@Contrarian I was thinking about your 10 mile detour example. Have you ever found yourself in a "rush-hour" traffic jam? I know it's not everyday for everyone, but there are enough people that spend 30-45min. in a traffic waiting line on their daily 20-30 mile trek to and from work to absolutely demolish their range. I can picture a line of EV's that "die" in a traffic jam and all the headaches it would cause. Some people may not even have the option of "sipping" 120v throughout the day while they're at work. Although, there was a silver lining in an article I read on DesignNews last week that contained a new Ford Fusion hybrid with a combined range of over 800 miles. Make it 4 wheel drive and we may be going somewhere, but the EV-only vehicles are sadly, just not up to snuff yet.
I can unequivocally say that I've had way more range anxiety "attacks" driving my EV than I've ever had with any ICE vehicle. It's true that once you get used to the range limits and while driving your "usual" routes, you don't think much about it. You start out fresh every morning, and the standard commutes and errands go off without a hitch. But throw in an extra side trip and your mind instantly reviews the distance you've traveled so far and whether or not you should even try. So suddenly your vehicle controls some things you would otherwise do. Then there's those trips that are "close", when you see the range meter dipping ever further in the red zone and you start shutting down accessories and driving like a little old lady in the slow lane to conserve. You learn early on the benefits of opportunity charging and that even an hour or two sipping from a 120V outlet could make the difference between making it home or not later in the day. It's *possible* you can experience periods of anxiety-free driving, but that monster is always there under the bed just waiting.
The overhead of owning any vehicle is the elephant in the room. If EV's offered some tangible benefit that made owning a less than ICE-capable car worth it, then perhaps the range limitation would be more readily accepted. But my EV cost more to acquire, just as much to insure, and over the long haul more to maintain than it's ICE counterpart so why anyone would happily accept limited range on top of that is a ridiculous position. We're not talking "exceptions" like towing a boat, taking a trip to Disneyland or seating 8 people. We're talking something as common as a 10 mile detour on the way home or having to pick up a sick child from school in the middle of the day, and then having to park somewhere and charge or arrange for your own alternative way home. That's not range anxiety, it's a hard limit and one I can't think too many people are interested in signing up for.
@GTOlover I think it falls in the same category as to why they can't make an EV for Minnesota. I'll talk to Artic Cat next door and see if they have anything in the works. :) I'm waiting for Subaru or some other 4wheel/all-wheel drive option that can withstand our climate with an EV option.
I follow your logic Nancy. I'm waiting until an EV could even be produced to withstand NW Minnesota. I'd love to see an EV that can go through a foot or so of snow and ice in -30°F weather during a month or two in winter. This is often a daily drive of only about 15-20 miles. However, just like gasoline vehicles, I'm sure conditions tend to play a part in reajusting your drivable range. Now, say a person were to start with a short-range EV with about an 80 mile capacity on the battery. Heaven forbid you get stuck in your driveway on the way to work. I'm thinking the range would be cut to little more than half. If it were a gasoline vehicle, I could still stop and "gas up" on my way home from work, which would take 5 minutes or less. Where or how am I supposed to get "re-charged" on my home commute? Range-anxiety?!?! You bet!! And for darn good reason as far as I'm concerned.
There is a large market for vehicles where the owner is not the driver, and the owner can dictate vehicle usage. For example, light delivery vehicles, which are only used in urban environments and during work hours, or service-call technicians. Fleet owners could operate a mix of gas and electric vehicles according to requirements. For some reason, I don't see EV manufacturers targeting that market.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.