Electric vehicles are finally starting to saturate the market, though some of the same old arguments continue to be made against the limited range of EV’s. But a new study by two doctoral students claims that 95% of all single-destination trips could be made by today’s electric vehicles. Surprised? Don’t be.Cars like the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i are rated at a real-world range of between 70 and 80 miles. That doesn’t sound like much range, but two Columbia University students analyzed data from a 2009 National Household Travel study and came to the conclusion that only 1% of all single-destination trips were farther than 70 miles. An overwhelming majority (95%) of these trips were under 30 miles in length, well within today’s range limitations.
But the doctoral students, Garret Fitzgerald and Rob van Haaren (who run the website Solar Journey USA), did not stop there, and went on to tackle the American commuter mentality. Their findings? 93% of commuters travel less than 100 miles to work every day, just beyond the average range of today’s EV’s. But the average commute was 13.6 miles, well within the range of today’s EV’s.
Of course, that does not solve the problem of high prices and limited public charging options. EV’s may not make sense for everybody. But, once the prices come down and EV’s can be competitive with today’s compact cars, EV’s will make sense for a lot of people, no matter what the politicians and pundits try to tell you.
A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, Chris can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.