How much range do you really need in a car?
How much range do you really need?
By: EV Resource Team
This might seem like a simple question, but it’s one that has gotten members of our team in trouble. Instead of blundering around like we did, learn from our mistakes! Here are a few things we wish we knew when we first got started with EVs.
While there are no universal rules for this, we understand that many readers might want a quick answer and while this isn’t a perfect answer, it is a quick one:
Buy an EV with at least double the rated range compared to your expected daily needs.
There are many things can effect the real world distance you can travel. Cold weather affects the efficiency of a vehicle in a few significant ways. First, the cold air is denser and therefore harder to push out of the way, but also when the air turns colder, tires pressures drop as well. Additionally, turning on the heater in your car can cut your EV’s range quite a bit all by itself. Terrain can make the car go far less distance on a charge, if you are going up hill, expect the range to drop from the added energy it takes. Extended highway travel will usually get you far less range than EPA ratings on the window sticker.
Put all of these together, and the car will do far less than expected.
So, by having lots of extra range, combined with proper trip planning, you will nearly always get to where you are going without any problems
Figuring Out Your Needed Range
Figuring out how much range you need will depend on a number of factors.
Keeping Real World Range In Mind
While there’s too much to write about on this for this article, be sure to check out our other article about real world range. It’s often below the range the EPA estimates. Things like steep hill climbs, poor weather, and higher travel speeds can all add up to reduced range.
Whatever you do, don’t assume that an EV with 220 miles of rated range will really go 220 miles in all circumstances. Be sure to read some of our other articles to learn more on this!