“Range anxiety” for pure battery-powered electric car owners wears off quickly as a driver begins to understand the capabilities and charging patterns of their car, according to a new study by the Technology Strategy Board.
Around 35 percent of electric car owners were concerned about reaching a destination before running out of juice three months after buying a car, compared to 100 percent of car owners when they first bought the electric car, according to the report. More car owners drove the cars until the battery fell below 50 percent charge. But the report also showed that electric car owners still desire longer ranges.
Most battery-powered electric cars are limited in their range, which can make car purchasers skittish and less likely to buy a pure battery-powered electric car. It’s one reason hybrid cars — particularly a new extended-range model that can travel 25-50 miles on battery power before switching to gasoline — are more popular than battery-powered electric hybrids.
Clean technology research firm Pike Research expects 754,000 extended-range hybrid electric vehicles to hit the road by 2017, compared to around 504,000 battery-electric vehicles. It’s around a three-to-two ratio, which should continue for the foreseeable future in the United States, Pike Research analyst John Gartner told VentureBeat.
Extended-range hybrids can travel much further without having to recharge for upwards of several hours. Most battery-powered electric cars have long recharge times that require drivers to leave them overnight. But Tesla Motors is working on a fast-charging procedure that it says will charge the Model S to around 80 percent battery life in 45 minutes.
The Nissan Leaf, one of the cheapest electric cars on the market, can only travel around 100 miles before needing to recharge. Tesla Motors cars have some of the longest ranges in the industry, with the Roadster traveling more than 200 miles before a recharge and its newest car, the Model S, traveling up to 300 miles between charges. But The Model S is a little pricey at $57,000 before government incentives for purchasing an electric car.