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The vast majority of American drivers could switch to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) tomorrow and carry on with their lives unaffected, according to a new study in Nature Energy. What's more, those BEVs need not be a $100,000 Tesla, either. That's the conclusion from a team at MIT and the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico that looked at the potential for BEV adoption in the US in light of current driving patterns. Perhaps most interestingly, the study found that claim to be true for a wide range of cities with very distinct geography and even per-capita gasoline consumption.

The authors—led by MIT's Zachary Needell—used the Nissan Leaf as their representative vehicle. The Leaf is one of the best-selling BEVs on the market, second only to the Tesla Model S in 2015 (10,990 sold vs 13,300 Teslas). But it's not particularly long-legged; although the vehicle got an optional battery bump from 24kWh to 30kWh for 2016, its quoted range is 107 miles on a full charge. You don't need to spend long browsing comment threads or car forums to discover that many drivers think this is too short a range for their particular use cases. Yet, Needell and colleagues disagree.
:)

Shorter-range electric cars meet the needs of almost all US drivers | Ars Technica
 

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It's alright all these surveys telling us that Electric cars are fine for 80-90% of the journeys that we make , however I guess I'm one of those strange individuals that would actually like me vehicle to do 100% of the journeys I want it too. No use spending all that money to own a car and then having to hire a car or use public transport for the other 10% of times . Electric cars are the future, of this I have no doubt , it's just that the future is not quite here yet.
 

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I'm slowly changing from that viewpoint. For the occasional long haul trip, renting a car can be a change from what we normally drive as well as cheaper than a car payment. The EVs are getting better each year and there may be one in our near future, with rentals for the infrequent long trips. We'll see. :)
 

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I'm slowly changing from that viewpoint. ... The EVs are getting better each year and there may be one in our near future, with rentals for the infrequent long trips. We'll see. :)
One of my favorite parts: no gas station stops. Car is "refueling" as I type. :)
 

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I guess i must fall outside the "vast majority" then. 100 miles wouldn't be enough for me. And the idea of renting a car for longer trips is even worse. I live in Lehighton, PA. Let's say, for example, that i wanted to take a trip to King of Prussia Mall... to go to The Cheesecake Factory or what have you. If i were in a car that had a maximum 100 mile range per charge.... that's a 70 mile drive. So my tank would already be 2/3 gone before i even started heading back. And that's assuming that i'd be driving along at a reasonable pace, without air conditioning or anything like that on, which that study says they pegged the "real world" range of the Leaf to about 73 miles... so i'd be even worse off. Then i'd have to HOPE there was somewhere there (or anywhere else reasonably far away that i might have to park.... say for the few times a year i go to Harrisburg) that i'd be able to plug my car in and leave it sit for however long it'd take to be full again... or pretty damn close to it. Not to mention i drive 60 miles round trip just to work. Sometimes sit in traffic for 10 minutes on the way home. So yea... i might just make it to work and back any given day... but then there's that chance that if i wanted to go to the store, i might have to go home first and charge the car for a bit just to get that accomplished. Or heaven forbid i'd have to take a trip to Allentown for some reason or another after getting home. Would never make it.

I'm sorry... but I can't agree with their article. I'm really wondering where they got their data from.... cause i'm sure if they did a public survey with people, asking how far they routinely drive per day... they'd probably find the same result. That there's a chance a BEV COULD get someone to work and back on a regular basis.... but anything more than that could be a stretch.
 

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I guess i must fall outside the "vast majority" then. 100 miles wouldn't be enough for me. And the idea of renting a car for longer trips is even worse. I live in Lehighton, PA. Let's say, for example, that i wanted to take a trip to King of Prussia Mall... to go to The Cheesecake Factory or what have you. If i were in a car that had a maximum 100 mile range per charge.... that's a 70 mile drive. So my tank would already be 2/3 gone before i even started heading back. And that's assuming that i'd be driving along at a reasonable pace, without air conditioning or anything like that on, which that study says they pegged the "real world" range of the Leaf to about 73 miles... so i'd be even worse off. Then i'd have to HOPE there was somewhere there (or anywhere else reasonably far away that i might have to park.... say for the few times a year i go to Harrisburg) that i'd be able to plug my car in and leave it sit for however long it'd take to be full again... or pretty damn close to it. Not to mention i drive 60 miles round trip just to work. Sometimes sit in traffic for 10 minutes on the way home. So yea... i might just make it to work and back any given day... but then there's that chance that if i wanted to go to the store, i might have to go home first and charge the car for a bit just to get that accomplished. Or heaven forbid i'd have to take a trip to Allentown for some reason or another after getting home. Would never make it.

I'm sorry... but I can't agree with their article. I'm really wondering where they got their data from.... cause i'm sure if they did a public survey with people, asking how far they routinely drive per day... they'd probably find the same result. That there's a chance a BEV COULD get someone to work and back on a regular basis.... but anything more than that could be a stretch.
All you need is 2 cars in your household and all the worries should be eliminated. If you have an EV and a gas car, you shouldn't have range worries. Drive your gas car when you need more than 70 miles or whatever your EV range is. Most trips are well within 70 miles.
 

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Or an EV and a hybrid. Actually, in EDs case, a single hybrid would work fine. :)
 

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All you need is 2 cars in your household and all the worries should be eliminated. If you have an EV and a gas car, you shouldn't have range worries. Drive your gas car when you need more than 70 miles or whatever your EV range is. Most trips are well within 70 miles.
Easy to say but economies don't allow that or allow the cost necessary for those specific types of vehicles for a large number of folks.
 

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One of my favorite parts: no gas station stops. Car is "refueling" as I type.
+1
People keep asking how long the car takes to charge. Wrong question! Better question: how much time do I spend charging my car? Much less than you do fueling your gas guzzler. And you have to do it in a dirty, smelly place.

I feel sorry for the 10% who can't take advantage of the benefits of EVs. Help is on the way: once EVSEs are ubiquitous at apartment buildings and workplace parking and even city streets, that number will drop significantly.
 

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I guess I'm one of those strange individuals that would actually like me vehicle to do 100% of the journeys I want it too.
That's your choice if you are willing to compromise. I for one don't want to drive a full-size truck to work every day, just because I need one once in a great while to haul something big. I prefer my smart for daily driving and rent the truck when I need it. Why would I give up the enjoyment of the smart every day for that rare situation? And pay all that gas, too?

Of course, if you're hauling stuff every weekend, you're one of the 10% who will have to wait.
 

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Surly "Hauling Stuff" in a smart is a totally different subject altogether , and no matter what you drive no vehicle will be ideal for all "situations" , I drive an FLT at work , doesn't mean I use one to get to and fro work . This is about travelling and distances (key word in my quoted response being "Journeys") , and my smart suits me fine for that , but that's because it has a fuel tank , and plenty of places to fill up with. Till the range of an EV gets to about 350 miles per charge (and that's real distance , not company's pie in the sky ideal situation miles) would I ever consider getting rid of my petrol smart.

However each to his own , many people manage and it suits their requirements , just not mine , I wish not to compromise or take gambles on getting to and from my destinations ..... as for the other ... that's what on line ordering and deliveries are for.
 

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I already own 2 ICE smarts, not convenient for my wife & I to car pool to work, overlapping work scheduals, and to visit the grandkids we'd have to rent an ice car and we travel 100+ miles each Saturday, nope, can't see an EV in my immediate future. Two EVs and an ICE for the weekends? Can you say bankrupt?
 

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As much as I hate saying this, it's obvious. Burning fossil fuels for energy is so unnecessary, so ancient, so obsolete, but there's just so much politicism and elites in control over $$ that means we're stuck burning dirty polluting fossil fuels.

Look. I love stick shift transmissions, loud engines, and fuel burning just like most car enthusiasts. For recreation.

But in terms of necessity? Fuel is obsolete for the daily commute to/from work. Electric vehicles are far superior already, and that's with single speed transmissions and slow battery charging. When people stop making excuses out of their fear of EV's, the EV market will improve in the products being offered.
 

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I guess i must fall outside the "vast majority" then. 100 miles wouldn't be enough for me. ... which that study says they pegged the "real world" range of the Leaf to about 73 miles...
I'm sorry... but I can't agree with their article. I'm really wondering where they got their data from.... cause i'm sure if they did a public survey with people, asking how far they routinely drive per day... they'd probably find the same result. That there's a chance a BEV COULD get someone to work and back on a regular basis.... but anything more than that could be a stretch.
Hey, I completely understand that EVs don't work for everyone and are not the best solution in every driving situation - no vehicle is. But, I do agree with the major points of the article for many, if not most drivers. Most households (about 2/3) have 2 or more vehicles, so having one EV and an ICE makes a lot of sense. That's the category I fall into. Also, more than 3/4 of American commuters travel 40 or fewer miles per day and 2/3 travel 30 or fewer miles/day, understanding that there are still quite a few people that can exceed that number greatly. For those that do, one of the existing low cost, first generation EVs is obviously not a practical choice. When 200+ mile EVs are available at the same price point (e.g., Bolt, 2nd gen Leaf, Model 3, etc.), then they'll work for an even larger % of the population.

While an EV may not work for some on a daily basis, those people are generally in the minority of drivers. Since it's a continually evolving technology, those that can't practically use an EV today may be able to use it next year or the year after. It's just a matter of time.

Regarding the Leaf, I average 80 miles per charge and recharge on average at 16% SoC (24 Kwh pack), so I could hit 90+ pretty easily if I wanted to push it, but I don't need to since I only charge once every 5 days. The 2016 Leaf SV/SL offers a 30 Kwh pack EPA rated at 107 miles vs the 84 miles for the 24 Kwh in mine.

To be fair, my driving (city) is optimized for an EV and YMMV. :)
 
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