What journey capacity would prompt you to buy an EV?

An article in the press this week suggested that the average US motorist would not consider buying an EV until the journey capacity on one charge hits 300 miles. What journey capacity would prompt you to consider buying an electric car?

For me the cutoff was around 70-80 miles. I can do the vast majority of everyday driving with that as long as I have a car for backup. Of course more mileage would be most welcomed.

Hi Sugarmaker

Sounds as though you are a potential buyer of EVs today? I note that the Nissan Leaf 2013 version is rumoured to have a capacity of around 140 miles per full charge? Sounds ideal for you?

Nissan Leaf Forum

For me, personally, the range would have to be 300+ miles and fast-charge capability of under 15 minutes to 80% charge before I’d make an electric vehicle my daily driver.

Hi Bob

How far do you think in terms of years we are from your goals? I think we are a lot closer than many people think?



That’s impossible to tell in my opinion. Battery technology is not yet up to the 300+ mile range in a practical, affordable vehicle. Neither is the fast-charge capability from the battery technology or infrastructure standpoints.

My wild guess would be 3-5 years for the range increase we want and possibly longer for the rapid-charge infrastructure to develop and be deployed. We’re talking about increasing battery capacity by 4-5 times where it is now. Current technology using lead-acid batteries tops out at about 15 kW-H capacity charged in 8 hours. That draws about 2 kW from the mains.

If you extrapolate a 4 times greater capacity to attain 300 miles range then you’d need to supply 60 kW-H to recharge. If you do this in 10 minutes you need 360 kW to flow from the mains into your battery pack for 10 minutes. That’s a HECK of a lot of power. I’m not confident that this will even be possible - let alone likely…

Thanks for that interesting insight in battery charging and battery power.

I see there have been some developments in relation to new battery types - do you think this will speed up development of the ev market?

I agree that the 300 mile affordable range is still a few years off but personally speaking 1/2 hour charging would make me happy. After 200 miles or so I’m ready to take a break to strech and such which usually takes me 20 - 30 minutes anyway.

The new Leaf is only purported to get maybe an extra 10 miles from the previous version only because of the increased aerodynamics and lighter weight wheels. I have been driving my Leaf now for 2 years and mine shows no sigh on degradation and still can go the full 70 to 75 miles at 57 mph with no trouble. I always drive in power mode and never worry about charging. I have over 22,000 miles so far and going strong. Who says you need a car that can do 300 plus miles per charge. Who ever says that is full of of it . It would however be nice to have a true range of 120 miles per charge at freeway speeds of 65 mph. That would be great. More than that is truly not needed. Yes, we do need more fast charging stations but it will come. In the mean time you can do just fine with out them.

Pete :slight_smile:

No the Leaf does not get 100 or even 140 miles per charge unless however you drive at golf cart speeds then maybe.

Hi Pete

Many thanks for your comments because while we can all read the press releases and the company announcements, nothing beats good old fashioned facts from the ground. So, what do you think the maximum range of a Nissan Leaf is in realistic terms?