EV Range: How Much Do You Really Need?

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EV Range: How Much Do You Really Need?

The fear of running out of battery in an electric vehicle (EV) – known as range anxiety – has long deterred many from making the switch to electric. The worry of being stranded with a nearly depleted battery and no charging station in sight is a scenario many want to avoid. However, a recent study suggests this fear is largely unfounded.

Recurrent, a battery health and data startup, analyzed data from 18,000 EVs across the U.S. and uncovered a reassuring fact. The daily mileage that most Americans drive is just a fraction of the distance EVs can travel on a single charge, thanks to advancements in battery and powertrain technology.

The findings indicate that the average daily driving range for EVs in various states falls between 20 and 45 miles, utilizing just 8 to 16% of an EV’s EPA-rated range. With most current EV models in the U.S. boasting a range of around 250 miles, and numerous models exceeding 300 miles, it’s clear that today’s EVs offer more than enough range to meet daily driving needs.

In the current U.S. market, the top 10 most budget-friendly electric vehicles (EVs) all boast ranges surpassing 200 miles per charge, according to EPA standards. Notably, the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV stands out for its affordability and impressive EPA range of 259 miles. Despite Chevrolet halting its production, there’s still an opportunity to purchase one from existing stock.

Interestingly, in the vast states of Alaska, Texas, and California, where one might expect higher driving distances due to their size, the daily driving averages are actually below the national average. This could be because EV owners in these areas often reside in cities where shorter commutes are common, and they have the option to use gasoline or hybrid vehicles for lengthier journeys.

Similarly, regions with naturally shorter travel distances like Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Washington D.C. see EV drivers utilizing even less of their vehicle’s range capacity. This trend suggests that even as EV ownership expands and more people choose electric for their primary transportation, the average daily mileage might not significantly increase. This insight further diminishes the concern of range anxiety among prospective EV buyers.

Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation reveals that the average American driver travels just 37 miles a day, a figure that highlights the practicality of electric vehicles (EVs) for daily use. However, it’s important to note that driving habits can vary widely. For instance, people living in Wyoming or the Dakotas might find themselves driving significantly more than those in densely populated areas like New York or Washington D.C.

The push for longer-range EVs is not without merit. The automotive industry is responding to consumer demand for EVs capable of traveling 600 miles on a single charge, planning to introduce these models in the near future. Yet, this brings up an essential consideration for potential buyers: the actual necessity of such extended range for their daily driving needs.

This discussion opens up an interesting conversation about the perceived versus actual needs for EV range. How does your average daily driving distance compare to the range offered by current EV models? Do you believe EVs provide enough range for your everyday transportation needs? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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