Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Benefits of "Range Anxiety"

One of the big complaints brought up about EV's is their limited range.  Arguments along the lines of "If I can't drive 400 miles on a whim then EV's can't work" are pervasive.  This attitude has grown from the availability of cheap oil in the last 100 years or so and people seem to feel it's something they must have, even though the reality is rarely ever realized.  To cling to this unused "freedom" people are willing to compromise our economy, our environment, our political policy, and our security.  Is the idea of an endless road trip never taken really worth all that?
EV's can't provide that "freedom", not now, maybe not ever, and that's a good thing.  For all of human existence up until the 20th century that "freedom" did not exist and no one suffered because of it.  Unlimited travel transformed our country, and not necessarily for the better.  The US is a wasteful society, consuming 24% of the worlds energy while comprising 5% of the worlds population.  We need to use less.  A vehicle that actually makes us think about our trips before we take them will certainly help in that respect.
I expect that with around a 200 mile range and a network of 15-30 minute charge stations range anxiety will largely disappear, but maybe it shouldn't be so easy to drive 100's of miles on a whim.

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