In surveying users of the recargo website, they determined that people had a longest trip in the Electric Vehicle of just 90 miles. One out of ten people found public EV charging sites to be reliable. The key lack is of adequate availabilty of DC Fast Charge stations which allow compatible cars to be charged to 80% capacity in 20 minutes.
According to Norman Hajjar from Recargo this is the biggest barrier to EV adoption.
Tom Turrentine, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis, has found in his research that the “sweet spot” for range seems to be 120 miles which seems to meet the majority of people’s needs. Also, with a DC fast charger, it is realistic to double one’s range during an extended pit stop, provided of course that one can count on charging at one’s destination. I’d like to add that with an extended stay at the end of one’s trip, a standard 110 volt outlet can be sufficient to charge provided the car won’t be used extensively for a day or two.
BMW has tried to address this issue with their i3 which will offer both a range extender that adds 80 miles to the cars range as well as the option to have a DC Fast Charge port installed.
Personally, I like Fiat’s approach of offering a few car rental credit for those rare longer drives. Personally I only drive on long road trips two or three times a year so renting for those occasions is perfectly reasonable, especially with the cost included in the lease price of a car. The exceptional situation for me is when I would drive a bit further than normal, such as from Berkeley to San Jose and thus would need to charge at my destination, or take a different car, or public transportation. So in affect, it might prevent me from taking the car I want but it’s a rare occurrance and why focus a solution on the rare exception rather than the normal need?