  122. Is price the reason that you don't own an EV?

  123. yes, i guess you could say so. but it is not important why a single individual does not own an ev.

    my vehicle went out on me a little over 2 years ago. i had hoped it would last long enough for me to transition directly into an ev.

    but the ev industry wasnt there yet, and the prices are too high.

    i found an excellent used vehicle for $8,000 out the door. i only drive about 5,000 miles in a year. so this vehicle will probably last me a long time.

    and while it does a good job, i will keep it. i dont prefer to change vehicles once i am used to the one that i am driving.

    range is a real non-issue for me. but that is true of a lot of people. and this large group would be where the early adopters came, if prices were equal.

  124. We have to start somewhere, everyone is too used to having instant gratification. Give it time

  125. It is not about meeting 90% or 95% of a car owners needed. You must meet 100% of their needs. Why trade in your old car and buy an expensive new car that does not meet your needs? Should you own two cars to meet your needs? Owning an extra car you only need 5% of the time is more environmentally wasteful than owning a gas guzzler. If someone needs to take a trip for a few hundred miles with their car, there is not a single electric car that is practical unless you want to be very adventurous. The only 100% practical electric car right now is the Chevy Volt. It is the one electric car that can fill 100% of most people’s needs. Until more brands of electric cars that fill 100% of people’s needs are on the road the sales volume will remain mea

  126. No car is going to fill 100% of 100% people's realistic.

  127. it is a shame all the effort is in setting up zillions of public charge stations, instead of publicizing how convenient an e-car is, trying to get people to get and use them. they are so conveninet, they are basically free to drive once you have the car, and really 90% of usa folks drive under 35 miles per day. for all those people, there need be zero range anxiety. and you never need a charge station ! charge at home, read your gauges.

  128. More chargers, more choice on battery packs to meet needs of consumers and more courage from people on the fence.

    With a drop in battery prices and increase in oil prices, as well as an increase in Level 2 and DC EVSE public chargers, adoption will surely rise and anxiety will turn into a comfortable driving experience.

    The benchmarks have been set, the only direction to go is better mileage, more chargers, and less anxiety.

  129. OK I have read all the previous posts. Whew! Here is my simple and practical answer to the article title question(along with some other points):

    200/20 = 200 mile EV range with a 20 min full charge time

    1) 200+ miles
    Enough for 90%+ Americans. Some of the rare, long distance scenarios/wants commenters wrote above of course won't be satisfied. But that's fine. 200 miles will allow the speedster to drive fast for a 150 mile commute and for only one stop on the way to Vegas or San Diego from LA.

    2) 20 min charge time
    High capacity public charge time for EVs need to be more near fossil fuel refill times. EVs will likely still take many hours to charge at 240V no matter the range but that's fine cause they'll be at home at night usually

  130. 3) Price likely to remain steady
    I think many commenters are living in a fantasy land if they think EV prices are going to come down significantly let alone at all. Just the mere facts of inflation and ever vanishing financial incentives will very likely keep US EVs above the $30K mark. But that's OK. Other incentives like carpool lane access, free parking, longer warranties on the drivetrain, as well as the obvious much lower costs of fuel n maintenance will eventually persuade more Americans to obtain EVs.

  131. Another big factor in keeping the EV prices high in the future is auto manufactures will not make as much money with maintenance and repair with their EV vehicles as their ICE vehicles. There are increasingly so many parts, moving parts, and sophisticated systems in newer ICE vehicles that will eventually require much more service than the simple components of EVs.

    With all that said, I hope that a 200+ mile range EV for under $40K happens with the next few years. The 20 min public charge time, also widely available, will likely take longer. Hopefully both will be widely available, affordable, and in many EV models NLT 2020.

  132. I find it odd that in an article bring up the question of range anxiety people click thumbs down when a rural driver posts their concerns... how rude. I get the ones for false info on EVs but when someone states they drive 400 miles and refills the tank then drives 400 more then that means an EV in todays world will not work for them. It doesn't deserve a thumbs down.
    I already drove from St Louis to Chicago in my ICE but used 300WPM as a bench mark to see if my 265 (EPA 85KW Tesla S) would make the distance. It would not by the way. I stopped at EVERY charger along the way, to the frustration of my wife, and ALL of them were 208volt 30amp. That would take HOURS to charge up enough to make Chicago. NO fast chargers.

  133. I did not look for a fast charger in Chicago because at that point I realized that the EV battery would need to be at least enough to make the distance between cities.... around 300 to 400 miles actual distance with A/C or heat on in the rain/snow at night running the head lights. There will be no fast chargers in the middle of no where USA for YEARS to come if ever.
    The East and West coast EV drivers should remember that there are people living in the middle of the country. I have to drive 80 miles just to spend 6 hours canoeing down a river then drive home. There are no 50amp RV chargers at canoe rental places, they are at the campgrounds...30 min walk.

  134. If EV are going to become a real challenge to the ICE they will need to be useful to the country boy and that is not going to happen for quite a while. Range is too short.
    I am an EV enthusiast and I am buying an EV. I want EVs to be successful so I listen to the needs of those who have good reasons for not wanting one.
    Many people drive pickup trucks because they can not get up their driveway in the rain without 4 wheel drive. EVs can do this... however those drivers drive 2 hours to work each day and there are NO fast chargers on construction sights... period. there never will be. There is no infrastructure at a construction sight, it is being built.
    Think BIG picture here folks. These guys spend a lot on those trucks 60+k.

  135. 150 to 200 miles of driving on a single charge is were range becomes a non-issue for most people. The Leaf at 73 miles pretty much limits it to an urban commuter car. I would like to see affordable under $40K vehicles with 200 miles of range with in the next 5 years (perhaps the Tesla Blue Star) so EV sales will really take off. I would like to be able to have an EV for my primary vehicle rather than an urban only commuter car like the Leaf. Other wise a series gasoline electric like the Chevy Volt would be very practical and I heard that they still get 35 mpg when running in gas only mode once the battery is depleted.

  136. I believe the real issue (which will certainly not be universally agreed with) is for a significant fast charging network to be developed sooner rather than later. Seems like a lot of talk and no action on this subject. If such chargers were widely available, there really would be no anxiety at all. People may find it inconvenient to have to recharge somewhat frequently, but actual range anxiety should melt away.

  137. Agree 100%. See additional comments below.

  138. My Focus BEV's 78+ miles range is more than enough for my daily 60 mile commute! Conversely, my co-worker Prius can do his 18 mile round trip commute on battery alone--IF he plugs-in while in the office. (And he does!)

    So why did he get a gas-electric hybrid for a short commute while someone like me with a longish commute gets a pure "range anxiety" electric? Because he takes long trips and I don't! (My Ford is a second car, purely for commuting purposes!)

    In short? Different strokes for different folks, people!!

    BUT... We DO NEED to drive (sorry) the tech that gets people off of gas-powered cars. Because if we boycott Chick-fil-A for its supposedly anti-gay stance, shouldn't we be boycotting gas from OPEC countries that KILL gays??

  139. Cheers Green Car Reports, Developing and using a rental type of EV Range Extender--typically a small generator on a trailer or EVen an additional battery power pak would be a way to go when necessity calls for a longer range IMHO, let alone overcoming range anxiety. Plus AAA is aligning behind the Plug In Movement with fast charging appls, yes? Afterall, didn't Al Cocinini do this with the ACPropulsion EV when trucking across the US of A..quite a number of years ago. EVer a'Plug'n Tucson in, especially for National Plug In Day, EVJerr

  140. A comfotable EV range with no anxiety? It varies for everyone.
    I own a 2012 imiev and I'm in the 40 miles per day club. No anxiety here, winter or summer. I plug-in at work 110V and at home 240V.
    Get creative and make it work. Some call it anxiety, I call it fun (challenge)!

  141. I currently drive 80 miles to work each way so 200 is absolute min. However batteries degrade over time, and TN weather gets hot in summer (both decreasing range) - therefore one would have to break 300 for me to even consider purchasing one.

  142. Tesla now has over 94 Super Chargers with more coming each week. They plan to have 200 by the end of the year. How far do you normally go in a trip? How many times do you have to stop and eat or stretch? How much can you save on gas and pollution?

  143. BMW i3 Rex solves range problems. Run out of charge and the generator will provide more. I have driven over 2.5 k miles on 7 litres of fuel which shows how little it is required. As battery ages and range is reduced it will need the generator more. It may even need 10 litres per thousand miles, but won't need a new expensive battery.

  144. Used a 2011 Leaf for 4 weeks and a 2010 Prius for four weeks.
    Decided to go with Prius. A range of 150 and I would have gone with Leaf.
    Also Leaf is one ugly car!

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