In the electric-vehicle universe, range is the holy grail, the One Ring and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow all rolled into one. Car manufacturers are fighting not just with each other on that front, but also to respond to detractors who continue to point to range anxiety among consumers to explain why EVs won’t succeed in grabbing more market share any time soon.
Manufacturers will be single-minded in the next few years in trying to extend battery range ever further. With 400 km rapidly becoming the norm in new EVs models, they may just be in the process of winning the battle for hearts, minds and consumer dollars.
For its part, Tesla, which has led the pack almost from the beginning when it comes to range, says it’s hoping to pass the 400-mile mark soon; translated, that works out to 643 km.
Tesla boss Elon Musk confirmed the company’s plans this week, saying that the automaker was progressing on both range and energy efficiency:
"It will not be long before we have a 400-mile range car."
- Elon Musk
In truth, the company already produces cars that are close to that mark. The extended-range version of the Model S can drive for 370 miles (or 595 km) on a single full charge.
The sky may well be the limit given the new technologies that are being developed at breakneck speed, for example in the field of solid-state batteries.
Paralleling the arms race carmakers are engaged in terms of horsepower, we are witnessing the beginnings of a ferocious fight towards ever-greater battery ranges. We might well soon see a vehicle hit the market with a 700-km range, then 800 km and even, eventually 100 km, or around 600 miles.
Anxiety range may be a condition on the way to eradication.