SparkE wrote:Frankly, I don't think that long-distance travel should be an actual significant issue for many people (although many people, including prospective buyers, think it is) - people just don't do it that often. When they do, I think that low charging rate is the biggest problem for long-distance travel - for ALL current BEVs - more of a problem than limited CCS coverage. For those that might actually use their electric for travel, it currently takes way too long to "re-fuel" - people are much more likely to just use ICE when traveling.
1) I don't think that many people drive over 200 miles one way very often. Myself, I've done it 3 times in the past year (four times if I go back 14 months). I also think that the vast majority of charging is done at home, followed by charging at work (or in parking structures). There are 5 BEVs within a block of me, including mine (one block each way, two blocks total). If I include the double-block behind me, add 4 more. Every single one of them is owned by a multi-car household. NONE of us use the BEV for long distance travelling. (To be fair, only three of the vehicles have a range over 110 miles - two Bolts and one Tesla 'S'.) But still - even the Bolt and the Tesla families take the ICE vehicle when traveling. It isn't that the fast charging infrastructure isn't there - I live in the San Francisco Bay Area - we have infrastructure out the wazoo. From Reno, NV to San Diego - no problem of DCFCs not available (and the Tesla, he could drive across the country!)
2) The reason my neighbors don't travel long distances in their BEVs is because it is a pain to fill up. True, part of it is the worry that *maybe* we'll have to wait at a DCFC for a plug to become available. But the real reason is that nobody wants to stop for 30-45 minutes every 90 miles. EVEN THE TESLA DRIVER would rather drive his gasmobile down to L.A. (three times since last June). He doesn't want to stop for 30 minutes of refueling every 120 miles with his family in the car. Sure he stops when driving down in his ICE - WHEN he wants, WHERE he wants and FOR AS LONG as he wants; he stops at parks to let the kids run, or a 5 minute stop to pee and stretch, or a 15 minute stop at a drive-through or to buy sandwiches. He is NOT limited to the only 3 or 4 or 6 places he MUST stop, with not much choice of what to do and limits on how long he must stay.
So, my take is :
- BEVs can be successful even if massive amounts of money aren't spent on oodles of DCFCs. The EVs will be used 97% of the time, for the everyday driving that families do. Yes, that means that people with ONE car are going to be put off until the infrastructure is much better. If only 5% of the U.S. multi-vehicle families bought just one BEV every 10 years, sales of electric vehicles would still go through the roof.
- I will not be using an electric vehicle for long distance travel until they can charge at a rate of 150 kW, up to ~50% SoC (and batteries of at least 80 kWh usable). If I can add 35 kWh (120 miles) in 15 minutes, or 55 kWh (200 miles) in 30 minutes, I'd suck it up and drive electric all the time. But I am NOT going to stand around for an hour to add 140 miles - that just isn't going to happen. And I bet most people feel the same way. That doesn't mean I won't have a BEV, or that I won't be driving it almost all of the time. I just want the convenience of gasoline for long-distance drives : 5-10 minutes, add 400 miles.
- Although lack of infrastructure is a (somewhat) valid excuse, the real problem is that the cars don't charge fast enough - not even Teslas. Seriously, even if the country's interstates were covered in 60 kW fast charging stations, most people would be using their gasoline vehicles to drive over 300 miles away (well, after the first few times and the novelty wore off). Ask the guy whose wife was GLARING at him because it was 20F outside and they had been waiting over 30 minutes for the Bolt to get enough of a charge to limp home (at 20 kW, because it was so cold) : "are you taking the Bolt or your gasoline vehicle next time you and your wife drive 300 miles away to visit family?" Or the guy with 2 young kids, parked by the motorway for an hour waiting for the Bolt battery to get up to 45 kWh so that they can drive for another 150 miles ...
Well said and I agree completely. About 90% to 95% of my driving and my wife's driving is local which, for an ICE, represents the lowest vehicle gasoline mileage. But, for my EVs it represents the highest MPGe efficiency. If I did not have an ICE - a pickup truck in this case - I would just rent one for long trips and avoid an ICE car payment. I charge mostly at home but I also have EVgo and ChargePoint memberships for longer trips. This has been working great for almost 3 years and I now I only stop at a gasoline station if I want a soft drink or snack.