Motoring Discussion > Electric car range. Green Issues
Thread Author: FotheringtonTomas Replies: 15

 Electric car range. - FotheringtonTomas
What "full performance" range does an electric car normally need? 50 miles? 100? 200? This for most people, i.e. not the "I need to go from Reading to Glasgow" brigade, or UK holiday driving. What range would you personally need for a daily routine?

I reckon about 50 miles would be adequate, generally, and 100 would cover the vast majority's needs.
 Electric car range. - Crankcase
My commute is only about 25 miles there and back. My regular weekend in-law visits is about 80 miles there and back. So yes, 100 miles covers those.

But all other journeys - weekend jollies most weekends, holidays etc - would need substantially more.

I would either need two cars or a fully rolled out electric infrastructure to allow an electric car to replicate that travel pattern, or of course, accept the "green" point that these journeys aren't sustainable and I should not undertake them by personal transport.

Something like a Prius hybrid would solve that for me, but is more expensive to buy and run than what I have now.

 Electric car range. - Old Navy
An electric car would be OK for the domestic "shopping trolley" runs, but as pensioners with the time available, we tend to roam far and wide and run a diesel which suits our needs. I don't think I will see the infrastructure to support my current requirements within my long distance driving lifetime, (another 10 years), maybe them an electric runabout may suffice.
Last edited by: Old Navy on Thu 25 Feb 10 at 11:57
 Electric car range. - Vicar of Bray
Despite one of our cars needing only a guaranteed 30 mile range, we would be reluctant to buy one for the reasons ON gives above. I could be almost certain that the 30 mile range would be fine - but there is the psychology of knowing you can`t go further - even if you have no intention to. Well, that`s how I would react if we bought one.
They may need to bring it down a little. Working slightly up from a golf buggy, (rather than hopelessly going for luxury and complexity )- that would suit me fine for most of my local trips. Would need local & City 20mph limits though...

A third car (cart) then - or even a renamed mobility scooter. There is perhaps a missed local city transport device already there with them, for everyone.
Last edited by: Kharon on Thu 25 Feb 10 at 12:12
 Electric car range. - Vicar of Bray
Just to add.
There are a couple of old boys like me nearby who won`t walk the quarter mile to the paper shop - so go in their cars doing the 8.30 rush hour - I see them as I`m there on foot.
They are not disabled, but it`s a fair walk, to them - and the pavements in the local area are totally free as everyone is in a car.
If they had mobility scooters - made socially acceptable to use if not having mobility issues (re- named) - it would surely take a slice out of the rush hour everywhere.
After all, why not? Kids go to school in cars, push bikes blast along pavements at 30mph and other than that, they are empty.
Last edited by: Kharon on Thu 25 Feb 10 at 12:24
 Electric car range. - rtj70
Despite production and storage of hydrogen has its problems, the ability to fill up a car with the fuel needed is why petrol, diesel and LPG cars are so good. Waiting to charge a car has many downsides. I cannot see it being practical to swap batteries and what if you end up with one from someone that has been poorly maintained.

Honda have a fuel cell car that runs on hydrogen don't they. But the impact on the environment creating hydrogen is a huge problem that is not easily solved.
 Electric car range. - FotheringtonTomas
>> I cannot see it being practical to swap batteries

Nissal/Renalt can.

>> and what if you end up with one from someone that has been poorly maintained

It's not "your" battery, it's leased. Should one like that actually get through quality control (and it would obviously not be productive for manufacturers to allow this to happen) then change it.
 Electric car range. - FotheringtonTomas
Well, two on-topic replies anyway, from Crankcase & the Boatman, 100 miles and (less than) 50. Any others? To add my own, 50 miles would be sufficient for "normal" day-to-day stuff.
 Electric car range. - tyro
250 miles - which probably means that I'm a bit of a statistical outlier.
Last edited by: wildernessman on Thu 25 Feb 10 at 13:35
 Electric car range. - FotheringtonTomas
Possibly - I should hate to have to spend 3 hours a day commuting! If it is commmuting that is, and not nipping out to the shops or something (perhaps if you're non-UK resident).
 Electric car range. - rtj70
I think as a second car an electric car could work. And for short journeys would have a big positive impact on the environment.

For me it's either lots of short journeys or long once. Nothing in between. If I had to have only one car it would have to currently be one that used fossil fuel.

My comment about batteries and problems - Lithium Ion batteries will only have a good life if they are never charged from flat. If you let them run flat then this reduces the charge cycles they can tolerate. And the cost of these battery packs (hence a lease) is high...

Imagine having a car and leasing the engine... when you stop paying the lease you lose the engine and your car isn't any use. That's what is being proposed.

Maybe cars like the Volt are the way forward and at some point the petrol engine will be replaced with some other technology to charge on the go. Like a mini fusion reactor or something.
 Electric car range. - FotheringtonTomas
Yes, but what's your normal daily usage? That is, on most days, what mileage do you do?
 Electric car range. - bathtub tom
How about a trailer carrying an IC engine and generator?

That way you could have a minimum battery range, with the benefit of lower weight, but perhaps the posibility of hiring the trailer.

You could maybe even choose the range and battery capacity to suit your needs.
 Electric car range. - Old Navy
>> Yes but what's your normal daily usage? That is on most days what mileage do
>> you do?
Some people, (me), don't have "normal daily usage". We don't all have to suffer the drudgery of commuting 5 days a week and are free to roam at will. For a system to work it has to be capable of being compatible with the flexible lifestyle many enjoy.
 Electric car range. - FotheringtonTomas
OK, it seems (web search) that the average UK daily commute is a total of about 18 miles.
 Electric car range. - Netsur
I think that Nissan have taken up the idea of an Israeli guy who was a senior player in Accenture before he went freelance. Carlos Ghosn met with him at the Davos Forum with Shimon Peres and they did a deal in a few minutes. Hence Renault getting heavy into this recently as well.

You go on a journey and pass filling stations just as you do now. However at a filling station you swap over batteries by robot that takes no more time that filling up a car with fuel. Each battery pack can last for about 100 miles or maybe 250(?).

For the purposes of my daily life however a guaranteed range of 40 miles with all the electrics and heat working flat out would suit me for probably 90% of my working (if not driving) days.
Latest Forum Posts