When buying a car, there are many factors to consider, and when it comes to 100% electric cars, there is one question everyone should seek an answer. Range is often sighted a barrier to switching, but how much range do I really need?
Each drivers needs are unique and you can make the maths as complex as you want. Here I aim to make it as simple as possible and suggest you focus on the minimum range that you are willing to accept.
Minimum range (in my definition) is the electric car range that you would like to get at any point during the year, in least favourable conditions. Also if you would like to keep the car for a number of years, it should represent minimum range that you are willing to accept at the point of selling the car.
How to calculate minimum range?
For regular trips, simply ask yourself two questions:
1) What is the number of times you would be willing to charge the car per week?
For example, between 2 to 4. It’s worth noting drivers who charge at home usually top up each night, it takes seconds to plug-in.
2) What is the distance of your regular trips, such as your daily commute?
We will show you yearly, weekly and daily so it’s easier to choose.
Next, simply find your answer in the table below.
Can it be really that simple?
Well… The table shows the estimated range you need based on your criteria. It should be relatively accurate for regular trips, as it excludes how the electric car range is affected by various factors that are highly personal, and which can vary significantly, however it is a good starting point.
How to convert my minimum range to electric car range?
The current batch of electric cars on sale in the U.K. have their range calculated using the NEDC formula, however I do recommend using U.S. EPA range. This formula delivers a more real-world figure.
How do we make it work?
We simply need to take your range from previous table, apply your personal circumstance (driving conditions) and convert to EPA range, which should give a minimum range that we are after.
Personal circumstances are highly unique, however to simplify this we just need to find on a scale from 1 (ideal conditions) to 7 (worst Conditions) where you see yourself. The description below the table can give you an idea of the conditions.
Once you have EPA range from the above table, you can use it to see which electric car models would satisfy your needs.
Please also bear in mind that we focused on minimum range, which typically will be winter time and during summer you will get more range.
Learn more with a free webinar
Hopefully this article gives you an initial answer or more confidence to answer the question: how much range do I really need?
If you would like to consider this further I am hosting a free electric car webinar where everyone can ask questions or share their own experiences.