If you want to do better things for the environment by driving electric vehicles, you should be prepared for associated inconveniences.
That’s certainly one of the takeaways from a recent study of those who have owned personal electric vehicles (PEVs). About one in five were so unprepared for those inconveniences that they made a U-turn and went back to gas-powered vehicles.
The primary issue was the massive difference in the fueling/charging process.
A Business Insider story referenced a first-person experience from Bloomberg:
“In roughly three minutes, you can fill the gas tank of a Ford Mustang and have enough range to go about 300 miles with its V8 engine.
“But for the electric Mustang Mach-E, an hour plugged into a household outlet gave … just three miles of range.”
The study, by University of California Davis researchers Scott Hardman and Gil Tal and published in the journal Nature Energy, took the testimony of Californians who purchased a PEV between 2012-18.
According to the Insider story, plugging your EV in at home gives about 120 volts of power (called Level 1 charging); higher-powered specialty connections reach 240 volts (Level 2). Tesla’s “Superchargers” carry 480 volts of direct current and can give EVs a full charge in just more than an hour.
Most of those who U-turned cited the reason to be battery charging — the study says 70% didn’t have even Level 2 charging at home; slightly fewer did not have it their workplaces.
PEVs are making major strides toward joining the mainstream, but if the charging efficiencies aren’t improved – by a lot – then progress will move along like a bad driver in the slow lane.
“What is clear is that this could slow PEV market growth and make reaching 100% PEV sales more difficult,” Hardman and Tal wrote.