eli5 Why are electric vehicles becoming standard when they have low range?


I’m asking this without bias. Just genuine curiosity. Cause I don’t understand (hence eli5 lol). Why are they being pushed right now when it’s known that almost all EVs have ranges that are quite low? Compared to the amount of miles one may get with a full tank of gas that is.

Surely they would focus more on increasing the amount of range per charge to match what you can get in terms of gas in a newer gas powered car (closer to 500). Instead of setting laws in place to phase gas out before electric is even fully developed.

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23 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

How often would you need your full tank of gas if you filled up at night in the garage?

Most people can get by just fine with a range of ~200 miles vs ~300 or so, and as the charger network matures, it will only get easier.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I get like 325 miles to a tank on my 2012 honda. Used to get less than 300 on my 08. Plenty of ice cars have similar range to EVs. Difference being it takes 5 minutes to fill ur tank Vs. 20-30 minutes to charge.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because they only have low range relative to our current expectations for gas vehicles, not to what they actually need to do the job.

People that drive 200+ miles per day generally *don’t* use electric vehicles. But average commutes are far smaller than that…the vast (vast vast vast) majority of trips are covered by < 100 miles per day.

In a gasoline car this would be super annoying because nobody wants to go to the gas station every day. But the “gas station” for an electric car is…the garage where you were already parking it anyway. The incremental burden to “refuel” your electric car every day is nearly zero, so the fact that it needs to refuel every other day or two is basically irrelevant.

And, in return, you get performance, quietness, cheapness, and mechanical reliability (Tesla notwithstanding).

Anonymous 0 Comments

The avg daily commute is 20 miles each way. EVs have a solid range but I think a better interim solution would be plug-in hybrids. 20 miles EV, then kicks to hybrid and then goes full gas. It has ask the redundancies built in while the power grid builds up.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you look at the EV’s that are on the market today, plenty of them have the range that gasoline vehicles do. But there’s also another factor. If you take a car like a Nissan Leaf, it is designed to be a commuter car. It has a lower range (~150 miles), but for a normal day’s driving for most of the world, that is more than enough range. You probably wouldn’t want to drive it across a large country.

The Kia EV6 has a range of over 300 miles which isn’t too far off from my Kia Soul gasoline car which gets ~350 miles per tank of gasoline.

Another attractive side to an electric car is that you can power it yourself. With a gasoline car, a typical person isn’t going to be able to drill for oil and refine it into gasoline, but a typical person could generate their own electricity to charge an EV.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are better for the environment, and the push means more development and improvements over time. Just as gas powered cars got 10-15mpg and then technology progressed so that they now get 25-30mpg, the same will happen with EV progress. Over time, range will get better, charging speeds will improve, etc. and the limitations will fade away. But it’s better/more economically feasible for automakers to get technology out there today than wait 20 years to perfect it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They are becoming standard because the government is throwing money at them to entice people into using them. I have no problem with electric vehicles, but I do have a problem with the government picking winners and losers.

As a single car household, I would never purchase an electric vehicle. They have plenty of advantages (namely they’re require less maintenance), but the recharge time is a no go for me. For daily commuting, range and charge time is not much of an issue. If I had a second vehicle, I’d consider making it an EV.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I drive a car that gets about 310 miles to a tank of gas. When I’m just traveling around town or occasionally to the next town over. I can sometimes go close to 3 weeks before a fill up.

With an EV, and the ability to charge over night, a charge every 2 to three weeks would be about all I need. Battery technology is improving constantly, and the need for long distance travel in EVs is helping to drive that technology – and we will get there.

We slowly transitioned from the horse to the automobile over time. People laughed because a car couldn’t go where a horse could. While that is still true, in actuality the vast majority of the population has no need of a horse.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I work in the EV industry. I can tell you that the infrastructure can not handle the US going all EV. This is all a political agenda trying to force change. The government is not smart. The smart thing to do is build the infrastructure so it can support the vehicles not the otherway around. We are still a LONG way from long range batteries and unfortunately what people forget to really look at, although EV has clean emissions the amount of pollution (water, air, soil, emissions) is very very very dirty and bad for the environment. We still have a long way to go but need to remove the politics.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most people don’t constantly need long range vehicles. They need to get around town and they need to get to work and back. And depending on where you are going , in the long stretches of high traffic corridors there are charging stations often enough to drive in the morning and charge while you are having lunch or something similar. Besides, the people who are doing the “pushing” aren’t the same people who are doing the driving. Lots of folks who have EVs get frustrated with the charging situation. But people are using them for status symbols and virtue signaling and because they want to be part of the energy transformation or whatever other reason.