Once viewed as slow and expensive vehicles that cannot travel very far, with most people fearing the limited electric car range that could mean that they are left stranded waiting for an overnight charge is changing rapidly. A wave of the latest electric car models, such as the Tesla Model S P100D and the Chevy Bolt are overturning the conventional wisdom with regards to the electric car range and performance. These new vehicles could finally be the ones to allow battery-powered vehicles to make it big into the mainstream automobile market.
Tesla still holds the record for longest electric car range
The latest Tesla model, which features the largest lithium-ion battery on any current vehicle, is estimated to give one of the longest electric car ranges available, with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) expecting it to offer 315 miles on a single charge. Tesla also claims that the car will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds, which would make the Model S the third-fastest production vehicle ever made. Despite these appealing features, the Model S can hardly be described as cheap. Tesla has plans to start producing a 215-mile electric car range vehicle, the Model 3, next year, which will have a sticker price of $35,000. This is just slightly more than the new Chevrolet Bolt.
Improved Range Expected to Boost EV Sales Figures
“The long-range electric vehicle is a huge achievement for the industry,” says Scott Shepard, who is a senior research analyst at Navigant Research.
When this is combined with the many other improvements seen in the battery-powered car industry, it is likely that there will be a significant jump in the current sluggish sales figures. When plug-in hybrids are added to the picture, recent research by Navigant estimates that the battery-powered vehicles will see year-over-year growth in sales of as much as 62 percent.
Automakers are now going out of their way to prove that everything the consumer believed about electric car range is wrong. They are doing this by releasing a procession of new cars which look to address the traditional limitations of electric vehicle technology, especially with regard to the electric car range.
Better Performance and Affordable Pricing in Upcoming EV Models
Even now, most of the battery-powered electric vehicles available on the market can barely give 100 miles of electric car range on a single charge, with many electric cars having a range of less than 70 miles. However, this is set to change, as mentioned, with the Tesla Model S P100D, currently offering the longest electric car range among vehicles on the market. In addition, the company’s Model X SUV has a range of 285 miles. To top it off, there are even longer range electric cars currently being developed. These include a compact Volkswagen model which could deliver almost 400 miles when fully charged.
With regard to performance, there have also been steady improvements. The first version of the Chevy Volt hybrid would take about 10 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. However, the second generation has cut this down to about 8 seconds. The Mission E battery-powered sports car from Porsche is claimed to be capable of 0-60 mph in just 4 seconds. Holding first place currently though is the Tesla Model S which can achieve it in a mere 2.5 seconds, comparable to a Porsche 918 Spyder or a LaFerrari.
The often astronomical prices have also been a stumbling block to the adoption of the long electric car range offerings by potential buyers, in spite of the longer range offered by these newer electric vehicles. For example, the Model S is clearly out of reach of those operating on a budget, with the top-of-the-line P100D having a starting price of $134,500. However, the Model 3, which will hit the market next year, and the Chevrolet Bolt, will be in the mid-$30,000 price range when federal and state credits, as well as other incentives, are factored in.
Faster Charging for Long Range Electric Vehicles
When talking about electric car range, there is the issue of charging. Although a car could offer a range of 100 miles or more, it could take an entire night to charge when connected to a standard 120-volt power outlet and it could take more than four hours on a dedicated 240 volt charger – if you could even make it home before running out of juice. Until recently, it has been a challenge finding public charging stations. However, these are quickly mushrooming up in many parts of the US, Europe and Asia.
Tesla is hard at work setting up a Supercharger network in many parts of North America to cater to the wave of long range electric cars. These charging stations will be capable of giving a longer range electric car up to 80 percent ‘refill’ in just 15 to 30 minutes, dependent on the size of the vehicle’s battery. There is also research into faster charging systems and batteries, which can be charged up to 100 percent in just a little more time than it would take to fill up on a tank of gas.
When all the elements factored in, especially with the longest electric car range and performance being comparable to gas powered vehicles, EV adoption is expected to significantly rise in major car markets across the world. There is still plenty of debate over the kind of plug-in cars which will be the most popular with consumers, with many experts predicting that hybrids, which combine battery power and gas engines to give the longest electric car range, are the hot ticket when it comes to eliminating car buyers’ range anxiety. With all that said and done, would you purchase an electric car and if yes, what features would be important to