Range remains the biggest hurdle for electric cars to overcome, and low-cost, compact electric cars have the most ground to make up. While many remain skeptical that electric cars will ever have enough range to replace conventional cars, Renault thinks that by 2020, most compact EVs will boast a range of 200 miles or more between charges.
That would meet the needs of 99% of consumers, most of whom don’t drive more than 60 miles per day anyways. But for those rare long trips, waiting up to 12 hours between charges just won’t do when you have a long trip to make. That is why automakers like Renault, with its Japanese ally Nissan, are investing a lot of time and money into battery research, and Renault is particularly bearish on the promises of battery technology.
Not only are batteries supposed to get cheaper and lighter, but they’ll store more energy too. Remi Bastien, in an interview with Auto Express discussing a next-gen plug-in hybrid, thinks that current battery technology is only 50% of the way there. By 2020 he expects we’ll see subcompact EVs like the Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe Z.E. boasting 200 miles or more of range, at least on the European testing cycle. In the U.S. the range rating is more likely to be in the 150 mile range, but that’s still more than double what most EVs are rated at today.
2020 isn’t that far away, and the future for electric vehicles is looking a little brighter. It’ll be interesting to see which predictions pan out, and which were straight hyperbole.
Source: Auto Express