Transportation

Range Anxiety? Today's electric cars can cover majority of driving needs

Aug 29th, 2016 | By Jessika E Trancik

Electrifying transportation is one of the most promising ways to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, but so-called range anxiety – concern about being stranded with an uncharged car battery – remains a barrier to electric vehicle adoption. Is range anxiety justified given current cars and charging infrastructure? It’s a question my research group and I addressed in a recent study. Specifically, we asked: When looking down on the geographic area of the U.S. from a bird’s-eye view, how many personal vehicles on the road daily could be replaced with a low-cost battery electric vehicle (EV), even if daytime charging isn’t available?
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Transportation

Building a Better Gas Tank

Aug 12th, 2015 | By Gray Peckham

Introducing our latest investment: Infinite Composites Technologies. This Tulsa-based company has an innovative design to make higher capacity, lighter tanks for alternative fuels, helping to increase efficiency and solve range anxiety.
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Transportation

8 States to Push Zero-Emission Cars

Nov 6th, 2013 | By Nicole Rogers

In October, governors from eight states, representing almost a quarter of the U.S. car market, announced an agreement to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads of their states by 2025. Here's a state-by-state snapshot of how these states support clean cars.
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Transportation

Rental Cars Are Going Greener

Aug 21st, 2013 | By Laura Waldman

In addition to being eco-friendly and saving money on fuel on vacations and business trips, renting an alternative-fuel vehicle is a great way to test one out before making a purchase. Most rental car companies are now catering to eco- and cost-conscious drivers by offering a variety of hybrid and electric cars for both long-term rentals and shorter, by-the-hour use. For some consumers, a rental my be their first experience with this new technology.
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Innovation

EV Charging Goes Wireless

Aug 7th, 2013 | By Nicole Rogers

Imagine walking into your garage every morning to a car with a full tank of "gas." Now imagine the ability to refuel while you drive. This is the promise of wireless electric vehicle charging and it could eliminate the problem of range anxiety once and for all by providing EV drivers with better options for charging than conventional drivers have for refueling.
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Transportation

9 EV-Friendly National Retailers

May 10th, 2013 | By Laura Waldman

EV charging isn’t just for your garage anymore. To meet increased demand from electric-vehicle drivers for convenient places to charge up, national retailers are partnering with companies like ECOtality and ChargePoint to install charging stations in key markets across the United States. Here's our list of the top nine retailers that are leading the EV charge.
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Transportation

Is There a Cure for Range Anxiety?

Mar 6th, 2013 | By Aubrey Yee

Range anxiety is still a reality for drivers of electric vehicles. A recent study from the Department of Energy suggests that a corridor of charging stations in the northeastern U.S. could help increase demand for plug-in electric vehicles in the future.
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Eco Living

Electric Car Rentals for the "Urban Eco-Curious"

Jul 10th, 2012 | By Nicole Rogers

Rental car companies are in a unique position to be able to introduce these new more efficient vehicles to the public slowly. If you're interested in an electric or hybrid car, but you are afraid of how far it will go on a charge, renting an electric car for an afternoon of errands might be a nice, safe introduction.
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Innovation

Charge While You Drive

May 29th, 2012 | By Aubrey Yee

You just got a shiny new electric vehicle, you’re hip and ready to go. Driving could be a dream, but where are you going to “fill up”?

What if you could charge your new car while driving it? Sounds fantastical, but actually the ability to charge while you drive with wireless technology may be just around the corner.

Researchers at Stanford have come up with a wireless charging technology that uses “magnetic resonance coupling” - in other words, copper coils in your car and in the ground transfer electricity between each other while you are driving. Charge while you’re driving and you never have to stop to refill your battery!

This potentially revolutionary new system is outlined in a paper recently published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

While there are some kinks to be worked out, the idea behind the technology is quite innovative and tackles head on the “range anxiety” that many people feel when deciding whether or not to purchase an electric vehicle.

Imagine a carpool lane magnetized for electric cars only. It would require tearing up some of the freeway pavement, but the metal coils needed to make it run are very affordable. One more important innovation on the road to a new way of driving.

 


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Eco Living

Current Electric Car Ranges

May 9th, 2012 | By Nicole Rogers

- - - 10% of trips are less than 2 miles
- - - Average commute distance:18.8 miles
- - - 95% of trips are less than 60 miles
- - - EPA electric range of Mitsubishi-MiEV (62 miles)
- - - 99% of trips are less than 140 miles
- - - EPA electric range of Tesla Roadster (245 miles)



You want to buy an electric car but you’ve got visions of being stranded in the middle of nowhere. There is data to suggest that even though there aren’t charging stations on every corner today, it is likely the distance you travel to perform your daily commute and errands is well within the range of today’s electric cars.

In the past few years automakers have made a serious commitment to electric cars, but a phenomenon called “range anxiety” still persists among the public. It is the fear that you will run out of power far from a charging station. Anyone who has ever run out of gas on a lonely road can relate to why the threat of this might cause anxiety.

Right now the national infrastructure to charge electric cars lags behind the enthusiasm for and production of them. This is thought to hinder the consumer who might be interested in an electric car from actually purchasing one.

But there is hope. Not only is the infrastructure to charge electric cars improving rapidly, but some new models about to come on the market have incredible ranges. Tesla’s Model S for example, boasts a range of up to 300 miles. There are also Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, or PHEVs, that run on electricity and gas, so you can always stop at a gas station in case of emergency. Most fully electric cars, or EVs, currently for sale in the US travel from 60 - 100 miles on a charge, with the Teslas potentially going up to 300. (source) While the Tesla Model S is still very expensive at $49,900 after $7,500 federal tax credit for electric cars, its vastly improved range bodes well for the future of all electric cars.

Electric cars are likely to be charged at least once a day - overnight at home. So with most EVs that gives you 60 - 100 miles to drive per day. This is where range anxiety comes in.

A cool head and hard facts are the antidotes to most anxiety, and the same is true here. If you want a fully electric car, you should ask yourself a couple of questions:

‘Does my family have more than one car?’ and ‘How far is my daily commute?’

Many two car families interested in an electric car could use the EV for commuting and light errands, and use their second car for road-trips. Single car families may lean toward a reasonably priced PHEV like a Prius with a base price of $24,000 - $29,805.

It’s important that you don’t just estimate how far your daily commute is; you must measure it. On your next workday, record how far you actually drive on your odometer. For most people, this should fall well within the range of today’s electric cars.

Approximately 95% of car commuters in the U.S. travel less than 40 miles to work, with the average commute being being 13.6 miles, according to data from the National Household Travel Survey of 2009, analyzed in a study by Garrett Fitzgerald and Rob van Haaren, doctoral students at the school of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. Those figures represent one-way commutes, but that still means that an average round trip commute is well within the range of the electric cars on the market.

Knowing the facts about electric cars means you can let go of that range anxiety and relax . They can get you nearly anywhere you want to go, and the growing infrastructure is making it easier to go farther everyday. Besides, freedom from oil is invigorating!

 


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