Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

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Thread: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

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    Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think
    Green Car Reports
    July 12, 2011
    by John Voelcker


    It's been known among electric-car advocates for years that so-called "range anxiety" is somewhat overblown.

    That's despite, we might add, advertisements by a large U.S. company that sells a range-extended plug-in car that highlight its ability to let you drive it across the country on the spur of the moment.

    Which, quite frankly, very few of us ever do.

    Now Nissan has released some data from its first 1,500 Leaf electric car buyers, showing that in fact they too drove far less each day than the car's electric range.

    And those Leaf owners almost all used the car as their primary, sometimes only, vehicle.

    The daily average mileage on those first Leafs was "well below 60," according to Brendan Jones, director of Leaf marketing and sales strategy during an interview yesterday.

    And the average single drive was 7 to 12 miles, allowing at least some Leaf owners to recharge during the day if they felt so inclined.

    Full article at link.

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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    So people who buy EVs with limited ranges tend to drive limited distances?


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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    You don't drive as far as you think you do, but when you do need to exceed your normal commute, you're screwed. That's the fatal flaw of pure EVs.
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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Quote Originally Posted by ne_one View Post
    So people who buy EVs with limited ranges tend to drive limited distances?
    Yes. Sounds like EV owners understand their vehicles' capabilities, and operate them accordingly. It's no different in principle than what owners of ICE powered automobiles do when they acknowledge those vehicles have to be refueled after covering a certain distance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Car Reports
    We're a nation with the myth of the open road embedded in our DNA. But for almost all of us, almost all the time, the open road leads to the mall, school, jobs, stop-and-go traffic, and a fairly predictable usage pattern.
    This bodes well for EVs, especially since many of those destinations are prime locations for future EV charging station installations. Hopefully General Motors will develop an EV that isn't equipped with an expensive and ultimately unnecessary ICE based "range extender".
    My modes of transportation: CityBus Greater Lafayette, rental cars (usually GM), bicycling, and walking.
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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    This is a ridiculous article. So the "average" daily commute was below 60 miles. Whoopdeedoo. That means that a minority of the time (30%? 20% 10% 5%), the drivers were screwed. They were either stranded or unable to meet their daily obligations without finding another means of transportation.

    How many times does your car have to strand you (or force you to take relatively drastic measures, such as renting a car or bumming one off of some other sucker who actually bought a car that can meet his daily needs, to meet your daily obligations) before you consider it unacceptable? Even if only 10% of your days exceeded the range limitations (which on a bell curve, if your average is 60 miles and your range is 73, it would likely be a hell of a lot more than that), I don't think the average Joe would be okay renting or borrowing a car 1 out of every 10 days. Furthermore, that assumes that you can plan for the needed range. I promise that umplanned contingencies come up in our daily lives that we mostly don't recognize because we don't have to worry about range. If you had an unplanned meeting to go to, you might not have time to get a rental or bum a car off someone else. That would be a major issue, even if it only happened once in a year.

    The Volt was designed to accommodate this very issue, and I think this article's cheap jab at GM is pathetic. The Volt accommodates the majority of the daily needs of 80% of the driving public on pure electricity -- so it's like an electric car. But, it has an alternative means of power for those times when we need to exceed our average commutes. Perfect solution to the problem of inadequate batteries. THAT is why the Volt is superior.

    Hell, anyone can make an electric car. GM did it nearly two decades ago, and it learned its lesson. Even with today's better batteries, until the capacity increases another three fold or the science of rapid recharge emerges, batteries simply aren't a feasible energy solution for most American automotive needs. Any semi-competent automotive company can cram a bunch of batteries in a car and sell it to the few individuals who can make do with an over-sized golf cart, but it's not a longterm or broad solution to the problem. It's a niche vehicle for a very limited number of people (most of whom probably have a gas burning car along side it in the garage). The Volt offers a platform that could spawn a long term solution.

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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Quote Originally Posted by roy219 View Post
    Sounds like EV owners understand their vehicles' capabilities, and operate them accordingly
    Ironically, the big bad "large U.S. company" has also invested considerably into telling buyers that 80% of people drive less than 40 miles on a typical day.

    No car is a perpetual motion machine but the reality is that the infrastructure currently isn't in place to recharge an EV in a reasonable amount of time.

    Unless it's cost prohibitive, having even a "hobble home" range extender would alleviate a lot of concerns.

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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Heck, most of my drives are under 10 miles and I could charge during the day, yet I have 55k miles on my 3 year old car. I've made a lot of long trips that I couldn't have with the LEAF. Then the fact that the battery is cooled by air instead of liquid like the Volt and after 3 years and 55k miles on it the battery would already be losing range (the Volt should last 10+ years with minimal degrading of range) plus the fact that here in NE Ohio the temps in the winter can get to below 0 (F) which certainly isn't good for a battery powered car. All in all, the LEAF is a bad idea. And the owners will find that out in about 5 years when their car has a range of 30 miles.
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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Dumb article. Why don't a poll people who drive a Prius and ask them about what can of mileage they get, and then apply the same logic to every driver out there. It doesn't work.

    People understand the limited range of the vehicle. They are going to understand that they can't drive it every where and on long trips. How many people drive their ICE powered car till it runs out of gas? I am pretty sure that the number is low too. People get the fact that cars need energy (gas or electric). The people who are going to buy and EV will need to make sure it meets their lifestyle. These people drive fewer miles. Go figure.

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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    There will be a substantial percentage of Leaf owners who are at or near the range limit on thier commute...which means they can't make a side trip to the car wash, grocery store, workout gym, little league game or any other "extra" stop. People will deal with this only so long before range anxiety turns to rage.When they DO want to take an extended trip what then? Buy a second car just for that occasion...or rent a car at the current extorsion rates? There will always be a percentage of people who have no life and therefore nowhere to go. For them the Leaf is a perfect solution...but then so is a bike.

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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Quote Originally Posted by ne_one View Post
    So people who buy EVs with limited ranges tend to drive limited distances?

    Imagine that!

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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Quote Originally Posted by roy219 View Post
    Yes. Sounds like EV owners understand their vehicles' capabilities, and operate them accordingly. It's no different in principle than what owners of ICE powered automobiles do when they acknowledge those vehicles have to be refueled after covering a certain distance.
    Maybe it's no different if you're driving your ICE powered automobile in the middle of the Mojave desert where there are no gas stations. Where I live gas stations abound and fill up whenever.
    With an EV what you really have is the equivalent of a ICE car with 3 gallon gas tank and the only gas pump is in your garage. It's pretty far from "no different".
    Last edited by eaton53; 07-12-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Funny, I always fill up my gas powered car before running of gas also. If I had a Leaf, I'd never drive farther than the battery would let me. Stunning.

    Wouldn't it be impossible for the Leaf owners to average more than the cars range? As others have said, pretty pointless article.
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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Spend 7 days getting to Florida for spring break and then it is time to go home. What a joke. Sounds way more suited for fleet work and city dwellers.

    I'm still waiting on those Volt commercials where the leaf has stranded a driver in the middle of nowhere and a Volt cruzes by (with a display indicating it is switching from electric to gas).

    I already know what Ford will do when the electric Focus comes out...A charging contest showing the Focus can charge 2-3 times faster than a leaf.
    Last edited by EcoBustier69; 07-12-2011 at 03:42 PM.

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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    Quote Originally Posted by jckjds View Post
    This is a ridiculous article. So the "average" daily commute was below 60 miles. Whoopdeedoo. That means that a minority of the time (30%? 20% 10% 5%), the drivers were screwed. They were either stranded or unable to meet their daily obligations without finding another means of transportation.

    How many times does your car have to strand you (or force you to take relatively drastic measures, such as renting a car or bumming one off of some other sucker who actually bought a car that can meet his daily needs, to meet your daily obligations) before you consider it unacceptable? Even if only 10% of your days exceeded the range limitations (which on a bell curve, if your average is 60 miles and your range is 73, it would likely be a hell of a lot more than that), I don't think the average Joe would be okay renting or borrowing a car 1 out of every 10 days. Furthermore, that assumes that you can plan for the needed range. I promise that umplanned contingencies come up in our daily lives that we mostly don't recognize because we don't have to worry about range. If you had an unplanned meeting to go to, you might not have time to get a rental or bum a car off someone else. That would be a major issue, even if it only happened once in a year.

    The Volt was designed to accommodate this very issue, and I think this article's cheap jab at GM is pathetic. The Volt accommodates the majority of the daily needs of 80% of the driving public on pure electricity -- so it's like an electric car. But, it has an alternative means of power for those times when we need to exceed our average commutes. Perfect solution to the problem of inadequate batteries. THAT is why the Volt is superior.......
    ........The Volt offers a platform that could spawn a long term solution.
    I agree. The Volt is the common sense solution.
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    Re: Range Anxiety Antidote: You Don't Drive As Far As You Think

    That article is full of leftist green agenda BS. Nobody wants a car like this except the people who only care about what other people think of them ("Oh look, he drives an electric car!" "Ooo, look, that guy bought a LEAF!"). Its unfortunate for Nissan that they will have a PR nightmare on there hands when they don't have an answer for the range quickly dropping in very warm and very cold climates. And anyways, once that "Halo" image wears off sales will tank. I don't except the same for the Volt because the marketing is easy (except for GM's obnoxiously low advertising budget) and there actually is a market for it once the price goes down (1st generation is strictly a halo car, don't let anyone tell you differently)
    Last edited by 'Vette Dude; 07-12-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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