How Important is Charging Station Infrastructure in Your Decision to Purchase a BEV?
Almost exactly my situation with one exception - for my 1% of the year when I need to travel long distances, I rent an ICE car - I would rather put large amount of miles on a rental car anyway. The rest of the year my round trips are 80 miles or less.I purchased a Bolt EV over the Memorial day weekend. My 2011 Chevrolet Volt went to my daughter who upgraded from her 2012 Mitsubishi i-miev. My wife got the daughter's SE premium i-miev, and now the wife's ES i-miev will be going up for sale. The Bolt EV was the right choice for me. It has plenty of range for my local driving, and I was really wanting a vehicle that sits a little taller than the Volt making it easier for me to get in and out.
The big question about EV's that people always ask is "What about when you are traveling long distance?" My answer is "Don't". I have other vehicles for that. Plus like most people that is such a small percentage of my driving. Vacations are rare, 99.99% of the time my driving is local and I suspect most people are the same.
Here's a good way to look at it. For traveling an EV is always going to be less convenient than a gasoline powered vehicle. A Tesla would be the most convenient EV with their supercharging network, but even still you can't replenish your battery in 5 minutes and although they have a very good network there may be some places you can't get to easily. However for the 99.99% of driving you do most often an EV will always be more convenient than an ICE car. Because your re-fueling station is also your home. and it only takes about 5 seconds to plug-in and go to bed. And you're fuel is billed to you once a month.
So for vacations, I have a vacation machine. A 31 foot Forest River Sunseeker class C motorhome which allows me to travel from the comfort of my second home. Carry my bed and my kitchen and my living room, and most importantly, my potty with me everywhere I choose to roam....no supercharging stations required. All I have to do is buy the amount of gas that i didn't buy all year because I drove an EV for the other 99.99% of my driving. That expenditure for gasoline would be about the same if I bought airfare and hotels for 4 adults.
So why the Bolt and not a Tesla. Well the Bolt is lighter than the Tesla and the Bolt is front wheel drive. Do you see where I'm headed? The Bolt can be towed on a Dolly behind my vacation machine for local driving when I' m traveling.
And I think that may be the more sensible way to do it. If you want to make long trips with a BEV it will take more planning and I think you'd have to be able to reserve charging stations in advance so you'd know they'd be available. Taking a 30 minute break from driving is not necessarily a bad thing and we might have fewer inattentive drivers on the road if everyone was forced to take a 30 minute break every few hours.Almost exactly my situation with one exception - for my 1% of the year when I need to travel long distances, I rent an ICE car - I would rather put large amount of miles on a rental car anyway. The rest of the year my round trips are 80 miles or less.
You can have lunch in under 15 minutes? Maybe if you eat at McDonald's (which I do when I'm on the road). If you're like my sister you stop at a restaurant, blow an hour, ordering, waiting for it, eating it, pay the cashier. More than enough time to charge the car. Don't do any +600 mile trips these days (at least not lately). Battery technology has a long way to go and we'll get there yet.I will not buy a BEV until they can fast charge to full in under 15, have 300+ mile range in the worst conditions, and do all of that under 30k. If you don't think we will get there, well think nicer thoughts
Pure EV owners must be some of the move obsese drivers on the road with all the eating they do while waiting for their car to recharge. At 75 MPH one can burn through the Bolts 328 mile range in a little over 3 hours. That means stopping every three hours to grab something to eat.You can have lunch in under 15 minutes? Maybe if you eat at McDonald's (which I do when I'm on the road). If you're like my sister you stop at a restaurant, blow an hour, ordering, waiting for it, eating it, pay the cashier. More than enough time to charge the car. Don't do any +600 mile trips these days (at least not lately). Battery technology has a long way to go and we'll get there yet.
This! It's not so much the range but rather the time to recharge. With an ICE vehicle I can "recharge" 400 - 500 miles in approximately 10 minutes. With a Bolt, using DCFC, it would take, theoretically, two hours to get half that range. The problem with EVs, IMO, is not range but slow recharge times.I will not buy a BEV until they can fast charge to full in under 15, have 300+ mile range in the worst conditions, and do all of that under 30k. If you don't think we will get there, well think nicer thoughts
Need to take a peek at the Tesla SC map, there is a SC at Hinckley Supercharger.My kids are teens and we've done out of state road trips maybe a dozen times, or about once a year. Usually these are places that can be reached in single day.
More common for us is an in-state 150 mile (one way) trip to the Northern part of the state where my wife's father lives. We tend to do a fair amount of driving while we're there and there's limited fast-charging options. None of them would be very convenient. It could be made to work but I think it would be far easier to take or rent a gas engined vehicle.
The trip I'm talking about is from Minneapolis to Duluth, MN on I35. Heading to the Northern part of the state out of the cities on I35 during the Summer weekends is very common. There's a town called Hinkley at about the halfway point that has 3 large gas stations right off the freeway. They are very busy during this time of year. I can't imagine that it would ever be practical to make the same kind of infrastructure work for EVs if they ever represented 50% or more of the vehicles.
You can fill up with gas in about 10 minutes which frees up the pump for the next car. If it takes 30 minutes, now you need 3 times the number of pumps.