Back when I first heard about electric cars coming to the market, I wondered when we might start seeing them on the streets. I also wondered how one might charge the car after driving across the country. Would there be charging stations, instead of gas stations? Or could you just plug it into a regular outlet in a hotel? As you can see, we’ve come a long way from those wonders. Electric cars are selling, and surprisingly, as much as the price may have been a talking point when they were first introduced, it is now the amount of miles they can or cannot go without charging the battery with price in mind.
The Nissan leaf, which has been sold most in the last few years has only been able to go for 80 miles before having to recharge. You could say that this was the standard for the vehicles out there, or close to it. Now, automakers like Tesla and GM are racing to the market to offer electric cars that can go 200 miles before a recharge, revolutionizing the industry by nearly doubling the amount of miles before a charge. Both companies are preparing to create cars that can go the distance, believing that it is the true standard in the market of electric cars.
BMW isn’t currently buying into the idea that each electric car needs to have the most efficient battery to make sales. The head product manager of BMW stated that the average American only commutes an average of 36 miles. He believes that creating a product that keep the sportiness of the car but also has just the right battery capacity will keep them solid in their sales. The market seems to think that affordability was the tipping point, as consumers decided to buy the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, and the Tesla Model S over BMW’s model.
Audi seems to be shooting even further into the range in which the electric car can go before a charge. They are developing an electric car that will push the war on range to 300 miles before a charge. Audi cited that it was a requirement they received from their sales department.
It is very clear that the range of electric car batteries is something that could go on until something else that is more efficient is introduced. Consumers of electric cars seem to be creating the market for these long range batteries. Automakers like Nissan, GM, Tesla, and Audi seem to agree that the market is for more long range batteries, while BMW seems to have decided to keep a sporty vehicle with a lower range battery. It was once clear to me that developing electric cars was to help with the emissions into the air from gas powered vehicles, and to decrease the reliability on fossil fuels. While that may be the case, until automakers end the race for battery range, these electric vehicles will continue to be expensive. Making it harder for consumers to buy them.