Range of Electric Vehicles
The strongest and also the most often used negative argument against electric cars is their limited range and the need for frequent and especially unexpected charging. According to the German psychologists led by Dr. Thomas Frank this is just an unfounded dogma, irrational in its own way.
Text: The everyday use of the electric car gets, among ordinary consumers, allegedly linked to the frustration from the short driving range and unforeseeable cases of vehicle stopping working due to flat battery. Although the manufacturers of electric cars are from the beginning trying to disprove these stereotypes using strong arguments as availability of network of charging stations, instant battery replacement or evening recharging, it seems that consumers steadfastly resist. The German team of psychologists led by Thomas Frank tried to refute people’s unfounded objections of unusability of electric cars and their limited driving range.
Franke in his research used 79 residents of Berlin, providing them for a few months with an electric Mini Cooper with a range of 160 kilometers on a single charge. Even before they started an active use they were asked to enter into the questionnaire their minimum requirements for the range of the vehicle. No one gave value less than 145 kilometers on a single charge. After about a month using the electric car the drivers answered the same question again. This time, however, their expectations fell to 135 kilometers on a single charge. At the end of the study, after three months, the drivers would be satisfied with a range of 125 km.
The results of the research can immediately pinpoint several clues. The decision of consumers whether to purchase an electric car are influenced in the first place by the fear factor, on the basis that the vehicle can run out of battery power at a location where the driver will not be able to instantly recharge and thus continue the journey. It is true that a network of charging stations is not as dense as the petrol station network, on the other hand it is not a lot of effort and calculations for the driver to find out when his electric car needs a recharge. Finally the vehicle itself alerts him, or displays an estimated range and the current battery level, similar to the conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine. Dr. Frank’s research was based on the fact that the average driver in Germany drives daily less than 60 km, but expects from the car significant margin in the driving range. However, you can recharge your electric car at virtually any time just as you can top up the fuel tank. With the difference that you can also do so at home or at work. The manufacturers and distributors of electric cars have with this thanks to the research of Dr. Frank’s a hidden trump card.