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Cost and charging points more important than range, study says

Zhenhong Lin, a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Knoxville, Tennessee, optimised electric vehicle range predictions based on the individual driving patterns of 36,664 sample drivers in the United States.

The results showed most consumers would be capable of living with a car offering a range of less than 100 miles, provided the charging infrastructure continues to grow, instead of paying the extra cost of a longer-range, higher-capacity battery.

It suggests a change of focus away from the industry norm, which is to chase ever-longer ranges from a single charge. Until manufacturing costs dip below $100 per kWh of capacity, most consumers are actually better off in a low-range vehicle, according to the report.

The study, Optimizing and Diversifying Electric Vehicle Driving Range for U.S. Drivers, is published in the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) journal Transportation Science.

Alex Grant

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