How Much Range Do I Need?


Today, we’re opening up a bit of discussion and would love for you to drop us a line below in the comments. With the race for bigger batteries and longer-range cars raging on, we want to stop for a moment and conside ’how much range do I need?’ 

What do we mean by range? 

So let’s just make sure we’re all on the same page here, ok? What do we mean by range? Of course, we mean how far your car will take you on a single charge, right? 

Demands of different countries 

It’s worth pointing out at this stage that different countries put different demands on a car’s range. Where I am in the UK, it would be rare for people to take on road trips in the same way that my friends in the US might. Added into that is the charging infrastructure in whatever country you live in. Some countries and regions have embraced EVs a lot more than others. There’s also the weather with very cold climates hurting range even more. 
So if you’re figuring how much range you actually need, then you have to consider where you’re living. 

Commuting -vs- Pottering -vs- Road Trips  

Let’s talk about the different ways that you might use your car also, because let’s face it, that’s the most important factor in determining how much range you’ll need. 

Some cars are used for long daily commutes, for work maybe. You might have 50 or 60 miles to work and the same back again. Someone like that will clock up a lot of miles in a year! But even though they might end up doing 30 thousand miles in a year, a car like a 2nd hand 30kWh LEAF might just work. Can you charge both ends? Well, the distance between those points becomes your range. Do you stop every day for a coffee and croissant? Can you charge then? Remember that driving an EV requires a mindset chance over the whole ‘fill her up’ mentality of gasoline. 

For others, the car might just be used as a runaround. A means to pick the kids up from school and do the weekly shopping.

The last category is where it starts to get a little bit more tricky. This is the type of driving that is more intermittent or less regular. We’re talking about road trips, holiday destinations that you drive to.

What does the future hold? 

So what does the future hold? Just think of the changes we’ve seen since the LEAF hit our roads about 10 years ago. And the progress is absolutely not stopping. In the next year or so, we’re going to have cars on the road that will comfortably go over 600km on a charge, and then recharge at a rate well above 200kW.

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