Concerns about the range of electric vehicles (EVs) may be less relevant in today’s context, EVs are potentially already suitable for up to 90% of the trips undertaken in the United States every year, according to new research conducted by a team of researchers at MIT.
Analysis of millions of car trips across the U.S. through survey and GPS data, the research team at MIT found that EVs could make 87% of trips (including the return journey) without needing to charge. Estimates were based upon a model like a Nissan Leaf, currently priced at around $30,000, but the paper argued that continued improvement in battery development could see EVs emerge capable of covering more than 95% of trips by as soon as 2020.
In this re-imagined system, charging would only need to take place at night (or during other inactive hours when parked at home).
The report concluded that the 13% of journeys not covered is enough to still discourage purchasing of EVs today and getting closer to 100% will be essential to increase ownership, as well as adapting transport business models to cover the kinds of travel not possible or inconvenient for electric vehicles.