The EV Expectation Gap

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Though an global Accenture study [via Green Car Congress] found that up to 68% of respondents would consider a plug-in electric vehicle for their next purchase, the issue of range continues to be the great unknown. And unfortunately for all the models and predictions of future EV sales, the issue of range points to some severely irrational consumer behavior. Namely, there’s a giant disconnect (nearly ten-fold in fact) between the actual number of kilometers driven each day and the range expectations for future EV purchases. Meanwhile, 62% of respondents rejected battery swapping, the most credible current solution for range anxiety, for reasons that are not immediately clear. In short, Energy Secretary Chu had beeter be right when he says EV range will triple and costs will be reduced over the next six years… otherwise, EVs will die a quick death at the hand of consumers’ outsized range expectations.

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  • DenverMike DenverMike on May 23, 2011

    @SVX pearlie Nah, I don't care. It already has plenty of scratches from the tall brush I go through. Plus I can say my ex-girlfried put them there. If I catch you though, you're gonna have problems (of the legal variety of course).

  • Musiccitymafia Musiccitymafia on May 23, 2011

    An ICE car has a 300-500 mile range between "refills". Places to refill are everywhere. It only takes a couple of minutes. If refill locations are restricted (maybe severely) then logic says people will want more range. Ditto if it takes longer to refill. Market fragmentation perhaps.

  • Dynamic88 Dynamic88 on May 23, 2011

    The Volt would seem to have solved the problem of range anxiety. (I realize saying anything remotely positive of GM is not well received here). There are two kinds of people - those who can accurately assess their needs and say yea/nay to pure EVs based on their needs, and those who can't accurately assess their needs, and so reject EVs out of hand. Rejecting an EV because it doesn't work for you isn't range anxiety, anymore than rejecting a Miata when you need to haul a 5th wheel camper is towing anxiety. If an EV works for you it works for you, and if it doesn't, it doesn't. Again, Chevy seems to have made a car that can be used in EV mode most of the time, but still can be driven on the spur of the moment 350 mile trip, so there would seem to be little need for considering range limitations. The cost of EVs is a problem, and for now it will only be the early adopters who get them. As with most technology, costs will probably come down. Most of you guys arguing that EVs have no future probably would have been arguing that the horseless carriage had no future - had you been living just over a century ago.

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on May 25, 2011

    My average daily mileage over the last seven years is 36 km. Most days, my car doesn't leave the garage, while some days, it goes 1500 km. Drives of 250 km or greater occur about twice a month. I don't see myself owning an electric car anytime soon.