How much range do you need for your EV

This is a very important question for your EV. It is important for a traditional car as well but it is less relevant. It is important for EVs because additional range usually costs a lot of money while for a traditional car, it is more of a design choice.

But to make a proper decision, we need to know all factors that may influence our decision.

Firstly I have to state the obvious fact that the range should be enough for your daily commute. Let's say you drive 50 miles. Obviously, you need at least 50 miles, but it does not mean that you have to buy EV with 50 miles range. You have to buy EV with at least 150 miles. Why? There are multiple reasons:

  • Normally you will have less range than stated officially.
  • You need some extra range in case you will change work, move to a different location, etc.
  • You need some extra range in case of something unexpected happened. Accidents, roadwork, broken traffic lights, etc.
  • When it is too hot or too cold, your EV will consume more energy and as a result, you will need a more available range to accommodate this.
  • With time battery will degrade and the range will naturally reduce.

Next, if you are planning to drive this car further than your daily commute, then you should take into account that as well. For example, imagine your parents are living within 2 hours of driving and you are planning to visit them a few times per year. And it would be logical to make sure that your EV can drive there and back.

And if you can buy a higher level trim that will allow you to drive with fewer stops, I think it is a good investment, if you can afford it of course. A longer range will also reduce range anxiety and you will reach places with more charge left and in general, you will be more flexible.

But it is not only about range. Each battery cell has fixed numbers of charge and discharge cycles. Imagine your car has one cell and the charge in that cell is just enough to drive you a whole day. As a result, after 100 days that cell will charge and discharge 100 times.

But if your car has 100 cells, it means that after 100 days each cell will charge and discharge only once. And it is obvious that a car with 100 cells will last much much longer than a car with a single cell.

Also, you need to take into account that people usually get rid of regular cars because it became too expensive to service them. I remember, at the beginning service took only 45 minutes and about the same amount of dollars. But after 3-4 years, each service costs $100-$200. And each 30 000 miles, there is a big service that costs $1000-$1500, and the cost increases every year.

You may question my last statement, but you can check rental companies. They get rid of their cars after 1.5 – 2 years. And they know how to do it properly to maximize their profit. If it would be profitable to keep their cars, they would do it.

But an EV is much more simple and it does not require a lot of expensive services and as result, I think that people will keep EVs for much longer and the extra range will be really helpful in the long run.

In conclusion, I think that it is better to get as much range as possible. And that is a reason to avoid buying upgrades that reduce the range of your EV. For example, the Performance trim on Tesla has considerably less range. 20-inch wheels also reduce range. And it is the exact reason why I didn’t take them or 7 seat version. All of that reduces the range.

Of course, this is what I think and it is based on my own reasons. Different people have different reasons and for someone, the look of their car is more important than the range. For somebody, performance is a key, etc. I just want people to see other reasons.

Said that there is one exception. If you have a second car that you will normally use when driving long distances then it is better to buy a cheaper car with a shorter range. I’m planning to buy something much cheaper than Tesla just for the daily commute and that costs around $20 000 - $30 000. In this case, I absolutely don’t care about range and price became the deciding factor.

I hope it will help someone.


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