Thursday, May 13, 2010
30,000 Zero Emission Miles in Eleven Months
Electric cars have a long way to go before they are accepted by the majority of the public as a legitimate alternative to gasoline burning cars. There are still many questions and obstacles like the high cost of batteries, the usable life span of the batteries, the effects the ambient temperature has on the range, the unavailability of public charging infrastructure, but most of all the single charge range of the current EV's. Until recently when Tesla introduced the Roadster there were no production cars that you could purchase that could consistently go100 miles on single charge regardless of the whether conditions. 100 miles per charge seems to be the accepted bare minimum for an EV to be really considered a serious player and have a chance to sell in numbers great enough to warrant production by a major auto maker.
Most of the general public has the perception that we currently don't have the technology to build and sell a car, for a competitive price, that could go far enough on a single charge to satisfy their daily driving requirements. If anything, I hope that people that read about me and my adventures with the MINI-E realize that the auto makers can make a car that can be used as a daily driven commuter car and be used for high mileage driving if the circumstances are right. 30,000 miles in less than a year is much more than the average person drives. In fact, the average driver logs about half the miles that I'll have on the car next month when my first year with the car is over.
I know that the car wouldn't work for everyone. There are plenty of people that drive less miles than I do in a year but have the need to longer individual trips, so yeah, a car with a 100 mile range just wouldn't work for them. However, I believe most households that have more than one car could use a 100 mile EV and could save a lot of money doing so. The cost of maintenance of these cars is dramatically lower than that of an internal combustion engine vehicle because there are so few moving parts to wear out and need replacement. Plus the fuel cost (electricity vs gasoline) is dramatically lower. Depending on what part of the country you live in the average cost to power your electric car would be around $2.50 to $4.50 per 100 miles you drive.
Lately I've been interviewed by quite a few journalists that have heard of the high mileage I'm putting on the car and many of them ask me if I know of anyone else that has driven an electric car more than 30,000 in a single year. I've asked around the EV community and nobody seems to know of anyone that has. I know some of the EV-1 drivers put as many as 50 or 60,000 on their cars over a 3 to 4 year period, and that some of the Toyota RAV4 drivers have 150,000 miles on them but they were sold from 1997 to 2003 so they are all 7 to 13 years old. The Tesla roadster is capable of doing it, but I don't know if anyone would buy one for $110,000 and then basically drive it into the ground like I'm doing to the MINI-E.
If anyone knows of anyone that has driven their EV more than this in a year, please leave a comment with the details. The more people see that these cars are capable of high mileage driving, the quicker the public will realize that driving electric is a legitimate alternative to gasoline powered cars.