Opinion: EV Range Does Matter

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Last month, I was chatting with Dave Thomas from CDK Global on the TTAC podcast. We were discussing electric vehicles, and Dave suggested that for many EV buyers, range isn’t that much of an issue.

That’s because, he said, many EV buyers will be able to charge at home and/or at work on a daily basis, and they aren’t going to use their EVs for long road trips, especially if they have a second car that is internal-combustion or a hybrid.

I think Dave made a valid point, but thinking it over later, the next time I tested an EV, I realized that there’s a flip side.

No, it’s not about road trips. It’s that for many EV owners or intenders, charging at home or work just isn’t that easy.

I am a perfect example of the urbanite with limited access to charging. I live in a multi-unit, high-rise condo building, sharing a garage with many other residents. It’s an older building, built long before electric vehicles were on the market. So unlike with many new-construction residences, there are no fast chargers in the garage. I can charge using the 240V outlets, sure, but it’s slow.

There are some fast-charger options nearby, at least. I can walk/drive about 5-10 minutes to a new mixed-use development that has two ChargePoint chargers in the parking garages, or go a bit farther to a Whole Foods that has a couple of chargers. It’s not the biggest inconvenience in the world, but it is still a pain.

It also means that I have to plan my charging a bit, to bake in time to drive to the charger, hook up to the charger (assuming there’s one open), pay, lock the car, and walk home. And reverse those steps when I need the car again.

Once again, that’s not the biggest pain in the butt in the world, but it does factor into how I manage time whenever I am testing an EV and likely to need to charge it. No wonder the Mercedes-Benz EQS and Hyundai Ioniq 6 earned praise from me based on their range.

At least two of my neighbors have EVs – one has a Tesla and another a Kia EV6. I’ve never seen the Tesla owner around, but I did ask the gentleman who owns the Kia how he charges. I’ve never seen it plugged in in the garage. His answer? He charges while he’s parked at the office.

Once charging is more plentiful and takes less time, this won’t be an issue. Nor will it be an issue with EVs that have long ranges – it’s one thing to hike a few blocks once a week and another to do it every two or three days.

I wish I’d have mentioned this to Dave – I think I will next time he’s a guest on the podcast. Again, it didn’t occur to me until after the episode aired.

Someday, perhaps even someday soon, range really will matter less to all EV drivers. Until then, it’s going to be a big deal to any EV driver that doesn’t have easy access to fast charging at home or work.

[Image: BLKstudio/Shutterstock.com]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Join the conversation
5 of 150 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Apr 22, 2024

    Who is saying range doesn't matter? Of course it does. The question is whether this type of vehicle works for your life or not. If it doesn't, don't buy one. It's that simple.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Kwik_Shift_Pro4X on Apr 22, 2024

    In Delhi, with 27 million people, the Ghazipur landfill resides, which is considered the largest in India, and possibly in the world, is on fire.

    The emissions savings of every electric car ever driven and every solar panel ever installed has been undone over the last 5 hours of this single fire. And yet, you'll never hear anything about it from the 'climate change' crowd.

    • See 2 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Apr 23, 2024

      “And ponder the fact that those people are allowed to vote and serve jury duty”

      Just wait until these people are dead and still voting for this garbage lol.

  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."
  • Jeff Does this really surprise anyone? How about the shoes and the clothes you wear. Anything you can think of that is either directly made in China or has components made in China likely has some slave labor involved. The very smart phone, tablet, and laptop you are using probably has some component in it that is either mined or made by slave labor. Not endorsing slave labor just trying to be real.
  • Jeff Self-driving is still a far ways from being perfected. I would say at the present time if my car took over if I had a bad day I would have a much worse day. Would be better to get an Uber
  • 2manyvettes Time for me to take my 79 Corvette coupe out of the garage and drive if to foil the forces of evil. As long as I can get the 8 track player working...